CU bestows honorary doctorate on Joel Carwile

CU bestows honorary doctorate on Joel Carwile

Dec. 17, 2013
For Immediate Release

The Rev. Joel Carwile, center, receives his honorary doctorate of divinity hood from Dr. Frank Cheatham, left, senior vice president for academic affairs, and Dr. Joseph Owens, chair of the CU Board of Trustees. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joan C. McKinney)


By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University bestowed an honorary doctorate of divinity on the Rev. Joel Carwile, pastor of Valley View Church in Louisville, at CU’s 2 p.m. commencement ceremony Dec. 13.

Dr. Joseph Owens, chairman of the CU Board of Trustees, and Dr. Frank Cheatham, senior vice president for academic affairs, made the presentation. Also, the Rev. John Chowning, CU’s vice president for church and external relations and executive assistant to the president, received an honorary doctorate of public service degree.

Carter said the greatest honor that can be granted by any college or university is that of the honorary doctoral degree. The honorary degree, which requires approval by the CU Board of Trustees, is given to those individuals who have displayed excellence in leadership, made extraordinary contributions to humanity and distinguished themselves in their respective professional fields.

Carwile serves as the senior pastor of Valley View Church in Louisville, one of Kentucky’s largest Southern Baptist congregations with nearly 5,000 members.

“Bro. Joel is known as one of the finest pulpiteers in Kentucky Baptist and Southern Baptist Conventions. We are very honored to present him with this honorary doctorate of divinity,” Carter said.

Carwile said, “It’s all about Jesus. I love CU and want to share the glorious, good news of Jesus Christ.”

Born in Athens, Ala., he made a commitment to Christ at age 8 and he has remained faithful to Christ, was called to preach at age 17, and in 1989, he was licensed and ordained by First Union Baptist Church of Athens. During his 24 years of ministry, he has served as an interim and senior pastor in different churches, including 13 years at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Alabama, which grew from 90 to 750 members during his pastorate.

Carwile became the pastor of Valley View in the summer 2007. Valley View has grown by approximately 2,029 members during his six plus years as pastor. The church is continuing to grow with two Sunday morning worship services, mid-week service, Life Group classes, and multiple ministries, outreach points and mission in the community and beyond. In a recent revival at Valley View, there were nearly 100 professions of faith in a single service.

Carter said Carwile is “passionate about Jesus in all areas of life” including his dedicated service as a Campbellsville University Board of Trustees member, member of the CU Church Relations Council and member of the Kentucky Baptist Convention Mission Board.

He has taken several international mission trips to Botswana, Africa and Guatemala and has just returned from a mission trip to Cuba where he accompanied CU missions professor Dr. Twyla Hernandez and her husband, the Rev. Clemente Hernandez.

Carwile has earned degrees from Liberty University, Covington Theological Seminary and Campbellsville University where he earned a master’s of theology degree.

He is completing his doctoral dissertation on pastoral transitions for George Fox Evangelical Seminary. He received an honorary doctorate from Coral Ridge Baptist University in 2005.

Carwile has been married to wife, Jo, for 20 years soon to be 21 years on Dec. 19, and they are the parents of one child, Ezekiel (Zeke).

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is

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