Scholar Bios

Rod DeVore

Rod DeVore has been working with low-income youth and families in the Nashville community for the last 15 years. His work has focused on developing innovative youth development programs and supporting collaborative efforts that promote youth leadership, foster social, emotional, and academic learning, and build communities of faith. His passion, to serve individuals impacted by poverty has propelled him to be an advocate for social justice in the context of the education system, non-profit management, community-based initiatives, and local government.
He is currently working with Nashville Career Advancement Center to reconnect low-income youth to education and employment that lead to a career pathway. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Christian Ministry Online Program at Trevecca Nazarene University.  Rod received his Bachelors of Religion from Trevecca Nazarene University and a Master of Theological Studies from Vanderbilt University.

Carmichael D. Crutchfield, Ph.D.

Carmichael D. Crutchfield is the General Secretary of Department of Christian Education for the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church and Associate Professor of Christian Education, Spiritual Formation and Youth Ministry at Memphis Theological Seminary (MTS). He is a native Tennessean, born in Weakley County and educated through high school in Henry County.  He attended the University of Tennessee Martin and the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. He received his MDiv and Doctor of Ministry from MTS and a Ph.D. in Christian Education and Congregational Studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary (GETS). Crutchfield is an ordained elder in the CME Church and has served in church ministry for over 25 years in the denomination.
Aside from teaching youth ministry and Christian education, pastoring, preaching across the country and being a community leader, he has written many articles and books on youth discipleship. Because of this work, he has been recognized with numerous awards including one of GETS’s forty-five outstanding African-American Alumni and in May 2017 he will receive the Seminary’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. 
In addition to all his ministerial work and achievements, Dr. Crutchfield is a devoted husband who loves University of Tennessee of football, Memphis BBQ, and his daughter and son, Chanel Hope and Chris and his grandchildren Darrian, Taylor, and Chloe.

Iris Gordon, J.D.


Iris Gordon is passionate about educating and empowering youth to strategically develop and leverage their unique talents to address social justice issues that plague our communities while being devoted to equipping and developing organizations that nurture and support youth and their communities.  She understands and values the transformative synergy that occurs when diverse individuals and organizations engage in community collaboration.  One of the initiatives lead by Iris is the J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice’s Neighborhood Empowerment Program.  The Neighborhood Empowerment Program is successfully establishing and facilitating collaborations across the city.  The Neighborhood Empowerment Program is changing Nashville by providing individuals and organizations with strategies and tools that simultaneously maximize capacity, assess and safeguard mission impact, and establish sustainability.  Whether chaplain of law school, a leader in Fortune 25 corporation or community advocate, Iris champions intentionally utilizing vocational power to advance the Kingdom of God values.  She earned a B.B.A. in Finance at the University of Memphis, an MA in Organizational Management at Trevecca Nazarene University and a J.D. at Regent University School of Law.  Iris loves to travel and is thrilled to be married to Dexter.