I created this website for my students. The resources will help them research and write papers for the courses I teach. Students can also learn a bit more about me and my research from the short academic bio below and from my curriculum vitae. I enjoy teaching history because I love learning about the past myself. The study of history is fascinating, challenging, always complex, and, at times, inspiring. It is the job of an historian to be curious and I hope I can instill a permanent curiosity in my students so that they want to explore, learn, and thus develop a better understanding of the world and their own lives. Also, since students' tuition helps support academic scholarship, I believe that students should know what their professors are doing professionally.
I am a professor of European history and the history of Christianity at Walla Walla University, where I serve as the chair of the department of history and philosophy. My Ph.D. in History was completed in 2004 at Claremont Graduate University under the direction of Dr. Lori Anne Ferrell. Previously, in 2000, I received a Masters in Business Administration from the Peter F. Drucker School of Management, with a concentration in strategy. While my primary area of expertise is early modern religious history, I also read, research, and teach in the areas of medieval and early modern European history, British history, the history of Christianity, the history of the scientific revolution, economic history, and women’s history. In addition to on-campus courses for the history department and honors program, perhaps the most fun I have had teaching was while co-directing and leading four history and literature tours in the United Kingdom. The next tour will take place during the summer of 2020.
In 2009 my first book was published by the University of Toronto Press: Exploiting Erasmus: The Erasmian Legacy and Religious Change in Early Modern England. I also have published seven academic articles, numerous book reviews, and have spoken at many conferences in Europe and North America. In June, 2013 I had an article published in the Cambridge University Press journal Church History, Studies in Christianity and Culture. In December, 2017 an article on Thomas More's reception in 17th century England was published in Moreana. Currently, I am working on two chapters for upcoming edited volumes and on another book project that is set in Restoration England. I am always happy to talk to students about my research.
A few other tidbits: In 2005 I helped relaunch the WWU Amnesty International Club and continue to serve as the club’s faculty sponsor. In 2007 I became an executive officer of the Erasmus of Rotterdam Society, an international scholarly society. Over the years, I have received a number of awards for scholarship and teaching, including the Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012. The award that was most meaningful, however, was in 2017 for community service and was presented by the Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce. Off campus, I serve on the community council for the Children's Home Society and, since 2013 have been chairing that council. While I find community service personally very rewarding, I want to help inspire my students to discover not only the joy of helping others, but also how a little time and energy really can make the world a better place.
My wife, Amy Shawler Dodds, is a brilliant violinist, violist, and pianist who teaches strings in the music department at Whitman College. We have two wonderful daughters. Outside of the academic realm I enjoy skiing, watersports, photography, golf, basketball, travel, community service, and, especially, playing with my girls.