After spending nearly 15 years as an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department, Mr. Swanson entered the ministry, serving as associate and senior pastoral positions in Southern California. In 1992, he joined The Master's College as Director of Academic Assessment and Assistant Professor of Bible. In 1994, Mr. Swanson joined The Master's Seminary as Seminary Librarian. He was appointed Director of the Seminary Library in 2005. He also serves as the Director of Israel Studies for the seminary, directing the annual study trips and teaching the related geography and archaeology courses. In 2009 he was appointed to the new position of Director of Academic Assessment.
Mr. Swanson was a contributor and assistant editor of Introduction to Biblical Counseling (Word 1994) and a regular religion columnist for a major Southern California newspaper for two years. He was also a contributor to the Eerdman's Bible Dictionary (Eerdman's 2000), as well as a forthcoming dictionary of the cults and occult (Baker 2012). He has contributed articles to several periodicals including American Libraries and the Journal of Christian Apologetics, Faith and Mission, and Voice, along with The Master's Seminary Journal, for which he was recently appointed as the Book Review Editor. He also has served for several years as a judge for the Evangelical Christian Publisher's Association Gold Medallion Book Awards.
Mr. Swanson continues an active ministry in local churches as a conference and guest speaker. He has served as interim pastor for over 20 churches and consultant for many other churches in Southern California. He has developed the concept of the "Consulting Pastor" as a ministry to the local church. He has also served as an adjunct professor of Church History at The Master's College, has been a guest professor at theological schools in Russia, Italy and Canada. He has also studied at the American Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem and Moody Bible Institute.
He maintains membership and is active in several ministry and professional organizations including the Near East Archaeological Society, the Evangelical Theological Society, the American Theological Librarian Association, The Society of Biblical Literature, the American Schools of Oriental Research, The International Society of Bible Collectors, and IFCA International, among others. For two years he served as the president of the Southern California Theological Librarian Association and is currently the chairman of the Collection Development and Assessment Committee of the American Theological Library Association.
He has many varied interests among which is meteorology and serving as a weather spotter for the National Weather Service and is a member of the Citizen Weather Observer Program. He has lectured in several venues, including regional Bible Science Society meetings on the subject of the Bible and Weather. He also regularly speaks at campus ministries at UC San Diego and UC Irvine.
Mr. Swanson and his wife Jeanette have been married for 34 years and have two children. He is also a "blogger" maintaining his own weblog dealing with theological issues, politics and sports at Narnia3.com and a Book Review Blog at the same site.