Faculty & Leadership

Our leadership and instructors are all faculty at Houston Baptist University, and approach life and study as enthusiastic learners, integrated generalists, and committed Christians.



Jodey D. Hinze is the Dean of Smith College of Liberal Arts, which gives him charge over the Academy, the Honors College, and the Master of Liberal Arts at HBU. His experience, both teaching and practicing law, gives him a clear vision for the importance of words, and makes him a passionate advocate for the liberal arts. Dean Hinze holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence,cum laude, and a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology,summa cum laude. He was the Chief Notes and Comments Editor for the Houston Business and Tax Law Journal  during law school and now practices in the area of business formations and acquisitions and civil appellate litigation. He is interested in corporate criminal liability, legal hermeneutics, meta-ethics, and applied ethics. He is a Sam Walton Fellow and serves on the Bio-ethics Committee at Memorial Herman Southwest. He was named the Advisor of the Year for 2010-2011 and was nominated for the Opal Goolsby Outstanding Teaching Award in 2009-2010, 2010-2011, winning in 2011-2012. He enjoys shooting, backpacking, rock climbing, music, reading and writing. He is married to Patti, and they have three children. He loves dogs and students. He wears bow ties. Often.


David J. Gilbert is the Associate Director of The Academy and Instructor of Philosophy at HBU. He received his Master of Arts in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics at Talbot School of Theology at Biola University and has taught philosophy and religion on board three deployed United States Navy aircraft carriers. As a Texan and identical twin, David defends the use of “y’all” and constantly refers to himself as “we.” He cares about the history of cinema, books by Dostoevsky, and a solid joke. He is currently planning a wedding with his fiance, Cate MacDonald.


Peter David Gross is the Director of Staff Development for The Academy. He is also the Executive Director of Wheatstone Ministries, a nonprofit that invites youth into Christian adulthood. In addition to working for the renewal of church and culture through Christian maturity, he thinks about art, anthropology, theology, and philosophy, and he paints, draws, designs, and writes.

Faculty and Staff


Timothy E. G. Bartel is an Assistant Professor of Literature at The Academy and HBU. He is a husband, father, writer, and educator from Whittier, CA. He holds an Masters of Fine Arts from Seattle Pacific University and a PhD from the University of St. Andrews. His written work has appeared in Christianity and Literature, Saint Katherine Review, Relief, and The Other Journal. He is the co-founder and editor of the online literary review Californios: A Review from the Ends of the Earth, and has recently published The Martyr, The Grizzly, and The Gold, a collection of poems about California.


Jonathan Mueller is the Academic Administrator for The Academy, and lead teacher for our lower school classes. Jon is a seeker and a learner. He is as likely to be reading the memoirs of Antarctic explorers as those of Proust. He talks about language a lot, and is currently working on his Masters of Liberal Arts at HBU. Jon and his wife Megan both graduated from Biola University, where he is a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute.


Kris Yee is an instructor for The Academy, teaching Great Books, Algebra, and Logic. He graduated magna cum laude from Biola University and is a perpetual member of the Torrey Honors Institute. He has a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Houston Baptist University and is currently working on a PhD in Great Books. With many years of experience working with young people, whether as a youth ministry intern, a tutor, or a camp counselor, Kris is deeply committed to impacting the lives of students. He loves going to punk shows, tends to cry when reading children’s literature, and finds the movie Hook to be consistently inspiring.


Melissa Klotz is the art instructor for The Academy and also Adjunct Art Professor at Houston Baptist University. She received her Master of Fine Arts degree with a major in painting and minors in drawing and printmaking from The School of Fine Arts at HBU. She has taught drawing at the junior college level. At HBU, Melissa currently teaches undergraduate art courses in Art Appreciation and Color Theory. She feels extremely honored to also teach Art Methods and Materials for The Academy program and to instruct students in the techniques of drawing, ink, watercolor, oil painting, and printmaking. Believing in the value of demonstration, Melissa demonstrates essential techniques to her students to reveal the different ways drawings and paintings are constructed. Through guided instruction, she encourages the unique creativity of each student. Melissa has had the honor of having a total of six artworks selected for “Rockport Center for the Arts’ Rising Eyes of Texas” juried art exhibitions for the three consecutive years of 2011, 2012, and 2013. Melissa’s paintings have also been included in exhibitions in galleries in Texas. Melissa’s artwork primarily consists of forest subjects with an imaginative blending of both representation and abstraction mainly rendered through the medium of oil paint. She is an enthusiastically ardent painter and enjoys painting outdoors as a plein air artist.



David J. Davis is the Director of the Master of Liberal Arts and Assistant Professor in History at Houston Baptist University. At HBU, he teaches on a variety of topics including medieval and early modern European history, the history of Britain, and the history of technology and science, where he was awarded the Opal Goolsby Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012-2013. He holds a Ph.D. in History from the University of Exeter, where he was awarded the Overseas Research Student Award and served as a researcher for the British Book Trade Index. He researches the English Reformation and the early printing trade in Europe. Recently, he published his first book Seeing Faith, Printing Pictures: Religious Identity during the English Reformation (Brill, 2013). Also, his essays and reviews appear in Books & Culture, The American Conservative, The New Criterion, and The Imaginative Conservative. His other interests include hiking, cycling, swimming, soccer, writing rather poor poetry, defending the inherent virtues of coffee, explaining why Erasmus’s Praise of Folly may be the best book ever written, and celebrating most things Texan or Welsh.