Retiring after 40 years as a United Methodist pastor of churches in West and Middle Tennessee, Dr. Ripski serves as University Chaplain. He also has teaching responsibilities.
He previously taught courses in philosophy, Bible, and religion as an adjunct instructor at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
His publications include: Conversing with God, Abingdon Press, 1992; This Side of Easter, A Lenten Study for Adults, Abingdon Press, 1998; and numerous articles.
Dr. Michael Pigg joined Cumberland University in Fall of 2021 as Director of the Master of Arts in Education Program and Assistant Professor of Education. Having spent the past fifteen years as a Tennessee educator, Dr. Pigg’s career combines successful university and secondary mathematics teaching experiences with consistently effective school leadership at the elementary and secondary levels. Dr. Pigg began his career in K-12 as part of the Carter High School math department in Knox County Schools, where he served on the Leadership Team and chaired the school’s Grading Practices Committee. Dr. Pigg also served as a math instructor in a variety of undergraduate settings, including Lipscomb University, the University of Tennessee, and South College. For the last 10 years, Dr. Pigg has served as a building-level principal in Wilson County Schools and the Lebanon Special School District, most recently serving as principal of Castle Heights Elementary since 2017. In that time, he has developed a broad network of relationships with local school teachers and leaders. These relationships have been cultivated through a variety of collaborative experiences, including serving on district level committees, presenting at both the district and state levels, and supporting or leading various aspects of Wilson County Schools’ leadership development programs for aspiring leaders.
Dr. Pigg has an extensive background relative to teacher evaluation, assessment, and the use of data to foster improvements in student outcomes. His initial training in the Tennessee teacher evaluation rubrics took place in 2011, the same year Tennessee schools first implemented the TEAM teacher evaluation model still in use today. His background in mathematics allows him to consistently analyze evaluation and assessment data for the purpose of informing and improving teacher instructional practices over time. Dr. Pigg’s dissertation research focused on retention and effectiveness of early career teachers, as measured by TEAM teacher evaluation data, as well as the impact of mentoring programs on the early career teacher experience.
Dr. Pigg’s other passions include supporting the College Hills Church of Christ and other nonprofits including the Sara Walker Foundation and Compassionate Hands. Dr. Pigg previously served as a board member of the Sara Walker Foundation and traveled to Malawi, Africa as a part of multiple mission teams focused on providing training to local Malawian teachers as well as tutoring and support services for students housed at Mtendere Orphanage.
Dr. Pigg lives in Lebanon with Stephanie, his wife of 16 years, and their four children Carter, Alex, Lucas, and Bailey.