0 Dr. Shirley A. Mullen

Dr. Shirley A. Mullen

Dr. Shirley A. Mullen

President Emerita

Career Snapshot

  • President at Houghton College, June 2006 to present
  • Provost at Westmont College, 2002 to December 2006
  • Professor of History, 1984 to 2006 (Full professorship from 1995)


  • Ph.D. in Philosophy | University of Wales
    Dissertation: David Hume and the Partiality/Impartiality Debate
  • Ph.D. in History | University of Minnesota
    Dissertation: The Religion of Atheism in Victorian England
  • M.A. in History | University of Toronto
  • B.A. | Houghton College
    Summa Cum Laude

Administration and Teaching Experience

Houghton College

President, June 2006 to Present

Westmont College

Provost, 2002 to December 2006

Responsibilities included:
  • The full educational program of the college, including Academic Departments and Personnel, Student Life (in cooperation with the Vice President for Student Life); the Campus Pastor’s Office, Athletics, Admissions, Conferences, Off-Campus Programs, Registrar, Advising, Assessment, and Institutional Research.
  • The budgets for the Provost’s area and collaboration with the President’s staff in planning budget and campaign priorities for the college.
  • Chaired task forces on Hiring for Mission, Athletics Priorities and Choice of Conference Affiliation, and the Re-accreditation Steering Committee. Chaired the second of our ten-year Long Range Planning Processes in Fall 2006. Each of these task forces included faculty, administrators, and members of the Board of Trustees.
Administrative Experience/Committee Work
  • Interim Academic Dean, 2001-2002
  • Vice-Provost for Curriculum and Faculty Development, Fall 1999 to Fall 2001
  • Chair of the Faculty, 1993-1994
  • Special Projects Assistant to Provost in areas of Faith/Learning and Campus Ethos, 1997-1999
  • Department Chair for History, 1988-2001
  • Academic Senate, 1988-2006 (Chair 1998-2006)
    Senate Executive Committee, Fall 1985, Fall 1987, 1990-1991, 1993-1994, 1996-2006
    Senate Review Committee, Fall 1988-1990
  • Academic Planning Committee, 1986-1989 (Chair 1987-1989)
  • Long Range Planning Task Force for the College, 1992-1995 (Chair 1994-1995)
  • Faculty Council, Spring 1991, 1992-1995, Ex-officio as Provost
  • Off Campus Programs Committee, 1990-1991, 1997-2001
  • Personnel Committee, 1987-1988, Ex-officio as Vice Provost and Provost
  • Provost Search Committee, Chair 1995-1996
  • Committee for Rewriting the College Creedal Statement, 2000-2001

Professor of History, 1984-2006 (Full Professorship from 1995)

Courses taught:
  • Civilization to 1500
  • Civilization: 1500 to Present
  • Introduction to History (Methodology)
  • England to 1688
  • England Since 1688
  • Russia: 1700 to Present
  • Senior History Seminar
  • European Politics and Diplomacy Since 1789
  • European Society and Culture Since 1789
  • European Intellectual History Since 1789
  • Philosophy of History (Team taught with philosopher)
  • Interdisciplinary Studies – Topics in Feminism
  • War & Violence in Human Experience
Overseas Teaching:
  • Mayterm in Europe: European Civilization, Spring 1986, Spring 1988, Spring 1990, Spring 1992, Spring 1994, Spring 1996, Spring 1998, Spring 2000
  • Fall Semester in Europe Program, Fall 1986
  • Two Presidential Trips with Friends of the College (France 1999, Austria 2003)
  • One Alumni Trip (Italy 2005)

University of Minnesota

Teaching Assistant, 1980-1983
  • European History Since 1500
  • Senior Research & Writing Project (History undergraduates), 1982-1983

Bethel College, St. Paul, MN

Instructor, Spring 1979, 1982-1983
  • World Civilization Since 1500
  • Anti-Semitism in Western Culture
Director of Residence Life, 1977-1979

Publications and Papers

Articles or Book Chapters

  • “Between ‘Romance’ and ‘True History:’ Historical Narrative and Truth Telling in a Postmodern Age,” History and the Christian Historian, Ronald Wells, Eerdmans, 1998.
  • “David Hume and a Christian Perspective on History: Insights from an Unlikely Ally,”Fides et Historia, Summer/Fall 2003, pp. 49-60.
  • “Faith, Learning, and the Teaching of History,” Migliazzo: Teaching as an Act of Faith, Fordham University Press, 2002, pp. 277-293.
  • Entries on George Watts and Thomas Huxley, The 1890s: An Encyclopedia of British Literature, Art and Culture, G.A. Cevasco (ed.), Garland Press, 1993.
  • “Keeping the Faith: The Struggle for a Militant Atheist Press, 1839-62,” Victorian Periodicals Review, XXV, No. 4, Winter 1992, pp. 150-158.
  • “Education Makes a Difference,” Kappan, May 1990, pp. 18-24.
  • Assorted entries on Freethought, Victorian Britain: An Encyclopedia, Sally Mitchel (ed.), Garland Press, 1988.
  • “Individualism in the Liberal Arts: Thoughts on Habits of the Heart,” Faculty Dialogue, Spring-Summer 1987, pp. 79-82.
  • “Women in History and Hannah More,” Fides et Historia, Fall 1987, pp. 5-21.


  • Organized Freethought: The Religion of Unbelief in Victorian England. New York: Garland Publishing, 1987.


  • “Hannah More: A Retrospective and Prospective Essay.” Conference on Faith and History, October, 2000.
  • “Hannah More on Women and the ‘Reform of Manners.’” Pacific Coast Conference on British Studies, April, 2000.
  • “The ‘Worldly Christianity’ of William Wilberforce and Hannah More” – Given at the Inaugural Wilberforce Symposium at Gordon College, November, 1999.
  • “The Historian and Postmodernism,” – The Hayward Lectures, given at Acadia University, October 20-23, 1997
  • “Between ‘Romance’ and ‘True History:’ Historical Narrative and Truth Telling in a Postmodern Age,” Conference on Faith and History, Calvin College, October, 1996. (Published in History and the Christian Historian, Wells, ed., Eerdmans, 1998)
  • “What Is This ‘Mission Possible’?” – A talk on the Liberal Arts given at Freshman Orientation, Westmont College, 1996.
  • “Words and Wisdom from David Hume” – Given as part of a Convocation Series on Postmodernism at Gordon College, November, 1995.
  • “David Hume’s Pictures of History and His ‘Science of Man.’” Midwestern Conference on British Studies, October, 1992.
  • “What does it mean to be a Christian Liberal Arts College?” Given as the main address at the Faculty Retreat of Westmont College, October 19, 1990.
  • “Keeping the Faith; The Struggle for a Militant Atheist Press, 1839-1862,” Victorian Periodicals Society, September, 1988.
  • “Working Class Atheism and the English Radical Tradition: A Study in Historical Explanation.” Given as the Phi Kappa Phi Lecture, Westmont College, January 19, 1986.
  • “Images of the Christian Woman in Victorian England: Reflections from the Life and Work of Hannah More.” Given at the Conference on Faith and History Session of the American Historical Association. Chicago, December 29, 1984.
  • Various responses to papers at American Society of Church History, Conference on British Studies, and Conference on Faith and History

Book Reviews and Book Essays

  • Review Essay – “The Character and Purpose of History: A Review Essay,” Fides et Historia, Winter-Spring 1991, pp. 78-85
  • Additional book reviews have been published by Christian Scholar’s Review, and Fides et Historia. One is forthcoming in the Journal of Modern History.

Professional Affiliations

  • American Historical Association
  • Conference on Faith and History, (President 2004-2006)
  • Hume Society
  • Conference on British Studies

Professional Activities

  • Allegany County United Way Board
  • Advisory Group for Books and Culture
  • Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities Board
  • Fuller Theological Seminary Trustee
  • Middle States Evaluation Team Chair, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • National Association of Evangelicals

Association/organization memberships

  • Annapolis Group
  • Christian College Consortium (CCC)
  • Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU)
  • Council of Independent Colleges
  • Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (cIcu)
  • Rochester Area Colleges
  • Western New York Consortium

Related Professional Involvements

  • Article Referee for Comparative Studies in Society and HistoryChristian Scholar’s Review, and Victorian Studies.
  • Editorial Committee for Supplemental Text on Faith – Learning Issues in the Study of History. Sponsored by the Christian College Coalition.
  • Participation in Accreditation Review Team for Western Association of Schools and Colleges, October, 2000; October, 2001; October 2005.
  • Consultant for History Departments at Calvin College, 1996, and Wheaton College, 1999.
  • Textbook reviewer for Bulliet, Crossley, et.al. The Earth and Its Peoples. Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
  • Executive Board on Conference on Faith and History, 1987-1990, 2002-present.
  • Consultant for Faculty Development at Oklahoma Baptist University, Spring 2002.
  • Consultant for Center for Christian Studies at Gordon College, Spring 2002.
  • Speaker at Baccalaureate Service, Westmont College, 1987, 1993, 2002.

Academic Honors/Funded Study and Research

  • Phi Kappa Phi Membership
  • Westmont College, Outstanding Teacher Award, 1987, 1993, 1999.
  • Faculty Professional Development Grants, 1991, 1993, 1995.
  • Macmillan Travel Grant, University of Minnesota, 1983.
  • Graduate School Fellowship, University of Minnesota, 1979-1980.
  • Connaught Scholarship, University of Toronto, 1976-1977.

Community Commitments

  • Speaker at Rotary, Kiwanis, Cate School, Delta Kappa Gamma, Santa Barbara Associates, American Association of University Women
  • Membership and teacher in Adult Education program at First Presbyterian Church, Santa Barbara.
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