It is difficult for most students to imagine their professors having off-campus lives. Professors wear suits and live off of coffee in travel thermoses. They stay inside their offices or classrooms, occasionally startling students by an appearance in the Falcon or Lottie. To most, Dr. Eric Seibert would seem no different.
Seibert is a serious and accomplished professor of Old Testament, and an author of four books…who also happens to play Minecraft.
What began out of mild interest lead to near-addiction, as Seibert described that he eventually “needed a limit” to his playing. Nowadays, he often plays alongside his son who is an avid Minecraft player. “It’s a family thing, so that’s how I justify it,” Seibert said.
Before teaching and playing Minecraft, during the glory days of high school, Seibert stocked shelves at Nell’s grocery store. Everyone starts somewhere, and for Seibert, that somewhere was the vegetable aisle. “I liked that job. It gave me responsibility [and] made me grow up,” he said.
His second job before coming to Messiah was working as a park and campground chaplain through the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. He did this for seven summers with the help of his wife, Elisa Joy. These summers offered him fieldwork experience, where he actively applied his knowledge of the Bible and his faith in reaching out to those camping or visiting different parks.
The most difficult part of this experience was visiting every single campsite to invite campers to the church service. “This took a considerable amount of time, especially at Prince Gallitzin State Park, [which] had 437 campsites,” he said.
Now, Seibert lives close to Messiah College with his wife and three kids, Nathan (12), Rebecca (9), and Hannah (4).
Aside from teaching, Seibert’s strong feelings against church-sanctioned violence take form in his fourth and latest book, Disarming the Church, which will be released soon this year. “I wrote Disarming the Church because I am troubled by how much violence Christians condone and sometimes participate in. I do not believe this is what God intended,” he said.
How does playing Minecraft relate to all of this? It doesn’t really, but it goes to show just how little you may know about your Messiah professor.