Dr. William Ringenberg

William Ringenberg

Professor of History - Part-time

Office Location: Zondervan Library 212
Phone: 765-998-5422
Email: wlringenb@taylor.edu

Specialties: american civil war era, american religious history, twentieth century america


Vitae PDF: Dr. William Ringenberg's Printable Vitae

William Carey Ringenberg


August 18, 1939, at Fort Wayne, Indiana


Diploma, Butler High School (Indiana), 1957

B.S., Taylor University, 1961

M.A.T., Indiana University, 1964

Ph.D., Michigan State University, 1970


Chi Alpha Omega Scholastic Honor Society, Taylor University, election, 1961.

Lilly Fellow in American History, Indiana University, 1962, 1963.

Institute for Advanced Christian Studies, Scholar, Spring, 1981.

Lilly Endowment Research Grant, 2005 -2006.

Research Fellow, Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, IUPUI, 2006-present.

Forman Distinguished Faculty Scholar Award, 2008

Bedi Award for Excellence in Service to Higher Education, 2016

Philip Schaff Prize Nominee for The Christian College and the Meaning of Academic Freedom, American Society of Church History, 2016


President, Student Council and President, National Honor Society, Butler High School, 1956 -57.

President, Freshman Class and President, Senior Class, Taylor University, 1957-58, 1960-61.

Teacher, Leo High School (Indiana), 1961 -1965.

Assistant Professor of History, Taylor University, 1968 -1972.

Editorial Board Member, Christian Scholar's Review, 1970 -1974.

Associate Faculty, Indiana University at Kokomo, 1972 -1976.

Associate Professor of History, Taylor University, 1972 -1977.

Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, Taylor University, 1974 -1979.

Professor of History, Taylor University, 1977 -  .

Chairman, Department of History, Taylor University, 1982 -2002; 2003-2008.

Director, Honors Program, Taylor University, 1983 -1994, 1996 -1998.

Vice-President, Conference on Faith and History, 1987 -88 biennium.

President, Conference on Faith and History, 1989 -1990 biennium.

Minister, Bailey Chapel United Methodist Church, Anderson, Indiana, 1979 -1980.

Minister, Mount Carmel United Methodist Church, Hartford City, Indiana, 1980-85, 1992.

Minister, Cammack United Methodist Church, Muncie, Indiana, 1985 -89.

Adjunct Faculty, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Deerfield, Illinois, 1991-93 (dissertation mentor).

Adjunct Faculty, University of New Mexico, 1996 -2000   (dissertation mentor).

Adjunct Faculty, State University of New York at Buffalo, 1996 -1997   (dissertation mentor).



"The Protestant College on the Michigan Frontier" (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Michigan State University, 1970).

Taylor University:  The First 125 Years (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1973).

How They Began:  Early Events in the Allen County, Indiana Mennonite Community (Leo, Indiana, by local committee, 1980), a booklet reissue of the April, 1976, Mennonite Quarterly Review article; second printing, 1987.

The Christian College:  A History of Protestant Higher Education in America (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing Company and the Christian University Press, 1984).

The Business of Mutual Aid:  Seventy-five years of the Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company (Fort Wayne, 1993).

Taylor University:  The First 150 Years (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996).

Letters to Young Scholars:  An Introduction to Christian Thought  (Upland, Indiana:  Taylor University Press, 2003, 2010).

The Christian College:  A History of Protestant Higher Education in America, second edition (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2006).

The Journey and the Quest: The Lifelong Education of a Pilgrim (Autobiography. Upland, Indiana: Taylor University Press, 2013).

The Christian College and the Meaning of Academic Freedom: Truth Seeking in Community (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016).


"Must a Christian's Politics Be Conservative?" Eternity, July, 1970.  Reprinted in the Taylor University Magazine, Summer, 1972.

"College Life in Frontier Michigan," Michigan History, Summer, 1970.

"Mormon Society," Emphasis, January 15, 1971.

"Mormon Theology," Emphasis, February 1, 1971.

"The Other American Race Problem," The Sunday School Times and Gospel Banner, March 15, 1971.

"The American Revolution, the 1960s, and the Use of Violence," Fides et Historia, Fall, 1971.

"Church Colleges vs. the State University:  The Battle in Early Michigan," Michigan History, Winter, 1971.

"Fort Wayne Methodist College," Old Fort News, Summer, 1972.

"Why Did Christian Colleges Remain Calm?"  Taylor University Magazine, Fall, 1972.

"Development and Division in the Mennonite Community in Allen County, Indiana," Mennonite Quarterly Review, April, 1976.

"The Oberlin College Influence in Early Michigan," The Old Northwest, June, 1977.

"The Administrative Role in Promoting Quality Teaching," Taylor University Magazine, Winter, 1979.

"The Marks of a Christian College," Christianity Today, November 2, 1979.  Reprinted in The Christian College Index.

"Charles R. Erdman," in Dictionary of American Biography, edited by John A. Garraty, Supplement Six (New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1980).

"Preacher in the White House:  The Religious Experience of James A. Garfield," Christian Herald, January, 1980.

"A Brief History of Fort Wayne Bible College," Mennonite Quarterly Review, April, 1980.

"Is There a Mennonite Work Ethic?"  (Evangelical Mennonite) Build, August, 1980.

"The Vocations of the Alumni of the Early Michigan Denominational Colleges," Michigan History, September-October, 1980.

"James A. Garfield, President:  A Child of the Restoration Movement," (Churches of Christ) Mission Journal, November, 1980.

"Frank N. D. Buchman," in Dictionary of American Biography, edited by John A. Garraty, Supplement Seven (New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1981).

"A Critique of Secular Higher Education,"  Taylor University Magazine, Summer, 1982.

"The Religious Thought and Practice of James A. Garfield," The Old Northwest, Winter, 1982-83.  Reprinted in Michael W. Casey and Douglas A. Foster, The Stone-Campbell Movement (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2002).

"Albert Barnes"; "Donald Grey Barnhouse"; "Thomas Coke"; "Henry P. Lidden"; and "John Wood Oman"; in the Evangelical Dictionary of Theology, edited by Walter A. Elwell (Grant Rapids:  Baker Book House, 1984, 2001).

"Seven Score Years and Beyond:  A Personal View of the Taylor Heritage," Taylor University Magazine, Summer,1986.

"Benjamin Harrison:  The Religious Thought and Practice of a Presbyterian President," American Presbyterians:  Journal of Presbyterian History, Fall, 1986.

"The Christian College in the New Republic, 1800-1870," chapter in Making Higher Education Christian:  The History and Mission of Evangelical Colleges in America, edited by Joel Carpenter and Kenneth Shipps (Grand Rapids:  Eerdmans Publishing Company and the Christian University Press, 1987).

"Joseph Ritter," in Dictionary of American Biography, edited by John A. Garraty, Supplement Eight (New York:   Charles Scribner's Sons, 1988).

"Henry Kagan," in Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement Eight.

"Bob Jones," in Dictionary of American Biography, Supplement Eight.

"Independent Christian Colleges and Universities:  A Bibliographical Essay," chapter in Religious Higher Education in America:  Select Bibliography, edited by Thomas C. Hunt and James C. Carper (New York:  Garland Publishing Company, 1988).

"Milo A. Rediger and the Development of Taylor University," Taylor Magazine, Winter, 1989.

"The Independent Seminaries:  A Bibliographical Essay," chapter in Religious Seminaries in America:  A Select Bibliography, edited by Thomas C. Hunt and James C. Carper (New York:  Garland Publishing Company, 1989).

"Bible Institutes and Colleges"; "Protestant Higher Education"; "Protestant Theological Education"; in Dictionary of Christianity in America, edited by Daniel G. Reid (Downers Grove, Illinois:  Inter Varsity Press, 1990).

"Dartmouth University"; "Harvard University"; "Oberlin College"; "Princeton University"; and "Yale University" in Dictionary of Christianity in America.

"Faith, History, and Revolution," Fides et Historia, Summer, 1990.

"Family in History and History Societies" in Fides et Historia, Winter-Spring, 1991.

"Robert W. Pierce" in Dictionary of American Biography, edited by Kenneth T. Jackson, Supplement Ten (New York:  Charles Scribner's Sons, 1995).

"William H. McGuffey" and "Francis Wayland," in Blackwell Dictionary of Evangelical Biography, edited by Donald M. Lewis (Oxford, England:  Basil Blackwell Publishers, 1996).

"E. Stanley Jones" in American National Biography, edited by John A. Garraty (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999).

"W. Cameron Townsend" in American National Biography.

"Samuel Zwemer" in American National Biography.

"Taylor University" in Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement, edited by William Kostevy (Scarecrow Press, 2000).

"T. C. Reade" and "S. A. Witmer" in Historical Dictionary of the Holiness Movement.

“Protestant Colleges” in the Encyclopedia of Protestantism , edited by Hans J. Hillerbrand (New York, Routledge, Inc., 2004).   

““A Short History of the Development of the Campus ofTaylorUniversity,Upland,Indiana,” in The Troyer Group, Taylor University Campus Master Plan (2004).

Kirchliche Hochschulen in Nordamerika” (Church-Related Higher Education in North America) in Die Religion in Geschichte und Gegenwort, Vierte Auflage (Tubingen, Germany:  Mohr Siebeck Publishing House, 8 vols., 4th edition, 2007).  This work is also being published in an English edition as Religion in Past and Present (Leiden, The Netherlands:  Brill Academic Publishers, 2007-2113).

“William Gladstone,” in Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization, edited by George Kurian (Oxford, England:  Blackwell Publishing, 2011).

“William Booth,” in Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.

“Brother Lawrence,” in Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization.

“Academic Freedom: A Very Christian Idea,” Christianity Today, September 2016.

“Academic Freedom and the Teaching of Religion in America,” The Bible and Interpretation (web journal), October, 2016.

Book Reviews

Ralph Olmstead, From Institute to University:  A History of the University of Evansville, in Indiana Magazine of History, March, 1975.

James C. Juhnke, A People of Two Kingdoms:  The Political Acculturation of the Kansas Mennonites in History:  Reviews of New Books, October, 1975.

Dallin H. Oaks and Marvin S. Hill, Carthage Conspiracy:  The Trial of the Accused Assassins of Joseph Smith in History; Review of New Books, February, 1976.

John D. Wright, Transylvania:  Tutor to the West in Journal of American History, December, 1976.

Bruce Catton, Michigan:  A Bicentennial History in The Old Northwest, December, 1976.

Wilfred Bockelman, Gothard:  The Man and His Ministry in Fides et Historia, Spring, 1977.

Genevieve C. Weeks, Oscar Carleton McCulloch, 1843-1891:  Preacher and Practitioner of Applied Christianity in The Old Northwest, September, 1977.

Harold F. Williamson and Payson S. Wild, Northwestern University:  A History, 1950-1975  in Indiana Magazine of History, December, 1977.

Julia Neal, The Kentucky Shakers in Journal of American History, June, 1978.

Frank Higgins, The Will to Survive:  Urbana College,1950-1975  in Ohio History, Summer, 1978.

Thomas D. Clark, Indiana University, Volume III:  Years of Fulfillment in History:  Reviews of New Books, July, 1978.

E. Wilson Lyon, The History of Pomana College, 1887-1969 in The American Historical Review, December, 1978.

John Randolph Willis, God's Frontiersmen:  The Yale Band in History:  Reviews of New Books, July, 1980.

George M. Marsden, Fundamentalism and American Culture,1870-1925 in History:  Reviews of New Books, May/June, 1981.

C. Howard Hopkins, John R. Mott:  1865-1955 in Christianity Today,May 29, 1981.

J. C. Wenger, What Mennonites Believe and other essays in Church History, June, 1981.

LawrenceA. Cremin, American Education:  The National Experience, 1783-1876; and W. H. Cowley, Presidents, Professors, and Trustees:  The Evolution of American Academic Government in Christian Scholar's Review, Vol. XI, No. 2, 1982.

Hermann R. Muelder, Missionaries and Muckrakers:  The First Hundred Years of Knox College in Indiana Magazine of History, December, 1984.

E. Morris Sider, Messiah College:  A History in Fides et Historia, January, 1986.

James G. Smart, Striving:  Keene State College, 1904-1984, The History of a Small Public Institution in The American Historical Review, October, 1986.

Donald G. Bloesch, The Future of Evangelical Christianity:  A Call for Unity Amid Diversity  in Fides et Historia, October, 1986.

Rodney J. Sawatsky, Authority and Identity:  The Dynamics Of the General Conference Mennonite Church and James C.Juhnke, Cornelius H. Wedel and the Beginning of Bethel College in Church History, March, 1989.

Roald F. Campbell et al., A History of Thought and Practice in Educational Administration  in American Historical Review, April, 1989.

W. R. Estep, Religious Liberty:  Heritage and Responsibility; and John B. Toews, ed. and trans.,Letters From Susan:  A Woman's View of the Russian Mennonite Experience (1928-1941) in Church History, June, 1990.

Scott H. Faulring, ed., The Diaries and Journals of Joseph Smith:  An American Prophet's Record in Church History, March, 1993.

Ronald B. Kirkemo, For Zion's Sake:  A History of Pasadena/Point Loma College in Fides et Historia, Summer, 1993.

Leonard J. Arrington and Davis Bitton, The Mormon Experience:  A History of the Latter-day Saints, 2nd edition, in Church History, December, 1993.

Leonard J. Arrington, Feramorz Y. Fox, and Dean L. May, Building the City of God:  Community and Cooperation among the Mormons, 2nd edition, in Church History, December, 1993.

James B. Allen, Ronald K. Esplin, and Daniel J. Whittaker, Men With a Mission:  The Quest of the Twelve Apostles in the British Isles, 1837-1841 in Church History, June, 1994.

Garry James Bergera, The Autobiography of B. H. Roberts in Church History, September, 1994.

George Marsden and Bradley Longfield, eds. The Secularization of the Academy in Fides et Historia, Winter, 1994.

A. Gregory Schneider, The Way of the Cross Leads Home:  The Domestication of American Methodism in Indiana Magazine of History, March, 1995.

Thomas G. Alexander, Things in Heaven and Earth:  The Life and Times of Wilford Woodruff, A Mormon Prophet in Church History, December, 1995.

Diane Zimmerman Umble, Holding the Line:  The Telephone in the Old Order Mennonite and Amish Life in Church History, September, 1997.

Joseph Frazier Wall, Grinnell College in the Nineteenth Century:  From Salvation to Service  in The Annals of Iowa, Spring, 1998.

Sjouke Voolstra, Menno Simons:  His Image and His Message in Church History, September, 1998.

Anne C. Rose, Interfaith Families in Nineteenth-Century America in Indiana Magazine of History, September, 2002.

Douglas V. Henry and Bob R. Agee, Faithful Learning and the Christian Scholarly Vocation  in Christian Scholar’s Review, Spring, 2004.

Mark G. Vasquez, Authority and Reform:  Religious and Educational Discourse in Nineteenth-Century New England Literature in Church History, December, 2004.

Alice Gallin, Negotiating Identity:  Catholic Higher Education Since 1960 ; Stephen R. Haynes, ed.,  Professing in the Postmodern Academy:  Faculty and the Future of Church-Related Colleges ; James A. Patterson, Shining Lights:  A History of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities ; Donald D. Schmeltekopf and Dianna M. Vitanza with Bradley J. B. Toben, eds., The Baptist and Christian Character of Baylor ; and Andrea Sterk, ed., Religion, Scholarship, and Higher Education:  Perspectives, Models, and Future Prospects :  a review essay entitled “The Faith and Learning Discussion in the Academy at the Turn of the Century” in Christian Scholars Review, Winter, 2005.

George Waller, Butler University: A Sesquicentennial History in Indiana Magazine of History, December, 2007.

D. Ray Hostetter, Universitas and Moral Excellence in Brethren in Christ History and Life, December, 2007.

Douglas V. Henry and Michael D. Beaty eds. , Christianity and the Soul of the AmericanUniversity: Faith as a Foundation for Intellectual Community in Journal of Church and State, Autumn, 2007.

John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller, Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian’s Vocation  in Fides et Historia, date to be determined.

Elizabeth A. Clark, Founding the Fathers: Early Church History and Protestant Professors in Nineteenth-Century America in Journal of American History, date to be determined.

John Fea, Jay Green, and Eric Miller, Confessing History: Explorations in Christian Faith and the Historian's Vocation in Christian Scholar's Review, Winter, 2012.

Christopher Gehrz, ed., The Pietist Vision of Christian Higher Education: Forming Whole and Holy Persons in H-Net, 2015.


"The American Revolution, the 1960s, and the Use of Violence."  Read at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, Dallas, Texas, October 1, 1970.

"Problems in Teaching:  How The Administrator Can Help."  Read at the Lilly Endowment History Conference, Bloomington, Indiana, February 11, 1977.

"The Religious Thought and Practice of James A. Garfield."  Read at the Spring Meeting of the American Society for Church History, Anderson, Indiana, April 19, 1980.

"The Christian Liberal Arts College:  Its History and Its Future."  A series of lectures given at the Greenville College Faculty Workshop, Greenville, Illinois, January 29-30, 1981.

"Some Thoughts on Christian Higher Education."  Read at the Fall, 1982, meeting of the Christian College Consortium Presidents, St. Paul, Minnesota, October 12, 1982.

"The Writing Role of the Christian College Instructor." Presented at the second annual Christian Writers Conference, Marion, Indiana, May 21, 1984.

"Whatever Happened to the Protestant College"?  Read at the Annual Meeting of the History of Education Society, Chicago, Illinois, October 19, 1984.

"TheOldTimeCollegeinAmerica."  Read at the conference on "The Task of Evangelical Higher Education," sponsored by the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals, Wheaton, Illinois, May 28-31, 1985.

 “Some Ideals in the Taylor History.”  Read at the Taylor University Faculty Meeting, Upland, Indiana, October 12, 1995.

 “Community Building in Fort Wayne and Upland.”  Address to the Taylor University Colleagues’ College, Fort Wayne, Indiana, Fall, 1996.

 (with R. Philip Loy) “The Faculty Role in the Modern Taylor University System of Community Goverance,” essay prepared for the Taylor University sesquicentennial, 1996, Taylor University Archives.

 “Some Musings on the Tradition of the Missionary Church and its Historical Context.”  Address to the Missionary Church Historical Society, Fort Wayne, Indiana, April 21, 1998.

 “Taylor University: Some Highlights of Its History.”  Address to the Grant County Historical Society, Marion, Indiana, June 20, 2001.

 “Two Faces of Joy.”  Address to the C. S. Lewis Conference, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, June 2, 2002.

 “The Rewards and Risks for Scholars Who Write Commissioned Institutional History.”  Read at the Biennial Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, Huntington, Indiana, October 11, 2002.

 “Resisting Secularization:  The Continuing Christian College in American History.”  Paper for consultation with the Huntington College Church/College Structure Task Force, Huntington, Indiana, March 18, 2004.

 “The Taylor University Record in Christian Higher Education.”  Address to the Annual Meeting of the Academic Deans of the Christian College Consortium, Upland, Indiana, June 19, 2004.

 “Applied Christianity in the Christian College Curriculum.”  Conference on “After Worldview:  Christian Education in the Post-Modern World,”Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 17, 2004.

 “Samuel Morris, Taylor University, and the Deeper Spiritual Life.”  Address to the Martin Luther King Day Conference, Taylor University, Upland, Indiana, January 17, 2005.

 “Hope, Humility, and other Scholarly Virtues,” Athens and Jerusalem Seminar, Indiana Wesleyan University, November 15, 2005.

 “Memoirs of the First Generation of the Conference on Faith and History,” Distributed at the Biennial Meeting of the Conference on Faith and History, Shawnee, Oklahoma, September 21, 2006 (deposited in the CFH collection, Billy Graham Archives, Wheaton, Illinois).

 “An Introduction to the Archival Collection of the Christian College Consortium,” 2009, Taylor University Archives.

 “The Two Commandments as a Common Denominator in Church Related Colleges.  Address presented at the symposium “Exploring Indiana’s Places of Christian Higher Education in the Wesleyan and Holiness Traditions,” the University of Indianapolis, March 28, 2009.

 “Northwestern College (MN), The Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, and the Community of Christian Higher Education.” Research report presented to the Northwestern College faculty at the Northwestern College Scholarship Symposium on Institutional Identity, May, 2010.

 “The Christian College: A Discussion.”  SKYPE presentation to doctoral students class, Talbot Seminary, January 5, 2011.

"Suggested Guidelines for Writing Institutional History," Keynote address for Conference on Writing the History of Individual Christian Colleges, Cedarville University, April, 2014.

"The History of the Christian College Movement," Perry L. Glanzer, Douglas Jacobsen, Rhonda Jacobsen, Todd Ream, William Ringenberg, and Susan VanZanten, Faith and Learning Integration Course, Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, 2015.

"The Lifelong Education of Alice Hamilton," Co-author with Joseph Brain and Matthew Ringenberg (in process).

“The Academic Leader and Academic Freedom in the Christian College,” Annual Meeting of Provosts and Deans, Christian Scholars Conference, Lipscomb University, June 8, 2016.

“An Introduction to The Christian College and the Meaning of Academic Freedom,” Christian Scholars Conference, Lipscomb University, June 9, 2016.

  Interviews on the History and Practice of Christian Higher Education

The New York Times

Christianity Today

Chronicle of Higher Education

Inside Higher Education

Academe Blog, AAUP

Biographical Listings:

Contemporary Authors, Volume 191.

Dictionary of International Biography, Twentieth, Twenty-third, and Twenty-sixth Editions.

Directory of American Scholars, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Eleventh Editions.

International Who's Who in Education, First Edition.

Who's Who in American Education, Fourth Edition.

Who's Who in the Midwest, Twenty-third, Twenty-fourth, and Twenty-fifth Editions.

Who's Who in Religion, Third and Fourth Editions.

Who's Who in the World, Twelfth Edition.

Who’s Who in America, Sixty-fifth Edition.

Who’s Who Among Collegiate Faculty, 2010-2011


Married Rebecca H. Lehman. Children are Matthew Carey, Mark Robert, Peter Anthony, and Melodie Renee.

 Church Affiliations:

Member, Upland Evangelical Mennonite Church.

Licensed Minister, Evangelical Mennonite Church, 1979-1990.