“I come from a family of public school educators,” shares Vice President of Student Experiences Tina Villarreal Cooper. “With education in my blood and Christ in my heart, together, they make me passionate about SCS’s mission to equip the educationally under-served followers of Christ for service in the church and community.”

A Corpus Christi native, VP Villarreal Cooper felt the call of God at an early age. However, she did not walk in the call until her late 20s. “To be exact, I came crawling to Him, broken spirited and desperate at 27 years old,” she says. “When I was young, I knew all about the fear of God, but I didn’t discover the beauty of God’s love for me and others until that year. I started seeking Him and just couldn’t get enough of Him.”

She began attending every Bible study and church service she could. “I felt the call to full time ministry in my late 30s,” VP Villarreal Cooper tells us. “I accepted the call and started taking classes at SCS.”

After graduating with a Bachelor of Behavioral Science in Ministry degree from HSU at SCS, VP Villarreal Cooper continued her education at Texas A&M Corpus Christi with a Master of Science in Instructional Design and Educational Technology. She is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

VP Villarreal Cooper joined the SCS familia as the Director of Technology Services in 2012 and now serves as the Vice President of Student Experiences. She is the first Hispanic female to serve on the president’s cabinet and passionately works to provide pathways for minority students to achieve their educational goals. “This spring semester, I co-wrote a paper on affirmative action as part of my doctoral studies. During the research phase, I found studies that showed how the overall higher education system in America has become not just a business for most institutions, but a system that continues to replicate benefits for the privileged while keeping many minority students in a disadvantaged space,” VP Villarreal Cooper teaches. “I am proud to say this is not the case at SCS. The majority of our students are not privileged. Most, who are called to ministry in South Texas, are not called to ministry to make money. We are not here to take their money. We are here to provide affordable, accessible, and fully accredited theological education to help local ministers and community members answer the call of God.”

This fall, VP Villarreal Cooper is taking her passion for the educationally under-served to the SCS classroom. She is teaching Principles of Teaching in the Church. “My academic training has taught me so much about different learning styles, delivery methods, and teaching strategies,” she says. “I am excited to put them into practice in the classroom, and I am even more excited to be part of the learning journey with our students. I am sure I will be learning from them too, and I can’t wait to learn together and encourage one another!”

Outside of SCS, you can find VP Villarreal Cooper spending time with her husband George, their families, her SCS familia, and serving at Calvary Baptist Church.