Q&A: Dr. Lynn McMillion
Dr. Lynn McMillon recently concluded a 14-year tenure as dean of the College of Biblical Studies. He remains on the faculty as a Distinguished Professor of Bible and continues in his role as president and chief executive officer of The Christian Chronicle.
In the interview below, he reflects on his tenure as dean and looks toward the future.
What did it mean to you to serve in the dean’s role at your alma mater?
Joy and I have loved OC since we entered as freshmen when the enrollment was less than 200. We both returned as teachers, she in English and me in history and Bible. As we saw the institution grow in numbers, quality and influence, I wanted to do what I could to help the Bible Department, now called the College of Biblical Studies, take academic and spiritual strides to deepen and broaden its influence on students and the church. To be in a position to shape the faculty and curriculum was an answer to prayer and a great blessing.
What accomplishments most stand out from your 14 years as dean?
Staying true to God’s Word and reinforcing the place of serious Bible study for all students tops the list for me. I hope that everything we have done reinforces that primary goal – new faculty, endowment, new programs, stronger general education Bible curriculum, an endowed teaching chair, excellent facilities, service to the church and more.
On a lighter note, what was your favorite “Bible video” for First Week Follies during your tenure as dean?
“Synchronized Swimming” is still my favorite. The whole concept was so silly and we all had so much fun shooting it both in and out of the pool. The student response was overwhelming and we had running jokes with students all year long. When people kept asking, “What are you doing for next year?” the new tradition was established. Andrew Patterson and Andy Lashley are the creative geniuses that have made the videos work.
What are you most looking forward to in your new role?
Classroom teaching and working with students has always been my first love professionally. I am truly looking forward to being a classroom professor and being with students. There is just nothing as fulfilling as studying, preparing, teaching things of spiritual importance to Christian students. My colleagues inspire me every day and it will also be a pleasure to have more time with them.
What are the College of Biblical Studies’ greatest strengths?
The faculty and students are our greatest strengths. They are people who love the Lord and each other. They are real, they are genuine and they are committed. That is seen daily as we study together, worship together, share joys and sorrows, plan for campaigns, work on service projects, go to ballgames and Spring Sing, and many other activities.
How does OC’s integration of faith and learning enrich what’s happening in Biblical Studies?
Bible study and spiritual development are not just part of what students receive at OC; it is the undergirding of all they are to study and experience here. Having the other departments on campus emphasize the same spiritual principles creates the best possible growth experience. My mentor, friend and predecessor Raymond Kelcy said, “If a student is not a stronger Christian when he or she leaves OC, it would have been better if they had never come.” I believe and live by that statement.
What has OC meant to you and your family?
OC has been our home. Our boys grew up on the campus, and so did we. OC is more than a university; it is a community of believers who deeply care about serving the Lord, His Kingdom and each other. Being able to associate with these caring Christian people over the years is a rare blessing and one that has profoundly impacted all of us. I would say to parents, “Don’t let your children miss out on this spiritual experience of a lifetime. OC is the place to be and you cannot financially measure the value of spending four years in this environment. Higher education is one thing, but spiritual training and enrichment are simply priceless. Don’t let your children miss out.”
View more stories from the Summer 2010 issue of Vision magazine.