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Profile of the Week: Reverend Julian Brown

By Julia Gormley
On January 25, 2018

Reverend Julian Brown (Left)

Once an Ottawa University student, Reverend Julian Brown’s journey brought him back to the university as a professor. After initial guidance from Dr. Richard Menninger, Brown is now independently teaching his third semester of The Gospels, interacting with anywhere from 60 to 80 new students a semester.  

“I came here [OU] in 2009 straight out of high school,” Brown said. “I wanted to do some things and get involved in ministry. I went here all four years and, truth be told, I had an extra year in 2014 where I finished up my undergrad and was starting my Masters. It’s been quite an eventful ride.”

Brown’s journey resembles that of many graduating students, as teaching was not his original goal. Before teaching, Brown hoped to be a pastor. Because of this, Brown encourages students to never stop chasing their dreams.

“I was serving as a youth pastor in the Kansas City area and stepped down from that. This started when Dr. Menninger invited me to come down here and finish my Masters project. He is the main reason I’m here at Ottawa. He graced me with the opportunity to sit in on The Gospels class, and eventually take it over.  At this point, I’m 27 and not pastoring, but it’s not ending here,” Brown said. “You must keep striving by doing your best with what you have. Keep showing kindness. Keep going after it.”

Brown credits much of his teaching style to the Ottawa University faculty and the staff he worked with through his years here as a student and alumni.

“In general, OU has been very kind to me, from President (Kevin) Eichner to Dr. (Dennis) Tyner, who was my statistics professor. I have probably adopted a combination of pieces, but Dr. Menninger has shaped a lot of the pieces here. Central Baptist Theological Seminary has been a great training ground for me too. I never knew I was going to be a teacher, especially here at OU. It wasn’t in my fortune cookies. But in regards of coming back, I don’t regret coming back here at all,” Brown said.

Possessing a unique background, Brown is proving to be a professor valued, not only by students and faculty but also the community. Pushing students to “put in the effort,” this professor is one most students will remember, no matter where they end up after graduation.

“I don’t think I bring anything that OU doesn’t have. We have a lot of talent and teaching styles here. Since I’ve been here, it [OU] has always been good about finding different styles,” Brown said.

“I bring some youthfulness in terms of theology and studying God, but those before me have done a great job and provide very large shoes to fill. I can bring a fusion of theology and inner city. This is a different style, but it does invite and engage students.”

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