JACKSON, Tenn. – June 4, 2014 – Union University President Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver has named C. Ben Mitchell as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs.
Mitchell has served at Union as the Graves professor of moral philosophy since 2009. He is one of the premier ethicists and philosophers in evangelical life. Mitchell brings a background of scholarship, classroom teaching experience and public policy expertise that Oliver says will serve Union well in the role of the university’s chief academic officer.
“Ben Mitchell is an excellent scholar and teacher who embodies our core values and Christ-centered mission at Union,” Oliver said. “I am grateful that he has agreed to work shoulder to shoulder with me as we seek to advance our mission and vision.”
“I have fallen in love with the amazing students, faculty, and staff of Union University and am honored to serve them in any way I am able,” Mitchell said. “And I am especially grateful to assist Dr. Oliver as we seek to take Union to the next level of excellence as a Great Commandment and Great Commission institution.”
Mitchell was a consultant with the Center for Genetics and Public Policy at Johns Hopkins University and co-director for biotechnology policy and fellow of the Council for Biotechnology Policy in Washington, D.C. He is also the editor of “Ethics and Medicine: An International Journal of Bioethics.” He is a fellow of the Research Institute of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Mitchell was a member of the Templeton Oxford Summer Symposium on Religion and Science (2003-2005). He was also invited to participate in the Calvin Summer Seminar on Religion, Modernity, and the Hermeneutics of Science (2012).
In addition to his academic work, Mitchell frequently consults on matters of public policy and has given testimonies before such groups as the Institutes of Medicine, the Illinois Senate, and the U.S. House of Representatives.
In 2012, Mitchell and Oliver testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform in opposition to the government’s abortifacient health care coverage mandate. Mitchell called the mandate “an unconscionable intrusion by the state into the consciences of American citizens.”
Mitchell has published in major news media, including the Washington Post, and is enlisted as an expert resource on National Public Radio, FOX News, MSNBC and other media.
He has contributed chapters to 25 books and has written dozens of articles and reviews. He wrote “Ethics & Moral Reasoning: A Student’s Guide,” published by Crossway, and a forthcoming volume “Christian Bioethics: A Guide for Pastors, Health Care Professionals and Families” with D. Joy Riley, M.D. Broadman & Holman has scheduled release of that book for December.
Mitchell received his doctorate in philosophy with a concentration in medical ethics from the University of Tennessee. He has done additional study in genetics for non-scientists at the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories in Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y., and has twice been visiting scholar at Green College, the medical college of Oxford University.
He earned a Master of Divinity Degree from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Mississippi State University.
Mitchell is a native of Tampa, Fla. He and his wife Nancy have been married for 39 years. They are members of First Baptist Church in Jackson.