Get to know your professors at WBU
Here at Williams Baptist University, we consider ourselves more of a family than simply a University. We pride ourselves in our ability to form close relationships between students and professors through Christ-centered education. This blog is created to help alleviate some of the stress incoming freshmen may be feeling when transitioning to college classes. After getting to know your professors at Williams, not only will the task of tackling college coursework become less daunting, it will be easier to form a close relationship with your professors in order to gain the best college experience possible. (Going to them for help when you need it won’t be nearly as intimidating!)
Professor: Robert Lee Foster
B.A. – Oklahoma Baptist University
M.Div. & Ph.D. – The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Further study at Jerusalem University College
Classes Taught: Dr. Foster’s classes focus on biblical studies from introductory classes to upper-level studies such as Pentateuch and Life of Christ. His other areas of focus are New Testament Greek and classes in spiritual formation, theology, and ministry.
Dr. Foster has been at Williams for 22 years! His ability to pour into his classes what it means to view the world with a Christian worldview has and will continue to leave a positive impact on the students here at WBU.
An interview with the professor himself!
What made you want to become a professor at WBU?
Before interviewing at Williams, I had never lived in Arkansas or heard of Williams Baptist University. I felt called by the Lord to come to Williams through the interview process. Teaching here is not just a job, it is my life’s calling. I love working with young men and women who will serve the churches of Arkansas and the world.
What is your teaching philosophy and class management style?
I want to create a classroom atmosphere where the students can not only learn the content of the class but their lives can be transformed by the Lord. On a personal level, I enjoy building relationships with students to empower them to become everything God is calling them to be. My teaching philosophy stems from my life verse, Ezra 7:10, “For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.” I draw from this verse basic guidelines of instruction: Study, Practice, Teach.
What are the benefits to teaching smaller classes?
It affords me the privilege of looking into their eyes and seeing more than just a student on the roster. I have a note on my desk, “Every piece of paper has a person behind it.” Small classes allow me to build a relationship with each one of them.
What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I love being able to walk with a young person as they discover their identity in Christ and their place in His kingdom.
What made you want to pursue the profession?
Teaching is not just a job for me. It is my vocation. Teaching is the best field for me to use the spiritual gifts I have been given and the skills which I have learned.
How do you incorporate your Christian worldview into your lesson?
Incorporating a Christian worldview is a lot more than just quoting a bible verse or two. Some might think incorporating a Christian worldview would be easy teaching in Christian Ministry but it is not. I need to show them how it has transformed my life. I need to show them how to respond to worldly ideas and a lifestyle that can be done in a way which honor’s Christ. I need to model for them how to have a dialog with those who have different worldviews.
Have you taught anywhere before coming to WBU? If so, how did that experience help you in your teaching here?
Yes, I taught as an adjunct instructor at two other schools before coming to Williams. Both of them were Baptist schools so they were good training for what I do here at Williams.
What advice can you give incoming freshmen?
I tell my incoming majors, “Study hard and play hard.” University life is about building a foundation of knowledge which will help for a lifetime so studies should always be the focus of our attention. University life is also about meeting people from a diversity of backgrounds and experiences and growing with them by learning and exploring. I was blessed in college to become friends with several international students. It has made my life much richer!
What activities or hobbies do you do outside of work?
I have several hobbies. I have even been accused of being a serial hobbyist. I enjoy hiking, knitting, crocheting, turning wood, cooking, and computer games. And I am comfortable doing all of them.
If you had to pick another profession, what would it be?
I would probably pastor. If it has to be something outside of ministry/teaching, I would probably go back to school and become a chemist.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
It has to be the relationships.
What can students expect from you during class?
I like to keep things lively, so a quick pace in the lecture, an attempt at a bit of wit, and then a moment or two to let things soak in. I also hope they see my love of learning and my desire to learn something every day about the Lord, the world, or myself.