Dr. Wallace Woods
November 16, 1915 – September 14, 2014
Arizona Christian University is mourning the loss of the first president of Southwestern Conservative Baptist Bible College, now Arizona Christian University, Dr. Wallace Woods. Dr. Woods passed away on Sunday, Sept. 14 at the age of 98. Dr. Woods would have celebrated his 100th birthday on November 16th of next year. Dr. Woods served as president of Southwestern Bible College from 1965 to 1975.
ACU President Len Munsil met with Dr. Woods on ACU’s campus just weeks ago. Dr. Woods encouraged President Munsil, saying, “God has a purpose for this school. Our goal is quality and uniqueness as the Lord leads.” He also let President Munsil know that he still prayed for him and for ACU on a daily basis. Dr. Woods was present and stood to offer a prayer of blessing at President Munsil’s installation in October 2010, when he was nearly 95.
During this meeting, Dr. Woods also told stories from his earlier days, which included being denied admittance into the U.S. Navy for lacking in math skills in the summer of 1941, months before the attack on Pearl Harbor. He ended up joining the Navy, but eventually resigned because he wanted to go into the mission field.
Dr. Woods was a highly educated man, receiving his undergraduate degree from Ottawa University and a Master’s in Business from Stanford. While serving in the military, the Navy, after realizing his high level of intelligence, sent Dr. Woods to Harvard Business School to further his studies. Before serving as the first president of Southwestern, he served in leadership at a school for Native Americans as well as a college vice president. Around age 65, Dr. Woods “retired” and served with his wife as a missionary in Philippines for several years.
In 1965, during the first year of his presidency, Dr. Woods wrote: “We want to be current in our thinking and up-to-date in our methods. We want to be relevant to the changing needs of people. Nevertheless, there are foundations upon which we stand as a Bible college, and we fix our anchor in the authority of the scriptures. By God’s grace we want to be flexible in the application of Biblical principles to the training of students for effective service in their respective careers and yet hold steadfastly to the Statement of Faith which has characterized the College since its founding.”
Dr. Woods’ commitment to Scripture has continued under each subsequent president and remains our primary focus at Arizona Christian University. We are grateful to God for the life of Dr. Wallace Woods and for the solid foundation he has laid for all of us at Arizona Christian University.