boise bible college was no mystery to ross knudsen, growing up a few miles away and attending youth group at star christian church. his youth minister, dave dixon, encouraged him to attend. he wanted to understand the bible better and deepen his faith in christ before jumping into university and adult life.
what he did not want to do was go into ministry. ever a student of culture, history, and what is going on around him, ross paid attention to the news even as a teen. the televangelist scandals of the 1980s had left a poor taste in his mouth and a vehement opposition to vocational ministry in his heart. as often happens, he says, god used ross’ plans to intersect him with his plans.
his education was enjoyable and beneficial. chuck faber’s clear and logical presentation was appreciated, as was dan cameron’s mix of wacky humor and deep insight. he continues to learn today as he closes in on a second ma in church history and historical theology from lincoln christian university. his first ma, in biblical studies with an emphasis on old testament, came from cincinnati bible seminary in 2000.
but it was conversations out of the classroom that really impacted ross. bill putman suggested he preach, chuck faber suggested pursuing an open youth ministry at gooding first christian church, ted baimbridge suggested he teach, and mike hines suggested he teach history. ross says none of those ideas would have occurred to him without their prompting. he reflects,
those men saw something in me i did not see in myself, and those conversations set me on the path i am walking now. i am always on the lookout for students to whom i can pay the debt forward.
college life was fun for ross. he helped start a short-lived tradition of singles on valentine’s day dressing up in their best and going to the dollar theater on a “ridiculous group anti-date.” he was also well-known for his mullet until his senior year. the day he let fellow student and barber adam baker cut it off is probably still written on a calendar somewhere.
ross was an unrepentant prankster, nearly scaring scott rolfsness to death once, by making him think a vacuum cleaner was possessed. he and aaron couch forked, and toilet papered professor cornett’s lawn while the whole cornett family watched tv with the window shades open.
his off-campus job as a janitor gave him a unique opportunity. each night he had to clean up the torn off perforated edges of computer paper commonly used then. saving and stashing them in an unused storage room, he waited for the right opportunity. when he’d saved 25 garbage bags full, he enlisted the help of mike twite and tano bailon and their pickups to haul it all to campus. while most of the college was at the warm lake start-of-year retreat, they set out to find someone who had foolishly left their dorm door unlocked. upon discovery of an unlocked women’s quad, they stuffed the bathroom full. he recalls with a grin, “there were probably eight of us hauling that stuff up the stairs in shifts, and a great time was had by all.”
life after boise bible college
after his graduation in 1995 with a bachelor’s in biblical studies, then after his time in cincinnati gaining a master’s in old testament, ross joined the bbc staff as director of admissions from 1998 to 2004. he became registrar in 2004 and started teaching (primarily history) in 2005, both of which he still does today. he speaks at camps and retreats and is a member of the production team at eagle christian church.
ross married his wife, stacie, in 1998. in 2000 they adopted their son austin, who currently serves in the us coast guard in seattle and has been married to his wife, katt, for a year. daughter jodie was born in 2004 and is now a high school sophomore, and daughter erin was born in 2009 and is in sixth grade. ross and stacie love to take long road trips, learning along the way. they dream of cross-country trips like driving us highway 20 from newport, or to boston, and love to visit national parks and beautiful outdoor places. he also likes to hike in idaho.
the lord has been teaching ross that the world is smaller, the church is bigger, and god is wiser than he ever realizes. as a professor now, he is always looking for students to whom he can pass on what he has gained. he sums up, “2 timothy 2:2 never sleeps here.” referring to a longstanding question around bbc, “who will fill their big shoes?” he realizes that one day soon, his own shoes will need to be filled, as weird as that sounds to him.
bbc’s value of humility undergirds all the others for ross. scholarship, innovation, and community are all practiced and modeled, but it all must be in humility before god. he credits the team around him with supreme talent and sincere humility and is grateful to be part of it.
you can see some of ross’ many thoughts and insights gained from life experience and studying history, especially the early centuries of the church, at thefridayblahg.com. also, he spoke on the admissions podcast let’s admit it. lastly, watch for his articles in the next few issues of the outreach!