While at Patrick Henry, I had searched for a new position for a couple of years, with nothing solid in sight. Then through a third party, I learned Southeastern University (SEU) in Lakeland, Florida, had an open history position as it sought to grow the degree program. I had never heard of SEU. One Google search later, I sent my CV via e-mail. A few hours later, I got a phone call. The next week I had an on-site interview, and the week after that, I was hired. What a contrast with the earnest searching I had done for many months. Sometimes when the Lord leads, things happen quickly.
I do admit that the prospect of living in Florida was appealing. It had an exotic feel. But I could never make a move based on that alone. I had to sense it was God’s timing, and I had that sense. Coming to SEU was a return to an open-admissions university, and after teaching graduate students and high-performance undergrads for the previous twelve years, it took some adjusting. Yet the Lord kept me focused on the goal He had for me—to bring His principles into the classroom no matter where He sent me. This was a ministry, and I had to embrace it. He’s helped me make that transition. And along the way, He has sent some very fine students; the history majors, for the most part, are eager to learn.
SEU has afforded the opportunity to develop whatever courses I desired. How many universities have a course on Ronald Reagan and modern American conservatism? SEU now does. You’ll have to search extensively to find any higher educational institution that has a full semester on the writings and legacy of Whittaker Chambers. SEU has that as well. At PHC I had been relegated to American history survey courses only. Now I had the full range of history to offer in the upper-level classes for history majors: American Colonial, American Revolution, American Republic, and Civil War are part of my repertoire since coming here. In addition, I teach the essential historiography course for all history majors. This is more freedom than I’ve ever had.
One disappointment: I helped begin a public policy degree program, but financial constraints led to its demise after only three years. That hurt, but there’s always hope in the Lord; He is the God of resurrections.
I also have a completed book manuscript on Reagan and Chambers that has seen its ups and downs trying to find the right publisher. It’s currently in the hands of an agent. God has His times and places. I am learning to rest in that truth.
I’m in my seventh year at SEU, which ties my longevity record at Regent. At this point, it appears I will surpass it. Does this mean I’ve found my place for the rest of my life? Well, I’ve had that thought at every stop along the way. I’m content to leave that in the Lord’s hands as well. I will do what He has called me to do and see how He leads.
He is Lord and I am not. Why does it take us so long to learn such a simple lesson?
Some concluding thoughts for this series tomorrow.