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Meet Our Staff

KenClapp.jpgDr. Kenneth W. Clapp
Office: Chapel
Phone: (704) 637-4446

  • Senior Vice-President
  • Chaplain of the College
  • Assistant Professor of Religion and Philosophy
  • Director of The Lilly Center for Vocation & Values
  • B.A., Catawba College
  • M.Div., Yale University
  • D.Min., Lancaster Theological Seminary
  • Post-doctoral study, Harvard University

Dr. Kenneth Clapp has many responsibilities at Catawba, from campus chaplain to Senior Vice-President in the campus administration to part-time teacher in the Religion & Philosophy department to the Director of the Lilly Center for Vocation and Values at Catawba. He is also deeply involved in the lives of students on campus. He was ordained by the United Church of Christ and has pastored at Emmanuel United Church of Christ in Lincolnton.  Before he came to Catawba, Dr. Clapp was the executive director of the Blowing Rock Assembly Grounds, from which he has many stories he shares with students.  In regards to students, he oversees two organizations on campus: the Philomatheans and the Dead Athenian Society.  Dr. Clapp also created the Freshman Retreat program and remains heavily involved in the program.

Dr. Clapp teaches Ethics, Comparative Denominations, Christian Beliefs and Principles and Practices of Community, usually one or two courses a semester.  He also wrote the grant for the Year of Inquiry program, as sponsored by the United Church of Christ, for those students wanting to explore a possible call into the ministry. 


shannonaxtell.jpgShannon Axtell Martin '08
Office: Chapel
Phone: (704) 637-4725

  • Director of the Theology Institute, Discover 
  • B.A., Catawba College
  • M.Div., Wake Forest University School of Divinity

Axtell Martin majored in Religion and Philosophy with an Outdoor Ministries concentration and minored in Psychology while a student at Catawba.  As an undergraduate, she was a First Family Scholar (now McCorkle Scholar at Catawba), a Resident Assistant, a founding member of the Retreat Leadership Corps, a Lilly Scholar, a Catawba Ambassador/Tour Guide, and a tele-counselor for the Admissions Office.  She was also very active in student organizations on campus, serving as treasurer for the Helen Foil Beard Society, and as president of Psi Chi National Honor Society.  She served as a hearing officer on the Student Conduct Board, sang with the Catawba Singers, served on the Religious Life Council, was an Academic Tutor, and a Chapel Scholar.

She earned her Master of Divinity degree from Wake Forest University School of Divinity in 2011 and was also active in the life of the University.  She served as president of Mosaic, the student organization of the arts, as photographer for “The Tablet,” student newspaper, and sang in the Divinity School Choir.

Her employment experiences include Regional Coordinator for Partners in Health and Wholeness, an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches; Interim Associate Pastor for Contemporary Worship for Guilford College United Methodist Church; Chaplain Resident at Wake Forest Baptist Health; Retreat Planner for First Baptist Church; Residence Life and Housing Graduate Hall Director at Wake Forest University; Minister of Youth at United Baptist Church; Teen Day Camp Counselor at the YMCA of Northwest N.C.; and six years serving in various capacities at Camp Hope in Connecticut.