CRC Hires Former Arkansas Senator to Administrative Staff

Crowley’s Ridge College is pleased to welcome former Arkansas Senator Tim Wooldridge as Advancement Executive: Office of the President. He returns to CRC after serving in the Arkansas Senate, Arkansas House of Representatives, Arkansas Development Finance Authority, the Crowley’s Ridge Development Council, the Arkansas Association of Public Universities, and everywhere in between.

Wooldridge’s academic career began at CRC in 1983 as an Admissions Advisor.  He served as Vice President of Institutional Advancement from 1988-2000.  Wooldridge says that he is pleased to be coming back because he’s always held a soft spot for CRC and what it does for its students.  “The need for the work of CRC’s Christian worldview teaching is more important now than ever because we live in a knowledge based global economy,” says Wooldridge. “I love Dr. Johnson’s vision and mission for the college, and that’s what intrigued me to come back.”  He and his wife of 42 years, Lisa, have two children, Jeremy and Tiffany (both CRC alumni) and five grandchildren.  He is an elder at Union Central Church of Christ in Marmaduke.

Former Senator Wooldridge will now work directly with Dr. Richard Johnson, CRC’s President, as well as Brett Carlile, CRC’s Director of Advancement to enhance the image of CRC in the local, regional, and political communities.  Ultimately, increased fundraising is the goal with this newly created position with a constant focus on individual donors, churches, foundations, government officials, and other influential friends and potential donors to CRC, with the public at large.  Wooldridge’s job duties include:

  • Visiting churches throughout the U.S.
  • Visiting individual donors
  • Visiting donor prospects with the ability to help CRC
  • Visiting government and political contacts at both the federal and state level
  • Developing relationships with private foundations
  • Developing corporate relationships

Being a statewide speaker, Wooldridge welcomes opportunities to speak to churches and civic organizations.  “Supporters of Crowley’s Ridge College are some of the most caring, generous, kindest people on God’s earth, and I’m very grateful that God has given me the opportunity to speak to them about CRC’s mission and higher education and economic development,” Wooldridge adds.

President Johnson says that Wooldridge’s return enriches CRC’s Christian higher education institution.  “I am confident Tim’s leadership aligns perfectly with the values of CRC and our constituents, and will lead to God continuing to bless our combined efforts as we help Crowley’s Ridge College to thrive in all that we strive to do,” says Johnson.  “We welcome him back and look forward to his leadership and obviously high standards.”

Wooldridge’s first day at CRC will be February 1, 2024.  He can be contacted via email or cell (870) 926-8758.

36 students named to Crowley’s Ridge College’s President’s List

Crowley’s Ridge College announces it’s Fall 2023 President’s List.  A student must be enrolled full time and achieve a 4.0 GPA to be named to the President’s List.  Students are listed alphabetically as follows:

Caise Austin

Lindsey Browning

Dru Bryant

Layne Bullard

Hannah Burk

Katie Cole

Heather Conaway

Braxton Cousins

Matthew Crabtree

Bailey Cupples

Ansley Dawson

Bailee Duhme

Hunter Gibson

Jillian Glasgow

KristyAnn Grimes

Alyssa Henry

Bailey Hensley

Makayla Herndon

Kourtni Jagneaux

Josh Lazzarino

Autum Maxwell

Braylen Morgan

Brinley Morgan

Karsen Overshine

Eric Pangborn

Shawn-Hudson Seegraves

Michael Sharp

Kylan Stevens

Tori Sutherland

Reigiana Ward

Briley Weber

Alexis Weirich

Lilly Wessel

Demetri Williams

Kaia Williams

Emma Wyatt

38 students named to Crowley’s Ridge College’s Dean’s List

Crowley’s Ridge College announces it’s Fall 2023 Dean’s List.  A student must be enrolled full-time and achieve a GPA of 3.5 to be named to the Dean’s List.  Students on the list are listed alphabetically as follows:

Joseph Becerra

Jaylen Bozeman

Natalie Brightwell

Braiden Burk

Gabriel Childs

Laura Combs

Kylie Cox

Ashton Drake

Emi Elms

Madison Erickson

Piper Farmer

Hannah Halverson

Marlena Hipsher

Brylan Honeycutt

Jackson Imler

Daisy Jackson

Arthur Johnson

Bailey Jones

Caleb Krimmel

Lafonce Latham

Delainey Lucas

Brooklyn Melson

Brandun Nathan

Kenneth Nelms

Hannah Grace Parker

Brooklynn Passmore

Avery Perkins

Shelby Razer

Madison Reed

Hydiyah Robinson

Joshua Schmitt

Mickayla Smith

Colton Spence

Samantha Tonkery

Jocelyn Villarreal

Halea Wells

John Wilson

Koda Yates

CRC Athletics to Join American Midwest Conference

St. Louis, Mo. – The American Midwest Conference announced today that Baptist Bible College (Springfield, Mo.) and Crowley’s Ridge College (Paragould, Ark.) will join the American Midwest Conference for the 2024-25 academic year. The addition of the two institutions brings AMC membership to 12 schools.

“The AMC is excited to add both Baptist Bible and Crowley’s Ridge for next year. Both institutions are growing as institutions in general as well as athletically,” AMC Commissioner Will Wolper said. “Many
of our schools already compete against the two schools in non-conference competition, so the opportunity for us to add two institutions in our southern footprint that align with our current membership philosophically, on their mission and sports sponsorship, strengthens the AMC, and will enhance our student-athletes experiences as well as the experiences of Baptist Bible and Crowley’s Ridge’s student-athletes.”

“In Baptist Bible College and Crowley’s Ridge College, we are adding two schools that are similar institutions to one another in size, the direction of the institutions and athletics programs, and planned
growth as well as having similar values, missions and beliefs of our current membership,” Central Baptist College President Terry Kimbrow, chair of the AMC Council of Presidents, said. “My colleagues and I see that both schools have a great future ahead, and the AMC’s future will be greater having them as partners. Both Drs. (Mark) Milioni and (Richard) Johnson have shown a commitment to supporting excellence within their athletics programs and to becoming involved in the Conference themselves. We welcome the Patriots and Pioneers to the AMC.”

Crowley’s Ridge College is a private four-year church-affiliated but autonomous co-educational liberal arts college designed to help students grow closer to God while pursuing a college degree. The
institution is committed to continually emphasizing the integration of scholarship, critical thinking, service, and the spiritual dimension of life. Crowley’s Ridge enrollment has grown over 20 percent since 2020.
“It is an exciting time at Crowley’s Ridge College to be given this opportunity to be a member of the American Midwest Conference. This is a top-notch organization and the leadership of AMC Commissioner Will Wolper and his staff stand out as you read what this conference is about and understand how they encourage the involvement of athletic staff, non-athletic staff, presidents, and college students to participate in this conference,” Crowley’s Ridge College President Dr. Richard Johnson said. “I am looking forward to working with and learning from each of them as CRC does our part to add to this outstanding conference and we are grateful for this opportunity.”

With the addition of men’s and women’s golf, and men’s and women’s cross country for the 2023-24 academic year, Pioneer Athletics has grown to nine sports. Like Baptist Bible, CRC sponsors AMC
championship sports of baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, softball, and volleyball. Crowley’s Ridge has been a member of the Continental Athletic Conference since joining the NAIA in 2016.
“We are all excited about the next chapter in Crowley’s Ridge College Athletics. Our entire coaching staff is looking forward to the move to the American Midwest Conference,” Crowley’s Ridge Athletic Director Chris Perkins said. “Our student-athletes are looking forward to building on the regional rivalries that the AMC will bring to their college experience.”

Baptist Bible College educates, inspires, and equips students to serve as effective Christian leaders. Founded in 1950, specializing in ministry and professional studies degrees, BBC has a long heritage of producing Christian professionals and ministers, offering accredited degrees at the associate, bachelor, and master levels. Baptist Bible is in the business of seeing students’ lives changed through the Gospel to equip them to impact others for life change as well. Since 2020, enrollment at Baptist Bible has grown by nearly 35 percent. “Baptist Bible College is honored and humbled to be accepted into the NAIA and the American Midwest Conference,” Baptist Bible College President Dr. Mark Milioni said. “The reputation and commitment to quality, excellence, and high standards both in athletics and academics are visible to all. We look forward to making many new friends and enjoying great competition in the coming years. Thank you again from a grateful family at Baptist Bible College.”

Patriot Athletics is growing to nine sports, with the addition of softball in the spring of 2024 and women’s soccer in the fall of 2024. The Patriots also compete in AMC championship sports of baseball,
men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s soccer, and volleyball. Baptist Bible was approved for NAIA membership in October. They are currently a member of the National Christian
Colleges Athletics Association (NCCAA), where they captured the 2022 NCCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship.
“On behalf of Baptist Bible College, I am thrilled to announce that we have been accepted into the American Midwest Conference. This is an incredible honor and opportunity for our institution. We are deeply grateful to the AMC for extending this invitation,” Baptist Bible Athletics Director Darin Meinders said. “This acceptance into the American Midwest Conference aligns perfectly with our mission and values. It reflects the hard work, dedication, and excellence of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff. We are excited to join a community that values both academic and athletic achievements.”

With the addition of Springfield, Mo. and Paragould, Ark. to the Conference’s footprint, over 40 percent of the travel in the Conference is under two-and-a-half hours, with nearly 35 percent under one hour 45
minutes. The American Midwest Conference (AMC), a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), has 10 full members in Arkansas and Missouri. Formed in 1986 as the Show-Me
Collegiate Conference, the AMC sponsors championships in 16 sports and emphasizes the NAIA Champions of Character® Initiative and its five core values – integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship, and servant leadership.

CRC Appoints New Athletic Director and Assistant A.D.

by Wil Teague, Sports Information Director

Paragould, Ark.- Big news has officially hit the Ridge as of today with the Pioneer Athletic Department undergoing some internal leadership changes. After 38 ½ years of involvement in Pioneer Athletics, Athletic Director Paul McFadden has decided to step down as Crowley’s Ridge College’s A.D. Coach McFadden, or Coach Mac as many know him, has been involved with CRC Athletics since May of 1985, where he helped build up CRC’s first ever Women’s Basketball program but was officially named CRC’s first Athletic Director in 1998. Over the years, Coach Mac has pieced together a proud resume by coaching three sports, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, and Baseball, while helping the athletic programs transition as the school grew. In McFadden’s reign as A.D., CRC transitioned through 6 collegiate divisions of competition: the Southland Christian Athletic Conference, the National Junior College Athletic Association, the National Small College Athletic Conference, the Association of Christian Athletics Conference, the National Christian Athletic Conference, and finally the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics. It’s not hard to tell the impact that Coach Mac has had on Pioneer Athletics. Luckily for Crowley’s Ridge College, McFadden will still be around the campus as a Biblical professor and will remain the Vice President of Student Affairs. This transition will allow him to focus more on his classroom work and help with the overall enrollment of the college with the Admissions Department, but don’t worry, Coach Mac will still have his hand in athletics as he plans to serve as an advisory role going forward. On behalf of Crowley’s Ridge College and Pioneer Athletics, we thank you for your example, leadership, and the many sacrifices you have made for the school and its athletic programs. Congratulations on this new role at CRC, Coach Mac. 

Pioneer Athletics had no trouble finding their new Athletic Director as former Assistant Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Chris Perkins smoothly transitioned into the new role. Perkins is currently entering his 17th year at Crowley’s Ridge and has a rich history with former A.D. Paul McFadden. The two spent many years coaching alongside one another in Pioneer Athletics. Perkins had this comment about the change – “Thank you to Dr. Johnson for trusting me to take over this role. Thank you to Coach Paul McFadden for recommending me to take over the athletic department and for his amazing leadership and friendship over the past 17 years as we worked together. I look forward to leading Crowley’s Ridge College Athletics to the next level both at a conference level and a national level. We have a great coaching staff here and we have exceptional student-athletes, I can’t wait to see what our future holds here.”

Lastly, Jordan Malone was selected to fill Chris Perkin’s former role as she was named the new Assistant Athletic Director. Jordan enters her 9th year as the Lady Pioneers Head Softball Coach but enters her 14th year of being associated with CRC as she was a dual sport student-athlete playing basketball and softball while enrolled. Malone is no stranger to leadership positions as she has served as the school’s Senior Woman Leader for the past three years. Malone commented, “As I enter my 9th year at CRC, I can’t help but look back and acknowledge that I have loved every second of it. I have enjoyed watching the growth and improvements of Pioneer Athletics over the years. I’m grateful to be honored with this new position as it gives me the ability and opportunity to be a part of more.” 

Congratulations to all three coaches in their new roles, may you all bleed green, white, and black forever. #GOPIONEERS


Crowley’s Ridge College continues to grow, experiencing its fourth consecutive enrollment increase for the Fall 2023 semester with a total headcount of 225 students, an 11.94% increase from last year. Of these, CRC has a Full Time Equivalency (FTE) of 188.53 students.

CRC strives to keep its enrollment growing by adding new degrees, new partnerships with other colleges and universities, visiting more churches, public and private schools, and reaching out to home school students, families, and associations.  

“Our admissions team is proud of the growth, but we are not stopping there,” says Director of Admissions Erica Richardson, “We are trying to find as many future Pioneers as possible to tell them how much we believe in Crowley’s Ridge College. As we look at the progress happening on campus and in the city of Paragould, the positive impact our faculty and coaches are having on our students, and the opportunities that our graduates are earning, it is easy to buy into the Pioneer vision. The Kingdom of God is growing at CRC and we pray many more can join us!”

Students appreciate the high quality of both the traditional and online courses offered at CRC, including a great selection of online courses each summer at $500 per three-hour course.

“The board of trustees and all of us at Crowley’s Ridge College are dedicated to our students. We are striving to provide them a safe, challenging, and enjoyable Christian college experience that prepares them for success in all aspects of life. God is blessing our efforts and we are grateful,” says Dr. Richard Johnson, President.

Excitement is already in the air for the 2023-2024 academic year! CRC assures that it is dedicated to remaining a close-knit college with a fantastic, one-of-a-kind college experience.

Crowley’s Ridge College to receive $662,333 grant from Mabee Foundation

Crowley’s Ridge College is poised to receive a generous $662,333 grant gift from the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation. This grant will go toward construction of the state-of-the-art Chemistry building and Lift Station as listed in CRC’s Mission Possible Campaign. The building will feature a brand new modern chemistry lab, research area, classrooms, and offices.  The older Physical Science building will be renovated, including a new roof and matching exterior siding to blend with the new Chemistry building and make for a more vibrant campus with better resources to serve our students and new degree programs.

The total cost for this ambitious and needed project is estimated at $3,311,667, and the Mabee Challenge Grant is conditional upon CRC raising the additional $1,071,204 it needs to fully fund the project.

“While we have some work to do in order to receive their $662,333 challenge grant, I am confident CRC will rise to the challenge. We have tremendous donors, alumni, and a fantastic community, who no doubt will rise to the challenge and help us raise the additional $1,071,204 by July 11, 2024, required by the Mabee Foundation in order for the College to receive this very generous grant gift,” said Dr. Richard Johnson, CRC President. “This will be the largest grant from a foundation in our history and I cannot think of a better partner than the J.E. & L.E. Mabee Foundation.”

The Mabee Foundation, headquartered in Midland, Texas has helped fund new construction, building renovations and the purchase of major medical equipment for non-profit organizations in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Missouri and Kansas since 1948.  CRC extends a heartfelt thanks to the Mabee Foundation for their incredible support.

Those interested in giving to the project can designate their online gifts at

CRC’s Grimes Awarded Silver Medal for International Publication

The National Journal of Research in Science, Mathematics, and Technology Education published part of CRC’s Dr. Zachary Grimes’ dissertation for publication in May of 2023.

The official publication, titled “Conceptions of Disciplinary Anxiety across Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Contexts: A Critical and Theoretical Synthesis” was awarded a silver medal today.  The journal received International submissions alongside Dr. Grimes; The gold and bronze award winners being from Canada and Bangladesh.

Dr. Steve Cessna, editor-in-chief of the journal, said that the submissions were all evaluated by the editorial team based upon three criteria: Originality and Significance to the field, General Interest to the STEM Education Community, and Scientific Methodology and Rigor. 

One of the expert reviewers called the manuscript ‘very informative’ and stated that it ‘would make a significant contribution to the field of STEM education.’

Crowley’s Ridge College is very supportive of Dr. Grimes’ work in this area and congratulates him on this remarkable accomplishment. 

“STEM Education, particularly in PK-12, is currently undergoing some seismic shifts through calls from stakeholders and policymakers to address STEM integration. This means that we are on the cusp of a new subject being taught in school in some ways – the goal of having STEM classes that are separate from science and math, that will stand on their own.  However, very few people have thought about the ramifications of this integration. Of specific importance are how this integration could theoretically impact students. People know about math anxiety, and we train teachers in how to address that with their students – but people are less familiar with anxiety in science or other disciplines. If we integrate these disciplines, are we going to see new anxiety manifestations in students? What if students are math anxious and science anxious – what will that look like in STEM classrooms? That was my goal with this work – to consider where we are headed in education, but keeping an eye on what we’ve learned. The main component of this publication is the development of a new framework for how we view and conceptualize anxiety in STEM classrooms. What are some ‘risk factors’ or other considerations that we know about in the individual component disciplines of STEM that we need to remain aware of in this new integrated, singular STEM classroom?” -Dr. Zachary Grimes, Crowley’s Ridge College.

Dennis Hanes joins CRC’s Board of Trustees

Crowley’s Ridge College is pleased to welcome Dennis B. Hanes to its Board of Trustees.  Hanes is an experienced Certified Public Accountant and is married to Beverly (Wheeler) Hanes of Poplar Bluff, Missouri.  The two are members at Green Forest Church of Christ in Poplar Bluff where he also serves as an elder.

Hanes is an alumni of CRC, earning his Associate of Arts degree in 1975 before going on to study Accounting at Harding University in Searcy.  He is semi-retired from Kraft, Miles & Tatum LLC of Poplar Bluff and has many years of experience in accounting and finance.  He is a past President of the Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce, past President of the Southeast Chapter, MO Society of Certified Public Accountants, past President and current Treasurer of the Poplar Bluff Lions Club, and current President of the United Cancer Assistance Network.

“I’m truly honored to be asked to serve on CRC’s board of directors. I have great memories of my time as a student there many years ago, and I have never lost my love for the college and its emphasis on both educational and spiritual values. Looking forward to working with fellow board members and Dr. Johnson for the benefit of each student,” Hanes says.

Dennis and Beverly have two children, Eric (Audrey) Hanes of Jonesboro AR, and Dustin (Alex) of Little Rock AR, as well as four beautiful grandchildren.

CRC hires Crossno as full-time Bible professor

Crowley’s Ridge College is happy to announce Dakota Crossno as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies.

Dakota is no stranger to CRC, however. He has instructed Bible courses as an Adjunct Professor for the past few academic years and is a CRC alumni as well. He enrolled as a student in 2014 and was baptized by Art Smith that same year. He met his wife, Anna, on campus as well and together they have two beautiful children.

Dakota holds an A.A. and B.A. in Biblical Studies from CRC, a M.A. from Freed-Hardeman University, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Biblical Exposition. He has preached at Lawson Road Church of Christ in Jonesboro, Arkansas while serving as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to his full-time faculty duties, Dakota will serve as co-director of CRC’s Annual Lectureship series. CRC’s 23rd Annual Lectureship, “That You May Know: A Study of 1, 2, 3 John” is set for April 14-17, 2024.

Please join us in welcoming Dakota Crossno to the Division of Biblical Studies full-time faculty!