The following article in part of an on-going series interviewing faculty members of Emmaus Bible College. Ben Brown currently serves as history professor and is the former men’s soccer coach at Emmaus. He and his wife Kerry attended Emmaus from 2006-2009, and then attended graduate school at Trinity International University. The Browns returned to Dubuque in 2012 when he began teaching at Emmaus.
Emmaus Experience Staff: How long have you worked at Emmaus and in what roles?
Ben Brown: I’ve worked at Emmaus for eight years total. During those years, I’ve spent eight as history professor, two as General Studies Chair, and eight as head men’s soccer coach.
EE: Tell us a little about your education: where did you study? Who was your favorite professor?
BB: I studied at Emmaus from 2006-2009 (BS in Bible Exposition & Theology) and then earned my Master of Arts in Teaching with a Social Science Endorsement at Trinity International (Deerfield, IL).
I appreciated all of my professors at Emmaus, but I especially enjoyed learning under the late Dr. Donnie Patton (whose classes I now teach), and Hermeneutics and Life of David with Dr. Jim Van Dine were two favorite courses. At Trinity I appreciated the professionalism and grace extended to me by Dr. Carol Kennett who also served as my social science advisor.
EE: What are your favorite classes to teach at Emmaus? Why?
BB: I love teaching all of my classes. When asked what history I teach at Emmaus, my typical answer is that I am a “jack of all trades, master of none.” Whether it’s Western or US History, Ancient or Modern, Latin American, Geography, or even Speech and Freshman Transitions, I love the opportunities to teach students who are hungry to grow in their knowledge of history, the Bible, and their Savior. I will always enjoy teaching my content, but my best memories have always been with classes and students who were hungry and excited to grow.
EE: Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Favorite passage? Favorite verse?
BB: Not sure I have a favorite book. I love reading the Psalms daily, but find great joy no matter where I read. I have been greatly encouraged/challenged of late by Romans 15:5-6, 13
5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, 6 so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
EE: What books (fiction/non-fiction) are you currently reading or have read recently just for fun? What are your favorite movies? Favorite television shows?
BB: Books: Mission at Nuremberg, Tim Townsend; God’s Hand on America: Divine Providence in the Modern Era, Michael Medved; Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Movies: Newsies, The Princess Bride, Remember the Titans, Shawshank Redemption
Television Shows: The Chosen, Lego Masters (with my kids)
EE: What do you see as the strengths of an Emmaus Bible College education?
BB: Students get college credit for studying the Bible and for learning their General Studies courses from a Christian worldview. The faculty/student ration is excellent, allowing students to get to know teachers personally. There is opportunity to learn and grow both inside and outside of the classroom.
EE: What biblical scholar, pastor, or theologian do you enjoy reading most?
BB: Miles Standford, Andrew Murray, and J. B. Stoney.
EE: How did you come to faith in Christ?
BB: I heard the story of the Bible at a young age. My parents made sure I understood the Gospel without pressuring me, and, after conviction of sin by the Holy Spirit, I made the decision to put my trust in Jesus as my Savior.
EE: What were the circumstances the Lord used to bring you to Emmaus Bible College?
BB: When I was finishing high school my dad told me about Emmaus and their “one-year program.” As someone who wanted to be a teacher, 1 year of Bible sounded like a good option so that I could “get on with my education.” After a semester I was hooked and stayed on to finish my BS in Bible before going to graduate school to earn my teaching credentials.
I ended up back and working at Emmaus because God, in His timing, saw fit to have me finishing graduate school right at the time Emmaus had a position open to teach social studies and to coach soccer. They had a need, I had the credentials (at least on paper), and Dr. Beatty reached out to me the same day I was offered another teaching job in Missouri.
The choice to come to teach at Emmaus was a no-brainer because the Lord had used it to impact both my wife and me, it is a place that I can teach freely from a Christian worldview, and it is a place that my wife and I can do ministry together.
EE: What do you like to do with your time when you’re not preparing for classes or studying? What hobbies do you have?
BB: I love date nights with my wife, playing with my 4 kids (Nerf wars in the yard have been our latest favorite), running (road and trail races when I can), playing soccer on several local teams, playing guitar, and reading.
EE: If you could spend ten minutes with any biblical character (other than Jesus), who would it be and why?
BB: Wow, that’s tough. Asaph has always been my favorite Psalmist and is a lesser known character, which intrigues me. Joseph or David would also be fascinating options … I would love to hear the fuller story of Joseph’s spiritual journey from slavery to deliverer. David … so many stories … what does it really mean to be a man after God’s own heart?
Or perhaps one of the 12 disciples … what was it like to travel and do life with Jesus?!