Carl Camp’s first exposure to Biola University came nearly 40 years ago, around the time that an exciting new building was being constructed to accommodate the school’s growing seminary.
In the years since, Carl’s father, wife, brother and three of his four children have earned degrees from Biola, and the seminary — Talbot School of Theology — has continued its exponential growth. But no new Talbot building has gone up since Feinberg Hall was completed in 1974.
So when Carl and his wife, Judy (M.A. ’02, M.A. ’05), learned a couple of years ago that an innovative new home for Talbot was in the works, they were eager to offer their financial support. The longtime Biola supporters are among several major donors to the Talbot project, whose generosity is helping to make the $18.2 million project a reality. When it’s completed this fall, the building will add 34 faculty offices, eight classrooms, two conference rooms, a prayer room and some much-needed study space to campus.
The Camps recently sat down with Biola Magazine at the offices of their family-owned financial planning firm, Eclectic Associates in Fullerton, Calif., to talk about the significance of the Talbot project and why they’re supporting it.
Carl and Judy, there is no shortage of worthy charitable causes out there that need financial support. Why have you chosen to give to the Campaign for Talbot?
Judy: We love Biola. We feel very strongly about Biola’s mission. Having been in classrooms at Talbot and knowing the need for better faculty offices, this is really important. We want to see Biola continue strong.
Carl: We especially love Biola’s mission and we think that the spiritual impact that Talbot has on the whole world is really significant. That gets us really excited to work to improve that impact. We know there’s a need, and we’re happy to help out.
How are you expecting God to use this building in the coming years?
Carl: This building is about training men and women in terms of the whole of Christianity — not just theology, but a pretty broad spectrum of the whole person —and then having these graduates from Talbot going around the world. Whether they’re in a “secular job” or the ministry, they will be prepared to speak for the faith and help people grow in their walk by what goes on in this building. This better, larger facility will allow Talbot to grow and further its impact.
Is there any part of the building itself that you’re looking forward to seeing coming to life?
Judy: I remember back when I was taking courses, there was just an itty bitty little lounge area [in Talbot’s Myers Hall]. So to have more space and facilities for students in between classes, that will be great.
Carl: Classrooms are a big part of it, but it’s not just the classrooms. It’s the spots for professors to have their offices and interact with students. It’s the places for students to interact with each other. It’s a much broader picture than just classrooms. These places for interaction really excite us.
Judy, what are some of the things that stand out to you from your years as a student (in both Biola’s M.A. in Christian apologetics program and Talbot’s M.A. in philosophy of religion and ethics program)? What did you appreciate most?
Judy: It’s everything that people always say about Biola and Talbot: The professors really care about you. And not just in the classes. These people are such experts in their fields, and they make the time to be available to their students. Also, there’s never a question of the integrity of the teaching. The Bible is foundational to everything. I’ve been able to take my Old Testament and New Testament survey classes and my hermeneutics class and format them into Bible studies that I use with women’s groups. It’s amazing the number of Christians who just don’t know the flow of the Old Testament or New Testament, or how to read Scripture. So it’s been invaluable in that sense.
What would you say to people who are considering a gift to the Talbot project?
Carl: It’s really fun to give. Especially to a project like this, where you know the lasting impact. It’s going to have an impact on society and on our world to train up laborers for the kingdom. That is what’s most exciting to us — the results of what the building will produce, not the building itself.