Dr. Dan Behr has retired after nearly 20 years with the university, and his absence is sorely felt.
“He has a quick wit and can hear a bad pun coming from a mile away,” said Dr. Yvonne Schultz, Dean of MVNU’s School of Arts and Humanities. “When one arrives, he delivers it impeccably, to requisite groans.”
“I know that students who took his classes found them lively and engaging, and I regret losing his presence there,” Dr. Schultz said. “He really knows his speech communication discipline, and he knows how to teach it.”
Since Dr. Behr’s retirement from MVNU, he has been teaching at Asia Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary (APNTS) in the Philippines.
“I always wanted to be a missionary,” Behr said, “In college God called me into Christian higher education, but I still had a heart for missions, so I got my PhD in 1998, and in 1999 I went into LeBron Fairbanks’ office and said ‘Dr. Fairbanks, I want to take a sabbatical and teach at one of our overseas schools and give my family a mission experience.’”
From here he was initially led to APNTS to teach for a semester, returning around every other summer to teach, becoming a part time professor in 2014.
Behr decided to retire from his position at MVNU and work for APNTS full-time as their Dean of Students. Dr. Behr said, “we’ve been changing the curriculum here at MVNU and they only needed me here half time as it was... They really didn’t need me as much as they used to, so it was really just good timing from both directions.”
“So here I am.” Behr said. “Now that I’m retired, I’m now achieving my life’s dream of being a missionary.”
Pondering what he misses about MVNU and America, Behr said, “I miss the students, of course, because I always have so much fun with the students in the classes… [I miss] some foods, like ice cream. The ice cream [in the Philippines] is made from water and powdered milk. I miss Taco Bell, but plenty of American foods are available as well.”
“As Dean of Students I’ll be working with student body organizations,” Behr notes, extending into areas like housing and orientation. “I really look forward to bringing my years of expertise in intercultural communication to try and make [potential culture shock] for incoming students smoother and better and less stressful for them.”
“If I could leave one word, I would like MVNU students to prayerfully consider a call into missions. Seek that out,” Dr. Behr encourages. “If God wants you to go to other lands, He will give you the skills that you need to succeed… Not just preaching missionaries, we need all kinds of missionaries.”
Photo provided by Terence Lustaña.