Clarks Summit University extends deep condolences to the family of Dr. William Arp. Arp, a long-serving CSU and Baptist Bible Seminary faculty member, passed away Sunday, July 2, 2017.
A celebration of life service will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 7, 2017, at Heritage Baptist Church. Cards and notes for the Arp family can be sent to Joanna Arp at 906 Walnut Street, Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, 18411. In lieu of flowers, gifts can be sent to the Heritage Baptist Church Deacon’s Fund.
Dr. William Arp
Dr. William Arp, known by many as Bill, faithfully served CSU for over 45 years. Arp began teaching at CSU in 1970 and taught at the college level for 18 years. He then transitioned to teaching various New Testament and Greek courses at Baptist Bible Seminary in 1988 until the time of his passing.
Arp has written two Sunday school quarterlies as well as several journal articles. He taught Sunday school and served as a deacon at Heritage Baptist Church in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania. Dr. Arp received his B.S. from Philadelphia Biblical University (’65), his M.Div. (’68) and his S.T.M. from Faith Theological Seminary (’71) and his Th.D. in New Testament from Grace Theological Seminary (’83).
Before his career at CSU and BBS, Arp spent three and a half years as a youth pastor at Faith Community Church in Roslyn, Pennsylvania; as well as two years as a youth pastor at Berachah Baptist Church in Bridgeton, New Jersey. He also taught for three and a half years at South Jersey Evening Bible Institute and was highly recommended to CSU for college-level professorship by one of his professors and multiple pastors who knew him at the Evening Bible Institute.
Dr. Arp’s knowledge of Greek text, the Greek New Testament, the English Bible and his skill in exegesis have been instrumental in developing CSU’s Greek program. He modeled godliness throughout his life, and his constancy—investing nearly 50 years of his life into CSU—is a solid model for the way ministry is effectively done.
Dr. Arp was born December 7, 1941, and was married to his wife Joanna, who taught at CSU from the mid-70s to 2015, for 51 years. Together they have 5 children and 12 grandchildren.
Leaving a Legacy
Arp lived a life of impact. He poured into the lives of his students, his family, his co-workers and the Church. Of Arp’s impact, Vice President of Academics, Dr. Bill Higley, said, “Dr. Arp was a scholar-shepherd. His love for the Bible and the careful study of it was surpassed only by the love he had for people. Anyone that knows Bill knows how much he loved his family. But he didn’t stop there, he loved his students and colleagues as well.”
Higley was also once a student of Arp’s and he admits some feelings of awkwardness when he took on his role as Vice President of Academics, which placed him above Arp in the hierarchy of the institution, but Dr. Arp always took every opportunity to encourage Higley. “His example of gracious humility in every situation will be something I will take with me for the rest of my life,” continued Higley.
Arp did more for his students than teach them theology. He challenged them academically and spiritually. He always prompted his students to think through failures and learn from them. Higley warmly remembers how Dr. Arp taught him “a theology of love and genuine concern for people” through his interactions both in and out of the classroom. Higley also admits how he strives to emulate the valuable life lessons he learned from Arp daily.
Current CSU President and former student of Dr. Arp, Dr. Jim Lytle, also cherishes the fond memories he has of Arp. “I learned to appreciate his calm, encouraging, consistent trust in God. He was always absolutely convinced that God was in control of our lives and the school,” said Lytle.
Lytle fondly remembers an incident one Sunday morning involving Dr. Arp: “Once when I was preaching at Heritage Baptist Church my outline was not completely alliterated. I commented on this during the sermon and Dr. Arp immediately spoke up to supply the word that I could’ve used to make the whole thing match. Everyone had a good laugh about it!”
It was instances like this when Dr. Arp’s calm sense of humor and his scholarly nature came together that brought joy to those around him. A loyal fan of baseball (specifically the Philadelphia Phillies and CSU Defenders), an articulate speaker, a spiritually gifted encourager, dedicated husband, father and professor are just a few of the many ways in which Arp will be remembered by the countless people he has impacted throughout his life and ministry.