Dr. McMullen: How history and discipleship go hand in hand

If you have ever taken a class with Dr. McMullen, you know that he is an amazing teacher. He not only teaches the facts, but teaches how to analyze those facts and draw conclusion from them. During each class, he goes through topics by addressing them on three different levels of analysis: descriptive, interpretive and evaluative.

Dr. McMullen has a multitude of degrees, including a B.A. in Bible and B.A. in Christian Education from Taylor University, a Masters of Theology and Masters in Church History from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and a Masters in History and Ph.D. in History from the University of Missouri.

Last week, I had the opportunity to talk with Dr. McMullen about becoming a teacher, the origins of his passion for history, and working at Regent.

Why did you become a teacher? Have you always wanted to become a teacher?

Since becoming a Christian, I was always interested in discipleship, and I think teaching is a key component of discipleship. I began as a Christian Education major. I thought I would probably do more teaching in a church context, but over time that transitioned more to an academic context.

What made you want to teach history/social studies?

When I was studying theology, I discovered that I was more interested in studying the context for theology, which is why I got a Church History degree as well. Then I realized I really enjoyed the study of history. So from there, I just really developed a passion for it. I also recognized that the skills we used in history are skills you can use in any profession.


How has your faith impacted your classroom?

I think if we do history in the right way, then we are engaging in discipleship. I think that history gives us the tools to evaluate our culture, and I think Scripture is very clear that we have to be constantly evaluating our culture and evaluate with biblical truth. So, I think teaching history skills helps to do that.

Why teach at Regent?

There are a lot of reasons, but the main reason is because of the faith integration piece. I tell my students that there are really three levels of analysis: descriptive, interpretive and evaluative. If we don’t get to that 3rd step where we ask if something is good and true and biblical, then we aren’t doing history to its fullest. Being at Regent allows me to do history at its fullest.

Do you have any advice for college students?

Discipline leads to freedom. I think the idea is, the more discipline of a person you are, the more freedom and free time you actually have.