Fritz Guy Receives Weniger Award for Excellence
February 11, 2009
By Larry Becker
RIVERSIDE, Calif. – ( www.lasierra.edu ) Fritz Guy, research professor of philosophical theology at La Sierra University and former LSU president, received the Charles Elliot Weniger Award for Excellence in recognition of his long career in ministry, theology, writing, and education for the Seventh-day Adventist church. Guy received his award during the Weniger Society’s meeting at the Loma Linda University Church on January 24, 2009.
Guy graduated from La Sierra College in 1952. He first served as pastor/evangelist and then as assistant editor of The Youth’s Instructor. Guy completed a BD from the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary in 1960, then returned to La Sierra where he taught for 16 years. During that time he completed his PhD in Christian Theology from University of Chicago and served as Dean of La Sierra’s College of Arts & Sciences (within LLU). From 1977 to 1984 he was professor of theology and associate dean of the Seminary at Andrews University. Dr. Guy was LLU Church theologian-in-residence from 1984-1990.
In 1990 Guy became the first president of La Sierra University after the campus programs ended nearly 30 years as part of Loma Linda University. La Sierra University honored him with a Doctor of Divinity degree in 2002.
He is the author of 65 published articles and essays, co-editor of three books, and sole author of Thinking Theologically: Adventist Christianity and the Interpretation of Faith. Fritz’ companion of fifty years, Marcia Specht, passed to her rest in 2006. The Guys have a son, two daughters, and six grandchildren.
“For most of my life my vocation has been that of a theologian in and for the church,” Guy said in response to the Weniger Award. “Wil Alexander (a prior recipient of the Weniger Award) once said that a theologian is a person who prays and thinks at the same time. I would add that a theologian is also a person who needs to think about what it means to believe, and why it makes sense to believe.
“In spite of what people may think, doing theology is not an ivory-tower life. A theologian is called to be part pastor, part professor, part prophet,” Guy continued. “As pastor, a theologian is called to nurture; as professor, a theologian is called to educate; as prophet, a theologian is called to say things that need to be said. No theologian fulfills all of these callings equally well, but every theologian is aware of them and tries to respond to them as well as one can.
“Being a theologian in and for the church has been an extraordinary privilege and blessing—way beyond anything I have deserved. Life in, with, and for the church has been good. Occasional disappointment along the way has been far surpassed by great blessing. I will treasure this award always as a symbol of the goodness, the blessing, and the privilege,” he concluded.
The Weniger Award for Excellence, first bestowed in 1934, bears the name of a scholar and public speaker who taught at Pacific Union College, Angwin, California, then served as professor and dean of the Seventh-day Adventist Seminary in Washington, D.C., and later on the campus of Andrews University. One of the most revered teachers in Adventism, Dr. Weniger’s memory has been kept alive by a committee composed of his former students, colleagues, and admirers of the excellence he embodied. They in turn bestow this award on those identified as having made significant contributions to their communities, the church and the larger world.. This award is presented, first, to a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church that Dr. Weniger loved so much; and secondly, to an individual who has demonstrated these qualities of inspiration, motivation, servanthood, and excellence as exemplified by Dr. Weniger.
PR Contact: Larry Becker
Executive Director of University Relations
La Sierra University