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Weekly Portraits of Calvary Life

The Alumnus of the Year award is given annually to a Calvary graduate who has shown faithfulness in his or her service to the Lord.  This year the President’s cabinet has chosen to honor one individual and one couple based on their outstanding qualifications.  Last week I shared about our first honoree, Alice Thompson.

Dr. Keith and Pat Miller

Our next honorees for 2018 Alumni of the Year are Dr. Keith and Pat Miller.  The Millers were both born and raised in Illinois.  Dr. Miller likes to tell people that he grew up near Normal, Illinois, but now he lives close to Peculiar, Missouri!  They each trusted Christ as Savior as children and dedicated their lives to ministry as teenagers.

Dr. Keith and Pat Miller and I posed for a picture after Commencement.

Pat’s father worked for Moody Bible Institute, and that is where she attended and met Keith in 1966.   Keith says that he had three goals at Moody – to know the Word of God, to learn about being a pastor, “and Lord, if possible, could I please find a wife!”  God answered all three!  Pat says she had three desires for her future spouse – of course, he needed to be a believer, he needed to be headed to full-time ministry, and “please God let him be tall!”  Keith graduated from Moody in 1968, came to Calvary Bible College, and completed his bachelor’s degree in 1969.  Pat graduated from Moody in 1969, and they were married that summer.  They then headed off to Dallas Theological Seminary where Keith earned his Master’s in 1973.

Pastorate

The Lord then took the Miller family to Michigan where Keith served as a youth pastor for a couple of years.  Keith’s first senior pastorate was at a church in Iowa, followed by one in Nebraska, and finally at Argyle Bible Church in Colchester, Illinois, from 1983-1994.  During that time, Keith earned his doctorate from Dallas Theological Seminary as well.  Over the years, God blessed the Millers with four children who are all now married and have added 10 grandchildren to the family.  One son and one son-in-law are currently pastors in the Kansas City area.

Serving at Calvary

Keith had a long-time desire to teach in a Bible College, so he contacted Calvary about the possibility in 1993.  After the usual procedures, Academic Dean Tom Bonine called Dr. Miller in February of 1994 and extended the call to come and be Chair of the Pastoral Studies Department at Calvary Bible College.  Dr. Miller was thrilled to receive his class schedule and find that his very first class to teach would be Old Testament Survey.  Through God’s perfect timing, the Dean of Women position was also open at Calvary.  Pat felt as if God had been preparing her all her life for working as dean.  It was a dream job for her, and she held that position for fourteen years.

While serving as Dean of Women, Pat began to take seminary classes in Biblical Counseling, and she graduated from Calvary Theological Seminary in 2000.  Eventually Mrs. Miller was asked to direct the undergrad Biblical Counseling Program.  The transition was wonderful and very fulfilling for her.  She has continued in this role for the past ten years.  Keith became Chairmen of the Bible and Theology Department in 2015.  He has also served as interim pastor at ten different churches since 2002.

Authors

During their years of teaching, the Millers have also found time to become authors!  Pat’s first book was Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Women in 2001.  Then Keith and Pat worked together on Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Youth in 2006.  Second editions of those books were published in 2013.  In 2014, Keith wrote Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Men, and they co-authored Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling Couples in 2017.  Pat’s latest book, written with her daughter, Rachel Gorman, and released last year, is called God’s Wisdom for Women.

Retirement

After 24 years at Calvary, Dr. and Mrs. Miller retired in May.  They are looking forward to traveling and seeing what the Lord has in store for the next chapter of their lives.  When asked what she appreciates most about Calvary, Pat said, “Of course, THE STUDENTS!  Hands down they are why we are here and why we stayed.  It has been a delight to know so many students and see God use them.  They have encouraged us greatly, and we love them.”  Keith said that he has appreciated the awesome opportunity to stand before his students and teach them the Word of God and, for the pastoral majors, how to preach and what to expect as pastors.  Calvary will not be the same without the Millers, but we are glad that they will always be part of the alumni family.  It is a great pleasure to recognize them today for their service to Calvary and honor them as 2018 Alumni of the Year.

The Millers both shared a few words after accepting the award.

Sara Klaassen

Alumni Relations Coordinator

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