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Students called him “The Crusher” for his tough instructional style. Yet he had the heart of a shepherd. That’s how CIU Seminary & School of Ministry Dean, Dr. John Harvey eulogized his colleague and friend Dr. Bill Larkin.
Larkin passed away on Feb. 18, 2014 following a battle with cancer. He was 68 years old.
Larkin taught for 38 years at CIU until his retirement in 2013. His life included a long list of accomplishments. He was an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America and joined the faculty of CIU after a year of pastoral ministry in Philadelphia and the completion of graduate studies in England. He authored or co-authored several books, including Bible commentaries.
Larkin also wrote an academic paper on the six roles of a professor: instructor, scholar, advisor, pastor, administrator, and churchman. At Larkin’s funeral conducted at his church, The First Presbyterian Church of Columbia, Harvey said that Larkin lived up to all those roles.
“He was demanding on his students as he was on himself,” Harvey said. “He invested in studying God’s Word as deeply as possible, so he could teach as accurately as possible.”
At the same time, Harvey said Larkin considered his advisees the flock God had entrusted to his care.
“But not just his students, but also his colleagues,” Harvey remembered. “Anyone, anytime, you just knocked on his door, and he would put aside whatever he was working on and hear what was on your heart. I guarantee you; you would not get out of his office without him praying for you, because he was a pastor.”
CIU President Emeritus Robertson McQuilkin then prayed that the thousands of people impacted by Larkin would “fall in line behind Bill” who “followed in the footsteps of Jesus.”
Gifts in memory of Dr. Larkin may be made to the William J. Larkin Faculty Fellowship at:
See Dr. Larkin's obituary in The State newspaper of Columbia: