Professor of History
Department Co-Chair
Co-Director, Christianity and Western Culture

Courses Taught
Prof. Gehrz on a 2022 trip to the Wartburg in Eisenach, Germany
Educational Background

A.B., College of William and Mary
M.A., M.Phil., and PhD, Yale University

Get to Know Prof. Gehrz

What’s your favorite book to teach in a course at Bethel?

I don’t think I’ve ever taught Modern Europe without having students read Christopher Browning’s Ordinary Men, an analysis of German military police who killed and deported thousands of Polish Jews during the Holocaust. Students then play roles in a mock trial. Whether they serve as prosecutors, defense attorneys, or jurors, students invariably learn a great deal about the perpetrators of the Final Solution… and themselves.

Gehrz, Charles Lindbergh

What’s your favorite museum?

The first museum I can remember loving as a child was the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, and I’ve circled back to it in adulthood, as writing a biography of Charles Lindbergh has helped me understand the technological, political, and even religious dimensions of flight.

What book in the Bible have you read most often in your life? What keeps bringing you back to it?

If I can treat Luke-Acts as a single book… Luke is my favorite gospel, both because it’s so clearly written as a work of history and because its focus on healing miracles always reminds me of my dad’s career as a pediatrician and medical researcher. Then Acts never fails to teach me that if the Holy Spirit can work through people as flawed as Paul, Peter, and the other apostles, it can work through anyone who follows Jesus — including me.

If we asked the people who know you best to describe you, which three adjectives would they be most likely to use?

Thoughtful. Earnest. Clutzy.

Click here for posts about Chris Gehrz

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