When Dr. Chris Bowman isn’t grading student papers or preparing his teaching assistants for class, you’ll find him in his orchard. Tenderly watering and weeding his plants, he has grown orange and peach trees, along with dragon fruit plants—all from seed.
Reiterated in one of his favorite quotes, it’s easy to see why this educator became a gardener. “You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can’t count the apples in a seed. When you teach, you never know how many lives you will influence...you are teaching for eternity,” said Christian author Karen Jensen.
Dr. Bowman has made his life’s goal to teach for eternity, spending 35 years educating children and young adults at Pensacola Christian. “The most rewarding experience in being a teacher is seeing the positive changes that are made in the lives of my students,” said Dr. Bowman.
When Chris Bowman was first considering a major for college, he knew one thing—he liked working with the children’s ministry in his church. “When it was time to decide what to major in, I thought it would be good to continue working with children,” he said. “Although this is not the best way to choose a major, I praise God for putting me in the ministry of His choice.”
And the ministry the Lord chose for him made him the man he is today. “I have been changed, molded, and formed into what I am today by the wonderful people I have worked with who took the time to correct me, encourage me, and inspire me,” he said. “However, nothing can be compared to what a godly wife has done for me in all areas of my life.”
Dr. Bowman met his wife, Luwanda, at PCC on the first day of their freshmen year, but it wasn’t until after they had traveled with a choral ensemble for the College during an Interterm and performed a duet at the Valentine Student Body, that people began to match them up. Everyone thought they would go well together, and during their junior year, they began dating. From there, the Lord blossomed their relationship into a wonderful marriage with four children (and a dozen grandchildren).
At first, Dr. Bowman taught elementary classes at Pensacola Christian School (now Pensacola Christian Academy). Twelve years later, he moved to PCC to begin teaching college classes.
“Teaching in the elementary for twelve years gave me a wealth of experience to apply in my college classes and as I work with my teaching assistants,” he said. “That experience also shaped my beliefs about what education should be, especially Christian education, so that I could stand firmly as I worked on my master’s and doctoral degrees at secular institutions.”
Being able to compare a secular education to a Christian one, Dr. Bowman is thankful for the opportunity to work at PCC, a place where he knows he is working with others who share the same values. “I love the likeminded people with whom I serve,” he said. “I love to see my students grow in knowledge and in their service for the Lord.”
Currently, he supervises the 4th–6th grade teacher assistants at Pensacola Christian Academy and teaches Educational Psychology, Teaching Arithmetic, and Arithmetic Skills for the Elementary School at PCC, as well as two graduate classes. In his classes, he strives to weave a Christian worldview through each aspect of teaching—even in math class.
“Our theme verse for Teaching Arithmetic is Isaiah 28:10,” he said. “‘For precept must be upon precept...line upon line, line upon line.’ That is how arithmetic is taught in a traditional Christian school. That is the way God intended for children to learn, a little at a time with lots of review.”
His strong philosophy and concern for students is why Dr. Bowman remains one of the most endearing educators at PCC. As students gather year after year in Dr. Bowman’s classroom, he continues to faithfully water his seeds, watching God give the increase.