Seminary News

GRTS Professor Retires After 42 Years of Teaching

After teaching for 42 years, the last 13 of which have been at Grand Rapids Theological Seminary, Dr. John Lawlor has announced his retirement.

“Dr. Lawlor is a respected Old Testament scholar who is beloved by his colleagues and students for his high standards of excellence,” said John VerBerkmoes, GRTS vice president and academic dean. “All who know him are challenged to take God’s speech more seriously, particularly as it is revealed in the Old Testament scriptures.”

Since joining the faculty at GRTS in 1999, Lawlor has taught many classes, including elementary Hebrew I and II, biblical hermeneutics, wisdom literature, Old Testament, Old Testament exegesis courses and more.

Dr. Lawlor said he will miss the “live” classroom experience of interacting with students.

“What I will long remember is student response when they grasp a concept or something that they have been thinking about or working through finally sinks in,” said Lawlor. “It’s all the result of them seriously coming to grips with the biblical text.”

Before coming to GRTS, Lawlor taught Old Testament for 29 years at Baptist Bible College and Seminary and did some adjunct teaching at Penn State University. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Cedarville College, a master of divinity and master of theology from Grace Theological Seminary in Indiana, and a master of philosophy and doctorate from Drew University in New Jersey.

During his retirement, Lawlor plans to spend time with his family, which includes his three daughters, sons-in-law and five grandchildren. He also plans to teach courses in the Master of Arts in biblical studies online program for GRTS.

GRTS faculty, staff and fellow students honored Lawlor and other retirees at the GRTS Spring Banquet on March 23 at Frederik Meijer Gardens.