Professor of Historical Studies Dr. H. Kendall Rogers has retired from teaching after more than four decades, completing his final courses during the 2023 spring semester. Rogers taught at Manchester College (now University) for 30 years, then joined the Bethany faculty in 2008. While at Manchester, he also was the Resident Director for Brethren Colleges Abroad in Marburg, German, for two years. He was also Resident Director in China for the program’s pioneer semester there in 1986. Rogers has been ordained in the Church of the Brethren to the ministry of teaching since 1984.
Rogers graduated from Manchester with a bachelor’s degree in 1972. He completed post-graduate study at Oxford University (BA 1974 and MA 2002) and Harvard University (MA 1975 and PhD 1984). He also studied at Philipps University of Marburg in 1970-71 and 1999-2001. His academic honors include an International Research Exchange (1979), a Fulbright German Studies Seminar (1993), and a Lilly Faculty Open Fellowship (1993-94).
In his role as Professor of Historical Studies, Rogers has offered the primary core history courses for Bethany’s curricula. These courses in the History of Christianity shape the way students come to appreciate the origins, growth, complexities, and varied contexts for Christianity and its multiple relationships to culture and ever-changing historical contexts over the centuries.
“Ken engages students in deep questions, attention to detail and nuance, and explication of broader social, economic, political, philosophical, and theological issues that shape events and our historical understanding of them,” notes Academic Dean Dr. Steve Schweitzer.
Rogers also offered advanced courses that focused on the origins of and the century that led up to the rise of the Brethren movement in Germany. His courses on Radical Pietism and on Christianity and Crises: 1590-1720 seek to probe the contexts for understanding Brethren origins, especially in relationship to other Pietist and Anabaptist thinkers and writers during this era. His recent research and publications open up new lines of questions and new possibilities for evaluating how interconnected the pivotal persons were in this period and their mutual influences as they worked to develop their theological interpretations and practical applications of their positions.
During his time at Bethany, Rogers has also led a popular travel seminar to Germany four times, which focused on Brethren origins, but also on the contemporary setting of the national church and opportunities for ecumenical dialogue. Students who participated in this educational trip appreciated Rogers’ planning and thoughtful engagement with German faculty, students, clergy, and members of the laity about how historical analysis not only informs our view of the past but also our ability to understand the present and to make sense of our current world.
“We are grateful to Dr. Rogers for his years of skilled teaching and service to the Seminary,” says President Jeff Carter. “So many students have benefited from his insightful approach to the teaching of history. We wish him well in his next chapter.”