Our Faculty

CIU faculty bring to the classroom deep experience that might include working among Muslims in France and North Africa, teaching leadership skills to FBI Academy instructors, or serving as teachers and administrators in both public and Christian schools.

Add in former military chaplains, experienced practicing family counselors and experts in ancient languages (to name a few) and you get just the right mix of experience and devotion to God that makes CIU a leader among the nation’s Christian universities and seminaries.

Our student/faculty ratio for undergraduates is 17 to 1. At the graduate and seminary level, it’s 12 to 1. Our educators are here because of their passion for their students and community. Interacting with them inside and outside the classroom is how our Bible-based college and seminary transforms students’ lives through developing their academics, sparking their spiritual growth and honing their ministry skills.

Humanities Program Director, Professor of English and Humanities

Dr. Steve Baarendse grew up as a “Third Culture Kid” in Vienna, Austria. He studied English and Art at Taylor University (BA, 1990) and Comparative Literature and Art History at Indiana University

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Beyer came to CIU in 1985 to teach Bible. He served as undergraduate academic dean from 1994–2001; dean of students from 2001–2004; and faculty member in the Seminary & School of Ministry from

Associate Professor of English

Professor H. Keller Bright grew up in Orlando, Florida. He received his undergraduate degree in English at Baylor out in Waco, Texas and later went on to pursue a Master of English degree at Liberty

Professor of Intercultural Studies

Dr. Cashin is professor of intercultural studies in the College of Intercultural Studies at CIU. Previously, he lived in Sweden, where he served as pastor of two churches.

Director, Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies

Dr. Castor and his wife, Katie, served as YWAM missionaries in South Asia before coming to CIU. He started working at the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies in 2008. His research interests are in Muslim

Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Clevenger enjoys sharing her passion for investing in young learners with future teachers. She desires to prepare educators to value the foundational experiences early childhood teachers can

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Karen Close grew up in Detroit, Michigan. She dropped out of Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas to marry Jack Close, who was a Doctoral student at the University of Texas, a Canadian, and

Associate Professor of Nursing

Angela joined the CIU School of Nursing in 2021 as one of the founding faculty members. She teaches Mental Health and Adult Health and serves as the Director of Clinical Education and Admissions. She

Bible Teaching (Undergraduate and Graduate) Program Director, Professor of Bible Teaching

Dr. Anita Cooper directs the Bible Teaching program, a program specifically designed to prepare students to teach the Bible in a school setting. Before coming to CIU, she taught Bible in the public

Associate Professor of Education

Dr. Craft is driven by the Holy Spirit to help students recognize their God-given potential as Christian educators. He specializes in early childhood and elementary education with increased emphasis

Professor of Biology

Dr. Daniel Criswell joined the Columbia International University faculty in 2022. Previously, he was a biology professor at Louisiana Christian University (2010–2022), a research biologist for the