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The Dickson family in South Korea

From Patients to Students: Doctor Takes Teaching Role at Cedarville University

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

Dr. Terry Dickson, professor of biologyAfter 33 years of medical practice, Dr. Terry Dickson shut down his clinic in Traverse City, Michigan, to become a full-time professor of biology at Cedarville University. He started teaching full-time in August.

Before becoming a full-time professor, Dickson was an online adjunct professor for the Cedarville School of Nursing for four years while he continued his private practice in Michigan.

Last year during the university’s homecoming, Dickson and his wife visited campus to see their daughter, Stephanie, who is a senior linguistics major. While watching the homecoming parade with Dr. Mark McClain, department chair of science and mathematics and professor of chemistry, McClain mentioned the university was looking for a full-time human anatomy professor and wondered if he knew anyone who might be interested.

“At first, I wished he wouldn’t have asked that because I was currently praying for God to help me combine medicine with the ministry, but I didn't want to move away from Michigan,” said Dickson. “I prayed about it and ended up applying because wherever God wants me to go is where I want to go.”

Soon after Dickson interviewed and was offered the position, he shut down his practice. His first semester in the classroom was refreshing and challenging, and he’s glad he was given this opportunity to serve students.

“Dr. Dickson impressed me with his excitement to teach our students from a biblical perspective,” said McClain. “Using his years of patient expertise, he teaches anatomy and physiology to nursing, allied health, sports medicine, and pharmaceutical sciences students.  We are so blessed with outstanding faculty who love God and delight in teaching about creation and the Creator.”

“I would not want to go back again to my practice in medicine. I enjoyed it for many years, but I realized that the students need us,” said Dickson.

Dickson’s mission is to urge his students to live out Matthew 22:37, where Jesus says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

“My prayer for my students is that they learn everything through the Word of God so that they will know what God says about everything,” explained Dickson. “They will then see the world through God's eyes and not through the perspective of the world.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science in Biology programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit

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