Effective Jan. 1, 2016
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (Dec. 22, 2015) — 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.
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 beginning in January 2016.
“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,” said Dr. Michael V. Carter, president of Campbellsville University, who has worked with Chowning for 17 years. “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.”
Chowning became involved in fundraising with Campbellsville University in 1989 and became a member of the university’s Board of Trustees in 1992. 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.
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 issues.
Chowning 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.
Chowning 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.
Chowning 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.
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 students.
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. The Chownings have lived in Campbellsville for the past 38 years.