Jonathan Kiesler

Jonathan Keisler, PhD

Associate Dean, Undergraduate Business Programs
Associate Professor, Business and Management
Unit: Accounting and Business, College of Business and Entrepreneurship, Marketing
Location: Tigerville

"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint." -Romans 5:3-5
  • Teaching & Education

    Teaching Experience

    • Professor of Business, August 2015 to May 2022, Spartanburg Methodist College
    • Business Department Chair, January 2019 to May 2022, Spartanburg Methodist College
    • Bachelor of Arts Degree Program Chair, January 2019 to August 2021, Spartanburg Methodist College


    • PhD, Policy Studies, December 2014, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
    • Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship, May 2018, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK
    • MS, Applied Economics, May 2011, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA
    • MS, Agricultural and Applied Economics, December 2002, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
    • BA, Agricultural and Applied Economics, May 2001 Clemson University, Clemson, SC
  • Professional Experience

    With over 10 years of industry experience as an entrepreneur, manager, sales professional, marketer, and market analyst, Dr. Keisler has worked with several market leaders including Michelin North America, Pennington Seed, Sanofi Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Amedisys Hospice.

  • Selected Publications

    Conference Presentations:

    Keisler, J., 2012, Nonprofit Organizations and Their Cities: An Examination of Property Tax Exemptions in the Top 20 Municipalities in South Carolina.” The Alexander Hamilton Center for Political Economy at New York University.

    Scholarly Research:

    Keisler, J. and H. Ulbrich. (2015). Measuring the Madness: The Fiscal Cost of Property Tax Exemptions in South Carolina. Clemson University Press.

    Numerous mainstream articles

  • Selected Awards Received
    • Recipient of the 2017-2018 James S. Barrett Award. This award is presented each year to recognize an employee who demonstrates exemplary service to and support of the Department of Institutional Advancement.
    • Recipient of the 2016 Founders Day Faculty Award. This award is presented to a faculty member who represents and embodies the spirit and vision of Dr. David English Camak, a visionary Methodist minister and Founder of SMC.
    • Recipient of the 2015 GBHEM Exemplary Teacher Award. This honor is a part of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Each year, the GBHEM’s school members select one faculty member who exemplifies excellence in teaching, civility, and concern for students, the institution, and the community.
  • My Network

    See related links

  • My Story

    I’m a slower learner. I always have been. I’m a slow reader and I need a lot of repetition to learn most concepts. When I was around the age of 13, I took pre-algebra and while I knew numbers and I knew letters, I struggled when you put them together. In fact, my middle school math teacher told my parents that I would never get a college degree. What she did not understand was that it is not that I cannot learn, but that I just learn differently—we all do. The truest measure of the ability to learn is whether you will stick with it long enough to make it happen.

    The same can be said for your faith. I first came to truly know Christ when I was 17 years old on a youth ministry trip. I previously knew of Jesus Christ, but at the time, it was in the same way I know my neighbor three doors down or my kid’s pediatrician. That night, I saw the mercy that God displayed for me when Jesus died on the cross. The intellectual realization that God, the creator of all things, sent His Son to die on my behalf revealed itself. I accepted the gift of salvation that night. It took me 17 years to process what happened on Calvary.

    After college, I thought I was destined for a “regular job” until I retired. I stayed there for a decade, but all along I kept hearing this voice tell me that I was meant to do something else. That voice grew into a chorus over time. God would not leave me alone. He knew I was feeling unfulfilled. He knew I had a greater purpose. Most importantly, He knew I am a slow learner.

    I am still slowly learning to walk with Christ on a daily basis by making time to read scripture, pray, and meditate on what God’s direction for my life—even if I do not always exemplify perfect character, or a patient spirit. I am committed to serving God’s purpose in my life through all of my shortcomings by growing stronger everyday.

    The thing about being a slow learner is that you are a steady learner. If you take the time to consider all things, then you’ll be certain of what you truly know. I know now that God was quietly calling me to be a college professor for a long time. He was preparing me all along. I know that I am where I am supposed to be.

    I’m so glad I made the change. I love being a professor because it does not feel like a job. It is a mission to serve and push students. I consider it a privilege to be a part of such a crucial moment of their lives. I pray that I can help them find God’s purpose in their lives—especially if they’re a slow learner like me.

    P.S., I attend Church at the Mill. Please feel free to let me know if you’d ever like to join us for a Sunday worship service! You can also watch services at

  • Related Links
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