Faculty Spotlight: Al Carper

Andrew Schmidt
February 28, 2019
Bruin Daze culminates in Greek Games competition
February 28, 2019

Faculty Spotlight: Al Carper

Mr. Carper teaching his excell class in Alumni 219, BJU, Greenville, SC, February 25, 2019. (Joanna King)

Al Carper teaches in the School of Business and serves as liaison to the military ROTC program.

Carper teaches a variety of business and banking courses at the University, and his 20-plus years as a business manager in the U.S. Navy’s Supply Corps made him the logical choice for the program coordinator for BJU’s Army and Air Force ROTC programs.

Carper started at BJU in 1973 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry.  One year into his undergraduate studies, he realized this field was not where his passion lay or where God wanted him to be.

After eliminating several other potential options, Carper visited some business courses and found a sense of belonging. He changed his major to business and graduated in 1977.

“It was like a lightbulb went on,” Carper said. “God was saying, ‘I will for you to do this,’ because I just enjoyed it.”

After graduation, Carper was hired as Sales Development Manager for Clark Equipment Company, a fortune 500 company in Chicago after his wife at the time was hired at a Christian school in the area. He worked at that position for a year and a half and then transitioned into working as manager of First Citizens Bank in North Carolina for five years.

He worked on obtaining his master’s degree from the McColl School of Business at Queens University.  During this time, he received a letter from the provost of BJU asking Carper if he would be interested in taking the position of one of Carper’s former professors. This professor, upon retiring, specifically recommended Carper for the position.

Carper accepted and has served on the faculty at BJU for over 35 years before and after his military service.

For a time, Carper served as Bob Jones University’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer, but he chose to return to a teaching position in recent years.

The U.S. Navy Reserve gave Carper a direct commission in 1989. Carper then enrolled in the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Georgia, and completed the academic program there. Carper’s first military assignment was as Administrative Officer for the Naval Supply Center (NSC) in Charleston.

Carper held several other positions during his military career, including Executive Officer of Fleet and Industrial Supply Center (FISC) units in Asheville, North Carolina; Greenville and Charleston, South Carolina; as well as Executive Officer for a Naval Overseas Air Cargo (NOAC) unit, Company Commander for Naval Expeditionary Logistics Support Group (COMNAVELSG) Cargo Handling Battalion Eleven, and serving as Logistics Officer for the Seabees’ Naval Construction Force Support Unit Three in Gulfport, Mississippi.

In addition to these, he was mobilized to active duty under Operation Enduring Freedom from January 2003 through January 2005.  During this time, Carper was Commanding Officer for the Navy Mobilization Processing Site (NMPS) in Norfolk, Virginia.

Carper eventually rose to the rank of Commander and received several awards for his service, including the Navy Meritorious Service Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal and Navy Achievement Medal.

Carper sites Philippians 2:13 as his life verse: “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

“All throughout my life, God has worked in mysterious ways,” Carper said. “These are the things that I love to talk about in my classes . . . to share with students that they can be just an average student—you’re not the straight-A, summa cum laude student—but God will use you.”

Carper’s wife, Jonna, died in 2017 after four years of struggling with cancer.  In December 2018 Carper married fellow BJU faculty member Dr. Lisa Seibert, a colleague of his late wife. Carper sited the development of this relationship as another example of God’s providential guidance in his life.