Meet a Current Student
September 17, 2012
Dr. Daniel Luan, M.A.R. student
At 62, part-time M.A.R. student Dr. Daniel Luan proves that education is a life-long journey. Dr. Luan came to the United States from Taiwan in 1977 to attend graduate school at Yale University where he received his Ph.D. in 1982. For 25 years he worked in a part of Bell Labs, which later would become AT&T Labs. During that time, he sensed a calling to something more meaningful, and at the end of his time at AT&T, a major event in his life changed his path. “I was diagnosed with a type of male breast cancer, and that’s when I realized that life is not in my own control.…Even though later this proved to be a misdiagnosis, it was still a wake-up call. The Lord was telling me ‘You don’t even have tomorrow.’ So I decided to quit my job and take an early retirement from AT&T Labs after 25 years. Eventually, I started working full-time in the church.”
While at his church, the senior pastor suggested that he take some courses at Westminster. Daniel agreed, starting out slowly by auditing a few courses. Of that experience, he says, “Only then did I realize that if you really want to get into the meat of Westminster, you have to get into the Hebrew and the Greek, otherwise you’ll go nowhere!” So, he enrolled as a part-time M.A.R. student and began to take language courses. The languages have been particularly helpful in preparing for sermons: “Once you learn the original languages, you actually go deeper into the text. Even when I preached before my seminary training I would always try to go a little bit deeper, maybe with a commentary, but when you know the original language, you really know what [the Biblical authors] are talking about.”
The Systematic Theology courses have also been a great source of encouragement. “I especially liked the Doctrine of Salvation class. It’s actually almost like an exegesis class; everything is based on what the Bible teaches us….I still remember when [Dr. Tipton] was talking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was doing some rigorous exegesis based on 1 Corinthians 15, saying that there is a body of flesh and there is a spiritual body, and all of a sudden I realized why there is that contrast! Even Adam and Eve in paradise were in a probation period, it wasn’t the end—there is something better. All those things flow out from exegesis, and I really appreciate that.”
Daniel’s interactions with students and faculty have benefitted him in his student career as well. He is a part of the Chinese student fellowship and prays with them regularly. “In that fellowship we have quite a few students, especially in recent years, who came from Mainland China. I have been to Mainland China many times for ministry trips, so I’ve gotten to know them. It has been good, coming to know their perspective in terms of the Christians in China.” He has also appreciated the way the faculty treat students: “Many of the professors I know really have the heart of a shepherd, they are here as a shepherd, not just as a university professor giving you all this information.”
Westminster has been tremendously beneficial to Daniel during his time here, and he hopes to use what he has learned to continue serving the church. Please continue to pray for Daniel and Westminster’s student body as they train to proclaim the whole counsel of God to a changing world.
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