As the first recipient of the coveted BMC 2016 Course of the Year Award, the Corinth native was honored at the 2016 Blue and Gold Dinner.
Part of the college’s C.A.R.E. (Collaborative and Active learning through Redesign and Engagement) Project, the award’s criteria has two primary considerations: A detailed written plan for the course and the classroom application for that plan, with an emphasis placed upon student learning outcomes.
Under the C.A.R.E. project, the prestigious awarded will be given annually through the year 2020.
Formulated to enhance instruction through collaboration, active learning, course redesign and engagement in the interest of improving students’ critical thinking and teamwork skills, the project serves as the Quality Enhancement plan of BMC and is an accreditation requirement of S.A.C.S.C.O.C. (The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges). It ensures an emphasis on continuous improvement and assessment.
In addition to enhancing learning through course redesign, the C.A.R.E. project was also developed to reward faculty for their work based upon assessment results.
"The plan is a part of the direction in education we are going in the next five years, but beyond that to improve instruction at BMC," explained Dr. Meeks. "It was implemented last spring to encourage instructors to engage new principles to improve learning and promote student participation in the classroom."
"Over half our faculty were involved in teaching redesigned courses, so the competition was formidable," he continued. "I believe the reason the course resonated with so many of our students is because it made them think about and discuss basic Christian beliefs."
As outlined in the course's syllabus, the students also had to research, write and present a paper on the topic.
"Had it not been for the outstanding students, the class would not have been what it was," said Dr. Meeks, who considers himself blessed to be a part of it all. "I am deeply honored to have won the designation of Best Course of the Year, especially since we have such a marvelous faculty."
"Whether I'm ever awarded or not for teaching I want to be an excellent teacher because our students deserve the best instructor possible," he continued. "I am so grateful to be afforded the opportunity to teach at BMC with its dedicated leaders and invaluable resources."
Inspiring and motivating students to "read to succeed" and "study to be his buddy", the beloved educator hopes to instill in his pupils a life-long love of learning.
"All I wanted to do from the time I was in school was to be a preacher and now I get to teach as well as to supply preach at various places on the weekend," he said. "Teaching at BMC is my fulfillment of God's calling on my life and I am eternally grateful for it."
In coordination with the award, the esteemed pedagogue also received a $1,000 honorarium which he used to travel to Kona, Hawaii in October to aid and encourage his friend Jay Parks, who is planting a church there from scratch.
A 1979 Alcorn Central High School graduate, Dr. Ronald Meeks earned his B.A. in Biblical Studies and English degree from Blue Mountain College in 1983. He later attended New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisiana where he earned his Master of Divinity in Biblical Studies degree in 1986; and his Doctorate of Philosophy in Pastoral Ministries degree in 1996. A pastor, teacher and life-long scholar, the Corinth resident is the husband of Julie Bertsche Meeks, formerly of Atlanta, Ga., who he married on May 30,1998.
Dr. Meeks is the father of Matt Meeks, a coach at Alcorn Central High School; Charlie Meeks, 15, who is a sophomore at Kossuth High School and Caroline, 14, who is a freshman, also at Kossuth High School. A 20-year professor at Blue Mountain College and the former pastor of Unity Baptist Church in Ramer, Tenn., the 55-year-old also serves as the director of church relations and ministry recruiting at BMC.