High Point Schools Partnership is highlighting members of our Executive Council. Keep reading to learn more about Rev. Dr. Joe Blosser.
Q: Give us some background. Where are you from? Where did you go to school? What was your career path to get here?
A: I’m originally from Jefferson City, MO. Growing up in the shadow of a state capitol, I’ve always been drawn to thinking about what makes for strong communities. I went to school at Texas Christian University, majoring in economics and religion, and then on to Divinity School at Vanderbilt University. After being ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and serving a few churches, I went on to do a Ph.D. in Religious Ethics at the University of Chicago where I, again, focused on how economics and religion are crucial elements in building strong communities. I taught at DePaul University for a few years before moving to High Point and thereby fulfilling a promise to my wife, who is from Charleston, SC, that we wouldn’t live in the cold Midwest for long. We’ve been at High Point University for over a decade now and are raising two kids in our community.
Q: What is your primary occupation/job title?
A: Executive Director of the Center for Community Engagement and Associate Professor of Religion and Philosophy
Q: Why is the work of HPSP important to you?
A: Simply put: Strong Communities Need Strong Schools (and vice versa). Our kids deserve great teachers and facilities. But with the average age of our schools over 50 years old, we aren’t fulfilling that promise. And it’s more than just making them learn in old buildings. When our kids’ schools don’t have the safe infrastructure, the right technology, and aren’t set up for 21st-century education, we risk not only their future but our entire community’s future. In order for High Point to truly revitalize, we have to build up both our physical infrastructure and invest in the educational pathways that prepare our kids to work in our vibrant and revitalized community. I see the HPSP as the organization that’s galvanizing our community to advocate for our schools, our kids, and our collective future growth.
Q: What are your hopes for HPSP?
A: I want to see the HPSP strengthening the whole network of people and nonprofits that support kids, families, and schools. It’s not about our group — it’s about how our group can build up this huge network of advocates.
Q: The city of High Point is in a phase of “revitalization” what do you think this will look like when it is complete? What role do schools play in this process?
A: I’m so excited by what I see happening downtown, at the airport, with the Toyota plant, and all the new businesses our EDC is recruiting. High Point is humming. To sustain this momentum, we have to produce a workforce that’s highly skilled and ready for the workforce. That means our schools have to be educating students ready to take on these skilled manufacturing jobs, these design positions, and more. I see more signature academies, apprenticeship programs, internships, and other creative ways to prepare our students now for the jobs of tomorrow.
Thank you so much to Dr.Blosser for telling us a little more about yourself and why our work is meaningful to you. We look forward to hearing about more of the great things you do for the High Point Schools Partnership!