Gordon in the News: last updated 04/30/2007

Gordon Alumna Endows Award to Honor Longtime Professor Dr. Marvin Wilson

April 23, 2007

Ashley Hopkins
Office of College Communications

WENHAM, MA-At a recent Gordon ceremony, Dr. Marvin Wilson, an H. J. Ockenga Professor of Biblical & Theological Studies at Gordon College, was presented with the Dr. Marvin Wilson Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities. The gift was given by Gordon graduate and former student of Dr. Wilson, Betsy Gage Pea '79, and her husband, Barry.

"The strength of a college is in its professors," says Betsy Gage Pea. "While studying at Gordon, I saw first hand the impact Dr. Wilson had on the lives of the students. With this gift I hope to not only recognize Dr. Wilson for his years of passionate teaching, but also encourage other faculty to strive for similar success in the classroom and the Gordon community for years to come."

A professor at Gordon for over 36 years, Dr. Wilson has distinguished himself as both a teacher and academic researcher with expertise in Old Testament, Jewish Studies and the Hebraic origins of Christianity. As a leading international Old Testament scholar, in 1970 Dr. Wilson was asked to serve on the Editorial Board for the NIV Old Testament translation project

At both the national and international level, Wilson has been instrumental in building bridges of understanding between Christians and Jews. He has served as organizer and co-chair of four national conferences of both faiths and for more than a decade he has been part of a select group of academics from around the country who serve on the Committee of Church Relations and the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.

"For decades Dr. Wilson has ensured that generations of Gordon students understand the Jewish roots of the Christian faith," says R. Judson Carlberg, president of Gordon College. "Generations of our students love Marv Wilson for his pastor's heart, his teachable spirit and his commitment to growing Christian global leaders, and the gift from the Pea family acknowledges his contribution and helps pass his spirit to the next generation of faculty."

This year Dr. Wilson expanded his interfaith efforts to include the Muslim community during a Trialogue between the three Abrahamic faiths which he organized and moderated. "We need to find common ground and a familiarity with those of other faiths so we can cooperate as a human family, finding areas such as social justice projects where we can and should be working together," says Wilson.

He is the author of over 200 articles and reviews in scholarly works and religious periodicals, and has written several books that deal with the relation of Christianity and Judaism including Our Father Abraham: The Jewish Roots of Christian Faith. This book has served as the foundation for Jews and Christians to dialog with one another, and in 2001 it was made into a PBS documentary under the title "Jews & Christians: A Journey of Faith," for which Dr. Wilson was consultant to and author of the accompanying Study Guide.

"There is no greater honor for a faculty member than to receive acknowledgement for the impact they have made in the lives of students," says Kina Mallard, academic dean of Gordon College. "By establishing this award, the Pea family voiced a public and long-lasting thank you to Dr. Wilson and faculty in the Humanities Division. This award will serve as a reminder to Humanities faculty that students do notice and do remember their dedication and commitment to teaching, learning and the lives of their students."

The generous gift from the Pea family establishes an endowment that will support an annual award for faculty members from the humanities division. Each recipient will be provided with a special gift to encourage them in their teaching and scholarship. Following the award presentation, Wilson commented, "It's very gratifying when students who have been out in the world for many years come back and remember you for your teaching."

Betsy Gage Pea received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Gordon College and currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and their four children.  


Gordon College is a Christian college of the liberal arts and sciences on Boston's North Shore. The college offers majors in 36 fields and has graduate programs in education and music education. Leading the way in Christian college merit, Gordon is nationally ranked for its excellence in academics and its role in character building. These achievements recognize Gordon as one of the nation's top Christian colleges