Jerry Pattengale

Jerry Pattengale

Jerry A. Pattengale (born 1958) is the founder of Purpose-Guided Education, and his mantra is “The dream needs to be stronger than the struggle.”[1] He coined “purpose-guided education” in 1997 while leading the implementation of student success programs at Indiana Wesleyan University.[2][3] In 2004, IWU received national recognition for these efforts through its selection as a Founding Institution in the Foundations of Excellence program of the National Policy Center (NC).[4] The university was benefited from involvement in The Lilly Endowment’s program for focused research on “vocation.” [5] Purpose-guided education prioritizes intrinsic motivation and helps students to become more engaged in learning experiences through connecting their beliefs and life goals to curricular requirements. The application of his views is found in Why I Teach and The Purpose-Guided Student (McGraw-Hill, 2008 & 2009 releases). He contributes regularly to educational issues related to student motivation and success, speaking nationally in various conference and media venues. He was raised in a family of ten near Lafayette, Indiana in the little town of Buck Creek, which prompted his popular Buck Creek newsprint series. At the age of 16 he found himself both a high school graduate and homeless. In 2006, PBS/WIPB (Ball State affiliate) included his journey in its special film, Leading the Way out of Poverty.[6] In 2007 and 2008 he participated in Roundtable meetings at the White House on compassion efforts through OFBCI.


Recognition for his work

The National Research Center (USC) and Houghton Mifflin Publishers presented him the National Student Advocate Award (2000), NACADA with a Merit Award for his development of the Virtual Advising Link system (1999) and his Odyssey in Egypt program ranked among the top ten most-visited web sites (1996) and was a finalist for the international Global Information Infrastructure Award. Students at Azusa Pacific University twice voted him “Professor of the Year” and once as “Honors Professor of the Year.” He has served on the boards the Collegiate Employment Research Institute (Michigan State University), Veriana Networks, Inc. (a new media group), The National Resource Center for First-Year Experience and Students in Transition (USC), Bridgecasters: The National Center for Understanding Diversity and Civic Responsibility (IN), The Center for Women in Ministry (IN), The Review Board for The Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition (Indiana), The 21sts Scholars College Network Steering Committee (IN) and the Governor’s Council for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (Indiana). His mentoring of Olympian Kris Akabusi, a Nigerian sprinter from England, was highlighted in The Guardian.[7]


His publications and presentations reflect his wide range of interests, from his ancient history background to his studies of purpose, along with human interest stories. He speaks nationally on student success issues, including broadcasts such as The Teaching Professor (Magna Publications) and PaperClips and has given addresses to dozens of colleges and campuses, ranging from Colgate, Taylor and Wheaton to the universities of Michigan, Houston, South Florida, Arkansas, and many community colleges such as Ivy Tech. He was one of the pioneers in calling for a humanities approach to student success,[8] and the need for faculty involvement in the development of strategies.[9] Jerry writes a popular newsprint series for Paxton Media, The Accidental Author, with some of these articles surfacing in books. In addition to his books and chapters on student success and history, he has a wide range of publications, e.g., “The Naked Truth” (The Chicago Tribune), “Student Success or Student Non-Dissatisfaction” (Growth Journal), “Writing History in Public,” (Books & Culture) the “Addressing the Tension between Leading and Managing” (Academic Leader) and “The Faculty Retention IQ Test” (Faculty Focus).

Career & Education

While completing a graduate degree at Wheaton College (Illinois) in Interpersonal Development, he developed a youth program to city teens in Chicago, IL. He later did the same in Indiana Wesleyan University while completing a second B.S. (History), founding the J.C. Body Shop—a Christian youth center. He then moved to Miami University for a second M.A. (Tudor-Stuart History) and a Ph.D. (Ancient History), holding a full fellowship and was mentored by Dr. Edwin Yamauchi. From 1989-97 he taught history at Azusa Pacific University, where he helped to launch the Common Day of Learning, The Pew Honors Society, and the Night of Champions. From 1996-1997 he co-directed the personal foundation for billionaire R. Van Kampen, and hosted two international conferences at the foundation’s castle estate in Hampton Court, Herefordshire, co-sponsored with the British Library. He also assisted Scott Carroll and Bastian Van Elderen with the large excavation of a fourth-century monastery in Wadi Natrun, Egypt. Artifacts, including a small pot of gold, are in the Cairo Museum. With Carroll, he co-produced the Odyssey in Egypt program, a multi-variegated virtual curriculum that attached ten middle schools in Western Michigan to the excavation staff, and the site generated millions of hits through its association with Sloman’s “Day in the Life of” series. In 2007, he served as a technical (research) consultant for Lee Strobel’s film The Case for Christ (produced by Peter Schockey). Jerry has served Indiana Wesleyan University, his alma mater, in academic administration since 1997.


  • Pattengale, J. (2003) “The Naked Truth: It all boils down to one’s donation in life” The Chicago Tribune. (3/04/03): 1.13.
  • Pattengale, J. (2008) “The Student Retention IQ Quiz” Faculty Focus.
  • Pattengale, J. (2007) A Brief Guide to Objective Inquiry. Triangle Publishing, 2007.
  • Pattengale, J. (2008) What Faculty Members Need To Know about Retention. The Teaching Professor National Broadcast/DVD. Nov. 20, 2008.
  • Pattengale, J. (2009) Why I Teach: And Why It Matters to My Students. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Pattengale, J. (2010, 2009 release) The Purpose-Guided Student: Dream to Succeed. New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Pattengale, J. (2008) “Writing History in Public.” Books and Culture.
  • Pattengale, J., D. Sprowl, R. Thompson and K. Parker (2008, January 1) The Purpose-Guided Campus—Homework to Mentor Hall. Recruitment and Retention. Magna Publications.
  • Pattengale, J. (2006) “Benevolent Physicians in Late Antiquity: Ancient Precedent for Modern Health Care Reform.” In The Light of Discovery: A Festschrift for Edwin M. Yamauchi, John Wineland, editor. Oregon: Wipf & Stock.
  • Pattengale, J. (2006) “Meeting the Needs of the Second College Year,” National broadcast. PaperClip Productions and the National Media Services. Essam Abozid, project manager.
  • Pattengale, J. (2006) Student Success or Student Non-Dissatisfaction? Growth Journal, No. 6, 13-25.
  • Pattengale, J. (2007) “The Second College Year,” national broadcast scheduled for Dec. 19, 2007. PaperClip Productions and the National Media Services. Essam Abozid, project manager.
  • Reynolds, P., J. Gross, B. Millard, J. Pattengale (2005). Discovering life purpose: retention success in a leadership course at Indiana Wesleyan University. Indiana Project for Academic Success Research Brief. Bloomington: Smith Center for Research, Indiana University.[10]
  • Schockey, Peter, producer, J. Pattengale, technical research assistant. (2007) The Case for Christ. Based on book by Lee Strobel.
  • Schreiner, L. and J. Pattengale. Eds. (2000). Visible Solutions for Invisible Students: Helping Sophomores Succeed. Co-editor with Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina, The National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition. Monograph 31. November, 2000.
  • Schreiner, L. and Pattengale, J. (2001) "What Is the Sophomore Slump, and Why Should We Care?" Koinonia (Winter 2001): 6-11.
  • Carroll, S. and J. Pattengale (1996) 24 Hrs. in Cyberspace. S.v. “Odyssey in Egypt.” San Francisco: Against All Odds Productions (February 8–11), 1996.
  • Evans, M. with J. Pattengale. (2008) Managing Business by the Book. Marion, IN: Triangle.
  • Pattengale, J. (1988) Review of The Early History of God and other Yahweh Deities by Mark Smith, Christian Scholar’s Review.
  • Pattengale, J. (1989) Review of Eye Witness to History by Wm. Carey, Fides et Historia. 21.1 (January 1989): 83.
  • Pattengale, J. (1989) Review of Theological Dictionary of the New Testament edited and abridged by Geoffrey W. Bromiley. Asbury Theological Journal. 44.1 (Spring 1989): 111-112.
  • Pattengale, J. (1992) "The Chinese Cultural Revolution." Great Events from History II: Human Rights. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.
  • Pattengale, J. (1992) "The Tiananmen Square Demonstrations." Great Events from History II: Human Rights. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.
  • Pattengale, J. (1992) S.v. "Abilene"; "Achaia"; "Aenon"; "Apame"; "Aphairema"; "Arbatta"; "Arimathea"; "Beautiful Gate"; "Berea"; "Crete"; "Dalmatia"; "Delos"; "Lasthenes.” Anchor Bible Dictionary. 6 volumes. Garden City, NY: Doubleday Press.
  • Pattengale, J. (1993) Review of A World Lit Only By Fire: The Medieval Mind and the Renaissance by William Manchester. Christian Scholar's Review.
  • Pattengale, J. (1995) "The Helsinki Summer Olympics, 1940: The Political and Social Ramifications of Cancellation." The History of the Modern Olympics. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers.
  • Pattengale, J. (1996) “Parchment Pilgrimages.” Glosses. 1.2 (Summer 1996): 4-5.
  • Pattengale, J. (1996) “Preface.” On Your Mark: Studies in Mark’s Gospel, Kriss Akabusi. Oxford: Bible Reading Fellowship.
  • Pattengale, J. (1996) “The Grand Manor House of England.” Glosses. 2 (Fall 1996): 4-6.
  • Pattengale, J. (1996) “The Program for the Study of Egyptian Antiquity and Early Christianity.” Glosses 1.1 (Spring 1996). Review of Religions of China by Daniel L. Overmeyer, The Historian, 51.2 (February 1989): 347-348.
  • Pattengale, J. (1996). “The Vietnam War: An Interpretive Essay.” Great Events in American History. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishers, 1996.
  • Pattengale, J. (2003) “Finding Fundable Solutions.” Journal of the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, National Resource Center, USC. Columbia, South Carolina.
  • Pattengale, J. (2003-) The Buck Creek Series,
  • Pattengale, J. (2004, rev. ed. 2007) Straight Talk: Clear Answers about Today’s Christianity. Triangle Publishing.
  • Pattengale, J. (2005) “Forward” in Student Success Theories. University of South Carolina Press, Tracy Skipper, managing editor.
  • Pattengale, J. (2005) “Purpose-Guided Education: Student Success or Student non-Dissatisfaction,” plenary address at the Indiana chapter of the National Association of Developmental Education. Indianapolis: October 28, 2005.
  • Pattengale, J. and C. Bence. (2000) Consider the Source: Young Scholars and the Timeless Truths of Christianity. NY: Barge Canal Press.
  • Pattengale, J. and M. Boivin (1998) Using Assessment as an Intervention Process: The Master Teacher Project, CCCU National Assessment Conference, Lee University.


  1. ^ University of Michigan, School of Education, P-16 Workshops (February 22, 2007):
  2. ^ Garner, J. B. et al., (2008) “Indiana Wesleyan University.” In W. Troxel and M. Cutright, Editors. Exploring the Evidence: Initiatives in the First College Year. Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition (pp. 51-55)
  3. ^ Tobolowsky, B. F., Cox, B. and Wagner, M. (2005) Exploring the Evidence: Reporting Research on First-Year Seminars, Volume III. Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition (pp. 67-69).
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ * The Guardian. (1996) “Talk Back: Kriss Akabusi.” Educational Supplement (January 30, 1996): 3.
  8. ^ Guiffrida, Douglas, “Theories of human development that enhance our understanding of the college transition process.” University of Rochester. Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development (p.3):
  9. ^ Skipper, T. L. Ed. (2005), Student development in the first college year: A primer for college educators (p.vii). Columbia, SC: National Resource Center for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition.
  10. ^

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