Trevecca’s continued growth and partnership with Eastern Nazarene College has opened many avenues of expansion and necessitated additions in leadership.
That includes Dr. Jonathan Bartling, who is serving in a new role as Trevecca’s new associate vice president for accreditation and state authorization.
Bartling worked at Olivet Nazarene University for 18 years after attending for five and receiving his bachelor’s degree in music education. He then moved into the realm of media, teaching Olivet faculty how to use technology in the classroom. He went on to get his master’s degree in education with a focus on instructional systems technology from Indiana University in 2003, followed by a doctoral degree in education with a focus on higher education in 2009.
Bartling continued work at Olivet as an education professor for 11 years, then began to feel called to move in a different direction: higher education administration. Eventually, he served as dean of Olivet’s School for Graduate and Continuing Studies and became an evaluator for the Higher Learning Commission, which is the regional accrediting body for Olivet.
“The best part was that I got to travel to other institutions, interview presidents and vice presidents and talk to people about how they’re doing higher education,” Bartling said. “So I could bring that back and help Olivet improve and at the same time help that institution find ways to do things better.”
A few years ago, Bartling began to sense that he was once again being called in a new direction.
“Things were really good at Olivet, but I started to feel—and my wife did too—that the Lord might be loosening our ties to the Olivet area,” Bartling said. “Interestingly enough, Dan Boone was my pastor at College Church of the Nazarene in Bourbonnais, Ill. So when I felt like God might have something different for me, I sent him an email.”
In April of this year, Bartling received a call from Steve Pusey, Trevecca’s university provost, about a new position that had just been created: associate vice president for accreditation and state authorization. The role centers on helping the University prepare for and meet the requirements necessary for accreditation renewal.
“The University needs someone who is always thinking about what Trevecca needs to do to maintain its accreditation with the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC),” Bartling said.
Trevecca will be due for its next SACSCOC accreditation renewal in 2023, and must submit a five-year report that begins in spring of 2018 and will be due by 2019, Bartling said.
At Trevecca, Bartling hopes to teach and work with graduate students in leadership studies and instructional design.
“I absolutely love working with doctoral students and helping them work through their dissertations,” Bartling said.
The partnership with Eastern Nazarene College, located in Quincy, Mass., just outside of Boston, is another key part of Bartling’s role. To be able to fully utilize the connection and potential between the two schools, someone has to be aware of and focused on accreditation and state authorization standards in both places.
Ultimately, Bartling is focused on the long-term results of his work and the impact it will have on future students. He sees the technical aspects of his job as an essential aspect of Trevecca fulfilling its mission.
“A lot of my job is really technical, I have to make sure we’re following the rules,” Bartling said, before quoting Antoine de Saint-Exupery. “‘If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.’ We can focus on the detail and the steps, but the big picture is what ultimately has to drive us.”