This semester, we continue to spotlight Western Seminary’s faculty members. Today, we feature Dr. Robert Krupp, Associate Professor of Church History and Library Director.
Transformed: Tell us a little bit about your family, and where you grew up.
Dr. Krupp: I was raised in the Bronx for my first 11 years. The remaining years before college were spent in the northern suburbs of New York City. I am the oldest child. I have a brother and sister. My mother will be 90 years old this year and lives in a retirement community for Danish Americans. My father died in 1993.
Transformed: What did you want to be when you were a kid?
Dr. Krupp: My uncles were a fireman, a policeman, and a mechanic who worked on the first commercial jets. I aimed towards these and the usual sports heroes.
However, my greatest interest was maps. I wanted to be a cartographer. At six years old I was the navigator for family trips. I copied maps and stared at them for hours. In first grade I got in trouble with my parents and the Lutheran elementary school because I saved my milk money, bought a bus pass, and used two city buses and the subway train to get to school when I should have been on the school bus.
The geography of biblical passages and historical events have always interested me.
Transformed: Tell us a little bit about what led you to your current position.
Dr. Krupp: I was a student at Western from 1974 until 1977. I then worked in a library and studied Library Science at the University of Michigan. When Western’s library directorship became open in 1983, I was remembered by some of the faculty, interviewed and joined the faculty that year.
Transformed: What is something that we would be surprised to know about you?
Dr. Krupp: I asked my wife to marry me two weeks after we met. She said no. She said yes a week later. Collette and I have been married 41 years. We met on Campus Crusade staff. She was in the college ministry and I was on the weightlifting team.
Transformed: Give us some of your favorites spots to dine in the greater Portland area.
Dr. Krupp: My favorite food carts are Viking Soul Food and Euro Trash (both at 43rd and Belmont). My favorite restaurants are Shirley’s Tippy Canoe in Troutdale on Old Route 30, and Petite Provence on SE Division. My favorite coffee shop is Oblique Coffee Roasters on Southeast 30th and Stark.
Transformed: What are you reading right now?
Dr. Krupp: I’m re-reading The Intellectual Life, by A. G. Sertillanges; Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World, by Cal Newport; The King in His Beauty, by Thomas Schreiner; and Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. I am also reading The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to our Brains, by Nicholas Carr.
Transformed: Is there a verse or passage of Scripture that has had a particularly strong impact on your life? If so what is it, and in what way has it impacted you?
Dr. Krupp: Habbakuk 2:4, etc. The Just shall live by faith. I attended a Lutheran elementary school for the first six grades. This was a verse that was often discussed in chapel and Bible class. I usually pray about the contexts of the passage in Habbakuk, Romans, Galatians, and Hebrews and meditate about its significance in my present situation.
Transformed: What does the church need more of/less of?
Dr. Krupp: The church needs more: (1) members who read through the Bible each year, (2) members who pray each day, and (3) songs and hymns that can be sung by the entire congregation. The church needs less music that can only be sung by a small group while everyone else listens.
Transformed: What, ideally, should be the relationship between the seminary and the church?
Dr. Krupp: The relationship should be mutually affirming and fine-tuning for both the seminary and the church, as seminary leaders minister in their congregations and church leaders feel comfortable being part of the seminary’s extended community.
Transformed: What is one thing you wish people knew about the life of a seminary faculty member?
Dr. Krupp: It is a tremendous privilege to invest in people who will lead the next generation of Christians. Western’s leaders have fostered community among the faculty and staff and this is an easy place to agree, disagree and plan together.
Transformed: What makes for an ideal student?
Dr. Krupp: A commitment to personal piety, local church ministry, and a curious openness to different ministry settings.
Transformed: What one piece of advice would you give to incoming seminarians?
Dr. Krupp: Maintain your spiritual base by praying each day, reading through the Bible each year apart from your academic work, and serving in your local church.
Transformed: Do you have any upcoming books or articles?
Dr. Krupp: I blog at robertkrupp.com. In the next few years I hope to re-edit and republish two books I wrote on John Chrysostom earlier in my career.
Transformed: Is there anything else that we should know about you, or projects that you are currently involved in?
Dr. Krupp: My local church is Centerpoint Community Church in Naples, Florida. I am teaching Deuteronomy in an adult class on Sunday morning and lead a small group where we share a meal, pray, and discuss the sermon every other Sunday evening.