A new professor has joined the Bible Department here at Freed-Hardeman University — Dr. Matt Sokoloski. Born and raised in San Antonio, Texas, Matt Sokoloski attended FHU from 1999 until 2004. Matt first earned his Bachelor's degree in 2003 in Biology. He began teaching at Bolivar High School while he earned his Master's degree in New Testament in 2004. Matt also assisted at the Wildersville Church of Christ as a youth minister and a song leader during his time at Freed-Hardeman.
After completing his Masters in New Testament, Matt moved to Ole Miss in Oxford, Mississippi to earn his Master's degree in Philosophy. From there, he moved to the University of Arkansas to complete his Ph.D. in Philosophy and subsequently become a Razorbacks fan for life.
Matt is married to Aleshia, and they have two children, Esther Grace (5) and Eden (3). Aleshia is from Anchorage, Alaska and met Matt at Freed-Hardeman. When she graduated, she participated in China Now for a year and also spent a year in Alaska. While working in admissions at FHU, she and Matt reconnected. They began dating in 2007 and were married at the end of December that same year.
In 2013, Matt and his family moved to Montgomery, Alabama where Matt started teaching at Faulkner University. He began teaching in the Humanities Department before moving to the Bible Department. During the 2020 spring semester, he and his family were in Italy for study abroad when the country went into lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, his family and 35 other students were able to get out of the country "by the Grace of God," and return to America. Matt said a lot of the tourist attractions were more enjoyable with the significant lack of foot traffic.
He has also traveled significantly for mission work including Buenos Aires, India, China, and Thailand (where he fell in love with Thai food). While at FHU, John and Debbie McLaughlin were his adopted parents. Matt also credits Dr. Ralph Gilmore as one of his mentors during his years as a student. Because of Dr. Gilmore's influence on him, Matt has always enjoyed teaching and mentoring his students in the same manner. He is especially excited to return to Freed-Hardeman to teach the next generation of freshman and returning students.
"My dream was always to come back to FHU," Matt said with a smile. "It feels like coming home and very special."
Matt enjoys spending time with his wife and children as well as running. He is a long-time fan of the show Survivor and has applied to the show a couple of times, but he has yet to be accepted.
Matt's favorite Bible verse: "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps" (Prov. 16:9). Matt said, "Because God gives us the freedom to pursue our interests and decisions, but we should try to align our wants and desires with God's Will."
The Freed-Hardeman family is very excited to welcome Matt home as he helps raise the next generation of Christian leaders.