Brooke Burton, Student Writer
Professor David Schenk is known for his amusing anecdotes, but his story might come as a shock to some.
Schenk describes his journey with faith and how he came to Christ with sheer joy. “I was raised atheist, grew up atheist for my first 30 years of life and became theist on the basis of repeated tested religious experience. My mind became aware of an infinite mind underneath everything, the mind of God.”
He refers to his spiritual transformation with an aura of deep reminiscence and appreciation for the process he traveled through in finding Jesus.
Schenk says, “Using the meditation techniques I know, I can turn my mind in that one very quiet and conspicuous direction and there HE [God] is. That made me theist. And then my cynicism about human nature made me Christian.”
The philosophy professor began his career in higher education as a professor at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
He states he did not fit in with the Catholic environment of the institution’s philosophy department, since he was not Catholic himself. “I’m not a young earth creationist, I’m a theistic evolutionist. I don’t have a fundamentalist bone in my body.”
He was torn between whether or not he should apply to work at Messiah, but he began teaching at Messiah in 2006 and has been here ever since.
Schenk teaches philosophy and logic, in addition to serving as a faculty advisor for the philosophy club and conservatives at Messiah. He has quite a few independent studies as well. Schenk runs a study group with some of his former students on Buddhist meditation, corresponding with his former religious identity.
Schenk is extremely occupied in a variety of activities on campus outside of his professional roles. He’s currently involved in a dungeons and dragons campaign with a few students. “I’m flying my nerd freak flag,” said Schenk.
When asked what his life is like outside of his role as a professor, he said, “as quiet as I can keep it.”
He lives in the mountains and speaks to his circumstances as providing “a pretty contented life.”
He enjoys practicing long-range riflery and claims his number one hobby is reading. “I spend my days reading books and sipping ridiculously strong coffee.” Lately he can be found nose deep in books on economic theory.
Schenk’s commentary simultaneously displays lighthearted, humorous and intellectually stimulating qualities. The professor reveals he feels completely fulfilled in his positions at Messiah and holds a deep appreciation for the life his occupation provides him.