The Value of A United Methodist Education: A Profile of Dr. Dennis Carroll
August 4, 2020
By: Melissa McGill, Conference Director of Communications
For Dr. Dennis Carroll, the value of a United Methodist education been a central part of his life, his faith and his vocation. Graduating from High Point College in 1974, Dennis pursued a career in education. After earning a master’s degree at Wake Forest University and a doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, he taught high school French and English and worked in the Guilford County School system for more than a decade before returning to High Point, now, University as a professor, dean and then provost.
“I am a product of United Methodist higher education,” he says. And he has dedicated much of his life to offering that educational opportunity to others, “in trying to teach a values-based education that’s still very Wesleyan at its roots. Making sure that we teach people the awareness of heart but also the ability to reason and to think critically. I think that’s such an important product of what the United Methodist education is about. My involvement with the denomination’s University Senate has opened my eyes further to what a great job the United Methodist Church does nationally and internationally in this.”
Dennis has been an active member of Jamestown United Methodist Church for the past 40 years. He and his wife, Connie, were married here. Their children, Bruce and Kelli, were baptized here. He currently serves as the lay leader. “It’s more important now than ever for laity to be involved in the life of the Church. We have to be the voice of what the people in the parish need and what the church needs to be. Sometimes we rely on the ministers too much – the laity need to take more responsibility. And it’s the laity who keep the continuity. The laity have a very significant role to play. That’s one of the great beauties and graces of the United Methodist Church.”
His advice for students considering higher education today? “Look for a well-rounded liberal arts education that will give you the opportunity to explore many different subjects and a smaller school where you have a more one-on-one environment, where you have a campus minister who can help support you spiritually as well. An education that considers the whole person.”
Since retiring in June of this year, he is focusing on spending quality time with his wife, children and two granddaughters, not to mention his continued Church, Conference and Denominational involvement, non-profit work, and offering consulting services to universities. He is also interested in researching and writing about moral and ethical institutional leadership in times of crisis. He continues, “And I have an idea about a novel I want to write about growing up on a farm in rural Surry County.”