A Heart for Christian Education
Christian Educator Philip Alsup, Ed.D., Appointed MBA Administrator
After the announcement of Dr. Phil Alsup as the new administrator, the Maranatha Baptist Academy family breathed a sigh of relief. “Of course! We know him! What a great choice.”
The news that Dr. Lane Hansel, a beloved administrator at MBA for the past nine years, would be transitioning to a new position at Maranatha Baptist University made many uneasy.
But all recognize that Dr. Alsup is a perfect choice to fill the opening. With his passion for Christian education, high credentials, and previous experience, Dr. Alsup hopes to continue the pattern of teamwork and excellent academics offered to students at Maranatha Baptist Academy.
Call to Christian Education
Alsup’s passion for Christian education was originally sparked by his own parents, who were both educators. They modeled for him the sacrifice and humility necessary in the field. But it was only after taking a hiatus from Christian education to explore a different field that his own calling was confirmed. “That period away solidified in my heart that ministry, specifically Christian education, was my own personal calling,” he recalls. “I returned to education and have never looked back.”
Although he has enjoyed his previous roles at MBU and will miss the Online and Distance Learning Department, Dr. Alsup is excited to begin the transition to MBA.
“Working with young people face-to-face each day is a very rewarding experience because they change so rapidly—their physical and spiritual growth happens right before your eyes,” he says. In some ways his new position will feel like coming home: “I look forward to working alongside other high school teachers again. K-12 teaching is ‘education in the trenches,’ and the camaraderie with other teachers is enjoyable.”
Credentials for Christian Education
Dr. Alsup’s background has thoroughly qualified him for his new position. He completed his undergrad with a B.A. in Pre-Law from Bob Jones University in 2002 and continued there to earn an M.S. in Educational Leadership in 2010. In 2015, he finished his Ed.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Liberty University.
In addition to his impressive credentials, Dr. Alsup’s experience in Christian education has further prepared him to lead MBA.
Prior to coming to MBU, he served as a teacher, academy administrator, and assistant pastor at Springfield Christian Academy and Dixie Baptist Church in Clarkston, MI for 18 years. Such a long tenure in a single ministry requires loyalty and willingness to be a team player, qualities in Dr. Alsup that will serve MBA well in the days to come.
A Perfect Fit for MBA
Dr. Phil Alsup is no stranger to the Academy. Since 2018 he has served as the Assistant Vice President of Online and Distance Learning as well as an instructor in the MBU School of Education. He says, “In this job I have really enjoyed the opportunities to travel and represent MBU. Meeting other Christian educators has been very fulfilling. There is a lot of good work going on in Christian education.”
Though his primary role was serving in the university, Alsup had personal and professional contact with the Academy family from day one.
Dr. Alsup’s oldest daughters, Emma (15) and Anna (14), attend MBA, giving the new principal insight into life not only as a teacher and administrator, but also as a parent. Having his own children enrolled in MBA will undoubtedly facilitate empathy and engender trust with other parents since he is personally invested in the outcome.
He has also coached the MBA Lady Crusaders basketball team, a role that allowed him to become acquainted with the MBA family and the students in a personal way.
Family Unified Around Christian Education
Dr. Alsup is also able to thrive in Christian Education because of the support of his entire family. His wife, Danielle, is an experienced Christian Education Administrative Assistant; she currently serves in that position at Calvary Baptist Christian School in Watertown, WI, where their younger children William (12), Macy (9), and Maggie (5), attend.
Danielle is also a Support Classroom Teacher, working one-on-one with students who have unique learning challenges or need extra tutoring. Their background gives the Alsups a true heartbeat for Christian education and MBA in particular.
Ready to Meet the Challenges
The challenges faced by education administrators everywhere have increased exponentially with the current worldwide health crisis. Christian education administrators may face even tougher times because of an uncertain economy.
Dr. Alsup acknowledges these obstacles, but he also knows that MBA is well prepared to meet these challenges with the Lord’s help. “There are certainly some unknowns at this point, but we know the Lord will sustain us.”
To his new colleagues and the Academy family, Dr. Alsup says, “I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve with you at MBA, and I look forward to furthering the cause of Christ alongside you next year.” And finally, “Please don’t believe everything my kids have told you about me!”