The Thistle

The Relational Emphasis at Covenant Seminary

Like most MDiv students at Covenant Seminary, my second year began with Hebrew, and Dr. Brian Aucker was my professor.

Dr. Aucker is a moderately intense man with sharp features who reminds me of a navy pilot. He opened his first lecture with a slide of Dr. Otto Octavius, the main antagonist in Spider-Man 2. “Doc Ock” as he calls himself, is a hulking, brutish villain with four robotic tentacles extruding from his spine. Where his head should have been in the slide, an exaggeratedly obvious Photoshop version of Dr. aucker’s smiling face replaced it. It was “Doc Auck’s” way of a warm handshake for the whole class. I thought it clever, but also felt, aside from Dr. Aucker’s homonym use, that he was going to be someone I would enjoy.

Brian is a humble, scholarly, focused man. He shies away from praise and is dedicated to his students and his craft. While each member of our faculty strives to model Christ in the classroom, Brian’s way of doing so is endearing. this led me to his office door one spring morning when life was overwhelming me. I wanted someone to talk to who had answers. Brian, for some reason, came to mind. In retrospect, I think I went mostly because I felt safe. For whatever reason, I knocked, he invited me in, and we started to talk.

That meeting was the first of many. tuesdays at 11 a.m. became our standing appointment. I shared questions and thoughts, and Brian spoke into what he could. We thought out loud and told life stories. Brian encouraged me. He was an advocate in a season of doubt. God was very kind to give me that time, and it meant a lot personally that I had Dr. Aucker in my life because of it.