A Justice that Touched the Lives of All People 

A Tribute to Glen Stassen by Student Nick Palacios

Bounding into the classroom, awkwardly oblivious to the bicycle helmet still strapped to his head, Glen was like a cagey panther ready to pounce on new students' fresh and eager minds. Glen had a contagious zeal for learning and the academy was his playground. This passion was so dynamic that one could never anticipate the sort of visceral response they might get. During one of the last lectures of his career, tears streamed from Glen’s eyes as he read from Bonhoeffer’s Letters and Papers from Prison. Glen didn’t just teach, he inspired his students to action through sharing his own emotional connection with his work and his Lord.

Glen believed in a justice that touched the lives of all people. When so many Christians allow their religious platitudes to relegate their “other” to the margins of the Church, culture, and society, Glen used his ethical scaffolding as a means to widen the embrace of the Church. His passion and commitment to achieving justice for all people was evidently seen in his advocacy for the rights and dignity of all, and most recently those of gender and sexual minorities. As faculty advisor for Fuller’s student group OneTable, Glen worked directly with students and faculty to navigate a tenuous conversation while creating safe spaces for all to come together. When most people are more comfortable sitting on the sidelines of such an emotionally charged conversation, offering criticism from the bench (or pew), Glen always chose to roll up his sleeves and get in the game. Glen’s love for people mimicked that of Christ’s. He saw past people’s constructed identities to their basic humanity as impetus for relationship.

To a man above many men – thank you, Dr. Glen Stassen, aka Horse, for your indelible contribution to the academy, ethics, global church, and the lives of your many many students. You leave a legacy of profound insight into what it means to live incarnationally in response to the life of Christ. Your friendship and personal support of OneTable will have lasting effects for years to come. Thank you, Glen, thank you! We will mourn now, but celebrate your life for years to come.

Nicholaus Palacios is a Fuller student and president of OneTable, a student discussion group which included Dr. Glen Stassen as a faculty advisor.   

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