For the past 30 years Chuck Nichols has been an integral part of Providence life. Professor Emeritus of Educational Studies, Dr. Charles (Chuck) Nichols died on January 14, 2014. Providence Theological Seminary and University College will miss him greatly.
Dr. Nichols was born in 1939 and grew up in New Jersey near Philadelphia. His academic career included studies at Philadelphia College of the Bible (B.S. in 1967), Wheaton College (M.A. in 1970), and the University of Nebraska (Ph.D. in 1983). It included also many years as a teacher at Grace College of the Bible in Nebraska (1970 to 1983) and at Providence (1983 to the present). Chuck retired from full-time teaching in 2009 and became Professor Emeritus. He continued teaching regular modules in the seminary program until this past October (October 2013).
Chuck was also an ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America, and served as minister of youth at the First United Methodist Church in his home town, New Jersey from 1963 to 1967, and then as minister of education at the Wheaton Evangelical Free Church from 1968 to 1970. He continued his activities as an ordained minister preaching in many different venues. Chuck had a passion for missions as well—from serving as the chairman of World Team USA to spending time on the OM Ships in West Africa. He expressed this passion within his own congregation, as well in the global church.
In 1963 Chuck married Susan (Elwell), known to all as Sue, who survives him. Chuck and Sue became fully part of Steinbach life, in the church and in the community. In constant demand as a teacher and speaker at churches and Bible camps and colleges from Lithuania to Brazil, Chuck was a great ambassador for Christ, for the church, and for Providence. He had a gift for connecting with students, remembering names and people better than most.
Chuck and I carpooled for many years from Steinbach to Otterburne, as he taught his courses in Christian Education, and I in missions. He was a good partner driving back and forth, and a good man in the various arenas of his life. We remember him as a frequent participant in all forms of sports—playing football and basketball and floor hockey. He enjoyed watching college football (go Cornhuskers!), but enjoyed playing more.
It is hard to say in which place we will miss him most—the classroom, his home church, the many places in which he served (from the OM Ships to teaching abroad in various countries), the basketball court, or any other place. The truth is, we miss him in all of these, and more. Our love and prayers remain with Sue and with those closest to Chuck and Sue. God keep you and comfort you in the days ahead.
Daryl Climenhaga, D. Miss.
Associate Professor, Global Studies, Providence Theological Seminary
January 14, 2014