Dr. Don Tosh: Professor of Mathematics
February 22, 2012
Dr. Don Tosh has been teaching mathematics at Evangel University for 25 years. Originally from Canada, Dr. Tosh received his Ph.D. in Statistics from the University of Alberta and, prior to coming to Evangel, taught at Acadia University in Nova Scotia.
An ordained minister, Dr. Tosh also pastored for several years. He firmly believes that while every Christian is called to ministry, this calling can take many forms. This belief is rooted in his own experience of coming to the realization that God wanted to use him in the field of mathematics.
In his free time Dr. Tosh is an avid sportsman. He enjoys hiking, canoeing, kayaking, playing racquetball and mountain climbing. In January of 2012, Dr. Tosh climbed to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa.
You are originally from Ontario, Canada. What brought you to Evangel?
After completing my master’s degree in 1972, I heard about a Pentecostal liberal arts university in Missouri. Upon further inquiry, I discovered they needed a mathematics teacher, and through a unique series of events I was hired to teach in the fall of 1972. After three years I returned to Canada to complete my Ph.D. Twelve years later, I returned to Evangel and have been here ever since.
What sparked your interest in mathematics?
Mathematics came easily for me, but I was constantly considering other occupations since I didn’t think God could use me in the field of mathematics. But it became apparent to me that my gift was in mathematics, and that was where God wanted me.
What is your favorite part about teaching math at Evangel?
I very much enjoy the classroom interaction with students. I am enthusiastic about my field and love to share the challenges of mathematics in a Christ-centered environment. I start all of my classes with a brief Scripture reading and prayer.
What is the most memorable moment of your career so far?
The most memorable moment of my career was the breakthrough realization that my calling was teaching math, and that was where God wanted me. That would turn out to be the place I would be the happiest. No church or sermon ever taught me that a person could serve God wholeheartedly as a math teacher, or that God would call someone to that vocation.
What sets Evangel’s math program apart from math programs at other universities?
Evangel truly lives up to its motto – “Boldly Christian. Unquestionably academic.” Math majors at Evangel learn in a Christ-centered environment but are thoroughly prepared for advanced mathematics if they choose to go that route. Mathematics graduates at Evangel have had very good success in post-graduate pursuits.
What exciting opportunities are there for students in Evangel’s math program? Anything new you can tell us about?
Most Christian math majors go to a university uncertain of how God could use them in mathematics. That was certainly the case for me. However, there are a wide variety of career paths for math majors. About half of our major go into high school teaching. Approximately 20 percent go to graduate school. But there are many other options as well. One exciting option is that of becoming an actuary, as many of our graduates have done. Actuarial science is consistently one of the top-rated occupations in the country, and the fundamental preparation for it is a major in mathematics.
What advice do you have for prospective students, especially those interested in a degree in mathematics?
If God has given you ability in mathematics, it is your responsibility to develop that ability for His glory. He will find a way to use any skill that is developed and surrendered to Him.