Thursday, June 20, 2013
Dr. Peter Beck, religion professor and director of the honors program at Charleston Southern University, makes history come alive by making it about people and ideas.
His teaching style has earned him the 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award from the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities.
Beck said finding out he was the winner was “life flooring for the guy who never thought he would go to college. I went from being the class clown to a class master.”
Enrolling in college after stints in the military and the advertising world, Beck chose biblical studies because he was fascinated by the things of religion. “Initially I didn’t know what I wanted to do, but it became clear in the end I was supposed to be a teacher,” he said.
Beck views his role as a teacher as shepherding souls and pastoring. “I’m not teaching to a test,” he said. “I’m teaching to change lives.”
Recently he received a thank-you note from a student thanking him for stopping class sometimes to give fatherly advice. “I’m guiding them, and who knows how many lives they will impact?” said Beck.
Dr. Jackie Fish, vice president for academic affairs, said, “It is such a pleasure to work alongside such talented and knowledgeable faculty members who are annually recognized by the SCICU. Dr. Beck’s students enthusiastically attest to the high quality learning experience he brings to his classroom. His colleagues nominated him based on his continuous service on committees, his endless dedication to the success of his students and his commitment to serving the Lord as both a faculty member and a pastor.”
Beck has taught at Charleston Southern since 2008 and is the author of The Voice of Faith: Jonathan Edwards’s theology of prayer.