Alumni Spotlight: Jim Dunklin

December 07, 2017

This Q&A is part of a series of interviews featuring RUF Alumni. Today's post features Jim Dunklin, a University of Alabama graduate currently working in the banking industry. 

Let's start off with who are you and what do you do? 
I am Jim Dunklin, a banker who lives in Greenville, AL where I was originally born.  I have been married to Tyler Williams Dunklin for over 31 years and have twin girls (27) and one son (22).

What college did you graduate from?  
I graduated from The University of Alabama in 1984 with a BS in Psychology and graduated from Vanderbilt University in 1987 earning an MBA.

Who was your campus minister when you attended RUF?
In August 1980, my first week at The University of Alabama also happened to be the first week that RUF came to our campus with the Reverend Billy Joseph as the campus minister.  Billy established and invested in the lives of the students at The University of Alabama for 22 years.

What is your favorite memory from RUF? 
My favorite memory from RUF happened at the 1983 fall retreat with CUF of Auburn University (Covenant University Fellowship prior to the name being changed to RUF).  We had a square dance and I met and danced with Tyler Williams, an Auburn student, the entire night.  Of course, it took me six months to muster the nerve to ask her on a date after that fall retreat but, based on our 31 years of marriage, she must have enjoyed our first date as much as I did. (Except that Sir Charles Barkley of Auburn University beat my Crimson Tide basketball team by 20 points the weekend of our first date!)

Another favorite memory from RUF happened on Friday nights when about six of us young men would have pizza night and play a spirited game of Risk for three to four hours until our first intern, John Cook of Jackson, MS, would ultimately manipulate a collusion until he survived as the winner.  Being the intern, he was older and wiser than us teenagers and we did not even know how to spell the word collusion!

How has RUF impacted how you approach your career?
What made RUF appealing to me as a student was that Reverend Billy Joseph would expound upon the Scriptures at each large group meeting.  This type of expository preaching of the Word was very new to me as was the teaching of the Scriptures from a reformed perspective.  The way that RUF has impacted my career is that I was taught that my identity should be in Christ and that I should strive to actively live 1 Corinthians 10:31 that "whatever you do, do all to the glory of God". This teaching jump-started my continuous process of attempting to glorify God at home, work, and pleasure time in thought, spoken word and action and, at 55 years of age, I have not mastered it yet! I have found the more difficult part for me in relation to my career is to comprehend that my identity is in Christ and not how I am perceived by others.  The more aware that our identity is in Christ, the less we will seek to be valued by man. What can help in this area is to understand what Richard Pratt has written that our work is to be seen as a calling and not a career. So whether someone collects garbage or makes a loan for a living, we are to glorify God with the professionalism with which we perform that task and exemplify the proper attitude while doing so.

What would you say to an incoming freshman?
I would encourage an incoming freshman to be disciplined to attend the weekly large group RUF meetings and get plugged into a smaller group for fellowship, relationships, and good teaching.