On January 29, 2024, Dr. Larry Pettegrew (1943–2024), a former professor at The Master’s Seminary, entered the presence of the Lord. Dr. Pettegrew taught theology at The Master’s seminary for twelve years (1995–2007). His colleagues warmly remember his patient, calm, precise teaching style. Always pastoral. Always gracious toward his students and colleagues.
Dr. Pettegrew had a long, varied, and fruitful career teaching and working in administration at several Christian universities and seminaries. Before joining the faculty at TMS, Dr. Pettegrew taught for ten years at Pillsbury Baptist College in Owatonna, Minnesota. From there, his ministry included stints as a professor and dean of students at Detroit Baptist Seminary, Academic dean and theology professor at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. After his time at The Master’s Seminary, Dr. Pettegrew became the executive vice president of Shepherd’s Theological seminary. He served in that role for 12 years.
Dr. Pettegrew is survived by his wife, Linda, their children, Joy Christenen, Jill Kilian, and Justin Pettegrew, and seven grandchildren: Jonathan, Jason, Audrianne, D.J. Jacob, Collin and Julia.
Below are three tributes from Dr. Pettegrew’s colleagues at The Master’s Seminary.
Larry Pettegrew was one of my college professors in the late 1970s at Pillsbury Baptist Bible College. I also took classes from him in seminary and then had the privilege of being his colleague at Central Baptist Theological Seminary and The Master’s Seminary. Larry gave me clear and helpful advice at numerous crossroads of life and ministry. He mentored me through his life and words. I came to regard him as one of my most beloved friends.
Larry was a kind, humble, servant of our great God. He clearly loved his dear wife, Linda, and their children and grandchildren. He willingly served the Lord in abundant and challenging times. When I think of someone who pursued a life of eternal significance, I think of Larry.
I will miss you, my friend, but rejoice in how God used you to enrich my life and ministry along with many others.
— Dr. Michael A. Grisanti, Professor of Old Testament and Old Testament chair, The Master’s Seminary
Dr. Larry Pettegrew was the epitome of a Christian gentleman. He was a humble, but brilliant historical and systematic theologian. His kind and gentle demeanor coupled with his depth of biblical knowledge made him an effective professor in the classroom for over half a century. Serving as a teaching colleague of Dr. Pettegrew was a great privilege. My interactions with him made me a better biblical theologian and, more importantly, a better Christian man.
— Dr. Keith Essex, Professor Emeritus, The Master’s Seminary
Larry was the consummate teacher. As a faculty member at The Master’s Seminary, he guided the students both academically and pastorally. He exuded a steadfast commitment to the truth of God’s Word.
He was also a consummate friend. Over the years, I came to value his support and encouragement. The administrative roles he fulfilled at other seminaries prior to TMS provided a plethora of wisdom and insight. He became a treasured confidant and counselor.
Finally, Larry was a consummate role model. He embraced every opportunity to proclaim the greatness of God, then join with the apostle Paul in declaring, “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
The sovereign providence of God in bringing Larry to The Master’s Seminary and allowing us to minister together is a treasured memory, one I will never forget.
— Dr. Irv Busenitz, Professor Emeritus, The Master’s Seminary