By Luke Chapman
What is your position at RU?
My position is Professor of New Testament. I teach at RU in the Department of Theology and Ministry.
What brought you to RU and why did you choose to work here?
One of the reasons I came to RU was that I was interested in getting back to the north after spending fourteen years in the south completing various degrees. In particular I was excited about working at a Christian University in the north because, unlike in the south, there are far fewer opportunities in the north for good Christian education and I wanted to be a part of helping to provide such education.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part is the interaction with students. Getting to know students better and watching them learn (as well as learning from them) is one of the highlights of teaching.
What do you do outside your job to stay sane, relieve stress, etc.? or What are your hobbies?
Some of the activities I like to do to unwind are reading (novels and comic books), watching movies and TV with my kids, taking my dogs to the park, playing video games, and playing piano.
Where did you grow up? Describe.
I was born in the Chicago area and lived there until I was seven. Then we moved to central Illinois to a town called Effingham. It is a small town in Illinois farm country and a nice place to grow up.
What is your favorite thing to do in the Rochester area? Or in Michigan?
In the Rochester area one of my favorite things has been riding my bike along some of the bike trails. In the wider area, I enjoy the various cider mills and going to the dog park. Within Michigan as a whole, I like visiting the towns along the Lake Michigan and Lake Huron shoreline.
What is your most prized possession?
My mother passed away in 2005 and I have copies of a lot of letters she wrote and various journals she kept. Re-reading them from time to time helps me feel connected to her even though she’s gone.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
One that comes to mind is when I was in the 8th grade and I didn’t realize until I was already at school that my pants had a large tear in the back that left a gaping hole near the seat of the pants. So I had to walk around all day like that.
What is the biggest obstacle you've had to overcome?
I don’t know if this counts as an obstacle or not, but one of the most difficult things I’ve had to work through was when my oldest daughter was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at age 14. As a parent, seeing my child have to go through something like that and trying to be strong for her while wrestling with my own struggles with it as well was a big challenge. Thankfully we came through it and she is now cancer-free.
What is a fun fact about you?
Before getting sidelined by two knee surgeries and two back surgeries, I spent about 25 years training in martial arts. I took an eclectic approach by training in a wide variety of martial arts, such as Kempo, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Iaido, Kendo, Sogo Budo, and Aikido.
What single piece of advice would you give to students today?
I would just remind students to take their studies seriously. I know that it can be very easy to get distracted and to let other things take precedence but I would remind students that devoting themselves to their schoolwork is an important investment in their future.