Q&A with UM Intercultural Studies Director Bob Olsen

Kathy Dean Christian Studies, News

“At the University of Mobile, we believe that every job is a calling from God and needs to be utilized to bring Him glory,” says Dr. Robert Olsen, associate professor of historical theology in the new Center for Christian Calling at the University of Mobile.

The Center for Christian Calling has four departments: Theology, Intercultural Studies, Christian Ministry and Graduate Studies. As program director for Intercultural Studies, Olsen’s goal is to prepare students to be able to understand the different cultures around the world and across the United States for the sake of helping to create bridges to share the gospel.

We sat down with Dr. Olsen to learn more – including about his hobby of building model tanks and why he likes WWE wrestling!

 

Q: What is your background?

A: I have a Ph.D. in church history from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. After graduating, my family moved to Guatemala for a year and a half to live and teach at a children’s home. I have taught at the University of Mobile for 13 years. I really enjoy getting to know the students and the freedom to be a witness for Christ.

Q: What courses do you typically teach?

A: I primarily teach the courses that pertain to Christian history – History of Christian Thought, Intercultural Expansion (the history of missions), Baptist History, and Church History.

My favorite class to teach is Church History as it helps modern Christians learn from their spiritual ancestors. It helps us learn from their successes and avoid their mistakes.

Q: What are you passionate about?

A: Orthodoxy. I want modern Christians to understand what they believe, why they believe it, and why bad theology is dangerous and leads to a distortion of the gospel message.

Q: What is something people might be surprised to know about you?

A: I like NHL hockey, building 1/35 scale model tanks, and WWE wrestling – the storylines are so absurd and comical they make me laugh!

Q: Any final thoughts?

A: In the Center for Christian Calling and throughout the University of Mobile, we want every student to understand that each job is a sacred calling from God and that He is to be glorified in our work!

About the Author

Kathy Dean

Kathy Dean is assistant vice president for university communications and has helped tell the University of Mobile story since 1993. She is an award-winning public relations professional and former journalist. Her husband and daughter are UM graduates. She loves playing in the yard – planting flowers, picking blueberries, pulling weeds and petting her two mini-schnauzers.