“My explanation so far has shown why it is to the advantage of God and men that every man should be educated in all things. Let me add that it is also an advantage for things themselves, as they are subject to human dominion, to be managed only by men who are wise in the fullest sense of the word. For as any man can be confronted with any situation whatsoever, he will not be able to handle it unless he knows how to handle every single object according to its nature. Then the nature of things will be violated and will groan under the yoke and will grieve to be subject to vanity (being prepared to serve but incapable of serving if ignorantly handled).”
John Amos Comenius, Pampaedia 3.28
The quotation from John Amos Comenius describes each person’s responsibility to learn, and thus teach, with the best energy, attention, and faithfulness. Learning and teaching are acts of stewarding God’s good gifts of life, the earth, and friendships. The quotation gives an important reason why I do my work, and why I encourage others in the common labor.
From my undergraduate years, History dominated my ways of thinking, largely because of the connections it emphasizes between people, events, and contemporary life. I studied ancient and medieval European history in graduate school. I then taught history and related subjects for thirty years at a small college in Oklahoma. During those years I also developed an interest in helping institutions of higher learning fulfill their moral obligations for educating the next generation. That interest is central to my work as dean.
My interests outside work at King center on family and church. The greatest blessings of my life are my wife Alice, our four children, and the three grandchildren.
- Ph.D., Brown University (1989; History)
- M.A., Baylor University (1983; Liberal Arts)
- B.A., Baylor University (1982; English, History, Philosophy)
“Finding Civil Discourse for the Common Good: Christian Practice, Liberal Learning, and the Goal of Community.” Transactions of the Maryville-Lee Symposium on Faith and the Liberal Arts (Cleveland, Tenn.: n.p., 2017).
“Christian Practices and the Vocation of Teaching History,” in Fides et Historia 46 (Summer/Fall 2014): 77-84.
“How Christian Practices Help to Engage Students Morally and Spiritually: Testimony from a Western Civilization Course’,” in Teaching and Christian Practices: Reshaping Faith and Learning, ed. David I. Smith and James K. A. Smith (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2011), 157-76
“Exposing Students to Intractable Problems: Christian Faith and Justice in a Course on the Middle East,” in Spirituality, Justice, and Pedagogy, ed. David I. Smith, John Shortt, and John Sullivan, special issue of Journal of Education and Christian Belief 10 (Autumn 2006): 39-62.
“‘A Plain Turkish Tyranny’: Images of the Turk in Anti-Puritan Polemic, 1640-1660,” in Puritanism and Its Discontents, ed. Laura L. Knoppers (Newark, Del.: University of Delaware Press, 2003), 167-93.