The Joys of Teaching Freshman Bible

First day of class today. Thirty-five bleary-eyed freshman at 8:00 am the first day of classes. One bleary-eyed professor at 8:00 am. I am not excited by the time slot I was given, but I am excited to teach these freshman.

Here’s the deal: for most of them, I get to be the one who introduces them to the world of Scripture. And I’ve found that that can be an exciting experience.

There will be a few who give me as little as possible in return. But some will give everything. They will open like a flower to sunshine.

A few of them will be bothered that the Bible isn’t what they were told it was in their “Bible Church.” But most won’t be bothered that the Bible is an ancient book that doesn’t care about out scientific debates. Most won’t be bothered that the Bible often says more than one thing on a given topic, and sometimes even things that don’t agree. And most of them will be glad that we can talk about the tough things that we wish weren’t in the Bible. And some will find little nuggets that they will wear like lapel pins the rest of their life.

And if the past is any guide, we will laugh in class. And we get a little teary-eyed from time-to-time. And students will begin to tease me in class and find multiple ways to say Dr. Love. And that’s when I’ll know I have the class.

And a few students, perhaps, will have their lives forever altered. There will be an athlete who didn’t come to our college because we were a Christian school who will find herself open to God in a new way. And there will be a student who decides to change majors and spend their life pursuing the God spoken of by Scripture. It’s all worth it, but these kinds of experience make it especially gratifying.

So, even though I had to get up way too early, today was a good day.

About Mark Love

I am the Dean for the School of Theology and Ministry and Director of the Resource Center for Missional Leadership at Rochester College. Part of my job includes directing a master's degree in missional leadership, a situated learning degree. I am married to Donna and have a son, Josh Love, who is a practicing new monastic in Abilene, TX. With Donna, I have also inherited three great daughters and two amazing granddaughters.
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2 Responses to The Joys of Teaching Freshman Bible

  1. craigbrown2012 says:

    Mark,
    Enjoyed the posting. Like flowers exposed to sunshine! Nice.
    Peace to your house. Luke 10:7
    … Craig

  2. I still remember my freshman Bible class — “Early Hebrew History”. Loved the depth and scholarship added to the flannelgraph stories of Sunday school. Still facinated 40 years later and a little jealous of your freshmen. Have a great year Mark!

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