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Chowning, who has served CU 26 years, is retiring as of Jan. 1, 2016

Dec. 22, 2015
For Immediate Release

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. John Chowning, vice president for
church and external relations and executive assistant to the president at
Campbellsville University and a former chair and board member of the
Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, has announced his retirement
effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville
University, with whom Chowning worked for 17 years, said, “John Chowning is one
of the most gifted individuals I have ever met. He is great thinker, and
he is wise in his approach to topics across a broad spectrum.

Dr. John Chowning
 Dr. John Chowning


“John is a very good writer, an accomplished speaker,
teacher and preacher. He is detailed and is a well-read public policy analyst
on a broad array of topics.

“We will miss him on a day-to-day basis, but we are so
fortunate he is serving in a new part-time role for the university.”

Chowning is retiring after 26 years of service to
Campbellsville University. However, he will continue to work part time as
executive assistant to the president for government, community and constituent
relations being in January 2016.

Chowning became involved in fundraising with Campbellsville
University in 1989 and became a member of the university’s Board of Trustees in

He continued on the board for the next seven years, serving
as chair in 1996 and 1997. He became a full-time employee in February 1998.

Dr. Joseph L. Owens, who is serving his fifth term as chair
of the Campbellsville University Board of Trustees, said, “Dr. John Chowning is
a shining example of selfless service that has made a difference in many lives
at Campbellsville University. He is highly motivated, personable and a
spirit filled man of God.

“His love for the Lord is exemplified in his Christ-like
character, as well as his concern for excellence in diversity, diplomacy and
the development of bridge building relationships.”

Owens said, as Chowning transitions into retirement, the
university is blessed he will continue serving part time.

“On behalf of the Campbellsville University Board of
Trustees, I want to express the deepest appreciation for Dr. John Chowning and
the service he has rendered to our president, our university and our board,”
Owens said.

Serving as executive vice president for church and external
relations and executive assistant to the president has been “a very humbling
and rewarding career path in which God’s divine guidance has been evident in
the progress CU has been,” Chowning said.

He taught as an adjunct for several years in Campbellsville
University’s political science department. He has served as chair of the
university’s diversity committee, strategic planning and University Council.


Chowning founded and has directed the
Kentucky Heartland Institute on Public Policy at Campbellsville University
which has hosted a wide array of speakers and forums on a host of public policy

has been involved in many endeavors at Campbellsville University including race
reconciliation, establishing Dialogue on Race, a project dear to his heart. He
has served as a leader of Greater Campbellsville United, the focus of which is
to help create an environment of equality and opportunity for all residents of
Campbellsville-Taylor County and the heartland region of Kentucky.

was one of the founding members of Team Taylor County (Campbellsville-Taylor
County Economic Development Authority) and served for several years as chair
and continues as a member of the board.

He received
the Governor’s Economic Development Leadership Award in 1999 and was named
Citizen of the Year for Campbellsville-Taylor County two separate years by the
Campbellsville-Taylor County Chamber of Commerce.


was founding member of the Center for Rural Development and former chair;
founding member of the Southern Kentucky Economic Development Corporation and
former chair; founding member and former board member and secretary of Forward
in the Fifth education reform group.

With his
work with the Economic Development Authority in Campbellsville, he was
instrumental in organizing a dislocated worker program at Campbellsville when
Fruit of the Loom closed in Campbellsville in 1997-98.

Douglas, who was one of those dislocated workers and who has served with
Chowning 16 years as his administrative assistant, said, “Dr. Chowning is not
only my immediate supervisor, but a friend and coworker. I have great respect
for Dr. Chowning.”

She said,
“Through my position at CU as Dr. Chowning’s secretary, I have made friends
with wonderful people around the world, who have influenced my Christian growth,
allowed me to see the world through God’s eyes and touched my heart to share
the love of Christ with all people in this very diverse world.”

With the
support of CU presidents Dr. Ken Winters and Carter, Chowning proposed the
university’s Technology Training Center and coordinated efforts to secure
funding for the project by working with U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell.

Chowning has left his mark on Campbellsville University with
the naming of the Pence-Chowning Art Gallery, the Chowning Art Shop, the
Chowning Executive Dining Room and the Chowning Patio.

He and his wife, Cathy
Pence Chowning, have established an endowed scholarship fund at Campbellsville
University that provides annual scholarship awards to qualifying minority

In his role as a pastor, Chowing is an active member, former
secretary of Taylor County Ministerial Association and is a member of the
executive boards of Taylor County Baptist Association and Zion District
Association of Baptists.

He has led his church, Saloma Baptist Church of which he has
served as senior pastor since 1994, to become a member of the General
Association of Baptists in Kentucky, the state’s historic black Baptist state
convention – one of two historically Anglo Baptist churches to join the GABKY.
He has been active in the life of the GABKY for the past several years.

Chowning has been recognized for his leadership in racial
and ethnic reconciliation ministry and is a member of the Ecumenical
Ministerial Alliance of Campbellsville-Taylor County.

Chowning has a master’s of public administration (planning
emphasis) from Eastern Kentucky University; a bachelor of arts in political
science from Transylvania University; and an associate of arts from Lindsey
Wilson College. 

He has completed several courses in the program of alternate
studies at Memphis Theological Seminary and has completed additional graduate
hours in education at EKU.  He received
an honorary doctorate of public service degree from Campbellsville University
in December 2013.

His wife of 44 years, Cathy Pence Chowning, is a licensed
physical therapist and works as a rehabilitation services director at a
Campbellsville-area nursing home and rehabilitation center, and they are the
parents of four children, including Kaleb Chowning, who works in the Office of
Development at Campbellsville University, and have four grandchildren.

Chowning manages a family farm operation in his native
Cumberland County, Ky.  The Chownings
have lived in Campbellsville for the past 38 years.

“From serving as trustee chair and vice chair and two terms
as a board member to the past 18 years in my current role, my association with
Campbellsville University has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful
affiliations of my career,” Chowning said.

Campbellsville University is a widely
acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students
offering over 80 programs of study including 24 master’s
degrees, seven postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The
website for complete information is