Longterm professor and museum founder dies

Thu, 2006-06-08 11:02 -- univcomm
June 8, 2006

Anderson University is saddened by the recent loss of Dr. Gustav Jeeninga, professor emeritus of Biblical Studies and founder of the Gustav Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies on the campus of Anderson University. Jeeninga was the founder and director of the Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies. After founding the museum, he served as its director from 1963 to 1992.

Dr. Jeeninga began his career with Anderson University in 1960 as professor of Biblical Studies, teaching both Old Testament and Archaeology until his retirement in 1989. He also became the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. During his 29 year tenure as a professor at AU, Jeeninga participated in six major archaeological digs. His archaeological focus was at Caesarea Maritima, Tel-Rumeith (Israel), and other sites in Jordan and Cyprus.

Jeeninga began his academic career in 1947 at Anderson University. He started graduate work in 1951 at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He eventually studied archaeology at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago (1954) and completed his Doctor of Theology at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1960. Jeeninga was also a world traveler. He traveled around the globe in 1952-53 by airplane, taxi, bus, and hitch-hiking. Dr. Jeeninga also took interest in Mesoamerican architecture and culture in his later tenure with Anderson University.

The Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies is an outgrowth of Dr. Jeeninga’s own personal collection, acquired as aids for teaching the Old Testament. His personal collection, located in his office, was moved to a case in the University Library before finding a permanent home in the School of Theology in 1963.

Dr. Jeeninga was born in Treebeck, in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands, in 1924. He is the son of a Dutch coal miner and pioneer pastor of the Church of God (Anderson). In 1940, Germany occupied his homeland forcing him to serve Nazi Germany in Berlin. Dr. Jeeninga recounts these stories of Nazi Germany and other personal adventures in his book, “Doors to Life” (Anderson University Press, IN, 2002).

Anderson University is saddened by the recent loss of Dr. Gustav Jeeninga, professor emeritus of Biblical Studies and founder of the Gustav Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies on the campus of Anderson University. Jeeninga was the founder and director of the Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies. After founding the museum, he served as its director from 1963 to 1992.

Dr. Jeeninga began his career with Anderson University in 1960 as professor of Biblical Studies, teaching both Old Testament and Archaeology until his retirement in 1989. He also became the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. During his 29 year tenure as a professor at AU, Jeeninga participated in six major archaeological digs. His archaeological focus was at Caesarea Maritima, Tel-Rumeith (Israel), and other sites in Jordan and Cyprus.

Jeeninga began his academic career in 1947 at Anderson University. He started graduate work in 1951 at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He eventually studied archaeology at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago (1954) and completed his Doctor of Theology at Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1960. Jeeninga was also a world traveler. He traveled around the globe in 1952-53 by airplane, taxi, bus, and hitch-hiking. Dr. Jeeninga also took interest in Mesoamerican architecture and culture in his later tenure with Anderson University.

The Jeeninga Museum of Bible and Near Eastern Studies is an outgrowth of Dr. Jeeninga’s own personal collection, acquired as aids for teaching the Old Testament. His personal collection, located in his office, was moved to a case in the University Library before finding a permanent home in the School of Theology in 1963.

Dr. Jeeninga was born in Treebeck, in the province of Limburg, the Netherlands, in 1924. He is the son of a Dutch coal miner and pioneer pastor of the Church of God (Anderson). In 1940, Germany occupied his homeland forcing him to serve Nazi Germany in Berlin. Dr. Jeeninga recounts these stories of Nazi Germany and other personal adventures in his book, “Doors to Life” (Anderson University Press, IN, 2002).