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Roberts receives 2015 Asbury Award

TWC professor Sam Roberts receives the 2015 Asbury Award from the Holston Confrence

TWC professor of religion and philosophy Dr. Sam Roberts received the Francis Asbury Award at the Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church’s Holston Conference this June.

“It’s nice to be recognized by colleagues and peers,” Roberts said. “It’s especially nice to be recognized by the church. I’ve always taken the college’s relationship with the church seriously and tried to respect and honor that.”

This award honors a person who has made a significant contribution to the fields of higher education and campus ministry at the local, district, or annual conference level of the United Methodist Church. United Methodists were encouraged by Bishop Francis Asbury to build schools near churches so that young people would have easier access to education and more opportunities to expand their horizons.

“The important thing for me has always been the students,” Roberts said. “I would like for them to understand themselves as part of a community. Our students care about each other. In this community, we get a glimpse of what is promised to come.”

Roberts has taught at TWC for 29 years. Though he has retired from full-time teaching, he will continue to teach during the 2015-2016 academic year as an adjunct professor. Though Roberts appreciates this award, he emphasizes the importance of the students and helping them to grow both academically and personally.

“It’s amazing how many of them come back to visit and say, ‘Doc, I get now what you were saying back then. I wish I had understood it better then, but I understand it now,’” Roberts said. “That’s why I’ve stayed here, because I felt so much a part of the community.”

Tennessee Wesleyan College, founded in Athens, Tenn., in 1857, is a comprehensive liberal arts institution affiliated with the Holston Conference of the United Methodist Church. The college’s dedicated faculty and staff believe in providing the resources and support students need to become socially responsible, intellectually skilled and spiritually developed members of our community. For additional information about Tennessee Wesleyan College,, like us on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter at

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