June Alumni Spotlight: Joshua Boyd Returns to Alma Mater as English Professor
The last time Joshua Boyd (‘04) was a part of the English Education program at Faith was when he was a student, learning from the likes of Mr. David Horner and Dr. Mark Stupka. Sixteen years later, Dr. Boyd will join Horner and Stupka, now as a colleague, returning to the very same classrooms he once learned in, only this time, as a professor.
Originally from Hibbing, Minnesota, both of Boyd’s siblings attended Faith, as did many of his youth group friends. The decision of where to attend college was an easy one for him to make.
“Faith was really the only college campus I had any familiarity with, having regularly attended Faith Days as a teenager,” said Boyd. “I made several life-long friends at Faith, friends who continue to serve the Lord faithfully and who encourage me to do the same. I also enjoyed the fact that the professors knew us students deeply. We often had several classes with the same professor, and we worshiped and served alongside those professors and their families in local churches. That is a unique quality of a college such as Faith.”
Making the trip with him to Faith Baptist Bible College in 2000 was Heidi Johnston (’02). Heidi and Josh met when they were four years old after Heidi’s father was called to be the pastor at Boyd’s church. They dated at Faith, were married in 2002, and now return to Ankeny, where they will enter their next phase of ministry together.
“Heidi and I will celebrate 18 years of marriage this summer,” said Boyd. “She is expecting our first child, a baby boy who is due in late July. While we lived in Texas, we were foster parents for a beautiful baby girl for seven months. We continue to maintain contact with her and her family. She will be six-years-old in July. We have also cared for a teenage girl named Alexis for the last three years. She will make the move to Iowa with us and will be a tenth grader at Ankeny Centennial High School this fall.”
The Boyds have spent the last five years in the beautiful city of Nashville, Tennessee, where Dr. Boyd was an assistant professor of English at Trevecca Nazarene University. He will be teaching literature, writing, and speech courses at Faith this fall alongside a pair of professors who taught him so much as a student. Recalling his days as a pupil under the tutelage of Mr. Horner and Dr. Stupka, Dr. Boyd appreciates the ways his soon-to-be colleagues pushed him to be an excellent teacher.
“They knew their content well,” said Boyd. “Beyond the classroom, they were mentors and friends.”
Dr. Boyd holds his Bachelor’s degree from Faith, and continued his schooling at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, where he earned his Master of Arts degree in English. From there, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in English from Baylor University.
Dr. Boyd brings a vast array of classroom teaching experience to Faith. He taught 7-12 grade English and Language Arts at Fetzer Memorial Christian Academy in Lima, Peru, for one year before he and Heidi moved back to their home state of Minnesota to teach the same courses at Fourth Baptist Christian School in Plymouth. His higher education experiences include four years as a graduate student and Teacher of Record at Baylor University and five years at Trevecca Nazarene University.
The Boyds are trusting God as they move across the country in the middle of a pandemic and also at the end of Heidi’s final trimester of pregnancy. It would be easy, from a human perspective, to doubt the timing of God’s plan.
“The way the Lord has led each step over the last few months has been a powerful reminder to us that when He tells us to go, we need to go and entrust the details to Him,” said Boyd.
The reasons the Boyds loved Faith as students are the same reasons they are excited to return as faculty. Dr. Boyd recalled a time as a student when he considered transferring to a larger institution, and he encourages current students to be appreciative of the culture of discipleship at Faith.
“After visiting one such school, I felt I would just be a body filling a seat in a classroom,” said Dr. Boyd. “The enormousness of the campus and the student body at this university made the intimacy of Faith even more appealing. Education is so much more than accumulating knowledge; it is about becoming godly, wise, compassionate people who love the best things in the best ways and to the appropriate degree. This, it seems to me, is what we are about at Faith. We seek to know and love God rightly through His Word so that we may then imitate Him and be like Him as we take that Word to those in the world.”
Please pray for the Boyds as they make the transition from Nashville, Tennessee, to Ankeny, Iowa, later this summer.