Dr. Gary Pranger
Associate Professor of History and Humanities
Dr. Gary Pranger is a White Sox baseball fan who loves deep dish, Chicago-style pizza. He was born as an only child on the south side of Chicago and grew up in Riverdale, Illinois, a south suburb bordering Chicago.
He loves teaching others about history, something that began when his father, a veteran of World War II, told him stories about the war.
He is also passionate about Jesus Christ and has a heart for China. Dr. Pranger says that at an early age, he had a God-encounter similar to Samuel, and since then has always felt God's presence in his life.
In 1973 he attended an Urbana Missions Conference and gave his life and career over to Christ. God put China on his heart during the conference, and he eventually moved to China with his family. While in China, he taught at the Foreign Affairs College and Northeast Normal University in Changchun. God told Dr. Pranger in December 1988 that his time in China was almost up, and in the summer of 1989 he and his family were evacuated out of China due to the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
Dr. Pranger says God had given him a vision of teaching at a Christian university, and in the summer of 1989, Dr. Pranger was hired by ORU He has been teaching in the history department ever since, along with advising and mentoring students.
Dr. Pranger integrates faith and learning within his classes and is an active leader in the early morning prayer meetings in the Fireside Room at ORU. He also is involved in his church through helping in Sunday School, Bible studies and small group sessions. Psalm 73 is one of his favorite passages of Scripture.
"My priorities are being a constant learner, and then teaching and doing research and writing, integrating faith and learning," he says.
He also maintains his interest in athletics by attending as many sporting events as possible to support the Golden Eagles. He also enjoys exercising in the Aerobics Center at ORU.