Our communications faculty members are experts in their respective fields. They bring a broad and diverse range of knowledge and experience to Montreat. Learn more about these amazing individuals here.


Get to know us.

Dr. Jim Shores
Communication and the Arts Department Co-Chair, Associate Professor of Communication and Environmental Studies

Dr. Jim Shores arrived at Montreat College in 1997. He has a Ph.D. in communication studies from Regent University and an M.S. in environmental science from UNC-Chapel Hill. He is passionate about both fields of study. He teaches environmental communication for the master of arts in Environmental Education program. For Communications, he teaches media studies, communication and culture, film history and theory, screenwriting, and public relations. In Environmental Studies, he teaches conservation biology, freshwater ecosystems, american ecosystems, wetland and coastal ecosystems, ecology labs, and science seminar.

Dr. Shores and his wife, Carol, have spent the last 20 years running Acts of Renewal, a nationally touring Christian theatre company. They use theatre and film to explore issues of faith and the human experience, pointing to Christ for hope and healing. They have written and performed for FamilyLife Today, Focus on the Family, Youth for Christ, and for speakers like John Eldredge, Tony Campolo, Dennis Rainey, Gary Thomas, and more. They’ve also spoken multiple times at more than 70 of the CCCU college campuses in the past 20 years. Dr. Shores won best original screenplay for his comedy, Hunks, a story about body image and self-acceptance, at the Gideon Media Arts Conference in 2010.

When asked what it means to integrate faith and learning, Shores stated, “Helping students explore the integration of faith and learning is important to me. If we don’t like the culture we live in, then we must exercise technical excellence and good critical thinking, so that we can co-create culture with the rest of the world, contributing that which is hopeful and good to our chosen career field.”

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Ms. Callan White-Hinman
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

Callan White-Hinman began teaching at Montreat in the fall of 2007 after acting in television, in film, and on stage for over 20 years. Professor White-Hinman received a B.A. in theatre and speech from DeSales University and an M.F.A. in theatre from California State Long Beach. To date, she has directed five main stage student productions: Proof, The Apple Tree, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, The Little Prince, and Terra Nova. Some professional directing credits include Esther, The Living, Two Rooms, Last Train to Nibroc, and A Sideorder of Screwtape.   

Through the theatre ensemble, Professor White-Hinman’s students have created theatre as ministry in several of the local prisons in the area. As an actor, she has had leading roles at NC Stage, Berkeley Rep, the Long Wharf Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Odyssey Theatre, Cal Rep, Provincetown Playhouse, ACT, The National Theatre Company, the Apollo Theatre, the Actors Co-op, as well as performances at The Kennedy Center, New Dramatists, Clarence Brown Theatre, the New York Theatre Workshop, the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Shakespeare Companies. Professor White-Hinman has had guest starring roles on such shows as Star Trek, Crossing Jordan, The Practice, Chicago Hope, JAG, Strong Medicine, and L.A. Law. Audiences may remember her for her role as Anne Alden on ABC’s Loving for many years.

Professor White-Hinman is a member on leave from the Actors Co-op, an award-winning Christian Theatre Company in Los Angeles since 1995. She is also an Emmy voter for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Dr. Cynthia Howell

Associate Professor of English, English Department Co-Chair

Dr. Cynthia Howell came to Montreat College in 2005 as assistant professor of American literature. She received her B.A. from Baylor University, her M.A. from Vanderbilt University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky. She wrote her master’s thesis on C.S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy. While living in Nashville, Dr. Howell had the opportunity to meet important modernist writers such as Robert Penn Warren, Allen Tate, and Andrew Lytle. Her doctoral dissertation, Rereading Agrarianism: Despoliation and Conservation in the Works of Wendell Berry, Lee Smith, and Bobbie Ann Mason, is a broadly postmodern examination of contemporary Southern agrarian literature in light of its post-bellum and modernist predecessors.

Her literary interests include agrarian and environmental literature, modernist and postmodernist American Literature, the 17th century in English and American literature, and Christian literature in its many forms. She also teaches courses in business, managerial, and nonprofit communication. Related interests include music, environmental concerns, and travel. “I am also blessed with a large network of friends and family, with whom I am always delighted to spend time.”   

She spent her early years in southern California, first in Burbank, and then near Los Angeles International Airport. She became a Christian at the age of 16, in part as a result of her participation in a local church youth group. C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, with its witty depiction of temptation and human nature, also influenced her decision for Christ. She loves being at the college: “Montreat College is the perfect place for students wanting to study language and literature from a broadly yet thoroughly Christian perspective. I am so grateful for a community that supports in-depth academic inquiry even as it encourages us to love and serve Christ.”


Jim Southerland
Artist in Residence, Professor Emeritus of Art

Professor of art and co-chair of the Communication and the arts department, Jim Southerland has served Montreat College since 1987 and is a leading member of various professional community arts organizations. He is a 2010 recipient of the Crawford Faculty Scholarship.

Professor Jim Southerland teaches courses in drawing, painting, and sculpture from idea-to-process-to-product concepts based on observation, interpretation, and creation. Professor Southerland has a B.F.A. from East Carolina University and an M.F.A. from Penn State University. His background as printmaker, potter, and painter informs his instruction—he has over 40 years of experience working as a studio artist. He is especially intrigued by the history of optics, primarily the camera obscura, as a means of understanding the visual world. He integrates that history into survey of art classes and photojournalism.