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Gerald Sittser

Gerald Sittser

300 W. Hawthorne Road
Spokane, WA 99251
Phone: (509) 777-4381
Fax: (509) 777-3274
Office Location: Westminster Hall 117

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Jerry Sittser specializes in the History of Christianity, Christian Spirituality, and Religion in American Public Life. His course on the history and practice of Christian Spirituality meets over January Term in the wintry beauty of  Tall Timber, a Christian camp located in a remote area of the Cascade mountain range. Students live together for three weeks, follow a modified Benedictine Rule, and explore various spiritual traditions that have emerged throughout the history of Christian spirituality. He is also chair of the MA in Theology program at Whitworth and director of the Certification in Ministry program. He has written seven books, too. He is currently doing research on the history of "catechesis," which refers to how the church has trained people in the faith over the past 2,000 years. He enjoys music, literature, hiking, woodworking, and he attends the Oregon Shakespeare Festival every year with his family. Sittser is also known as "dad" to two Whitworth alums; his youngest son attends SPU.

Ph.D. University of Chicago
M.Div. Fuller Theological Seminary
B.A. Hope College

Year Joined Whitworth Faculty:  1989

Areas of Specialization / Expertise:
History of Christianity; history of Christian Spirituality; history of catechesis; religion in American public life

Selected Publications / Presentations / Honors:

Sittser is the author of Love One Another: Becoming the Church Jesus Longs For (IVP, 2008); Water from a Deep Well: Christian Spirituality from Early Martyrs to Modern Missionaries (IVP, 2007), which won the Logos Book Award; When God Doesn’t Answer Your Prayer (Zondervan, 2003), which won the 2005 Gold Medallion Award in the Christian Living category, from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association; The Will of God as a Way of Life (Zondervan, 2000); A Cautious Patriotism: the American Churches and the Second World War (U. of NC Press, 1998), and The Adventure (IVP, 1985). He is best known for his bestseller, A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss (Zondervan, 1996), which has been translated into more than 15 languages.

Sittser has written many book reviews and papers. Most recently he has authored "The History of Christian Spirituality," a major introductory essay for the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (Zondervan Academic, forthcoming), "The Desert Fathers and Mothers," in A Guide to Christian Spiritual Classics (IVP, forthcoming); "Catechumenate," an article for the Dictionary of Christian Spirituality (Zondervan Academic, forthcoming); "The Battle Without and Within: The Psychology of Sin and Salvation in the Desert Fathers and Mothers," in the Journal of Spiritual Formation and Soul Care (2009), "From Mountaintop to Mundane Life: The Purpose of Spiritual Retreats," in Conversations (2009), "Protestant Missionary Biography as Written Icon," in Christian Scholars Review (2007), as well as several review essays, including "Faithful Citizens," in Christian Century (2007) and "The Civil War Letters of Joseph Hopkins Twichell: A Chaplain’s Story," in Books & Culture (2008). He also speaks at numerous conferences and on college campuses, most recently Westmont College, Hope College, and Northwestern College.

Sittser won the Hope College Distinguished Alumni Award in 2009. He has also been voted Most Influential Professor seven times by the Whitworth senior class. During graduate school he also won the Jacob K. Javits National Graduate Fellowship award. Finally, he serves on the Camp Spalding Board, the Global Neighborhood Board, and the Northwestern College Board of Trustees.

Sittser was named Most Influential Professor by the Whitworth Class of 2011.