Faculty Spotlight | Dr. Tracy Foster
Facing the future is difficult. There are so many questions that pop up when it comes to a career, a family, a house, a location. It’s overwhelming and can weigh you down. But, we don’t have to carry that weight at all if we let Christ unload our worries for us.
Dr. Tracy Foster, a professor here at MBU, knows exactly what it’s like to face an unknown future. His life experiences have shaped him into the man and mentor he is today.
This is his story.
The Testimony of Childhood
Dr. Foster’s childhood doesn’t fit into the perfect Christian family ideal. He was born and raised in Billings, Montana, and lived with his parents and three siblings. This ‘fairly normal’ childhood lasted only until his parents divorced when he was in sixth grade. He was devastated. The next few years of his life were difficult, and he experienced the dysfunctional home life millions of children experience each year.
It wasn’t until he moved in with his father and stepmother that he heard about Jesus Christ. Dr. Foster’s stepmother kindly shared the Gospel with him, and he accepted Christ into his heart sometime in high school.
Starting a Family
Not long after getting saved, Dr. Foster began dating a young Christian woman in his Navy Junior ROTC group. They got married a year out of high school. Years later, they had their own biological daughter and adopted another daughter.
Dr. Foster and his wife knew early on they wanted to raise their children in a Christian home. So, the young couple committed to attending church regularly, studying Scripture, and growing in the Lord together. Creating their first-generation Christian home was difficult, but they had the encouragement of the church and the hope of Christ.
Hearing the Calling
Dr. Foster attended a local college for accounting at 28 years old. As he puts it, choosing accounting was “somewhat of a guess.” But, once classes started, he knew he made the right choice. He enjoyed the classes and felt God planted the seed to teach in his heart while he was there.
Dr. Foster spent the next 20 years after graduation in the Army in various financial positions. He continued to feel called to teach, and after getting his Master of Business Administration, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Finance School in Columbia, SC. There he taught budget and accounting classes for three years.
All of this ultimately led him to Maranatha.
While looking at seminary for further ministry education, Dr. Foster found a faculty opening on campus at MBU. He taught accounting full time before he was asked to take on the role as dean for the School of Business, where he is still at today.
An MBU Mentor
Dr. Foster will be the first to tell you that God is always faithful to provide. God provided love and encouragement in Dr. Foster’s early life and has continued to provide wisdom and strength today. That’s what makes working at MBU so rewarding for him.
What has really brought joy to Dr. Foster over the years is seeing the growth of students. While Dr. Foster meets with his students to discuss academic issues like degree planning, internships, and class registration, meetings usually go beyond the current semester on campus. There’s no shortage of CPA exams, Biblical truths, and career planning discussions in the office.
Mentoring doesn’t stop once graduation comes and goes. Dr. Foster stays in contact with students by sending them newsletters and catching up about life.
So, the most important takeaway for Dr. Foster is this: our time at MBU is not an end in itself. This is a place to help us – and even our professors – grow and learn about who we are and what God has planned for our lives. Dr. Foster’s desire is for our spiritual and academic growth to continue past graduation. Get plugged into a church. Spend time in God’s word. Live that we might keep our eyes on the prize and soon hear those words for our Savior, “well done, thou good and faithful servant!”