I stood on the front steps of my office yesterday and handed my master key to Taylor, the admin assistant who now sits in the chair I once sat in. The act of taking it off my keyring left me feeling like I was burying a friend. The key opened King Hall, the Student Life offices at The Master’s College (University). The edges of the cuts were worn down from fighting every morning for 20 years with the front door.
Earlier in the week, I had packed my books, boxed up the nicknacks gifted by students and collected in international travels, and handed over the files. The office was empty, the bookshelves bare. But the work carried on: sorting team budgets, finalizing student internship reports, dispensing vocational advice. The office echoed when I spoke. A thousand such meetings echoed in my heart.
I left work at The Master’s University for the last time yesterday.
Nineteen years and 10 months ago, I was asleep in Juneau, Alaska when I got a call from a co-worker who was visiting friends at his college in California. “Get up and fax your resume. I found your job.” I was looking for a team to serve with. Anywhere. But I thought “anywhere” would be Djibouti or Tashkent or Ulam Batar–not Los Angeles! I did not accept the job for the geography, the glamor, or the pay, that’s for sure. I said “Yes” to TMC because of the team who interviewed me. I wanted to learn from them, to walk with them in ministry, to see Jesus glorified together. And we walked together–hundreds of staff and thousands of students over the two decades.
- Administrative Assistant to the Vice President for Student Life
- Coordinator of International Student Programs
- Professor of Global Studies
- Director of International Ministries
- Director of Global Outreach
- Director of Student Advancement and Mobilization
- Director of Outreach (My last boss liked to name things.)
I tried to put some metrics to how I spent my days in these roles:
- 39 Orientation weeks
- 19 Truth and Life Conferences
- 1 Ph.D earned, including 143,000 miles driven on the I-5, 992 alumni participated in my research, and the cost of a comfortable house downpayment
- 23 courses developed and more than 4100 hours lectured
- 3360 pots of coffee made
- 100 Global Outreach teams sent, including 200 leaders and 945 students to more than 40 countries
- 15 Global Outreach retreats
- 1,300 chapels attended
- 16 alumni events
- 5 International recruiting trips
- 3 WSCUC Accreditation reviews
- 250,000 emails received
- 1,300 people hosted at my home for dinner
- 80 boxes of Kleenex
- 240 Director’s meetings
- 72 6am leader training breakfasts
- 2,800 discipleship meetings
- 3 Supervisors and 1 Dean
I’ll still teach a class each semester in the traditional program (still a couple of seats left in Cultural Anthropology for the Fall on Tuesday nights. . .) and missions classes in the on-line undergraduate Bible degree and MA, Biblical Studies program.
But it’s time to move on. And there is something exciting to move to! I’ll write more about that in the days ahead, but for now, I thank the Lord for 20 years at Master’s.
It’s been a good run.