My Retirement

After twenty-eight years of teaching at Northern Baptist Seminary, I will retire at the end of the 2016-2017 academic year. My last official day as a member of the faculty will be June 30, 2017. On Friday, June 9, the seminary presented a special program in my honor in which present and former students, a colleague on the faculty, and a former president of the seminary spoke about my contribution to their lives and to the seminary. It was a humbling occasion for me because their words spoke to my heart; it was a very emotional occasion for me.

My ministry at Northern Seminary has been the greatest achievement of my academic career. During my tenure at Northern, I was blessed to serve with many colleagues whose devotion to their academic work, to their students, and to their disciplines inspired me to be a better professor. During the program, I expressed my appreciation to the late former president Dr. William R. Myers who brought me to Northern in 1988. Although I was unable to serve with him due to his retirement, Bill Myers continued to be a friend, a supporter, and an encourager until the day of his death.

I also expressed my appreciation to Dr. Ian Chapman, the former president of Northern Seminary under whose leadership I served for thirteen years. Dr. Chapman was a strong leader whose ministry at Northern made an impact in the life of the seminary. Dr. Chapman and I, together with a group of Northern supporters, went to Israel twice. During one of our visits to Israel, I had the opportunity to preach on Mount Nebo, the place where Moses saw the Promised Land. I also had the opportunity to baptize several people in the Jordan River. Before going home to Virginia, Dr. Chapman flew from Moscow to Chicago only to speak at my retirement program.

I also expressed words of appreciation and thanksgiving to my present and former students. Northern students have stimulated my growth as a professor by their participation in class dialogue, by their encouragement in and out of class, and by asking me difficult questions, questions that forced me to become a searcher for knowledge and new insights. My students challenged me to become a better teacher. I just hope I met their expectations.

I never thought I would teach at Northern for twenty-eight years. During these many years of serving the Lord at Northern, Northern has become my home, the members of the faculty and the staff have become my family, and my students, present and past, have become my friends. For all of these blessings I give thanks to God.

As I retire, Northern Seminary has become a brand-new institution. President Bill Shiell has challenged the seminary to become the New Northern with a ministry that will reach the greater Chicago area and the world through Northern Live. I will be writing about the New Northern in a forthcoming post. I wish I could be part of the New Northern to participate in the rebirth of the seminary as it reaches more students and as it extends its outreach beyond the Chicago area.

As I look back to almost thirty-five years of teaching the Old Testament, I want to thank my wonderful wife Donna, who was unable to be at the program. Donna and I have been together more than 50 years and she has been my biggest supporter and helper in my ministry as a pastor and as a teacher. I owe her a debt of gratitude. I also want to thank my three sons. I am a fortunate father because I have three wonderful sons who are always there to help me anytime I need their help. My sons have given me five beautiful granddaughters and one amazing great-granddaughter. My granddaughters make my life a joy because I receive their love every day.

As I come to the end of my active involvement as a member of the faculty of Northern Seminary, I want to thank President Bill Shiell for his visionary leadership, for his commitment to the faculty, staff, and students and for his love for the church of Jesus Christ. I also was to express my appreciation to Dr. Karen Walker Freeburg, Dean of the seminary, the wonderful members of the faculty, and the members of the Board of Trustees for the honor they bestowed on me on the occasion of my retirement, for their support, their encouragement, and their friendship. I will greatly miss the wonderful times we have spent together in fellowship serving the Lord through theological education.

Thank you for the memories.

Claude F. Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary

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17 Responses to My Retirement

  1. Curryanne Hostetler says:

    I hope this does not mean you are retiring from you blog. I have grown from your blog as well as your class.


    • Curryanne,

      Of course not. I love blogging and I enjoy the dialogue I have with my many readers. Retirement only gives me more time to write. I am planning to begin blogging regularly in July.

      Thank you for your nice words. It was a pleasure having you in my classes.

      Claude Mariottini

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Bette Cox says:

    So, what’s next for you, Claude? I have a suspicion that you’re not going to stop studying, writing, traveling, or teaching in some way… the Lord always has a plan and an assignment for the next chapter of all our lives. Thank you for your insight and wisdom in these blog articles, I look forward to hearing what’s on your heart in the coming days. 🙂


    • Bette,

      Thank you very much for your nice words. I have only retired from active teaching in the classroom. However, I will continue teaching through preaching and writing. Beginning July 1, I am planning to return to regular blogging. I am also planning to write at least two books, if God gives me health and strength for the next few years.

      I appreciate you and the many readers who have encouraged me through the years. Now that I am retired, I have more time to write on issues that people want to know. My wife and I are also planning to travel, but for now, she needs to recover from her recent illness.

      Once again, thank you for you words.

      Claude Mariottini


  3. Pingback: My Retirement — Dr. Claude Mariottini – Professor of Old Testament @DrMariottini | Talmidimblogging

  4. Andrew Gifford says:

    Thank you Claude for all you have done for me and the people who have passed through the doors of Northern. I spoke of you as I preached on the 11th and that after you would lecture and point out inconsistencies in scripture, you would always insist that we are studying the, “The Word of God”

    Your Friend, Rev Dr Andrew Gifford (The Dr in my title having a lot to do with your teaching)


    • Andy,

      Thank you for your nice words. I enjoyed having you in my classes and the good times we had while you were at Northern. I still remember the time of your ordination. May God continue to bless your ministry.

      Claude Mariottini


  5. bobmacdonald says:

    Lovely to read of your school and your family. Thank you. I am glad you intend to keep on blogging. You have drawn my attention to many worthwhile questions.


  6. Congratulations on your retirement!


    • Celucien,

      Thank you for your nice words. I think that all good things must come to an end, but the end of my active work in the classroom does not mean the end of my writing career.

      Claude Mariottini


  7. Joel W. Lohr says:

    Congratulations on your retirement and the opening of the next phase of your ministry. You have touched many people through your commitment to academic excellence and requiring MUCH from your students. You have also profoundly affected many on a personal level who have been privileged enough to have known you as both a professor and friend. May God bless you richly as you enter new waters!


    • Joel,

      Thank your for your words on the occasion of my retirement. Many of my students, you included, have challenged me to become a better teacher, and for that, I am grateful. It was a great pleasure having you in my classes and I still remember your time as a student here at Northern. God bless you and your ministry.

      Claude Mariottini


  8. Dr. Mariottini,

    Thank you so much for growing my love of the Old Testament and for your undying support for Women in Ministry.

    I will never forget how you drove all the way to Northeast Iowa to deliver my Ordination sermon. (Jeremiah 1). It was so special to have you and Donna there as a part of a day I will never forget. After 7 years of training and education what a reward and awesome responsibility for being faithful to His call. Thanks again for being a special part of that day.


    • Carlene,

      Thank you for your nice words. This morning I was talking with Donna about our trip to Iowa and she still remembers the wonderful time we spent with you and your congregation. Thank you for your ministry and for the work you have done in the Kingdom of God. I have always appreciated the good work you did for all my classes.

      Claude Mariottini


  9. Gary Green says:

    Dr. Mariottini,
    Congratulations Claude on your well deserved retirement from teaching. You were, in many ways, an encouragement to me while I worked at Northern. I remember especially all the work you did during the accreditation process. That was not an easy time but you were amazing. I hope you and Donna enjoy your retirement years as much as you have enjoyed your years of teaching.

    Gary Green


    • Gary,

      Thank you for your nice words. I still have fond memories of our working together at Northern Seminary and the many finance committee meetings we attended together. I enjoyed my teaching years at Northern. I enjoyed working with the faculty, staff, and students. Thank you for your friendship over these many years.

      Claude Mariottini


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