Dr. Longman says farewell
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For nineteen years, Westmont has been fortunate enough to have been in the employ of a truly excellent professor: Dr. Tremper Longman III. However, all things must come to an end – Dr. Longman will be retiring after this spring. Dr. Longman names the highly supportive administrators and faculty as one of the main reasons he taught at Westmont for so many years.
Drawn to Westmont by then-provost Dan Gaedy, as well as the opportunity to fill the position of the Robert H. Gundry Professor of Biblical Studies, Longman came to Santa Barbara in 1998. Holding the Robert H. Gundry position also allowed Longman additional time to continue his outside research in biblical studies. Before coming to Westmont, Longman taught at the Westminster Theological Seminary for 18 years. Throughout his career and a professor, he has written and co-authored over 30 books, including several contributions to commentaries and studies of the Old Testament.
While many current Westmont students have taken classes with Dr. Longman, not all of them know how or why he decided to spend so much of his life teaching. Dr. Longman became a Christian the summer before he left to earn his B.A. at Ohio Wesleyan University, where he found his faith was consistently challenged by his professors.
This challenge, and the progress that came with it, is what helped Longman decide that he wanted to be a professor—so that he might learn more about his own faith and help provide those same resources for others.
Longman decided to pursue the Old Testament specifically after studying under acclaimed professor of Old Testament, Raymond Dillard. Old Testament studies caught Longman’s interest because he felt that many Christians found trouble within the Old Testament and its more controversial subjects. Longman wanted to better understand it so that he could help others understand it as well and grow in their own faith.
With a collective 37 years of teaching under his belt, Dr. Longman will be retiring. When asked why he chose now to retire, Dr. Longman said he will be moving to the Washington D.C. area on the East Coast, where his family lives, in order to play a more active role in their lives He will continue to work in the field of Old Testament studies, contributing to commentaries and publishing his own works, though he says this is the end of his teaching career.
Reflecting upon his time as a professor, Dr. Longman said, “It’s important to make the most of the opportunities presented to you and to do them well—beginning with your college career, learning as much as you can.”
He also had advice for Westmont students, saying, “The liberal arts is going to become increasingly important as you change careers throughout your future, so take advantage of that. Networking is also important—not only developing relationships with your fellow students but with the people you work with over the years.”
Dr. Longman gave one last piece of advice in addition to these pointers: “Having a long term plan for two or three years in the future is helpful, as well as reflecting on the opportunities the day presented to you and how you responded to them—including how you cultivate family and friendships.”
Thank you, Dr. Longman.
Katie Swalm | Note the misspelling of Stan Gaede in the third sentence! ~ 6 months ago.