This is James Woodrow. Since 2003, he has taught management at Vanguard University. Raised in Pennsylvania, known for its Amish, Mennonite and Quaker communities, James grew up in a God-centered community. He accredits his upbringing for shaping his values and inspiring his relationship with the Lord – his faith and travel go hand in hand as he has traveled to over 110 countries!
After graduating from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, James spent time in missions smuggling Bibles across the "Iron Curtain" formerly known as the Soviet Union. He remembers meeting with Christians in soviet-style apartment complexes in Hungarian and Russian cities. To avoid reports to the KGB (Soviet Intelligence Agency), household owners would raise the volume of the radio so neighbors could not hear their worship and prayer. Russian Christians who attended would wrap their Bibles in newspapers to avoid being harassed when they walked home from church.
"At the time, the governments of the USSR were opposed to the radical message of Jesus Christ and many believers suffered long imprisonments due to their beliefs," James reflects. "I still remember the feelings of anxiousness and excitement as we crossed Communist borders as tourists while traveling in a beat-up Winnebago. We had Bibles printed in the Russian language hidden in special compartments. It was a life-changing experience for me."
After returning from the mission field, James went back to school to complete two masters’ degrees and an EdD from Vanderbilt University. He’s convinced we are never too old to learn from others and feels blessed to have had mentors who influenced him personally and professionally.
After much career exploration, James found his passion for helping people discover their unique gifts and talents. This led him to various administrative positions at Pepperdine University, including Director of London Programs in England, before being offered a position at Vanguard.
"I had never planned on becoming a full-time professor – I enjoyed teaching, but saw an adjunct role as a valuable way to connect with students while pursuing another career,” James shares.
“My career path is another example of how important it is to be open to God's plan for us.”
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