Jan 27, 2009
Professor Profile: Robert Rencher
by Emily Defosse, Life! Reporter
After 27 years of experience in the business world, Associate Professor of Business Robert C. Rencher Jr. decided it was time to share his economic knowledge with others. Rencher took an early retirement from AT&T, and he and his wife Bonnie moved to Lynchburg in 1991 so he could begin a full-time teaching career at Liberty University.
“Seeing all my parents went through had sort of a negative role model effect on me,” Rencher said. “I thought, ‘If I ever get married, I’m not going to go through that,’ and I had the sense to understand that Christians usually don’t do that.”
Rencher and his wife began dating their sophomore year of high school. In 1962 the couple married and began to set up a Christian home by going to church and doing devotions together.
“We were doing the right things by going to church on Sundays and attending Sunday school,” Rencher said. “We had devotions together fairly regularly in the morning before I went to school and she went off to work. I just overlooked one small detail: for a Christian home, everyone in the home needs to be a Christian.”
Rencher gave his life to the Lord in the spring of 1963, less than a year after he and his wife married.
Rencher has an Associate of Science degree in electronics technology from Palm Beach Community College, a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in management from Georgia State University and a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in economics from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Rencher had no formal teaching experience before coming to Liberty. He had, however, taught Sunday school, Bible studies, small groups and some AT&T classes and seminars when he worked for AT&T.
Since 1991 Rencher has been teaching economics to Liberty students. He views economics as an important subject to teach students.
“The basic concepts of economics can be applied in any area of a person’s life, whether it is managing money or making decisions or deciding what kind of career to go into,” Rencher said. “Whatever it may be, the principles of economics help with those decisions.”
The opportunity to see students learn and grow is very rewarding, according to Rencher. He recalls a conversation with a journalism student he had a few years back in which the student acknowledged how important Rencher’s economics class had been to her career.
They have two married daughters and five grandchildren. In his spare time he enjoys golf, reading, exercise and spending time with his grandchildren.
In the spring of 2005, Liberty allowed Rencher to take an administrative leave from teaching so he could take a trip to South Korea with his wife. They spent eight weeks teaching conversational English and Bible classes for college students there and then spent the next two weeks visiting missionaries in China.
“That (trip) was very rewarding for us, and we probably wouldn’t have gotten the opportunity to do that had I not been at Liberty,” Rencher said. “The university was very gracious in giving me that semester off, and I think when I finally do stop teaching full time, we will probably want to do some more short-term missions projects.”
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