Assistant Professor of English
Keith Gogan believes he is able to relate well to his students since he was once a student here himself. Although he has seen a lot of changes, he believes ORU has only gotten better. Because of ORU’s unapologetic synthesis of academics and Christianity and whole-person educational philosophy, he believes ORU is unique among Christian educational institutions, as it addresses the totality of the human being, not simply the spiritual.
Gogan began his work at ORU in 1987 as supervisor of its new tutoring center, overseeing its operation and writing instructional programs for English composition students’ use. Later, he taught English composition classes as an adjunct. In 1997, he attained full-time Instructor status, and in 2008, he advanced to Assistant Professor. He has been employed by ORU for 27 years.
“I have to admit that I love my work,” he says. “I can say with all honesty that, when I head to work each day, I am excited to see what will happen with my students.” Because his work has meaning, he would rather teach than do anything else, even if it paid five times more than his current salary!
A bachelor’s degree in English Education (1987) prepared him well for teaching English. Later, an M.A. in Education with an emphasis in teaching English as a second language (Oral Roberts University, 1994) added to his knowledge. His additional education includes full certification as a Wilderness First Responder since 1999. He has presented his scholarly work four times at literary conferences and has published four of his pieces, all of different genres.
Being raised in the Roman Catholic faith gave him a strong foundation through his early life. He followed his parents into non-denominational evangelical Christianity, which fed him but also challenged him to find something that suited him better. Now a member of an Episcopal church here in Tulsa, he finds that the church has a profound concern for the marginalized persons of our society and, at the same time, rich tradition and community-building liturgy. As a Christian who has done his “intellectual homework,” Mr. Gogan has a particular interest in apologetics and the rational aspect of Christian belief.
Outside the classroom, he is an avid lover of the outdoors. Not only does he lead backpacking trips for students but also for the general public. He also enjoys kayaking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. After making over 80 trips to the Rocky Mountains in the last 20 or so years in order to pursue these passions, he actually feels more comfortable in a snowstorm at 11,000 feet in Colorado than just about anywhere else. He is very intentional about health and wellness and makes it a habit to run, bicycle, run stairways, and lift weights to stay in top shape.
In his spare time, Mr. Gogan also writes poetry and essays and has published his work in a variety of publications. He intentionally limits exposure to electronic media, preferring to simply go for a walk and see what's going on in the real world. He considers Henry David Thoreau as practically his patron saint. One of his favorite quotes, from Socrates, Apology 38a, is "The unexamined life is not worth living."