A Christian Liberal Arts University, Est. 1846

William Ringenberg

Professor of History - Part-time
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Faculty Profile

Advice to incoming students

Think in terms of what you want to become.

“For those who desire to rise above their times or stand outside their cultures, there are three sure ways.  In ascending order they are travel, history, and direct knowledge of God.”  

--Os Guinness

Why I Came to Taylor

One of the advantages of teaching in a small liberal arts college is it can more easily provide the opportunity to teach interdisciplinary courses.  For years, I taught an honors section of the freshman general education course, Foundation of Christian Thought, and as an outgrowth of that course, I wrote Letters to Young Scholars: An Introduction to Christian Thought (2003).

Hobbies

I have been married to my wife, Becky, for 50 years. We have four children and eight grandchildren we love spending time with. We also enjoy traveling, reading, music, drama, film, and discussion clubs. You can often times see me in the well exercising or watching sporting events.

Major career accomplishments

In the 1970s, I served with George Marsden (then of Calvin College) as one of the founding board members of the Christian Scholars Review. Then, in the 1980s, I served a two-year term as president of the Conference on Faith and History, and later was a part-time United Methodist minister.

I wrote two Taylor histories:  Taylor University:  The First 125 Years (1973) and Taylor University:  The First 150 Years (1996); and the more broadly-based The Christian College:  A History of Protestant Higher Education in America (1984 and 2006).

In addition to Christian higher education, my research articles have tended to focus on biographies of religious figures, the religious thought and practice of American presidents (Garfield--the only preacher to go to the White House--and Benjamin Harrison of Indianapolis), Mormons, Mennonites, and war and peace issues.

Current Projects:

My current projects include:  An orientation course for new faculty, based upon my book The Christian College: A History of Protestant Education in America, for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities; My autobiography, The Journey and the Quest; and a book length monograph on The Christian College and Academic Freedom.

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