Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reflection on the loss of my Ph.D. mentor

The year I started my Ph.D. studies in New Testament and Systematic Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, my mentor, Dr. David Scholer, was diagnosed with cancer. He underwent numerous surgeries and treatments the seven years it took me to finish. His cancer spread despite attempts to irradicate it. Dr. Scholer passed away Friday, August 22nd, in Pasadena, CA.

When David and Jeannette Scholer invited a few graduates over for a luncheon following the Hooding and Commencement ceremonies in mid-June, I knew that I would be offering my final goodbye to him in person. I returned to the Pacific Northwest. He, confined to a comfortable chair in his living room, lived another two months.

I first met Dr. Scholer in October of 2000. Fuller hosted an event for prospective students such as myself. I flew from Minneapolis/St. Paul to California. At lunch one day, I was sitting at a table with strangers. I could not tell the prospective students from the professors. Someone started asking me why I had come to Fuller and what I hoped to do. I indicated that I wanted to get into a Ph.D. program in New Testament. This person handed me a card and said to email him my dreams, and that he would be accepting one student in the New Testament program in the Fall of 2001. I was talking with Dr. Scholer.

More will be said about Dr. Scholer's impact on me and my life later.