I was pleased to learn recently that the average term of service of a Global Scholars professor is now over eight years! I am delighted with this number, especially given our rapid growth with lots of new scholars. More importantly, we have discovered that this kind of stability is essential. The longer a professor is in a place, the more opportunities he or she has to bless and to share the gospel. While we have many excellent professors with long tenures, one who comes to mind is Dr. Granville Pillar, who with his wife, Ibolya, serves in Central Europe.
Granville joined Global Scholars as a professor in 2002. Already a seasoned classroom teacher and researcher in Australia, he took up his first European post as an education lecturer at the College of Nyíregyháza, Hungary. Granville continued in Hungary until he was called upon to play a crucial role in the founding of the Society of Christian Scholars in 2016. While in Society leadership, he developed resources for the online library and served as Europe Regional Representative.
But it is hard to keep a good teacher out of the classroom, so earlier this year Granville returned to university service. He accepted an appointment as Associate Professor in the Department of Philology in the Ferenc Rakoczi II Transcarpathian Hungarian Institute (KMTF), a university in Berehovo, Ukraine, near the Hungarian border. That name sounds like a mouthful to an American, but the founders of the school designed it to be an institution of higher education that preserved the language and culture of the Hungarian minority in southwestern Ukraine. In other words, KMTF is more than a university; it is a labor of love to preserve the language, literature, and traditions of Hungarians who live outside their home country’s borders. It was an excellent opportunity for Granville to have a lasting influence.
Granville in his classroom.
Granville is an expert in second language teaching methodology and recently published some of his research. Research and writing are part of his role as an academic. He is also contributing to scholarship in his discipline (philology and education). As unglamorous as it may seem, unearthing knowledge is what professors do to serve students, colleagues, and the university.
Despite the demanding work of research and writing, Granville has built sound relationships with his students, some of whom are believers. Granville writes,
I have become more aware that my mission is not just to reach nominal and unbelieving students, but also to support and encourage students who are followers of Christ and who are active in their local churches. They are encouraged by my openness in discussing spiritual and moral issues, both in and out of the classroom, when the opportunities arise. Some of them have been attending a mid-week Bible study with me at one of the local churches. I have also been holding a video and pizza night in one of the student residences.
Granville uses this time to show a current movie and allow the students to discuss it. The films and their themes enable him to connect with the students on important life issues. It also allows students to talk with a native English speaker, something scarce in this part of Ukraine. Any of our long-term professors will tell you that prayer and financial support from friends like you are crucial to longevity in university service. Thank you so much for your support of Global Scholars, which allows professors like Granville to have a redemptive influence among students, colleagues, and universities, now in 57 nations worldwide!
For Christ and universities worldwide,
Dr. Stan W. Wallace
President and CEO, Global Scholars