With the Lord: Dr. Panosian

"This weekend a great man and spiritual mentor passed to glory. In tribute, I recall a past post about how he changed my life." - Olinger

Related: Obituary

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Barry L.'s picture

I think i'm right about this, but he was the only professor where just about every student at Bob Jones University had to attend his class.  The impact of his teaching is huge because it touched so many. 

I thoroughly looked forward to his class each time. Not for just his oratory and knowledge of history, but his ability to read the day and know when to discuss history and when to discuss overcoming life's problems. The school was blessed to have his service. 

Aaron Blumer's picture


I think you're probably right that pretty much every student had him for History of Civ during his career. It's hard to summarize how he influenced me. His teaching was kind of slow and ponderous, but he did it with insight, dry and often clever humor, and a keen grasp of the big picture. Most of all, though, he did it with joy. He wasn't a bubbly guy. Not "joy" in that way. More like a "you can't hear it, but there's an orchestra playing in my mind and it's beautiful and everything I do is part of the symphony" kind of joy.

One of those people you're too young to fully appreciate at the time, but later your thankfulness deepens.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

G. N. Barkman's picture

When I was a student at BJU, Dr. Panosian seemed like a giant from afar.  Years later, Ed Panosian became a personal friend.  He was one of the most godly, humble, and gracious men I've ever known.  He will be greatly missed.

G. N. Barkman

WallyMorris's picture

Loved his classes and his writing. If I am not mistaken, History of Civ is no longer required at BJU for every student. Maybe someone else knows for sure.

Wally Morris

Charity Baptist Church

Huntington, IN


M. Osborne's picture

Wally, see here: https://www.bju.edu/academics/programs/music/

I picked a random major that may no longer require history of civ. 2nd year includes a class

Hi 101: The Making of the Modern World 3 credits

The course focuses on the process of historical thinking from a biblical perspective by investigating the forces and factors that have shaped the world we live in today, and by studying themes including empire building, revolutions, religious movements, philosophical and artistic accomplishments, social and economic networks.


Seems like Hi101 which used to be History of Civ (beginning through about 1650, I think, with Hi102 being 1650 to present) is now a different kind of course.

Looking over the whole music major, it looks like the core is more earnestly focused on issues related to Christian worldview, including a required course in economics.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

M. Osborne's picture

I took Hi101 via correspondence before I arrived on campus; took Hi102 live, 2nd semester my freshman year. And I had Dr. Panosian for some grad church history classes and a correspondence class on the history of the reformation.

He knew his stuff; he had a dry sense of humor that he didn't play up; you had to be paying attention to catch it. (E.g., after an unusual week of classes around the time we were covering WWI, he said as we were dismissed, as a throwaway line, "All right, we'll return to normalcy on Monday.")

But what I remember most is how well he loved his wife.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

dcbii's picture


As did just about everyone at BJU in the 80's, I had to take both semesters of History of Civ as well.  Because of my major (Mathematics), those classes actually came in my junior year rather than my freshman year, since the freshman year was given to loading up math and science majors to see if they would buckle under the pressure or be able to handle their chosen major.

To be honest, I didn't really appreciate his lectures at the time.  They rambled into various topics, and rarely covered actual world history, except tangentially.  Yes, the dry humor could be funny, but given the tunnel vision I had in college, the time spent in those lectures seemed a "waste," as it wasn't (from my point of view) "directly applicable" to my daily life and studies (or even what was on the History of Civ tests).  In retrospect, I realize he was trying to teach larger life lessons from history, rather than history itself.

Looking back now, I appreciate what he was trying to do, along with the whole "liberal arts" focus that BJU had at the time.  I was originally looking for more or less a "Christian Technical" education but the education at BJU was much more broad, and Dr. Panosian was a part of that broadening.  While I didn't care for his teaching at the time, I now have a much better and fonder view of him and what he was trying to teach us.  As others have said, he will be greatly missed at BJU.

Dave Barnhart

AndyE's picture

I certainly echo all the sentiments mentioned so far.  Besides History of Civ, I remember him for his acting, vespers, and the many articles he wrote for Faith for the Family and Biblical Viewpoint.  His voice commanded attention. 

BJU really needs to find a building to name after him.  The obvious choice would be Stratton Hall, since that  was the location of all those History of Civ classes.  Or find a men's dorm , or the Alumni Building.  If anyone deserves that sort of honor, it would be him.



Barry L.'s picture

Famous Phrases from Dr. Panosian that we all know:

"Get out a half sheet of paper",  "This too shall pass", "But I digress",  "The Holy Roman Empire was neither Holy or Roman, nor was it an empire"

M. Osborne's picture

@WallyMorris: Dr. Panosian's history of civ courses and some other courses were available via the BJU office of extended education as taped lectures. Presumably those recordings exist somewhere, still. If I remember right, the recordings were made of live class sessions.

Michael Osborne
Philadelphia, PA

josh p's picture

He has also spoken at several conferences. I remember listening to his first person biographical lectures. It may have been the CCGG conference.