This post is part of an on-going series interviewing Emmaus Bible College faculty members. Mr. Joel Carter has attended Emmaus, Clarke University, and Liberty University. He has taught in the Teacher Education department since 2019.
Emmaus Experience Staff: How long have you worked at Emmaus and in what roles?
Joel Carter: I’m finishing my first year as a faculty member at Emmaus. I serve in the teacher education department as a faculty member and program director of secondary education.
EE: Tell us a little about your education: where did you study? Who was your favorite professor? What was your favorite class?
JC: I studied at Emmaus for undergrad. I got a full Bible degree in Exposition and Exegesis and a degree in secondary education. I took classes at Clarke University as well so I could be licensed in language arts, along with the social studies licensure I got through Emmaus. Since Emmaus I’ve done a masters degree in education with an emphasis in 5-12 curriculum and instruction.
My favorite professor in college was Dr. Steve Sanchez, who taught at Emmaus but now teaches at Moody Bible Institute. He was content heavy, had high expectations, and was intellectually challenging. I loved all of my courses with Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Jim Van Dine. That said, my favorite courses were probably the advanced Greek courses with Doc Fish. Can’t beat that kind of education.
EE: What are your favorite classes to teach at Emmaus? Why?
JC: Two classes stick out: Educational Psychology and Adolescent Literature. I love Ed Psych because it combines philosophy and practicality in education; it’s a nice umbrella perspective that counters many classes that are drowned in lesson planning and field studies. I love Ad Lit because it’s outside the norm for me. It’s mainly reading and discussing, and because its an elective I get students who have some intrinsic interest in being there.
EE: Do you have a favorite book of the Bible? Favorite passage? Favorite verse?
JC: Can’t give a very specific answer, but I’m definitely a sucker for Old Testament narrative. They’re just so exegetically interesting. Of all the stories to include in Israel’s history, why these? And why is each story presented in such a particular way? Why are certain seemingly important details left out, while others that seem superfluous are left in? There’s a treasure trove of interpretive insights there.
EE: What books are you currently reading or have read recently just for fun? What are your favorite movies? Favorite television shows?
JC: Truth be told I’m not much of a reader. I’ve had to do so much of it for my masters degree in recent years that I never have time for extra stuff, and when I do I choose other stuff. Plus my job includes a lot of reading. All that to say when I have free time I’m mostly thinking about movies and Doritos.
Movies? So glad you asked. I’ll spare you a diatribe and just leave my top five in order here without comment: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Pride & Prejudice (2005), Interstellar, Whiplash, and The Incredibles. Not into TV nearly as much, but loved The Office in high school and loved Parks & Recreation in college.
EE: What do you see as the strengths of an Emmaus Bible College education?
JC: A lot of colleges offer some of what Emmaus offers. In my mind, here’s what you get at Emmaus but won’t get other places: the faculty/student community (if you think you can get this part of the Emmaus Experience elsewhere, I’d challenge you), and dispensational theology (it’s more important than most think).
EE: What biblical scholar, pastor, or theologian do you enjoy reading most?
JC: My favorite scholar is Allen P. Ross (fabulous OT commentator, and he often writes for preachers). For pastor/theologian, Kevin DeYoung, who is thoughtful, clever, and culturally incisive.
EE: How did you come to faith in Christ?
JC: I was raised Christian, claimed salvation as a young lad. I talked the talk for years, but didn’t wake up until junior year of high school. God reached out to me through a man who pastored my church at the time. He lived for the Lord in a way that made me want to. I began living for the Lord then, and was discipled into a more mature faith by that man. Soon after I came to Emmaus and my faith was strengthened even more.
EE: What were the circumstances the Lord used to bring you to Emmaus Bible College?
JC: I loved my time at Emmaus as a student and had always planned on teaching at the college level. When there was an opening I knew it was an opportunity I wanted to pursue. The Lord opened all the doors and here I am.
EE: What do you like to do with your time when you’re not preparing for classes or studying? What hobbies do you have?
JC: Family, church family, movies. In that order. Much larger gap between the last two than the first two, but those three things (besides work) literally take up my entire life.
EE: If you could spend ten minutes with any biblical character (other than Jesus) who would it be and why?
JC: Gotta be Moses. That guy had the toughest leadership job ever. Then misses out on the Promised Land because of one mistake?! I’d want to pick his brain for sure.
EE: Any other interesting things about yourself that you think our readers would like to know?
JC: Definitely! My top three favorite foods of all time: brussel sprouts, cabbage, and cottage cheese. (Doritos is a transcendent #1 that doesn’t even need to be named. In fact, it would be insulting to put it on a list, insinuating that it even has competitors.)
We hope you have enjoyed this interview with Mr. Carter. For more information about the Teacher Education department, please click here.