By BRITTANY BRAZIL
As the semester is coming to a close, students and professors are reflecting upon their spring semester and what is in store for the fall. For one professor though, the journey at North Central will be coming to an end.
This is the last semester that Dave Pedde will be teaching at North Central, as many found out during the first chapel of the 2009-2010 school year. It has saddened many North Central students, but there are different plans in store for the man most students call “Dave.”
“It’s going to be different with him gone – nobody can really replace him,” said sophomore music and elementary education major Kim Sargent. “I think he’s an interesting teacher who has his own style. He has a lot of knowledge and I really learned a lot from him.”
Pedde graduated from North Central in 1985 with a B.S. in Sacred Music, and is currently the Assistant Professor of Music and North Central’s composer in residence. He has taught at North Central since 1992 – 18 years.
Pedde recalled some of the classes he’s orchestrated during this time.
“I’ve taught conducting, Performance Preparation I and II, Songwriting I and II, Worship Leading, Music Appreciation, Songcraft, Rhythm Section Methods, Biblical Theology of Christian Worship, Contemporary Christian Music Ministry Philosophy…should I go on?”
“Apparently my goal has been to come up with class titles that can’t fit on a DA (degree audit) sheet,” he joked. He has also been the One Accord director since 1992 after taking it over from its founder, Larry Bach. Pedde has felt a mix of emotions about leaving North Central. “I feel sad, excited, overwhelmed, confident in His leading/provision, and like I am leaving home.”
Pedde indicated the main reason for his leaving is God’s leading.
“I have a saying as it relates to God’s leading: not one day longer, not one day shorter,” he said. “I came in 1992 for a one-year interim position and got to extend my stay another 17 years – what a great ride. I would not be tak- ing one step in any direction away from here were I not convinced that God was leading us.”
He has challenged many students and pushed them to reach their full potential. Senior Jess Nickel is one of those students.
“I’m excited for Dave to do other things that he’s been called to and branch out to the other gifts God has given him, but it is a sad loss for the school, she said. “(In) being a part of Worship Live, he’s taught me to not just sing and lead people in worship, but to find myself in the words. He’s challenged me and pushed me into making my music performance better without just giving me all the answers.”
Freshman contemporary christian music major Essie Baker is one of many other students who will miss Pedde.
“I’m sad that he is leaving. He’s really cool, inspiring, and his whole outlook on life is down to earth; you can just see the real relationship he has with God,” Said Baker. “He makes me want to have a better relationship with God and to be closer to Him. I only got to have one class with him, but I know he is going where God wants him to go and have an impact on more people’s lives and influence people in Canada.”
As for Pedde’s plans after North Central, he, his wife Debbie, and two of their five children will be moving to Toronto, Ontario, Canada to partner with a thriving church called The Portico. The church is establishing a two-year school that will have an emphasis on worship ministries. “It’s a super exciting and challenging adventure, one that we are confident that God is leading us towards,” said Pedde. As he reflects back on his 18 years at North Central, one of his best memories on campus is the prayer and fasting times on Fridays and one of his best experiences has been teaching. “I can’t believe what an absolutely incredible privilege it has been to be a teacher and mentor to so many,” he said. “I never ‘grew up’ wanting to be a teacher, but I know now that God fashioned me for it.”
“Watching people grow in Christ and serve Him throughout their lives is gratifying beyond what I ever thought it would be,” added Pedde. “People who started out as my students have become my friends…wow, (it’s) humbling.” Pedde said that the best advice he can give to any- one is to follow God. He also wanted to let everyone know how thankful he is for everything. “Thank you to my colleagues for allowing me the privilege of learning from you,” said Pedde.
On behalf of the Northerner, may God bless Dave and his family in their future endeavors.
To give Dave a proper send-off, and attempt to show him our appreciation for the way he poured his heart and soul into our lives over the years, there will be a party on Monday eve- ning, April 26th, in the Chapel at NCU at 7 pm. Dave will be sharing music from his new worship album, and a few of his students will be paying tribute to him in story and song. It will be a night to remember for all of us, but mostly a night for Dave to be reminded that his work has meant the world to us, and has had an impact in the Kingdom of God that will last forever. Please RSVP Melody Olson at firstname.lastname@example.org or online on Facebook.
Photos courtesy Debbie Pedde