NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Tom Cragoe: Investing for a Lifetime
There are teachers who leave lasting impressions on their students. They are the ones who invest in more than just their subject matter and how they teach it. They care about the student and choose to invest in his or her life instead of just their graduation or diploma.
Such is the case with Dr. Thomas (Tom) Cragoe. Every student who has ever sat in one of Dr. Cragoe's classes has become part of the Cragoe family. That's just the way it is.
Dr. Cragoe and his wife, Rebecca, love their students and adopt each one of them into their "family." This adoption process proves to be very intimate. Every student is prayed for on a regular basis by the Cragoes and all are welcomed for friendship and mentoring.
As a Bible teacher at BBC, Dr. Cragoe's love of God is apparent to everyone who comes in contact with him. His classes are always a vibrant, God-centered experience kept at a personal, home-like level because of the positive family atmosphere.
In fact, positive may be the key word. There are no stupid questions in a Dr. Cragoe class, and every thoughtful response or intriguing question will typically be answered with an affirmative "Nice!" and the necessary response.
Learn more about Dr. Cragoe here.
Read more In the Spotlights here.
You live in Clarks Summit near campus. Where are you from originally?
I grew up in Lansdale, PA, a town near Valley Forge.
What was your family like growing up?
I grew up in a Christian home with two sisters, the thorn between two roses! Martie is eight years older and Chris is two years younger.
How did you come to profess faith in Christ?
I was a small child when my father shared the gospel with me on the basis of John 3:16. It was then that I understood that Jesus Christ, God's Son, died in my place for my sins and rose again from the dead. Since that time I have steadily grown in my love for the Lord and my desire to please Him.
Where did you develop your education?
It was my privilege to get my Master and Doctor of Theology degrees from Dallas Theological Seminary. It required eight years of study, so I certainly learned perseverance in the disciplines involved in being a student.
Since then, what has your career in education been like?
I then spent twelve years in the pastorate, which continued my education as I learned to apply relevantly and practically all of the learning I had accrued. I then served for six years on the faculty of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and for six years at Cedarville University.
What or who else has contributed to who you are today?
Probably the most formative activity in my life other than my education has been my involvement in a local church. It is in the healthy, mutual interaction between fellow believers in Christ that character is formed, that our vision and burden for winning the lost to faith is multiplied, and our desire to build up other believers is deepened. My wife, Rebecca, has also played a large role as we have served together in ministry. Her genuine love for people and consistent devotion to prayer has profoundly impacted my life.
Can you tell us about how you and Rebecca met?
Bob Tolson was one of my best friends in seminary. One day he set me up on a blind date with his sister Rebecca and the rest is history. We dated for about a year, were engaged for about eight months, and were married on May 16, 1986. Rebecca and I were not able to have children. As a result, Rebecca has played a vital role in my ministry over the years.
While in the pastorate, we did counseling and visitation together. Once we transitioned to teaching, Rebecca began attending my classes and becoming involved in the lives of the students I have in class. We thoroughly enjoy ministering together at BBC.
What brought you to BBC?
I was actually approached by BBC about the possibility of joining the Bible faculty. The more I found out about the school, the more I was impressed by the vision of President Jim Jeffery and the solid biblical leadership he provides. I am very deeply committed to excellence in biblical higher education so as to enable men and women to prepare for effective global Christian leadership.
Is there someone in particular you would like to acknowledge for contributing to who you are today?
I would have to acknowledge the immensely positive role that my wife, Rebecca, has played in my life. My home church pastor, Dr. Richard Gregory, has also played a crucial part in my life. I grew up largely under his ministry at Limerick Chapel, and as a result of his ministry learned to love expository preaching. The Lord also used his preaching to lead me into full-time service.
Why do you go out of your way to befriend and adopt students?
Rebecca and I care deeply about people and genuinely desire to be a part of what God is doing in their lives. As a result, we look for opportunities to encourage our students through prayer, social interaction, and mentoring relationships. Since we do not have any children of our own, we adopt those the Lord brings into my classes and genuinely view them as part of our family.
What are you doing today, and what further goals do you have?
I teach four of the five core theology classes at BBC and thoroughly enjoy both the subject matter and the classroom interaction with my students. Rebecca and I also enjoy getting to know students outside the classroom. We are involved in mentoring and in premarital counseling. Outside BBC, we are involved in our church family as well. My further goals include the desire to continue to improve as a professor in my ability to effectively communicate God's Word, to remain current in my discipline, and perhaps do some writing in my field of theology.
Do you have a life verse or favorite passage of Scripture?
One of my favorite Scripture verses is Ephesians 6:10, "be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." It has been a constant encouragement to know that God's Word not only guides us into all truth, His power enables us to follow Him.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers an outstanding Christian education through on-campus, online, and other distance learning options. Students go beyond the ordinary, learning to learn and serve with excellence as they gain critical leadership and life skills.
To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400
Posted on: 8/2/2010 10:54:02 AM
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