Two months ago, I added another job title to my resume—Professor. For the past 8 weeks, I taught an online class for Regent University in Virginia. Other than family members and my references, I chose not to tell anyone for a couple of reasons, which I will explain shortly.
When I pursued my doctorate in the 80’s, it was with the idea that I would be on staff at a church for 5-10 years, and then teach at a college or seminary. However, God had other ideas. My passion for the local church increased and my love of academia decreased. Over the years I have explored various teaching options, but God always closed the door and kept me in the church.
Last fall, I applied for a position as an Adjunct Professor (fancy term for “part-time”) at Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA. It is a leading Christian University started in the late 70’s.
During the fall and winter, I went through the application process, including an interview and reference check. The process was completed in February just after I returned from New Zealand and I was approved as an Adjunct Professor. Shortly after that, I was invited to teach an 8-week course on Christian Ministry from March 13 – May 6. I quickly learned Blackboard, the instructional software used for online classes. The class started … the day after I left for Russia. The class just finished this past weekend. This course exposed the students to the philosophy and purpose of the church, something I know a thing or two about.
I chose not to tell anyone what I was doing for two primary reasons. One is that some might question my sanity for adding one more responsibility to my plate! I admit that I had the same thought and I wanted to see if I could do it before letting people know.
As it turned out, the class required about 2-3 hours of work per week. Other than the time difference and sporadic internet, it was not difficult to manage while I was in Russia. Regent designed the curriculum, assignments, tests, and textbooks. The assignments were of the read & report type with two papers to be written. My role was not to teach per se, but rather to mentor the students, giving feedback on their reading assignments and papers. Since the assignments were due on Thursday and Sunday evenings, I did my work on Saturday & Monday.
The second reason I didn’t tell folks beforehand was that some might worry I was planning to leave my current ministry and this was part of my exit strategy. Far from it. While I am committed to be the pastor of First Central Bible Church, I also desire to have a broader and deeper impact in the larger body of Christ. It is why I continue to teach for Walk Thru the Bible, go to Russia once a year, and write a blog. As I have shared before, I have no plans or timeline for retirement.
While I would like to continue, I don’t know what Regent’s plans are for the future. I suspect it will be later this summer before I am contacted about the next school year’s classes. We will see what God does and how he leads.