Rod Janzen, Ed.D.

Interim Dean of the School of HRSS
Professor of Humanities
McDonald Hall, Room 251
559-453-2210
rajanzen@fresno.edu

What programs do you teach in?

I teach American religious and ethnic history; also Mennonite history.

Education

Ed.D., Social Sciences, University of Southern California, 1992
M.A., History, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1977
Studies in History and Literature, Oxford University, 1973-1974
B.A., History, Fresno Pacific College, 1975

Share why you teach at FPU

I teach history from a Christian perspective that references the most recent research in the field. I hope that students will gain an understanding of the various ways that history may be viewed based on different ideological stances. My teaching is student-centered and discussion-oriented.

Scholarly Interests

I am especially interested in old order Christianity, for example, Hutterites, Molokans and other religious groups, as well as utopian and communal societies; also American ethnic relations.

Professional and Service Experience

  • Member, Board of Directors, William Saroyan Society, 2010-present
  • Member, Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee, 2008-present
  • Member, Board of Directors, Communal Studies Association, 1999-present
  • Editor, Communal Societies, 1999-present
  • Consultant for "Teaching American History," a federally-funded project with partnering support from the Clovis Unified School District, Fresno Pacific University, the Library of Congress, Microsoft, and others, 2002-2005
  • Consultant for the Burton Buller/John Ruth film, "The Hutterites: To Care and Not to Care," 1983

Honors and Awards

  • Communal Studies Association Distinguished Scholar Award for publications on communal life and thought
  • Communal Studies Association Annual Publications Award for The Hutterites in North America, September 2011
  • FPU Distinguished Scholar
  • Recipient, Mennonite Historical Society Research Grant, July 2006
  • Communal Studies Association Annual Publications Award for "The Rise and Fall of Synanon: A California Utopia," October 2004
  • Fellow, The Young Center for the Study of Anabaptism and Pietism, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, January-June 2004
  • Fresno Pacific University President's Distinguished Service Award, May 2001

Professional Affiliations

Fresno Pacific community involvement:

  • Member, FPU Strategic Planning Task Force, 2012-present
  • Chair, Provost Faculty Research Grant Committee, 2008-present
  • Editor, Pacific Journal, 2006-present
  • Director, FPU Scholar's Speak series, 2005-present
  • Chair, Faculty Seminar Committee, 2005-present
  • Member, Personnel Committee, 2008-2012
  • Member, Graduate Academic Committee, 2005-2008
  • Interim Dean of the Graduate School, 2001-2003
  • Member, Academic Cabinet, 2001-2003
  • Member, Faculty Executive, 1993-1998
  • Member, FPU Presidential Search Committee, 1996-97
  • Member, FPU Board of Directors, 1996-97
  • Chair, FPU Academic VP Search Committee, 1994-95
  • Chair, FPU Idea Board/Faculty Revision Committee, 1992-1994
  • Chair, FPU Graduate Division Mission Statement Committee, 1991-1993

Professional organizations:

  • American Historical Association, Pacific Branch
  • California Mennonite Historical Society
  • Communal Studies Association (member of CSA Executive Board, 1999-present)
  • Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee
  • Immigration and Ethnic History Association
  • Organization of American Historians

Other organizations:

  • Friends of the Shakers
  • The Sierra Club
  • The Wilderness Society
  • Jazz Fresno

Church:

  • Member of Mennonite Community Church, Fresno, 1992-present
  • Member, Board of Deacons, Mennonite Community Church, 2005-2008
  • Teacher, Adult Sunday school, Mennonite Community Church, 1992-present

Community:

  • Member, Armenian Museum Board of Directors, 2012-present
  • Member, William Saroyan Society Board of Directors, 2009-present
  • Member, "Teaching American History" Executive Committee in coordination with the Clovis Unified School District, 2003-2006
  • Mentor, Bethel College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 2005

Publications and Presentations

  • "William Saroyan on Ethnicity," Journal of American Ethnic History, to be published Spring 2014
  • "Plain Christians in California's San Joaquin Valley," Pacific Historical Review, to be published December 2013
  • "The Hutterites: Physical and Spiritual Health Care," book chapter in The Spiritual Care Edition of the Physicians Desk Reference, edited by Steven Jeffers, to be published by Radcliffe Publishers, 2013
  • "Bruderhof," "Communal Life," "Hutterites" and "Prairieleut" entries in The Concise Encyclodpedia of the Amish, edited by Donald Kraybill, 2010
  • "The Mennonite Brethren," "Mennonites in Ukraine" and "The Prairieleut," entries in Concise Bibliography of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonite, edited by Donald Kraybill, 2010
  • The Hutterites in North America, with Max Stanton, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2010
  • "Hutterite Physical and Spiritual Health Care," book chapter in The Spiritual Care Edition of the Physicians Desk Reference, edited by Steven Jeffers, published by Radcliffe Publishers, 2010
  • Paul Tschetter: The Story of a Hutterite Immigrant Leader, Pioneer, and Pastor, published by Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2009
  • "Paul Tschetter's Chicago Fire Hymn," with Jean Janzen, in Mennonite Quarterly Review, April 2007
  • "Communal Expressions of Old Order River Brethren Life," with Stephen Scott and Hannah Scott, in Communal Societies, December 2006
  • "Mere Culture and a Real Christianity," in College Faith 3: 150 Christian Leaders and Educators Share Faith Stories From Their Student Days, edited by Ronald Knott, published by Andrews University Press, 2006
  • "The Scholarship of Discovery," in Pacific Journal, 2006
  • "Mennonite Community Church, 1973-2003," in California Mennonite Historical Society Newsletter, May 2006
  • "The Rise and Fall of Synanon," in Communique, Summer 2006
  • "Multicultural Confusion," in Multicultural Review, Summer 2006
  • "Five Paradigms on Ethnic Relations," book chapter in Intercultural Communication: A Reader, edited by Richard Porter and Larry Samovar, published by Wadsworth, 2005
  • "Synanon: A California Utopia," in Communique, Fall 2005
  • "Mennonite Community Church, the Early Years," in California Mennonite Historical Society Newsletter, September 2005
  • "The Hutterites" and "the Bruderhof," entries in Annotated Bibliography for the Study of American Communal History (International Communal Studies Association on-line publication), edited by Peter Hoehnle, 2005
  • "The Hutterites and the Bruderhof: The Relationship between an Old Order Anabaptist group and a 20th Century Religious Society," in Mennonite Quarterly Review, October 2005
  • "Paul Tschetter: Dakota Hutterite Pioneer," in Dakota Historical Collections, 2005
  • Kalona's Old Order Amish & The Amana Colonies: Two Unique Cultures in Southeast Iowa (on-line publication of the Kalona Historical Society, www.kalonaiowa.org/ka), 2004 (This is a revised website version of a 1988 publication noted below.)
  • Are We Amish? (on-line publication of the Iowa City Convention and Visitor's Bureau, www.iowacity.com/amanas/amish/low_amish.html), 2004 (This is yet another, and different, revised website version of a 1988 publication noted below.)
  • Back to the City: Mennonite Community Church: 1954-2004, published by Pine Hill Press, 2004
  • "Scholarship and the Church," in Christian Leader, November 2003
  • The Rise and Fall of Synanon: A California Utopia, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001
  • The Prairie People: Forgotten Anabaptists, published by University Press of New England, 1999
  • Three Approaches to Curriculum Design, published by Fresno Pacific University, 1999
  • "The Social Science Education Conceptual Dilemma," in The Social Studies, June 1995
  • "Melting Pot or Mosaic?" reprint in California Schools, May 1995
  • "Five Perspectives on Ethnic Relations," in Social Education, October 1994
  • "The Prairieleut: A Forgotten Hutterite People," in Communal Societies, 1994
  • "The Hutterite High School Experience: Cultural Transmission on the Northern Plains," in Syzygy, Summer 1994
  • "Jacob D. Hofer: Evangelist, Minister and Carpenter," in California Mennonite Historical Society Newsletter, May 1994
  • "Melting Pot or Mosaic?" in Educational Leadership, May 1994
  • The Amana Society and Kalona's Old Order Amish, published by Amana Historical Society, 1988
  • Terry Miller: The Pacifist Politician, published by Freeman Publishing Company, 1986
  • "Terry Miller: A Pacifist in the South Dakota Legislature," in Dakota Historical Collections, edited by Herbert Blakely, published by South Dakota Historical Society, 1985
  • Perceptions of the South Dakota Hutterites in the 1980's, published by Freeman Publishing Company, 1984

Edited publications:

  • Editor, Pacific Journal, 2006-present
  • Editor, Communal Societies journal, 1999-present
  • God's Salvation Plan: A Hutterite Minister's Perspective, published by Hutterian Brethren, 1988

Book and article reviews:

  • Review of "Inside the Ark: The Hutterites in Canada and the United States," by Yossi Katz and John Lehr, Great Plains Research Journal, Summer 2013 
  • Review of "The Color of Christ: The Son of God and the Saga of Race in America," by Edward J. Blum and Paul Harvey, The History Teacher, Spring 2013
  • Review of  "Plain People: A Case Study of the Rockport Colony Hutterites," by Joanita Kant, Great Plains Research Journal, 2011
  • Review of  "Radical Innocent: Upton Sinclair," by Anthony Arthur, "A Godly Hero: The Life of William Jennings Bryan," by Michael Kazin, and "Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America," by Matthew Avery Sutton, in Pacific Journal, 2010
  • Review of Eden within Eden: Oregon's Utopian Heritage, by James Kopp, in Nova Religio, Spring 2010
  • Review of Diaspora in the Countryside, by Royden Loewen, in The American Historical Review, Fall 2009
  • Review of Jewish Communities on the Ohio River: A History, by Amy Hill Shevitz, in The History Teacher, August 2008
  • Review of Latino Pentecostal Identity, by Arlene M.Sanchez Walsh, in Nova Religio, March 2008
  • Review of My Life in Orange, by Tim Guest, in Communal Societies, July 2007
  • Review of The Seeds of the Kingdom: Utopian Communities in the Americas, by Anna L. Peterson, in Nova Religio, 2007
  • Review of The Christian College: A History of Protestant Higher Education in America, by William C. Ringenberg, in Direction, April 2007
  • Review of The Courts and the Colonies, by Alvin Esau, in Journal of Mennonite Studies and in Utopian Studies
  • Review of The Palgrave Companion to North American Utopias, by John W. Friesen and Virginia Lyons Friesen, in Novo Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religion, Winter 2006
  • Review of Peoples Temple and Black Religion in America, edited by Rebecca Moore, Anthony B. Pinn and Mary R. Sawyer, in Utopian Studies, Volume 16, number 2, 2005
  • Review of The Dawn of the New Cycle: Point Loma Theosophists and American Culture, by W. Michael Ashcraft, in The Journal of American History, March 2004
  • Review of Heartland Utopias, by Robert P. Sutton, published by Northern Illinois University Press, 2004
  • Review of Multicultural Education in a Pluralistic Society, by Donna Gollnick and Philip Chinn, published by Merrill, Prentice-Hall, 2003
  • Review of Intentional Community: An Anthropological Perspective, edited by Susan Love Brown, published by State University of New York Press, 2000
  • Review of On the Backroad to Heaven, by Donald Kraybill and Carl Bowman, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000
  • Review of Hidden Worlds, by Royden Loewen, in The Mennonite Historian, Spring 2004
  • Review of Holding the Line, by Diane Umble, in Communal Societies, 1997
  • Review of America's Alternative Religions, by Timothy Miller, in Utopian Studies, 1996
  • Review of Banished for Faith, edited by Emil J. Waltner, in Communal Societies, 1996
  • Review of The Shakers: Celibacy and Longevity, published by University of Tennessee Press, 1994
  • Review of Prevailing Over Time: Ethnic Adjustment on the Kansas Prairies, by D. Aidan McQuillan, in Mennonite Historical Bulletin, 1993
  • Review of On the Move: A Study of Migration and Ethnic Persistence, by Marilyn Rose, in Mennonite Quarterly Review, 1992
  • Review of Life and Conduct, by Ezechiel Sangmeister, in Communal Societies, 1991
  • Review of Pilgrims of a Common Life, by Trevor J. Saxby, in Mennonite Life, 1990
  • Review of Community for Life, by Ulrich Eggars, in Mennonite Life, 1990
  • Review of Anabaptism and Asceticism, by Kenneth Davis, in Direction, July 1975
  • Reviews of publications (a sampling):
  • The Prairie People: Forgotten Anabaptists reviewed in The Mennonite Quarterly Review, Mennonite Life, Direction and others
  • The Rise and Fall of Synanon: A California Utopia reviewed in The Nation, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Los Angeles Times, Direction, Journal of Utopian Societies, Communal Societies, The Journal of American History and others

Presentations (1992-present, a sampling):

  • "The Hutterites in 2013," Agricultural History Association, Banff, Alberta, June 2013
  • “Communal Christianity,” “The Hutterites in North America” and "The Hutterites Face the Future," Durnbaugh Lecture Series, Young Center for the Study of Anabaptism and Pietism, Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, April, 2012
  • “The Hutterites in 2011,” presented at the biennial convention of Mennonite Church USA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July, 2011
  • "Synanon Cults in the American West," Tabor College, Hillsboro, Kansas, May, 2011
  • “The Hutterites in 2011,” presented at the annual banquet of the Mennonite Brethren Historical Society, Hillsboro, Kansas, May, 2011
  • “Hutterites in North America: A New Golden Years Period,” presented at the International Hutterite Educator’s Conference, Winnipeg, Manitoba, August, 2010
  • "Perceptions of the Hutterites in 2007," presented at James Valley Colony, Elie, Manitoba, May 2007
  • "Perceptions of the Hutterites in 2006," presented at Group 1 Schmiedeleut German Teachers Conference in Aberdeen, SD, October 2006
  • "Religion or Cult: Synanon as Symbol or Synanon as Maverick," presented at Communal Studies Association in Marshall, California, September 2006
  • "Writing and Publishing Communal History," presented at Communal Studies Association in Marshall, California, September 2006
  • "The Hutterites and the Bruderhof: The Difficult Relationship between two Christian Communal Groups," presented at Dakota History Conference, April 2006
  • "The Hutterites and the Bruderhof: Different Perspectives," presented with Ruth Lambach and Max Stanton at Communal Studies Association in Pittsburgh, PA, 2005
  • "The Hutterites and the Bruderhof: The Relationship between an Old Order Anabaptist Group and a Modern Religious Society," presented at Fresno Pacific University Senior Scholar's lecture series, September 2005
  • "Old Order Christianity in California," presented at American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch in Corvallis, Oregon, August 2005
  • "Critical Thought and Intellectual Hospitality," presented as Fresno Pacific University Commencement Address, May 2005
  • "Paul Tschetter: Dakota Hutterite Pioneer," presented at Dakota History Conference in Sioux Falls, SD, April 2005
  • "Paul Tschetter: A Leader in the Middle," presented at Paul Tschetter Descendent's Reunion in Freeman, SD, April 2005
  • "FPU Sabbatical Policy: A Personal Reflection," presented at Fresno Pacific University Faculty Seminar, September, 2004
  • "Synanon as alternative society, new religion or cult?" presented at American Historical Association, Pacific Coast Branch, August 2004
  • "Communal Expressions of Christianity: Catholic and Protestant," presented at Interreligious Student Forum, Brown University in Providence, RI, April 2004
  • "The Hutterites and the Bruderhof," presented at Young Center for the Study of Anabaptism and Pietism annual lecture series, March 2004
  • "The Scholarship of Discovery," presented at Fresno Pacific University workshop, August 2003
  • "Small Schools and the Spirit of Community," presented at Freeman Academy "Steps Forward" annual dinner in Freeman, SD, May 2003
  • "Publishing While Working Full-time," presented at Fresno Pacific University Faculty Seminar Series, March 2003
  • "Mennonites and Ethnicity," presented at Mennonite Community Church, Fresno, California, October 2001
  • "Stories from the Hutter Past," presented at California Mennonite Historical Society annual meeting, April, 2001
  • "From Nonviolence on the Beach to a Rattlesnake in a Mailbox," presented at Communal Studies Association in Zoar, Ohio, October 1998
  • "Synanon: Five Years After it Ended," presented at Communal Studies Association in Amana, Iowa, October, 1996
  • "Research and Teaching," presented at Fresno Pacific College Faculty Seminar, March, 1996
  • "The Hofer Colony: An Hutterian Alternative," presented at Communal Studies Association in Fort Myers, Florida, October 1995
  • "Integration, Correlation and Specialization," presented at Fresno Pacific University annual meeting of master teachers, student teachers and supervisors, September 1995
  • "Five Paradigms of Ethnic Relations," presented at National Council for the Social Studies in Phoenix, Arizona, November 1994
  • "Ethnics and Ethnicity," presented at Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Chicago, March 1994
  • "Interethnic Relations in Schools," presented at Fresno Middle School Teachers Conference, February, 1994
  • "The Hutterite High School Experience: Boundary Maintenance on the Northern Plains," presented at International Communal Studies Association triennial meeting in New Harmony, Indiana, October 1993
  • "Multicultural Confusion," presented at California Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, in San Luis Obispo, March 1993
  • "Multiculturalism: Assimilationist or Pluralist?" presented at Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in Washington, D.C., March 1993
  • "The Prairieleut: A Forgotten Hutterite People," presented at Communal Studies Association in Nauvoo, Illinois, October 1992
  • "Religion and Politics in South Dakota," presented as plenary session lecture, Dakota History Conference in Madison, SD, 1985

Scholarly work:

  • Consultant for the book, Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites and Mennonites, edited by Don Kraybill and David Rempel Schmucker, proposed publication in 2010 by the Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Consultant for "Teaching American History," a federally-funded project with partnering support from the Clovis Unified School District, Fresno Pacific University, the Library of Congress, Microsoft, and others, 2002-2005
  • Consultant for the Burton Buller/John Ruth film, "The Hutterites: To Care and Not to Care," 1983

Programs