Dr. William Epperson
Professor of English
Dr. William Epperson has been teaching English at ORU for more than five decades, but his passion remains as strong as ever. That may best be exemplified by the fact he was named the Universities "Outstanding Faculty Member" during his first year teaching at ORU in 1968-69, again in 2008-09, and again in 2015-16. In both 2009 and 2016, he was selected as the “Outstanding Faculty of the College of Arts and Cultural Studies.”
Dr. Epperson earned his bachelor's degree from Eastern New Mexico University and his master's and Ph.D. from the University of Kansas. He has continued his literary studies by participating in three NEH Summer Seminars, "The Puritan Imagination in English and American Literature" (Brown University), "Milton and the Fall Into Reading" (The Johns Hopkins University), and "Shakespeare and the Human Experience" (University of Virginia).
Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1989, Dr. Epperson taught in the academic year 1989-90 at Pusan University in the Republic of Korea. During this year he lectured at various universities in South Korea and China.
In addition to these activities, Dr. Epperson also co-edited a series of textbooks including The World Within, The World Without: Reading for the Christian Student; Encounters: Connecting, Creating, Composing; Strategies for Reading and Writing and Encounters: Readings for Advanced Composition; and Explorations: Journeys in Reading and Writing – an online anthology.
Dr. Epperson is passionate about education from a Christian worldview, reading great fiction and poetry, viewing and studying art and traveling. He regularly teaches courses in Shakespeare, Milton, literary criticism, the modern period, and modern American literature. His chief aim in teaching is to increase students’ understanding of people and cultures, past and present, and thereby increase their empathy. He desires that his students learn to “see with the eyes of Christ,” perceiving the patterns of Christ’s grace in all they see and experience.
He felt called to Christian higher education from the time he was a college freshman. When he came to an interview at ORU in the spring of 1968, he recognized it as a place where one could practice the gifts of the Holy Spirit in a community of Christian educators who were not simply promoting any one denomination. He valued the freedom, diversity, tolerance, and openness I found at ORU. "I felt a clear calling from God to teach here."