MISHAWAKA--For more than thirty years, Bethel University has recognized its professors’ excellence. Submissions for professor of the year open early in the spring semester and typically run through late February during which students submit a form listing their nominee and why they are nominating them. Results are usually announced during commencement; however, due to COVID-19, Dr. Barb Bellefeuille, vice president for academic services, chose to honor David McCabe, Ph.D., as the 2020 professor of the year during a faculty retreat before the semester began, giving him a plaque and a gift.
McCabe works in the Religion and Philosophy Department as professor of New Testament and Greek and has served at Bethel since 2008. He also has the distinction of being the Missionary Church Endowed Professor of Biblical Theology.
“It would take too long to put in there everything students have said about him because I’ve got pages of them,” Bellefeuille said. Below are a few comments that were submitted.
“McCabe distinguishes himself in an already high-level, prestigious department of excellent professors.”
“This cannot be stressed enough: Dr. McCabe has a powerful and longstanding impact on every student he teaches!”
“His leadership and profoundly impactful teaching during Bethel’s Israel Trip was amazing!”
“I interned at a local church and was given the opportunity to preach! Dr. McCabe came and supported me without even being asked.”
“Dr. McCabe presses his students to think about scripture in ways they have never thought about before.”
“From his eloquent prayers to his elaborate and poetic lectures there is never a moment where his devotion to Christ is not evident.”
McCabe said the honor came as a surprise.
“I was just shocked, and I felt really honored,” McCabe said in response. “I have remarkable colleagues and quite honestly I never thought I’d be considered in that way in the midst of these such amazing colleagues. There’s folks I think who are much more involved and highly qualified to receive this award.”
After working for a year at LCC International University in Lithuania, a friend told McCabe about the opening at Bethel. For McCabe, it was not just about the subject he taught but about finding a good fit in terms of ideology. Part of that was also finding a place that gave full support to women in ministry since McCabe believes that God equips who He calls.
“This was a place that connected well with both my understanding of my vocation and the mission that Bethel has while also having a theological fit,” McCabe said. “Early on I found that I loved the deeper study of scripture, so an academic route became clear — I both loved to study it and delighted in sharing the insights that I came across with students.”
McCabe loves connecting with students and contributing to the community at Bethel.
“Two main things I like about being a professor are sharing this field of interests with students and how my hobbies overlap with my career,” McCabe said. “I really enjoy (even in my spare time) of reading and studying and learning more about anything I can to enhance my understanding of scripture. Ultimately I love being a part of a community where this study is imbedded within the desire to encounter God . . . it’s a delight to participate in that.”
McCabe received his Bachelor of Science in Church Ministries at Southwestern Assemblies of God University and his Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and Master of Arts in Theological Studies at Asbury University. McCabe received his Ph.D. in New Testament and Christian Origins at University of Edinburgh in Scotland.