Professor Mike Barnett with the Lord
The mood was somber the morning of Aug. 10 on the campus of CIU,
when it was learned that Dr. Mike Barnett, professor of Intercultural and
Historical Studies suddenly passed away early that morning. He served at
CIU for 11 years and was 62 years old. He is survived by his wife Cindy and
adult children Cole Barnett and Michelle (Barnett) Morris.
A memorial service for Dr. Barnett was held at CIU, followed by a funeral in
Dr. Barnett’s home state of Texas where he was buried.
Prior to coming to CIU, Dr. Barnett and his wife Cindy served 12 years with
the International Mission Board (IMB) of the Southern Baptist Convention
ministering in the 10/40 window, and also in the local church in the areas of
missions and church planting.
In addition to teaching at CIU, Dr. Barnett served on the board of directors
of Baptist Global Response and was the executive vice president of the
Evangelical Missiological Society. He was also a strategy consultant for the
IMB and for LifeShape, the nonprofit foundation of Chick-Fil-A. Early in his
career, Dr. Barnett worked in international business as president of a forge
and machine company and in business development with a bank.
Dr. Barnett’s objective was: “To glorify God by equipping, connecting, and
enabling students to be on mission with Him among all people.”
“Dr. Barnett believed in those that he led and mentored and empowered
them to live out their calling,” said Dr. Ed Smither, dean of the College
of Intercultural Studies. “Having worked in business, in local church ministry, as an international missionary, and as a college and
seminary professor, his life was dedicated to participating in the mission of God.”
Intercultural Studies professor Dr. David Cashin remembered Barnett as the founding dean of the College of Intercultural Studies.
“Whether engaged in business, missions or teaching, and often a combination of all three, Mike was a leader.” Cashin said. “He
took the reins of the CIU Intercultural Studies program and built it into the College of Intercultural Studies. He left his imprint not
only on the institution but on all who worked with him.”
Danise Stokeld, the educational assistant for the College of Intercultural Studies, remembers her former supervisor as a family man.
“He always said he wasn’t sentimental, but when we got him talking about Cindy or his kids, he melted,” Stokeld said. “He loved
(his son) Cole and (his daughter) Michelle and could always be counted on for a great picture of the grandkids. Working with him
the past five years has been so rewarding, he will be deeply missed.”
Memorial gifts may be made to the Michael C. Barnett Mission of God Scholarship providing aid to students
pursuing degrees in CIU’s College of Intercultural Studies.
For more information on the scholarship see page 27.