Sam Mulberry

Assistant Professor of History

Director, Academic Enrichment and Support Center

Courses Taught
Educational Background

B.A., Bethel University

M.A., University of Minnesota

Get to Know Prof. Mulberry
Sam Mulberry doing a CWC devotion on Psalm 137
Photo by Mary Hitt

At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to be a history professor?

I was a sophomore at Bethel, working as a teaching assistant for the Christianity and Western Culture program. I was in the Bethel Choir room standing up in front of about 80 CWC students talking about the Middle Ages when I had a moment of clarity in my life’s direction. I realized that what I was doing at that moment was more fun and fulfilling than anything else I’d ever done. I decided to change my major to History and my dream from that moment on was to teach a class like CWC.

(You can read more of this story in Prof. Mulberry’s 2019 Faculty Retreat address.)

Tell us about a member of your “cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1). Who’s an earlier Christian whose story inspires, convicts, or challenges you?

Augustine of Hippo. Every semester I get the chance to teach about Augustine’s spiritual memoir, the Confessions, and I’m always deeply moved by how he lays his early life bare to his readers. I’m amazed by how contemporary his life feels to me, how I can hear echoes of his life in my own — even though my life looks nothing like his.

If you were invited to write a biography about someone from the past, who would you choose?

Ben Shahn or Vincent Van Gogh. Both are artists that I love who wrote a lot. Many artists don’t communicate much with words, which is likely why they became painters. Both both Shahn and Van Gogh managed to use words beautifully and to paint meaningfully. I love reading Van Gogh’s letters and Shahn’s lectures for what they can teach me about art and life. I find myself returning to them throughout my life.

What are your three favorite movies?

The Big Lebowski; Fast, Cheap, and Out of ControlJaws

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