Reflections on My Time at Florida College

I love Florida College. It has a way of getting in your bones. When I came to FC as a student in 2005, my plan was to stay only a single year. Then I changed my mind and I figured I’d just stay two years and get my AA. Then I changed my mind again and ended up double majoring for my BA in Biblical Studies and Liberal Studies. Then, in 2016 having just finished my comprehensive exams but not yet begun my dissertation, I returned once again to teach Bible.

I love Florida College. Over the past seven years of my teaching, I taught twenty-three different courses and served the Biblical Studies, Biblical Languages, History, and Humanities departments, and took on overloads nearly every semester. I presented my research at fifteen different national conferences; I wrote my dissertation; I developed myself as a scholar. And I taught.

I taught thousands of students. I taught courses as varied as Hebrew and Greek, Law of Moses and New Testament History and Geography, Great Books and Greek History. I taught freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors (and fellow faculty and preachers and elders); I taught majors and non-majors alike. I taught future preachers, future graduate students, future businesspeople, and future moms. I taught Christians and non-Christians and those who’ve since become Christians. I sought to teach not only the contents of the biblical text, but to love the text, to love the Lord, and to serve one another and their communities with their whole selves.

And those students went on (and will go on) to do amazing things. My students are changing the world. I’m enormously grateful to be part of their stories.

But one of the tough parts of working here is that things are constantly changing. These young people come and stay in our classrooms (and our offices, and our homes) for just a short time before they move on to greater and more permanent things. They will leave the campus and the classroom, but will remain in our hearts. They’re my students, and it’s a blessed thing to watch them grow and mature into amazing adults and incredible friends and go out and serve the Kingdom and transform the world around them.

Florida College is a place of transition and the institutional memory is short: a generation comes, a generation goes, and no one remembers those who came before them. Life is in flux, and the only constant is change: the students, buildings, and programs may change but the work remains. Such is the case, even for me. 

It is with a heavy heart that I report that I was informed last week by the President that budget concerns at Florida College have necessitated the non-renewal of my contract for next year. I don’t know what that means for my family, yet, but God is and has always been good to us. The location may change, but my service for the Kingdom remains.

I love Florida College. It has a way of getting in your bones. So while I’m leaving the campus and the classroom, I remember that FC isn’t any of these things, FC isn’t a building or even a set of buildings in Temple Terrace. It’s not a set of programs, or even really a place located alongside the banks of the Hillsborough. Florida College is the people. And I wish all the best for those people, and especially for my students. I love you all. Thank you for making my seven years at FC a blessing.

Jared W. Saltz

Published by Jared Saltz

Biblical Studies Faculty (Florida College). PhD candidate at HUC-JIR. Husband, father, student.

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