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Cougar Characters: Dan Behr takes talents to another continent

Professor will spend half a year in the U.S. and the other half in the Philippines

Dr. Dan Behr is one of a kind in so many ways.

He is an award-winning gardener who is passionate about everything from house plants to home-grown produce.

Behr says he could also win awards for napping: “I like to take naps,” he said. “I’m very good at it.”

He enjoys weight lifting and bodybuilding and formerly served as the weight lifting coach for the men’s basketball team — yet he is not a sports fan at all.

“I watched football on TV once; it was quite interesting. I tried to watch it a second time, and it was the same thing all over again except they had different colored pants,” Behr said jokingly.

This year, Behr is about to take on another one-of-a-kind opportunity. When fall semester draws to a close, Behr will pack his bags for the Philippines and spend the next half of the school year teaching at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS).

For the next four years, Behr will split his time between MVNU and APNTS as part of a program called Global Faculty. Every fall he will be stateside teaching upper division communication courses at MVNU, then during the spring semesters he will join APNTS where he will teach communications and serve as the chair of the department.

Behr became acquainted with APNTS about 15 years ago. During his first sabbatical in 1999, he taught a semester at Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary — and fell in love.

Always passionate about missions, Behr said the APNTS experience changed his life.

“I love the idea of new places, new faces, new cultures, new food,” Behr said. “It’s always been interesting to me.”

His mother, the missionary president and missionary study chair at his home church, was one of many people that influenced his love of missions and adventure, he said.

Now, the APNTS opportunity lets him combine that with his passion for Christian higher education.

Behr completed his bachelor’s degree in communication and psychology at Olivet Nazarene University and decided to enter Christian higher education after hearing former MVNU professor David Kale tell his story.

“I saw this brilliant, brilliant scholar, this incredible communicator that could be anywhere in the secular world as a scholar, yet he has taken and given his gifts to Nazarene higher education,” Behr said. “I thought, well, I want to go into Christian higher education.”

He went on to get his master’s degree in communication from the University of Dayton, then sent query letters to all the Nazarene colleges in the continental U.S. MVNU was the only one to reply. He saw it as a great opportunity and an easy decision. “God works that way sometimes,” he said.

Behr taught communication and drama classes at MVNU while he worked on his doctoral degree in rhetorical theory and criticism from The Ohio State University. He currently teaches most of the upper division courses for the communication studies major at MVNU.

Behr is working on fund-raising the resources for his APNTS adventure, as it is an unpaid position. If you would like to contribute in any way (monetarily or prayerfully), contact him via campus mail or email.

If you have suggestions for student, faculty/staff or alumni features contact Emily Porter ( with a name and a reason why that person should be featured.

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