I began my seminary career at Drake Divinity School in the fall of 1959 and graduated with a B.D. (Bachelor of Divinity) degree in June of 1963. Ted Warren and the rest of the class I started with graduated in 1962. I told my friends it was because I am a slow learner. I don’t recall all the factors, but we did have two children born during those years: Leslea in ’61 and Robbin in ’63.
Sue had to quit her teaching job after one year to care for them. My job at Cottage Grove Presbyterian was theoretically part-time, but because it was almost a campus church with a sizable congregation I probably put in more time and was more easily distracted from studies, I carried a lighter class load in my last 2 years.
Of course there were the “extra-curricular” activities as well. Drake’s intra-mural sports program caught my interest. I organized, managed, played, and coached our touch football, basketball, and fast-pitch softball teams for three seasons. All of the fraternities, dorms, the Pharmacy and Law School had teams. The “Preachers” especially delighted in beating the Lawyers whenever possible. My love of basketball was my downfall. I arranged to get us uniforms with D.U.D.S. imprinted across the front (blue on white—Drake’s colors). We always had to point out that the letters stood for “Drake University Divinity School.”
Our best season was when we took the team on the road, playing the Drake Freshmen team, a couple of small college teams, even travelling to my old home church in Minneapolis to play the church team I had played on in college. We billed the trip as PR for the seminary, but really just wanted to play basketball. We lost by a couple of baskets as I recall.
Drake Student Faculty Football Game
I did however do well enough in my studies to get a full tuition scholarship in my last year. Majoring in Biblical Languages and Literature, and excelling in Hebrew and New Testament Greek, I was able to compensate for less interest in classes in preaching, education, church history, and administration. So I finally got my degree, a bachelor’s degree in those days. Years later Drake corrected this “injustice” and issued retroactive Master of Divinity degrees to all of us.
I was ordained to the Christian ministry in June of ’63 at First Christian Church, Minneapolis.