Faculty & Staff
- Lawrence Ressler
Dr. Lawrence Ressler
Social Work Department
Professor of Social WorkOffice Location: Reade 217C
Phone: (765) 998-4841
Specialties: Working with Families, Conflict and Mediation, Spirituality and Religion, Integration of Faith and Social Work, Groups, International Social Work, Use of Technology in Helping, The Works of Dr. Alan Keith-Lucas
Vitae PDF: Dr. Lawrence Ressler's Printable Vitae
Lawrence E. Ressler, Ph.D.
Case Western Reserve University, Ph.D.; 1990;
Temple University, MSW, Social Work; 1979;
Eastern Mennonite University, BA, Sociology; BSW, Social Work; 1976.
Professor of Social Work (2010 – present)
- Responsibilities include teaching social work courses and supervising students in junior and senior practica.
Provost, Academic Dean, Professor (2008 – 2010)
- Responsibilities include serving as second in command with oversight of academics, external programs, technology, continuous improvement, and the Carson Center for Mission, Service, and Global Education
Vice President for Academics and Student Development, Professor (2005 – 2008)
- The Vice President of Academics and Student Development responsibilities include administrative oversight of academics, student development, and athletics. The position involves direct and indirect supervision of all aspects of undergraduate, adult degree, and graduate studies; student life; athletics; and collaborative work with enrollment management, advancement, and finance offices. At the President’s request, I have assumed oversight responsibility for the North Central Association Continuing Improvement Accreditation Process (AQIP), and development of the Centennial Strategic Plan. Accomplishments during the first two years included development of the Carson Center for Mission, Service, and Global Education; the Center for Scientific Research and Scholarship; the Hope Scholars Program; reorganization of the School of Adult and Graduate Studies; upgrading of bandwidth, and introduction of on-line courses.
Roberts Wesleyan College
Director of Institutional Research and Assessment ( 2004 - 2005)
- I was asked to develop the first Institutional Research and Assessment Office at Roberts. Responsibilities included development of a comprehensive research and assessment plan for the institution; overseeing the collection, analysis, and dissemination of student learning, support, and institution data.
Interim Academic Dean (2002-2004)
- Upon the Provost’s promotion to President in 2002, I was asked to serve as interim Academic Dean. Major responsibilities included implementation of the faculty development program, academic program development, assessment of student learning outcomes, and the promotion of technology for instruction. Among the accomplishments were assistance in revision of Tabor’s mission statement, development of a Global Education Initiative, assistance in revision of the General Education program, and development of an Institute for Social Entrepreneurship.
Master of Social Work Developer/Leader, Professor (1995-2002)
- In 1995, Roberts invited me to provide leadership in establishing the first CSWE Master of Social Work program among CCCU institutions. Working as a team, the social work department notably achieved approval and accreditation of the MSW degree program. My academic rank during this period was Professor of Social Work. Roughly half time was given to teaching, and half time to administrative leadership responsibilities including Curriculum Specialist, MSW Advanced Standing Director, Associate MSW Director, MSW Director, Associate Chair of Social Work and Social Science Division, and Acting Chair of the Division of Social Work and Social Sciences
Social Work Program Director, Associate Professor (1986 – 1993, 1994-1995)
- I joined the faculty at Messiah College as Assistant Professor of Social Work in 1986 with the responsibility of developing a CSWE accredited undergraduate social work program. The program included a unique requirement that students spend two years in Philadelphia, PA in a collaborative education arrangement with Temple University. Notable accomplishments included initial accreditation, and subsequent reaffirmation. Roughly one third of my time involved administrative duties, with the remainder dedicated to teaching. During the eight years at Messiah, I was active in key areas including Finance Committee, Faculty Council Vice-Chair, and Faculty Council Chair. My wife and I also worked as resident directors for three years.
Carver School of Church Social Work, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
Associate MSW Dean, Associate Professor (1993-1994)
- I was invited to serve on the faculty at the Carver School of Church Social Work in 1993 as Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Social Work. The Carver School of Church Social Work was the only graduate social work program in a seminary in the US at the time. Due to change of administration at the Seminary, I returned to Messiah College; I had been given a one-year leave of absence to explore the Carver School option. Approximately half of my work at Carver was administrative in nature, with the other half in teaching.
Social Work Program Director, Assistant Professor (1981 – 1986)
- I began my academic profession at Malone College in 1981 as Assistant Professor of Social Work. Approximately one third of the time was spent in administrative duties, and two thirds teaching. Administrative responsibilities ranged from field coordination to overall program coordination. A major program goal was to develop a CSWE accredited undergraduate social work program. This was accomplished during my tenure at Malone. During this period, I received training as a mediator and began a relationship with Mennonite Conciliation Services.
York Street Community Services
Social Service Director/Associate Director (1979 – 1981)
- My wife and I organized and led a group of eight graduates from Eastern Mennonite University to the inner city of north Philadelphia, PA. This was a three-year commitment of voluntary service under Mennonite Board of Missions, sponsored by Franconia Mennonite Conference, and requiring regular interaction with Franconia Conference churches. Through community alliances, the team focused on provision of services to children, youth, and elderly residents in the York Street community. I began as Associate Director of YSCS, with promotion to Executive Director after one year.
Eastern Mennonite University
Assistant Instructor in Sociology, Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA (1977-78, part time);
Student Activities Director, Eastern Mennonite College, University, VA (1976-78, half time)
- I served in several positions at the College immediately after graduation, including my first teaching role and work as the student activities coordinator.
SIGNIFICANT HIGHER EDUCATION EXPERIENCES:
- Involvement in the Higher Learning Commission AQIP program in multiple roles including serving on accreditation panels for five institutions, Strategy Forum facilitation for five workshops, seven AQIP Portfolio Appraisal teams, reviewer for AQIP Action Projects for five years, and one site visit.
- Assisted in obtaining a $100,000 endowment for a newly developed Carson Center for Mission, Service, and Global Education, a $500,000 endowment for a newly developed Center for Scientific Research and Scholarship at Tabor College, $20,000 endowment for the writing center. $350,000 federal grant for technology
- Obtained Kan Ed technology grants of $30,000 and $50,000 and helped set up a video-conferencing classroom.
- Assisted in the development of the Institute for Social Entrepreneurship with a $267,000 grant from the Golisano Foundation, and the development of Joanna Fund gift of $250,000 for student led social services at RWC.
- Oversight of student life, athletics, strategic planning, all aspect of academics including the library, institutional research, student success, and Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP).
- Began the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment.
- Served as Academic Dean and Vice President of Academics and Student Development.
- Provided leadership in the effort to internationalize at several institutions.
- Provided leadership in a campus-wide strategic planning and outcome assessment effort including setting up the Institutional Research and Assessment office at two institutions.
- Assisted in hiring all of the faculty at Roberts from July 2002 to June 2004 and faculty, coaches, and student life staff at Tabor College from 2005 to the present.
HIGHER EDUCATION CONFERENCES AND WORKSHOPS:
- Lilly Conference on College and University Teaching, Bethesda, MD, June 2 - 5, 2011.
- Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association Annual Conference, Chicago, April 8, 2011.
- Association of Baccalaureate Social Work Program Directors (BPD Conference, February 23-27, 2011
- Missions and Mental Health Annual Conference, Pokagon State Park, Angola, IN, November, November 20, 2010.
- North American Association of Christians in Social Work (NACSW), November 11-13, 2010.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) International Forum on Christian Higher Education, Atlanta, Ga February 24 – 26, 2010.
- Educause, Denver, CO, November 3-6, 2009.
- Strategic Perspectives for Non-profit Organizations, Harvard Business School, Cambridge, MA, July 12-18, 2009.
- Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Chief Academic Officers Annual Institute, Seattle, WA, November 1-4, 2008.
- North Central Association (NCA) Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Systems Portfolio Facilitator, Lisle, IL, November. 9-11, 2005; March 8-11, 2006; October. 3-6, 2007.
- International Council of Mennonite Brethren (ICOMB) meeting, Fresno, CA, June20-27, 2007.
- Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Quality Check-up Visit Training, Lisle, IL, October 5-6, 2006.
- Academic Quality Improvement Program (AQIP) Systems Portfolio Assessment training, Lisle, IL, April 19-21, 2006.
- Association for Institutional Research Foundations Institution (AIR), Seattle, WA, July 23-27, 2004.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) International Forum on Christian Higher Education, Dallas, TX, March 29 – April 1, 2006.
- Eastern Mennonite University Preaching Institute, Seneca, NY, October 2004 – May 2005.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Chief Academic Officer Annual Conference, San Jose, Costa Rica, March 17-23, 2004.
- Council of Independent Colleges (CIC) Chief Academic Officer Institute, Savannah, GA, November 1-4, 2003.
- Intercultural Competency Workshop, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI March 27 – 30, 2003.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Planning Grant Meeting, Gordon College, June 5-7, 2003.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Chief Academic Officer Annual Conference, Savannah, GA, February. 22-24, 2003.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Integration of Faith Workshop, Gordon College, May 30-31, 2002.
- Middle States Association (MSA) Assessment Conference, Washington, D.C. December 16-17 22-23, 2002.
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Critical Issues for Christian Higher Education Competencies, Seattle Pacific University, June 20-22, 2003.
INTERNATIONAL/CROSS CULTURAL EXPERIENCES:
- Social Work International Practicum faculty sponsor for 14 social work students in Kampala, Uganda (January 2012)
- Study and service center exploration trip to Dhamtari and Hyderabad , India (March 2009).
- Study and service center exploration trips to Delhi, Calcutta, Bombay, Hyderabad region, India (March, August 2007).
- Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) Chief Academic Officer meeting in Costa Rica (March 2004).
- Study abroad program development trip to Nagercoil, India; Nairobi, Kenya; and Murcia, Spain (January 2004).
- European travel to Netherlands, Germany, Switzerland, France, Luxemburg, Belgium, (April, 2002).
- Led one group and provided oversight for 6 other groups of social work students and faculty who volunteered for seven weeks in New York City World Trade Center Disaster (September, 2001 – January, 2002).
- Taught a short term course at the Russian American Christian University, Moscow (May 2001, May 2004).
- Served as Visiting Faculty member at Daystar University during a sabbatical. Developed the social work curriculum that has been approved by the government and is being offered (January-May, 1999).
- Led a Malone College student work group to Haiti (March, 1984).
- Lived in Thailand for a month while doing research on Cambodian refugees (March, 1983).
- Voluntary Service with Mennonite Board of Missions in inner city Philadelphia, PA (1978-80).
- Worked in rural Mississippi in community development with an EMC summer team (1974).
RESEARCH AND CONSULTANT EXPERIENCES:
- Late Dr. Alan Keith-Lucas family grant (via NACSW) to catalog and scan academic papers in collaboration with the Taylor University Zondervan Library (2012).
- Taylor University Spencer Center Mini-Grant, “Multinational Social Work E-Conference on Social Justice,” (Summer 2011)
- Campus-Based Faculty Development mini-grant from the CCCU that brought a faculty development expert to campus to help reflect on, and develop, the faculty development program (2003).
- CCCU Initiative Grant to Network Christian Scholars recipient 1999-2000 for project entitled Coming Full Circle: Devolution of State Delivery of Human Services to Faith-Based Human Service Organizations along with four other scholars from Calvin College, Baylor University, and University of Kentucky.
- Served as a reviewer for spirituality and religion workshop proposals for the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) 2000 Annual Program Meeting (1999 -2001), planning committee for the CSWE 2000 APM Meeting (July, 1999).
- Completed a study of the relationship of street children and AIDS orphans in Nairobi in cooperation with USAID/Kenya (January-May, 1999).
- Social work curriculum consultant to Daystar University, Nairobi, Kenya to establish a social work program (Jan-May 1999).
- Completed a national survey of 222 religiously-affiliated social workers regarding the frequency and nature of religious discrimination in social work and compliance with ethical standards related to religion (1998-99).
- Received site visitor training for the Council on Social Work Education (October 1998).
- Served as a BSW curriculum consultant to Mt. Vernon Nazarene College for CSWE accreditation (1998).
- Completed a criterion validity study of family conflict with 180 parents and children (1993-94).
- Completed a national study of undergraduate consortium social work programs (1990-91).
- Completed dissertation research examining the relationship of service delivery and client memory entitled "Improving Elderly Recall by Presenting Information Bimodally, A Natural Experiment of Discharge Planning" (1988-1990).
- Completed a study of social problems in two Cambodian refugee camps in Thailand (March, 1982).
- Completed a program evaluation of the Philadelphia Mennonite Council in Philadelphia, PA (1981).
- Directed the initial accreditation for bachelor social work at Malone College (1983- 1984), initial accreditation and reaffirmation at Messiah College (1986-87, 1992-93), and served as curriculum specialist and associate director at Roberts Wesleyan College for initial accreditation and reaffirmation of the MSW program (1995-97, 1999-2005).
THERAPIST AND MEDICAL EXPERIENCES:
- Covenant Christian Counseling, Rochester, NY (1996-2002; Part-time).
- Innerworks Counseling, Harrisburg, PA (1994-2000; Part-time).
- Life Care, Walnut Street Baptist Church, Louisville, KY (1993-94, Part-time).
- Psychological and Family Consultants, Inc., Canton, OH (1984-86, Part-time).
- Adult, Child and Family Counseling Associates, Camp Hill, PA (1987-93, Part-time).
- Mennonite Conciliation Service, Akron, PA (1985-2000, Occasional).
- Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Technician, National (1998 - present).
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS, LICENSES, HONORS:
- Alumnus of the Year, Eastern Mennonite School, Harrisonburg, VA (October, 2007).
- Award for Distinguished Service from the North American Association of Christians in Social Work (October, 2005).
- Phi Alpha National Honor Society Honorary Inductee (April, 2005).
- Certified Social Worker in New York: 056905-1 (lapsed).
- North American Association of Christian Social Workers President (1994-1996, 1997 – 2000) Program Vice-President (1990-1991), Board of Directors (1990-1996, 1997 - 2000).
- National Association of Social Workers: Member (1975 - present), Regional Chairperson (1984-1986), Ohio Chapter Board Member (1982-1986), Canton Chairperson (1982-1983), ACSW
- Journal of Family Ministry Editorial Board (1993 - 2005).
- Social Work and Christianity Editorial Board: (1995 -present).
- Social Thought: The Journal of Religion in the Social Services Editorial Board (2001 – present).
TAYLOR UNIVERSITY COMMITTEES, PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, AND SERVICE ACTIVITIES:
- Curriculum Management Committee (3 year term beginning Fall 2012)
- Academic Technology Subcommittee (3 year term beginning Fall 2010)
- Online Task Force (Fall 2010)
Social Work Department
- Assisted in rewriting the Self-Study to CSWE (Fall 2010)
- Student Social Work Organization Advisor (2010-present)
Professional Development Activities (2010-12)
- T4T Conference (10-11, 11-12)
- New Faculty August Orientation (10-11)
- New Faculty Lunch: Development Trajectory During College Years (10-11)
- New Faculty Lunch: Working with Students with Special Needs (10-11)
- Forming/Managing Cooperative Learning (10-11)
- New Faculty Lunch: Teaching for Critical Thinking (10-11)
- Studymate to Create Learning Workshop (10-11)
- New Faculty Lunch: Taylor History (10-11)
- SPGS Enrichment Lunch (10-11)
- New Faculty Lunch: Making Sense of Course Evaluations(10-11)
- Deepen Learning Through Critical Reflection(10-11)
- Webinar: 7 Learner-Centered Principles to Improve Your Teaching (11-12)
- Creating Effective Writing Assignments (11-12)
- Academic Support: What is required? How the AEC can help students and you” (11-12)
- Faculty Enrichment Luncheon (11-12)
- Educational Issues Seminar (11-12)