Holy Spirit College Welcomes New Provost and Vice-Provost

Posted: 6/6/2018

Holy Spirit College Welcomes New Provost and Vice-Provost


Jun 6, 2018

Holy Spirit College President Gareth Genner announced today that Dr. Eric Wearne has been selected as Holy Spirit College’s new Provost, and Dr. Chris Gustafson as Vice Provost.  They will work to maintain, enhance, and grow the College’s academic programs.

"We are very excited to have Eric and Chris join Holy Spirit College as we launch undergraduate and graduate programs that are innovative in their delivery while being firmly founded in the Catholic intellectual tradition,” said Genner.

Holy Spirit College is a Roman Catholic, coeducational college institutionally committed to providing an excellent education for all interested students. The program seeks dedicated, curious learners willing to engage great ideas and texts from the richness of the Catholic intellectual tradition within a nurturing and loving community.  Holy Spirit seeks to educate and to form students who, as leaders in professional and civic life, will live by the highest intellectual and ethical standards.

Dr. Wearne comes to Holy Spirit College after seven years at Georgia Gwinnett College, where he was an Associate Professor of Education and taught courses on educational foundations, entrepreneurship, and assessment.  His work focuses on school choice and education policy and his work has been published by the Journal of School Choice, the CiRCE Institute, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, among others.

Prior to joining the GGC faculty, Dr. Wearne led the research and data analysis efforts of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) in Atlanta for several years, first as director of data analysis, and then as deputy director. At GOSA, Wearne managed the publication of the annual State Report Card, facilitated several Georgia-specific research projects, and played a major role in planning and conducting statewide audits of standardized testing practices in Georgia's public schools.  He also served as Governor Sonny Perdue’s representative to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB), which guides the development and reporting of the National Assessment of Educational Progress, commonly known as “the Nation’s Report Card.”

Before joining GOSA, Dr. Wearne served as a university supervisor for the Division of Educational Studies at Emory University, mentoring and evaluating student teachers in the Atlanta, Fulton and DeKalb school systems. As a graduate student, he was named a Woodruff Fellow by Emory and a Dan Searle Fellow by the Institute for Humane Studies at George Mason University, and taught undergraduate courses in education policy and history.

As a volunteer, Dr. Wearne has served as a board member of the Couple to Couple League, promoting natural family planning, and he helped gain the initial accreditation for St. John Bosco Academy, a hybrid homeschool in Cumming.  He began his career teaching English and debate at Duluth High School in Gwinnett County, and holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Emory University, a M.A. in English Education from the University of Georgia and a B.A. in English from Florida State University.  He is a parishioner at St. Monica’s Catholic Church and resides in Suwanee with his wife Leigh Ann and their six children.

Dr. Gustafson comes to Holy Spirit College from Beaufort, South Carolina where he served as a Pastoral Associate at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Bluffton, South Carolina. There, he developed a dynamic Adult Education Program for parishioners comprised of numerous mini-courses on the Catholic Faith that met the needs of adults with busy lives.

In addition to Parish Ministry, Dr. Gustafson has served in the non-profit world of pregnancy centers both as a consultant as well as the Executive Director of three pregnancy centers in Minnesota and in South Carolina. Gustafson has extensive experience in consulting and organizational administration.  He wrote a manual on pregnancy center management entitled Deneutralized in 2012.

Dr. Gustafson has taught undergraduate courses in theology at Redeemer Pacific College in Vancouver, Canada as well as St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI. He has led seminars on Parish Renewal in the Diocese of Green Bay as well as numerous seminars and workshops on the Spiritual Life, Divine Mercy and other topics. In 2013, he was asked by the Diocese of Green Bay to develop the morality portion of the diocesan catechetical program.

Dr. Gustafson has an extensive experience base in the areas of Catholic Theology, the New Evangelization, adult education and non-profit management. has written numerous articles on faith and culture for Main Street Rock, a Catholic online news outlet based in Charleston, SC.

Dr. Gustafson earned his master’s degree in Pastoral Theology in 1994 at the Franciscan University of Steubenville and his STD in Sacred Theology in 2005 from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome, Italy.

Courses on Spiritual Theology are currently being offered at Holy Spirit College.  The College plans to grow its graduate programs in Theological Studies, Theology, and Religious Education, and to enroll a new class of undergraduate students for the B. Phil program in the fall of 2019. 

For more information, please visit Holy Spirit College at www.holyspiritcollege.org, on Facebook or Twitter, or contact us at admissions@holyspiritcollege.org.

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