From Pastor to Professor Overnight: Meet Buster Swoopes

Buster Swoopes

(Edited by Jalen Wells)

Pastor Buster Swoopes, a Southwestern Adventist University graduate from 2006, is now creating a new stepping-stone for students today as a religion professor at SWAU. When submitting his resume, he claimed to have done so “on a whim”; in other words, without seriousness. It wasn’t until he got a call for an interview that he realized this was God calling.

Classes started more than a month ago and Swoopes remains thrilled to be a part of it. “It’s really busy,” he says. “Even more busy than when I was a pastor, but it’s about the students—not me.”

Swoopes started a “question box” in his classroom where students can drop anonymous questions or notes in an effort to make students more comfortable in reaching out. It makes him happy to receive feedback.

Becoming a professor overnight isn’t always thrilling. “I thought it would be more difficult coming up with content and classroom materials, but that’s been the easiest part,” he says. However, he was quite surprised to find that grading midterm exams took five and a half hours. Swoopes adds, “There is a lot of learning going on in a classroom, for both the student and the professor, but it’s great to see a classroom learning together. As a student body, we should keep in mind the great efforts our professors make to teach us.”

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