Since the beginning of the world, the seasons of spring, summer, fall, and winter have marked the passage of time—newness is demonstrated by the planting of seeds, then growth and maturity, and finally the harvest.
The same cycles occur in the university setting. Students begin their academic journey at LCU as freshmen and graduate a few years later as individuals who have been transformed, both by their experiences and by the people with whom those experiences were shared. New faculty and staff are mentored by experienced members of the community and eventually become mentors to newer faculty and staff.
Four members of the LCU faculty and staff are entering into a new phase of life—retirement. They have each served the University with great dedication and sacrifice over their years at LCU, and they will certainly be missed.
Missionary, Champion of Justice, Peacemaker, Dreamer of Dreams, Prophet.
During his tenure at LCU, Jim Beck was many things to many people in many places. Dividing his time between the Kenyan coast and the American classroom, Jim served as a missionary and professor of missiology for over 26 years.
Jim played an instrumental role in the founding of Carpenters Church, a ministry and church home for Lubbock’s homeless. He served on the staff of Monterrey Church of Christ, lending his decades of experience to their mission efforts. Jim also took a leading role in organizing efforts at racial reconciliation in Lubbock.
Together with his students and fellow workers on both sides of the Atlantic, Jim built bridges to the margins, where he was always at home as a bearer of Christ’s love. Where he found thirst, he dug wells. Where he found hunger, he planted fields. Where he found homelessness, he built houses. He was an instrument of God’s peace.
Bill Kopf has been a modern pioneer – advocating for and developing Instructional Technology at Lubbock Christian University. He is gifted at envisioning the future and his efforts laid the groundwork for online education at LCU.
Bill began as an adjunct instructor in Organizational Management while working for Lubbock Independent School District. Upon his retirement as a public-school educator, he became a full-time LCU faculty member. Due to his extensive experience in journalism and teaching though LISD TV, he was well-equipped to manage a new tool, a Learning Management System. This initial trajectory began a new career with a single online course, paving the way to an online presence for all university courses.
Bill was later named Director of Distance Learning, which became Instructional Technology, continuing to be an advocate for accessibility, trending technology, and pedagogical rigor. He naturally led by example with his faith, positively affecting the lives of many through his training, his teaching, and his service on both sides of the computer screen.
Dr. Kirt Martin was a multi-talented professor who began his teaching career in the Agricultural Department, and for the remainder of his career, he was integral to the Natural Sciences Department. His wide and varied teaching skills spanned disciplines from soil science to genetics and his courses were part of every curriculum in the department.
Early in his career, he coached students on the Crops Judging teams, who were highly successful in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) intercollegiate contests, and he sponsored the LCU Aggies Club. Dr. Martin was highly energetic, quick to lead or assist, and devoted to preparing students for lives of faith and service.
During his tenure at LCU, Dr. Martin was a department chair, assistant dean, and leader of the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP) for pre-professional students. However, he will be most remembered as the teacher who taught God’s creation, the mentor whose desk Bible was not dusty, and the Child of God who lived out Christ in all he did.
Rhonda Shooter began serving in the Department of Nursing and was then appointed as an Executive Assistant to LCU President, Dr. L. Ken Jones. Since that time, she served President L. Timothy Perrin, the Interim Presidential Leadership Team, and President Scott McDowell.
Rhonda labored with fierce attention to detail. Unfailingly organized, disciplined to speak hard truths, empathetic with the hurting, loyal to the core, and firmly dedicated to the mission, vision, and values of LCU, Rhonda served with distinction. With wisdom she set and maintained schedules, upheld decorum befitting the Executive Office, and provided a listening ear for students and employees alike. Through challenges great and small, Rhonda always persevered.
Rhonda exemplified the tenacity LCU hopes to instill in its students, and she embodied the generous spirit of our campus. Rhonda extended hospitality, graciousness, kindness, and love as she expertly ran the Office of the President with great efficiency and skill.