Dr. Jibben teaches in the College of Theology at Grand Canyon University. A native of Minnesota, he studied biology and chemistry before earning an M.Div. in Biblical languages, MA in Biblical Literature and a D.Min. focused on the theology, theory and practice of leadership. His interests include the New Testament, transformational leadership and hiking. He and his wife Michelle have four sons.
How did you become a Christ-follower?
While a sophomore in college, I met a group of Christians for whom Christianity was not a far off philosophy, but a close relationship. This intrigued me and they introduced me to the person of Jesus Christ. He changed radically not only my behavior, but also my inner life. Suddenly, true happiness, indescribable peace and tenacious hope became a reality. From there, I gained a passion to teach the Bible.
What do you enjoy most about your ministry in the College of Theology?
GCU in general and the COT in particular have remarkable people to work alongside and amazing opportunities for ministry beyond the classroom. However, the greatest joy of ministry here is helping students engage in in-depth study of the scriptures and translating that study into passionate leadership. Only a very few people around the world and throughout history have had both the tools available to do in-depth study and at the same time such a great opportunity to make such an impactful difference in society.
The culture around us is changing rapidly. How do you think the church should respond?
Just as the church ought to be passionate about exegeting scripture, we ought to be equally passionate about exegeting culture. While we must remain true to our convictions, we must also understand people within our culture. Our goal in this is missional. Missiology seeks to understand how to best present the Gospel to a foreign culture; and our culture is becoming more and more ‘foreign’ to the local church.
What advice do I have for theology students?
Magnum opus is Latin for “great work.” It is usually reserved for the great work of an entire notable career. However, I would encourage you to make your current project your magnum opus thus far in your life. Just like normal, you will be faced with personal emergencies, ministry opportunities and regular demands in life. It will be easy to submit a merely good project. However, it is your magnum opus projects that change you and affect you most for a lifetime of ministry.