Many of you have likely heard the news: Kevin Vanhoozer will be leaving Wheaton College to resume his position at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Fall 2012. Amidst the buzz of the internet and questions that naturally arise from the ambiguity of the TEDS press release, it seems fitting to offer some clarity from an insider. First and foremost, there’s no “drama” in this story, and therefore no need to (re)mythologize. This afternoon several of us sat in Vanhoozer’s office talking about God’s providence, difficult life-decisions, and our ultimate allegiance to God’s kingdom. Vanhoozer affirmed to us what he had written earlier to his colleagues at Wheaton, that his reason for leaving is simply logistical. The combination of not being able to sell their house (near TEDS) for over 900 days and the increasing health-care needs of Vanhoozer’s parents made the commute personally, logistically and vocationally untenable. Vanhoozer is as supportive of Wheaton College as ever, but simply wants to maximize his gifts for the kingdom and do so in a way that is fruitful for his family and students.
As someone who has been a student at both schools, I’m sad for Wheaton, excited for TEDS, and in general count Vanhoozer as a huge win for the Kingdom. Having studied under Vanhoozer for the last three years, those who read his books should know that his scholarly acumen and punchy wit are only matched by his Christ-like character and genuine humility. Please pray for the Vanhoozers and Wheaton College during this time of change. My fellow doctoral students and I support Vanhoozer in this transition and will continue to appreciate his faithfulness as a man of God and his guidance as an exemplary scholar and friend.