By Sarah Sattelberg
A job offer at the university brought Dr. Ronnie and Dr. Renate Hood to UMHB.
The couple had been teaching at LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, for six years when Renate saw that a position at UMHB had opened.
“We had always loved the idea of working at a Baptist institution. I called my husband and said, ‘Did you know that Mary Hardin-Baylor has an opening?’
“He said, ‘You ought to (pursue) that.’ Here we are not knowing that
I would have ever stood a chance,” she said.
Renate fills a new faculty position as a professor in the College of Christian Studies. They began in the fall semester.
She brings an international background to the university. She was born and raised in Holland. Her husband, says the cultural differences between them are small and usually personality related.
“The Dutch tend to be meticulous and sarcastic in nature when it comes to telling jokes,” he said.
Ronnie Hood is an adjunct professor who gave up a pastoral position in northeast Texas. They felt God had called them both to the Belton area.
The Hoods met in the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary at a worship leadership class group discussion. Renate jokingly called Ronnie’s attempt at asking her out on a date pathetic.
“I kind of dropped a little courtship hint of maybe we could get together sometime,” he said.
“We clicked. We were older than the average student, and we had both just come off the mission field. I came from Indonesia and he from Russia,” Renate said.
The couple finds it advantageous for both to teach New Testament.
“We can talk to each other, bounce off ideas,” Renate said. “Sometimes you go home and you say that went really well, but I don’t think this went as well. We complement each other.”
College of Christian studies Dean Dr. Tim Crawford said the department was looking for a good colleague with teaching experience and classroom engagement to fill the new position. Renate fit that description and more.
“She brings a lot of enthusiasm, experience and creativity. I don’t think anyone is going to fall asleep in her class,” Crawford said.
The dean is also impressed with her husband.
“I often see Dr. Ronnie Hood speaking with students 30 to 45 minutes after class, which is really a good sign of student engagement.”
The Hoods have been married for 11 years and have two children. Their
7-year-old son, Keanu, says he is going to be like his dad when he grows
up. That entails being a preacher and telling jokes.
Their 9-year-old daughter, Anastasia, may follow in her parents’ footsteps. She enjoys coming home from school and preparing a lecture for her father.
He hopes to find a pastoral job sometime in the near future. The family loves the Belton area.
“We just really enjoy teaching the students at UMHB,” Renate said. “They’re so polite.”