Academic Leadership Team

Dr. Cyndee Phillips – Vice President of Academics

Dr. Cyndee Phillips is the Vice President of Academics and a (sometimes) adjunct professor.  She holds a BA degree from Emmanuel, a MEd degree from Brenau University, an EdS in Leadership and Supervision from Clemson University, and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction from Liberty University.  

She spent 32 years in K-12 public education, having taught middle grades (5th – all content areas through 8th – science, ELA, and reading) for 14 years and as curriculum director and Assistant Superintendent for the past 18 years.  Cyndee retired from the Franklin County School System in the spring of 2018.  She is married to Dr. David Phillips, a retired middle school Engineering and Technology teacher and has two adult children. Courtney, and her husband Joshua, both work in K-12 education and have a daughter, Annabeth.  Grayson is a recent graduate with a master’s degree in Chemistry at Kennesaw State University and his wife, Victoria, is an artist, and an art professor at Lee University.  Cyndee (83), her husband (82), daughter (2010, son-in-law (2010), and son (2017, non-degree) all attended Emmanuel University.  

Cyndee serves on the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce board and serves as Vice President.  She leads the Leadership Franklin for the Chamber and is a member of the Education Committee.  She is also a board member for The Ark Family Preservation Center.   Cyndee and her husband attend Goldmine Pentecostal Holiness Church.  


Dr. Sharon Synan – Associate Vice President for Online Learning

Dr. Sharon Synan serves as the Associate Vice President for Online Learning at Emmanuel.

In her role, she assists the Vice President for Academics with oversight of all Distance Learning Programs, Undergraduate and Graduate, and oversee all aspects of Canvas from training, development, quality assurance, help, and maintenance. 

She holds a BA and MA from Piedmont University in Middle Grades Education, an EdS in Instructional Technology and an EdD in School Improvement from the University of West Georgia. 

Before arriving at Emmanuel, Dr. Synan taught at the middle school level for six years before moving on to work for the Georgia Department of Education, where she served as an Instructional Technology Grant Monitor, an Instructional Supervisor for Georgia Virtual Learning, and in Strategic Planning for Virtual Learning.

She is married to her husband, Jim and has two adult daughters. 

Favorite Bible Verses: Job 23: 8-10

8I go east, but he is not there. 
I go west, but I cannot find him. 
9I do not see him in the north, for he is hidden. 
I look to the south, but he is concealed. 
10“But he knows where I am going. 

(NIV) Job 23:8-10.

Debra Grizzle – Registrar

Debra Grizzle has been a member of the Emmanuel staff since 1978, when she graduated with an A.A. degree in office administration. She was named registrar upon the retirement of Dr. Kirk Hartsfield and has served in that capacity since 1992. Continuing her education, she has earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from Emmanuel University in 1999 and M.Ed. in college student affairs from Azusa Pacific University in 2002.

Deborah Millier – Director of Library Services

Deborah Millier, Director of Library Services, is responsible for all aspects of the library, from day to day operations to long-term planning and implementation. She earned her B.A. in Middle Grades Education from Toccoa Falls College and her Master of Library and Information Science from the University of South Carolina. In addition to her responsibilities in the library, Deborah also works closely with international students to assist with their transition to Emmanuel.

In addition to her Emmanuel responsibilities, Deborah teaches Scottish country dancing in Athens, GA and assists with the Atlanta branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society. Deborah is married with three wonderful children. Her special needs son still resides at home with her and her husband. Her family enjoys cooking, traveling and exploring places around the world.

Cathy Acree – Assistant Registrar

Cathy Acree, Adjunct Instructor, also serves as the Associate Registrar of Emmanuel. Before working at Emmanuel, she was a student at Emmanuel where she received her A.S. in Business Administration (’04) and her B.A. in English (’06) and was Valedictorian of both classes. In 2010, she received her certification to teach English 6-12 through North Georgia College and State University. She recently received her M.A. in English Education at Piedmont College (’15). Cathy and her husband, Andrew, live in Royston with their sons, Lucas and Declan.


Stefanie Kaup – Executive Administrative Assistant to the President & Vice President of Academics

Stefanie Kaup serves as the Executive Administrative Assistant to the President and the VPAC.  She is a Business Administration graduate of Piedmont University.  She began at Emmanuel after working 26 years at Georgia Baptist Conference Center as Guest Services Manager/Administrative Assistant.  She and her husband Jason, reside in Toccoa.  They enjoy traveling in their spare time. 

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ. 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 

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