STILLPOINT Archive: last updated 04/13/2016

Remembering Bruce Webb

“He epitomized so much about Gordon at its best.”

Bruce Webb, who taught students of economics and business at Gordon College for more than 35 years, passed away Nov. 10, 2015. A macroeconomist able to explain complicated concepts with remarkable clarity, he integrated philosophy and theology into his work with students, particularly in his popular course Christian Teaching on the Economy. “Bruce had an exceptional understanding of how Christian ethics and Christian theology intersect with economics across the whole sweep of Christian points of view and economic schools of thought,” says his colleague Stephen Smith.

Dr. Webb joined the Gordon faculty in 1977. In 1982, he was among the founding members of the Association of Christian Economists, and for many years he served as co-editor of its journal, Faith & Economics. Deeply committed to the liberal arts, he led the effort a decade ago that reshaped Gordon’s Core curriculum to express the Gordon ethos of global understanding, civic responsibility, theological reflection, aesthetic practice, and scientific methods and principles. For many years he directed the College’s Christianity, Character and Culture Program.

In 2009 he was honored with the College’s Senior Distinguished Faculty Award. “You would never catch this year’s recipient in an ivory tower,” said then-provost Mark Sargent as he announced the award. “In fact, you can just as easily catch him talking with a colleague or student about good novels, recent films and ancient philosophy as you can engage him in conversations about the complexities of his own field.” 

Dr. Webb retired in 2011, but as Emeritus Professor of Economics and Business he continued to write and teach part-time even as he continued to battle cancer. He pursued writing projects about economic growth (as co-author of Human Flourishing: The Case for Economic Growth, published by American Enterprise Press in 2013), and about how Protestants can (and should) use Catholic social teaching.

“Bruce Webb epitomized so much about Gordon at its best: the teacher/scholar ideal for faculty, the vibrant connection between faith and our disciplines, and a high regard for the usefulness of liberal arts education in everyday life and for the common good,” says Dr. Smith.