Dr. Robert Samuel Thorpe is Interim Dean, College of Theology and Ministry at ORU.
Thorpe came to ORU in 1977 for his graduate degree in theology. “I knew my calling from the Lord was teacher,” he states, “so I came to get an academic teaching degree at ORU. It was charismatic and evangelical and close to my family.” He worked in ORU administration from 1979-1987, and has been a faculty member since 1991, when he came to teach in the theology department, and, “to fulfill my call.” He has been Department of Theology Chairman since 2015.
Thorpe’s father was a professional baseball player, so the family traveled a great deal, and even lived in Cuba for a time (before Castro). He cites his salvation experience, his marriage and children, coming to ORU, and living and teaching in England for four years as influential events that shaped him both personally and professionally.
All subjects of study, even non-theological, interest him. “Christ calls all of us to appreciate everyone, all denominations and Christian traditions, and to grow in spirit, soul, and body in every way we know,” Thorpe states. “I have ministered in many different settings, in different ways. So I am ecumenical in the best sense of the term, and endeavor to live according to all biblical principles.”
Thorpe has always played some kind of sport: basketball, baseball, track and field, and tennis, and his hobbies include golf, reading, and painting ceramics. Although he takes time every morning and evening for Bible reading and prayer, he expects to hear the Lord’s word and see His actions all day. “I communicate with the Lord all day, every day,” he says. “He is always with me and hears my prayers.”
Dr. Thorpe’s wife has an M.A. in Theology from the University of Wales, Bangor (UK) and a professional certification in spiritual formation. They have one daughter and three sons, all Christians, and 12 grandchildren.