Department of Religious Studies & Philosophy Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Joe Collins, Dulcimer Enthusiast

Joe Collins

Dr. Collins is the one and only award winning Mountain Dulcimer player on faculty at Gardner-Webb. He won the National Mountain Dulcimer Championship in 2007 in Winfield, KS. Over the past twenty years, he has had the opportunity to teach and play in festivals from California to the east coast, from Florida to Vermont, and a lot of places in between.

Dr. Collins fell in love with the mountain dulcimer back in 1978.  At the time he was doing occasional coffeehouses as a college student in eastern North Carolina, and a good friend thought that he might be interested in tackling another instrument besides the guitar.  He took her little instrument home, and she did not get it back for three years!  Today, he plays a lot less guitar and lot more dulcimer than in those early days. 

A folk musician and mountain dulcimer player since the late 70s, Joe combines mountain dulcimer wizardry with good, solid vocals. He is a songwriter and vocalist, inspired by artists like Simon & Garfunkle, Gordon Lightfoot, Bob Dylan, and Kris Kristofferson.  But as he grows older and pudgier, he realizes that perhaps the most profound influence on his musical bent was the old Burle Ives records he listened to over and over again as a kid.  His performances are sprinkled with a lot of humor and some excellent mountain dulcimer playing - sure to bring a smile to audiences of all ages.

Dr. Collins teaches all manner of discipleship classes here at Gardner-Webb. He served in full time ministry positions for twenty years before joining the faculty at Gardner-Webb. 

Dr. Collins teaches: Spiritual Formation, Church Leadership, History and Philosophy of Religious Education, Adult Discipleship, Preschool and Children Discipleship, Ministry Practicum, Internship

Joe Collins at the "Pickin' Porch"

Video courtesy of Mike Clemmer.

Joe Collins Performs 'Jesus Loves Me'

Video courtesy of SteveKaufmanAcoustic.