Rennie B. Schoepflin

Rennie Schoeplfin in class
Natural and Social Sciences
Office Location: MUS 227
Phone: 323-343-4001 Email: [email protected]


Currently serving as Director of Strategic Initiatives, I have developed through faculty governance and academic administration, curricula in history, global studies, general education, and honors programs; led strategic planning, academic affairs, and faculty affairs committees; established innovative enrollment and academic advising programs; served as department chair of history, associate dean of the College of Natural and Social Sciences, and interim dean of the College of Arts and Letters; directed the university's conversion from quarters to semesters; and developed programmatic relationships between the academy and the community that have focused on historical preservation and the relationships between culture and health.


My teaching is led by my belief that at its best education transforms knowledge and beliefs, individual lives, and social interactions. The transmission and assimilation of knowledge and skills are only part of the task of good teaching and learning. The best education facilitates students in acquiring the judgment to know what knowledge they need, the ability to find and synthesize it, the critical skills to evaluate and communicate it, and the wisdom and courage to transform themselves and their communities by its application. I have taught courses in cultural and intellectual history, environmental history, and the history of medicine, science, and religion.


My research interests include the historical interactions of religion, science, and health, the history of health and medicine, and the co-evolution of American views of God and nature. I have spent the last fifteen years studying the beliefs and practices of religious healers, including mental healers, mind healers, and Christian Science healers.


Title Date

Association of American Colleges and Universities Centennial Forum— “Diversity, Equity, and Excellence:  College Learning and America’s Unmet Promise,” Los Angeles, CA, 15 April 2015.  Co-organizer and presenter:  “Scaling High-Impact and Applied Learning Opportunities.”


“Science and Medicine,” in Ellen Harmon White:  American Prophet, eds. Terrie Dopp Aamodt, Gary Land, and Ronald L. Numbers (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2014).  (Coauthor:  Ronald L. Numbers).


“Health and Fitness,” in Oxford Encyclopedia of the History of American Science, Medicine, and Technology, (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2014).


Conference on Science without God:  Religion, Naturalism, and the Sciences, a Conference to Honor Ronald L. Numbers.  Tallahassee, FL, 22-23 February 2012.  Invited paper:  “Psychiatry and Naturalism.”


Christian Science on Trial:  Religious Healing in America (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003).



  • American Historical Review, Journal of American History, ISIS: Journal of the History of Science Society, Church History, Journal of Religion, Western Historical Quarterly, Journal of the American Academy of Religion, Bulletin of the History of Medicine, Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences.








     University of Wisconsin, Madison—Ph.D., History of Science, 1995.

     University of Wisconsin, Madison—M.A., History of Science, 1980.

     Loma Linda University—M.A., History (Church History), 1980.

     Walla Walla College—B.A., Religion/Pre-Med, 1974.


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