Dr. Joe Collins

Photo of Joe Collins

Professor of Religious Studies


  • PhD, North Carolina State University
  • MDiv, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • MA, East Carolina University
  • BA, East Carolina University

Courses Taught

Spiritual Formation, Church Leadership, History and Philosophy of Religious Education, Adult Discipleship, Preschool and Children Discipleship, Ministry Practicum, Internship, Introduction to the Old Testament


Joe Collins joined the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy in the Spring of 2005, but he has been in the immediate area as a practicing minister since the Summer of 1986. As a college student, he began wrestling with a call to ministry. He was open to serving his Lord as a professional minister, but was not sure that he was being called to that until after earning his B.A. and M.A. in English. Then God made it clear to him that he was to go on to seminary to prepare for a life of ministry.

After seminary, he served Elizabeth Baptist Church of Shelby as Minister of Education for over 13 years. He then served the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association as Church Development Director for 3½ years, working in various areas of church life including conflict resolution, youth ministry, education, organizational support, committee training, and missions. Dr. Collins has always been passionate about discipleship in the Church. He believes that discipleship of every member is the key to healthy churches contributing to God’s kingdom. His doctoral dissertation addressed the meaning of calling, and the topic of calling among laypeople remains one of his primary interests.

In his “other life,” he is an avid mountain dulcimer player.  Playing since 1979, Dr. Collins has several recordings and dulcimer books to his credit and is a popular clinician and performer in festivals throughout the country.  In 2007, he won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship at Winfield, Kansas.


What Does God Want Me to Do?: Understanding and Responding to Calling (2013)