Professor of Humanities

    B.A., Social Science, Florida Southern College
    M.A., Religion, Stetson University
    M.A. Biblical Studies, The Criswell College
    Ph.D., Religion, Baylor University
    Ph.D., Higher Education Administration, University of North Texas
    D.D., honorary, The Criswell College
    Additional study, Tyndale House, Cambridge

    A pastor and educator for more than thirty-five years, Richard Wells serves as the founding President of John Witherspoon College. He previously served as Vice President and Professor of Christian Studies at Union University, as pastor in Florida, Texas, and South Dakota, and as President of The Criswell College.  He was a member of the founding faculty of Beeson Divinity School, and has taught as a visiting professor at several institutions in the U. S., as well as in Canada, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, the Philippines, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia.  He is a frequent speaker in churches, conferences, seminars, and other venues and events throughout the U. S. and overseas.

    Dr. Wells has written, lectured, and taught on topics ranging from psychology and counseling, to apologetics, biblical studies, theology, higher education, homiletics, world religions, media, culture, leadership, and more. He is the author of two books: Inspired Preaching: A Survey of the Preaching Found in the New Testament (with Boyd Luter), and most recently, Forgotten Songs: Reclaiming the Psalms for Worship (with Ray Van Neste).

    Dr. Wells is married to his “Brown Eyed Baby,” Carol.  They have three adult children and five grandchildren.



    Vice President of Academic Affairs
    Associate Professor of Christian Studies


    A.S., Agriculture, North Dakota State University
    B.S., Animal Science, Kansas State University
    B.S., Agricultural Education, South Dakota State University
    M.Div., International School of Theology
    S.T.M., Systematic Theology, Dallas Theological Seminary
    D.Min., Pastoral Ministry, Trinity International University Evangelical Divinity School.

    A long-time pastor, missionary, and educator, Dr. Ron Lewis has been involved in BHBI/JWC from the beginning both as professor and as administrator.  For many years, Dr. Lewis served as a Team Leader of Campus Crusade for Christ in Swaziland, and as Country Coordinator for Campus Crusade in Lesotho, Africa.  During his years of service in Africa, he taught Agricultural Education and Science, and Theological and Biblical Studies, and he remained active with Campus Crusade for Christ after returning to the States.  As an ordained pastor with the Evangelical Free Church, Dr. Lewis pastored churches in Colorado and South Dakota. 

    Dr. Lewis is also a Certified Public School Teacher for Secondary Education and a certified Emergency Medical Technician.  He and his wife, Sandi, have four adult children and three grandchildren.



    Associate Professor of Humanities

    Director of Library and Learning Resources
    Director of the Humanities Program

    B.A., Liberal Arts and Culture, New Saint Andrews College
    M.A., Philosophy, University of Dallas
    Ph.D., Philosophy, Institute of Philosophic Studies, University of Dallas

    Bret J. Saunders has recently been elected as the first full-time teaching faculty member of John Witherspoon College.  A native of California, he grew up in Idaho, the eldest of eight children.  A recognized young scholar, Dr. Saunders has numerous published articles and presentations to his credit and has a wide range of writing and teaching interests, from philosophy, theology, and literature to science, language, and music.  His dissertation was a study of rhetoric and metaphor in modern philosophy, focusing on the thought of Descartes.  Dr. Saunders enjoys stories and sports, and listening to and playing American and Irish folk/roots music.  He is a long-time member of two bands: the Celtic, instrumental group, Dol Baran and the folk/roots/ alt-country quintet, Saticoy (with his siblings).  Above all, Dr. Saunders loves the Lord God and his wife Katie and young son, Casper.



    Director of the Christian Studies Program
    Director of Institutional Effectiveness
    Associate Professor of Christian Studies
    Part-Time Professor of Economics

    B.A., Theology, Dordt College
    M.A., Religion, Reformed Theological Seminary
    M.S., Applied Economics, Southern New Hampshire University (in progress)
    Th.D., Systematic Theology, University of South Africa

    Dr. Jamin Hübner is an American theologian, biblical scholar, philosopher and musician from South Dakota. He is a graduate of Dordt College (BA Theology), Reformed Theological Seminary (MA Religion) and the University of South Africa (ThD Systematic Theology), and a student at Southern New Hampshire University (MS Economics) and currently serves as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and founding Chair of Christian Studies at John Witherspoon College. Most of his curious insight comes from being raised on his parents' farm.  

    Dr. Hübner is an accomplished percussionist, having won area set competitions, taught private lessons, toured Eastern Europe in concert band and the Pacific Northwest in big band, and performed with notable musicians such as David Gluck, Grant Manhart, David Burgess, and most recently with guitarist Charles Carey, in a local jazz ensemble.

    Jamin's areas of interest include New Testament exegesis, libertarian theory and constitutional law, complexity theory and social organization, economics, and systematic theology (especially intersections with bibliology, postmodernism, science, and gender). Throughout his career, he has been an active member of numerous academic societies (ASA, CBE, ACE, AES, CETA, IAPCHE, SBL, AAR, ETS, ARL, etc.) and has published an array of monographs and peer-review articles. More significantly, Dr. Hübner is an avid member of the Black Hills Table Tennis Club, a card-carrying member of the Tenth Amendment Center, and, being a direct descendant of William Brewster, a member of the Mayflower Society.

    Jamin's wife Jessica (BS Biology, MS Counseling) is a narrative-oriented family therapist with a background in wildlife biology. Together, they enjoy outdoor-life, reading, tea, trips to Boulder, and running their small businesses—a seasonable bed-and-breakfast and the Black Hills Photography Company (blackhillsphoto.org). They love God and their soft and cuddly rescue dogs, Shostakovich and ζωή.



    Director of the Leadership Program

    Assistant Professor of History

    A.A., Secondary Education, Lorain County Community College
    B.A., History and Secondary Education, Cedarville College
    M.A., History, Brown University
    M.S., Strategic Resource Management, Industrial College of the Armed Forces
    Ph.D., History, University of Iowa

    Debra Shattuck is a retired Air Force Colonel. Among numerous other military assignments, she spent four years as Instructor and Assistant Professor of History at the U. S. Air Force Academy, teaching world history, military history, and American history. After retiring, she spent a year as subject matter expert for National American University, writing and teaching its first American History distance learning course. Debra has published numerous articles on military logistics and on history. Her book, Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers will be published by the University of Illinois Press in the Spring of 2017. Debra has won numerous awards and recognitions for her writing and professional accomplishments.

    Debra was instrumental in the founding of John Witherspoon College, working closely with South Dakota legislators and government officials to draft legislation relative to new institutions of higher education in the state. The new law became effective in March, 2009.

    Debra has been married to Cliff Shattuck for 32 years and the couple has three grown children.



    Adjunct Professor of Mathematics

    B.S., Applied Science, University of South Dakota
    M.S., Industrial Education, Bemidji State University
    M.S., Mathematics, Bemidji State University

    William (Will) Short has more than 40 years’ experience teaching mathematics in Texas, Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota. A native of South Dakota, Will is a graduate of the University of South Dakota, and holds two masters degrees from Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where he later taught. For some sixteen years, he taught at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and currently teaches in semi-retirement at the Rapid City campus of Black Hills State University.

    Will and Joan, his wife of 43 years, have a married son and three grandchildren. Joan teaches Special Education in the Rapid City School District.

    Will and Joan are avid “bikers.” They have travelled coast to coast and border to border on their BMW motorcycle/sidecar rig. They have also become very interested in Black Hills history and the ghost towns and ghost mines in the Hills.

    Will and Joan are active members of Parkview Evangelical Free Church in Rapid City. They also are members of the Black Hills Retired Teachers.



    Adjunct Professor of Science

    B.A., Chemistry, Ohio Northern University
    M.D., Harvard Medical School
    Ph.D., Cell and Developmental Biology, Harvard Medical School

    A native of Ohio, Dr. Loyal Tillotson, completed his medical training and went on to conduct graduate and postgraduate research on the cellular and molecular biology of colon cancer. His postgraduate clinical training included an Internal Medicine Residency at Duke University Medical Center and Gastroenterology Fellowship at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Subsequently, he has had faculty appointments at Harvard Medical School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    Prior to moving to South Dakota, Dr. Tillotson conducted biomedical research in the area of genetic regulation of intestinal growth factors and oncogenesis. His interest going forward with John Witherspoon College is to structure the science courses so as to examine key discoveries within a classical education model. This will entail investigation of the history of science, methods employed by great scientists and the context of their discoveries within a Christian worldview.

    In addition to these professional activities, Dr. Tillotson has been a long-standing member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. He previously served on the Rapid City Christian School Board, and currently serves on the Board of John Witherspoon College. He is married to Emily Graebner Tillotson, and they have two children.



    Adjunct Professor of Music

    B.A., Theater, Northwestern College
    M.A., Voice Performance, University of Colorado (Boulder)

    PhD., Voice Performance and Pedagogy, University of Colorado (Boulder)

    Steve  brings a diverse background of performing experiences and educational credits.  He is a graduate of Rapid City Stevens High School and has deep roots in the Black Hills region.  He began his academic career with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater, from Northwestern College (Orange City, IA) in 1979.  He continued study at the University of Colorado (Boulder, CO) where he added a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance in 1986 and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Voice Performance and Pedagogy in 1993.

    Branch has performed with Opera Colorado (Denver, CO), Colorado Lyric Theater Festival (Boulder, CO), The Goodman Theater and Opera San Benedetto (Chicago, IL), Cedar Rapids Symphony (Cedar Rapids, IA), San Diego Opera (San Diego, CA), Moonlight Theater (Vista, CA), the Black Hills Symphony (Rapid City, SD) and a variety of dinner theaters along Colorado’s front-range.  Prior to his return to the Black Hills, Steve held faculty positions at South Dakota State University, University Nebraska at Kearney, and San Diego Christian College (El Cahon, CA).