Former Corban University president passes away

Monday, December 10, 2012


After a long fight with cancer, former Corban University President David F. Miller, Ph.D. passed away in his Albany, Ore. home on Dec. 7.

Miller served Corban University for 34 years and was president from 1991 to 1999 when he was succeeded by current President Reno Hoff, Ph.D. A memorial service will be held Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. at Willamette Community Church in Albany. His wife, Koyce Miller, asks that donations be made to Albany Christian School in lieu of flowers.

“He has graduated to heaven after his 7-year battle with cancer,” said Koyce Miller. “Through it all, God has used this time for His glory and to see new believers come to know the Savior.”

Miller was born in Cleveland, Ohio in November 1940 to Christian parents, Thomas and Mildred Miller. Two years later, his sister Leela Miller Einer (’64) was born. In October 1949, the family moved to Wenatchee, Wash. where in 1953, David’s father left the hardware business to pastor the East Wenatchee First Baptist Church. 

After graduating from high school in 1959, Miller entered Western Baptist Bible College in El Cerrito, Calif.  He married Koyce (Morgan ’61) who also entered WBBC in 1959. After graduation with a B.A. from WBBC in 1963, Miller entered San Francisco Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary and graduated in 1966.  He was offered a part-time job at WBBC, and taught part time for two years while working on a Master of Theology degree at SCBTS. He completed that degree in 1968.

During the fall of 1969, Miller was given a sabbatical by the college to work on his doctorate at Grace Seminary, Winona Lake, Ind., and graduated with a Doctor of Theology.  After residency work at Grace, he returned to teach at WBBC in Salem, Ore. 

In 1969, the Millers had their first son, Scott Miller, who currently serves as a pastor in Oregon. In 1972 their second son, Mike Miller, was born. He is now an associate professor of math at Corban. The Millers have five grandchildren.

While teaching at Corban, Miller also founded the Valley Baptist Church in Perrydale, Ore., and was the pastor there for 17 years.  During the summers he taught on mission fields in Africa and India. Miller and his wife also ministered in Spain, the Philippines and Israel.

In J. Steven Hunt’s “Stories of the Journey: Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of Corban University,” Miller spoke about his time at the University.

“I taught mainly the upper division theology courses along with a number of Bible courses at the college,” Miller said. “My favorite class was the upper division Christian Theology class where we emphasized ‘word studies,’ just like Dr. H.O. Van Gilder did when I was one of his students. Having my two sons attend Western and sit in my classes was a great highlight of my time at Western. I also enjoyed serving alongside Mike, who was president of the student body when I was president.” 

During the school’s commencement in 2000, Board Chairman Donn Mogford reflected on Millers legacy at Corban.

“During the eight years of his presidency many campus improvements took place, including the construction of new residence halls and student apartments,” he said. “The entire campus was set up on a computer network…The new athletic field complex will be an asset for years to come. 

“Another area where great strides were made is in academics.  The adult studies program was started and has expanded to serve hundreds of non-traditional students in Salem and across the country.

“Beyond these accomplishments, we recognize Dr. David Miller for his strategic contribution in clarifying the core values and beliefs of Western Baptist College.  As he has emphasized so often, Western has a core purpose, core values and core beliefs which are vital to Christians in the Northwest and around the world.” 

  • Dr. David F. Miller

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