Amy Stumpf, PH.D. is the Associate Professor of Society and Religion and International Justice Mission club adviser.
How did you get to CBU?
Crazy story. I just got married and I was working in Irvine. I could not take the two- hour commute each way and I was like, “Lord, I need a job in Riverside.” I never even heard of CBU and I kept seeing— on the 91—what looked like barracks. and now I know it was the dorms. I asked my husband, “what is that?” and he said, “oh, I think that’s a college.” so, I was at that point desperate enough. I walked in to the HR office over here in James and I said, “I need a job. I’ll do anything. I’ll work in the cafeteria or I’ll clean toilets” and I vividly remember her looking at me like, “what kind of crazy person is this?” she said, “well, here’s what we have available.” I applied for every single job and I got one.”
What was your first job at CBU?
The Secretary to the Registrar and then I worked my way up through the Academic Affairs department, so I was the Director of Advising and then the Dean for Academic Services. and then when I had my children, I wanted to be home more, so I came over and did a faculty position. I’d been teaching in the evenings, meanwhile I was doing the other jobs, so it worked out that be full-time faculty.
What are your main roles on campus?
Well, I teach a lot. This semester, I have almost two hundred students. I don’t know hardly any of their names. I do the International Justice Mission campus chapter. It’s a fun group. And, I like to go watch basketball games and fun things like that.
What do you do outside of CBU?
My husband’s a pastor, so I spend some time at church working with ministries there or with people who need my time there. But, I have two children: eight and eleven. Thanksgiving week, we were doing science projects.
Besides teaching, you also founded and currently act as the adviser to the campus chapter of IJM. What prompted you to start this club four years ago?
I was getting more involved with IJM in my personal life and part of my profession because, of course, I’m a social ethics kind of gal. So, I wanted to see, well how can I, firstly, make those kinds of ideas and opportunities available to students on campus. I began to realize there are many students who have these interests and passions, but we didn’t necessarily have an outlet for them and a place where they could come and get together, learn and grow in that. And, we didn’t necessarily have coursework aimed at that. So, there was a need and it allowed me to be connected to IJM in a local way.
Why, in your opinion, should social justice be important to Christians?
I think if you read the Bible, you’ll see that it’s important to God, because it’s the foretelling of how his role will look and, if we believe Jesus is already king [and] that he is genuinely lord, we’ll want his rule to be unfolding for people to see. So, I guess I’ll go back to, if you read the Bible, I don’t think you can get out of social justice. It matters that people flourish.
It seems like tough work, so how do you not get bogged down by thinking about these things continually?
On any given week, I might be teaching about a genocide, about child soldiering, about trafficking and 30 million victims a year, and people ask me, “how do you not get depressed?” and, you know, I don’t know if I were not a Christian how I’d keep my emotional head above water. I don’t get depressed, because I everyday can see that God is winning and he will win. And, I can pick up a newspaper and see there’s a slave that has been freed, there’s a child that has been freed, there’s a bad guy that’s no longer terrorizing people. I also spend time praying and part of the praying is celebrating that God’s goodness is bigger than all of this badness. I have to believe that. And then very important is to gather with my IJM group and say, “I’m not alone. This is not just me against and evil world.” There’s joy in the fellowship.