Honoring Their Intelligence

Name: Ed Starkebaum

Born: Grand Junction, Colorado

Education: Campion Academy, 1966

Walla Walla College, 1971

Major: Religion

Minors: Psychology, History

School: Mt. Ellis Academy

Teaches: Bible, American History, U.S. Government, Introduction to Auto Maintenance.

Although Ed Starkebaum teaches history and government and volunteered to teach an introduction to auto maintenance course at Mt. Ellis Academy (MEA), he is best known for his Bible classes.

Ed’s main inspiration to become a Bible teacher was the religion class taught by J. Paul Grove while he was a student at Walla Walla College. “Elder Grove introduced me to the Bible, how to read and study it for myself. It was the first time I ever had that experience, and I wanted to have the chance to help other people have that same opportunity.”

Now a veteran Bible teacher himself, Ed asks his students to read the Bible for themselves—“Kind of in the same way that Elder Grove did for me,” he says. “I ask the students to wrestle with the text, then we come together and try to figure out together what it says, how it speaks to us or what the meaning might be.”

Ed has taught enough classes in his 34 years in the classroom that the subjects could become automatic, but he likes to change things from year to year. Each group of students has gone in a different direction while studying Romans, Daniel and Revelation, and Ed says no two trips through those books have ever been the same.

Darren Wilkins, MEA principal, says that Ed’s legacy with his students is that he really trusts them with Scripture. “Ed finds a way to get the kids into Scripture and realize that it is a piece of inspired literature, that it is radical and compelling. He honors their intelligence, and he really trusts them to grapple and deal with high-level things. They realize in his class that they can read the Bible.”

“At the end of the day,” Ed says, “My hope and dream for these kids is that they will go out and take their place in the world, that they will be involved in their church, that they will become leaders and share their love of God and their love of the Scriptures with the people they meet.”

July 01, 2005 / Feature