Have you ever wondered what Professor Trouten’s favourite movies are? Did you know that he’s written and directed multiple plays over the years, including major Easter productions at a mega-church in Louisiana? Then continue reading and find out more about this fascinating faculty member.
How long have you been teaching here at Kingswood?
I arrived here in 2000.
What were you doing before you came to Kingswood?
I was working as the academic dean of a business college in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, while also teaching marketing, advertising, and job skills. Before that, I worked with private media companies as a cameraman, editor, and producer. I also helped a friend start his own video company. I videoed weddings, funerals, and insurance incidents. I was also a videographer for congressional hearings. And did I mention I was also a substitute teacher.
How did you end up coming to Kingswood?
Due some issues at the business college, beyond my control, I knew I needed to look for other work. My Mom was reading “The Harvester,” Kingswood’s publication at the time. She saw Kingswood was advertising for an English teacher and told me to apply. I wasn’t entirely interested in teaching just English. However, to please my Mom, I got in touch with Kingswood.
Within five minutes of sending my resume, I received a call from Debbie Benson, asking if I would have a chat with the current president Dave Medders. Through that conversation with him, I discovered that the job would entail much more than just teaching English. I thought, “I think I can probably do this and enjoy it.”
All the details miraculously fell into place for us to move here. Since The Wesleyan Church was having their General Conference close to where I was living, the board members were able to interview me.
Do understand me: We loved Louisiana. Our church family was so close to us. Because of that, we really needed strong assurance that we should leave. I directed the huge Easter pageant production at our mega-sized church. However, when I was planning for it that year, God clearly spoke to me, “This is your last pageant. Enjoy it.” I honestly thought that meant I was going to die. I kept thinking: “But I have a wife and a toddler. They need me.”
What courses do you teach?
I teach the freshman orientation course called “Wellness.” I also teach “Writing & Research,” “Oral Communication,” “Scientific Thought,” and “Western Literature I & II.”
What’s your favourite course that you teach?
“Western Literature II.” We discuss the cultural connection to the media. We analyze movies, the arts, and media as a whole. The students really get into it. That is where I get the most positive feedback: “I’ll be so much more discerning about what I watch from now on.”
What is your role as the director of general education? Can you define “general education,” please?
General education is another term for the humanities. We’re a Bible school, so most of our courses are focused toward meeting ministry requirements. But we need general courses as well. I arrange to have various of our faculty teach such courses as English, sociology, history, and philosophy.
I know you have written plays in the past. Are you currently writing one now?
I’m not writing any plays right now; however, I’m currently writing a novel. For the past two years, I’ve also been a monthly contributor to the online parenting magazine Just 18 Summers. I’m the Dad’s voice: I write articles on fathering.
What is your perspective on a Christian’s place within the arts?
Christians should be leading in the arts. Anything creative comes from the Creator. We have to lock into that. Christians are often the ones behind major advancements in communications. They were involved in the early days of radio and television. I believe that the creative arts are one of the best ways to promote the Gospel and to fight against biblical illiteracy.
Where do you hope to see Kingswood headed in the future?
I would like to see Kingswood grow and expand its desire to train up not just those who will stand on a platform in a local church but also those who will work and minister in all kinds of contexts. I want us to train more people for vocational ministry – to essentially be “tent builders.”
What do you absolutely love to do in your free time?
My job is very time-consuming, so I really enjoy spending time with my family. I like to read such authors as Steven James and Doug Peterson. I, of course, love to watch movies, but I tend to like older ones. I have a list of about 20 of my favourites such as It’s a Wonderful Life, and Alister Sim’s A Christmas Carol. I’m a big fan of Jimmy Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock movies.