Faculty Q&A with Todd Borger
January 19, 2017
Todd Borger is an associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He shares about his life, work and how he helps students connect the Old Testament to God’s mission.
1. Tell us about yourself.
I’m originally from California, and recently, I’ve been realizing more and more that it’s a part of who I am. I’m married to Timberley. We met in seminary at Golden Gate Seminary, and got married while working on our master’s degrees. We have two children: Samuel, who is 19, and Anna, who went to be with the Lord eight years ago.
After graduating from Golden Gate with my M. Div., I earned my Ph.D. under Dr. Paul House at Southern Seminary.
2. How did you come to SEBTS?
After graduating from Southern, our family moved to Indonesia with the International Mission Board. My two tasks there were teaching at our Baptist seminary and serving as strategy coordinator for a local people group. In 2008, Anna was killed in an accident there. Shortly after, we took a leave and returned to the United States and were missionaries in residence in Kentucky. During that time, my friend, Dr. Ben Merkle, saw a faculty need I could fill here at Southeastern. He told Dr. Akin about me, and eventually I came to teach here.
3. When people ask you, “What do you do at Southeastern,” what is your response?
Officially, I am an Associate Professor of Old Testament and Hebrew. However, I like to think of myself as teaching students rather than teaching material. I am preparing students for ministry and to serve the kingdom of God, not simply teaching content.
4. On what are you currently working?
I work as a Bible scholar with the Seed Company, which is a Bible translation group associated with Wycliffe Bible Translators. The past three summers, I have gone to Nigeria to help with Bible translation workshops there. I find it interesting, and I’ve been learning a lot more about Bible translation, linguistics, and other related topics along the way.
5. When you get home from work, what do you look forward to doing? (What are your other passions?)
I’m trying to learn to garden. I like to think of myself as a farmer, but we aren’t living off of my crops yet, so I’m not quite there. Our small group at church is very important to us, so we like to spend a lot of time with them. Cooking, music, and right now, my hometown Golden State Warriors are taking up a lot of time.
6. Who are your role models?
My father has been a huge role model in my life, which I’m grateful for. You know, as you get older, you see more and more how you’re like your parents. Professionally, my Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Paul House has been a mentor in my life. When we were in Indonesia, I would find myself going into “Paul House mode” in the classroom. I found myself answering questions as I thought he would do it. He’s taught me a lot about being a good professor.
7. What has God been teaching you lately?
I’m becoming more and more aware of my shortcomings. I’ve been a Bible scholar, a missionary, and a seminary professor, but that doesn’t mean I’ve somehow “arrived” at an above average level of holiness. God loves us enough to continue sanctifying us.
8. Where are some of your former students?
I wish I did a better job keeping up with alumni, but I know we have many of them in various spheres. Many are pastors, some are teachers, some missionaries, some continuing advanced education elsewhere and on campus here. They are overseas, in cities, and in rural America. It is exciting to think about.
9. When a student completes your class, what do you want him or her to walk away with at the end of the semester?
In my Introduction to the Old Testament class, many of my students aren’t very acquainted with the Old Testament. I want them to know the Bible (and the Old Testament, specifically) is an interesting book to read. I want students to know we need the Old Testament to share the gospel properly.
10. We always say that every classroom at SEBTS is a Great Commission classroom. What does that look like for your class?
I have a sort of dissatisfaction with “Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration.” This presentation of the gospel takes us to Genesis 1-2, to Genesis 3, and just jumps to the New Testament. We miss a lot of scripture. Much of the Old Testament informs how we think about the Great Commission. There is a reason God waited so many years to bring Jesus onto the scene. The Old Testament is showing us that reason. If you want to find out the reason, you just have to come and take my OT course!