Jerry Pattengale

Jerry A. Pattengale (born 1958) is a faculty member and administrator at Indiana Wesleyan University.[1] He coined and founded the approach of “purpose-guided education” in 1997 while leading the implementation of student success programs at Indiana Wesleyan University.[2][3][4][5] His approach includes calling for a humanities approach to student success,[6] and the need for faculty involvement in the development of strategies.[7]

In 2007 and 2008, he participated in Roundtable meetings at the White House on compassion efforts through OFBCI.[8] In 2020, he spoke at the United Nations (NYC) as part of the UN’s Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites.[9] From 2010 to 2014, he served as the Executive Director of the Green Scholars Initiative[10] while researching historic items in the Green Collection.[11]

Pattengale was one of the two founding scholars and leaders (2010) of the Museum of the Bible, which opened in Washington, D.C. in November 2017,[12] and served as the museum's Executive Director of Education until retiring in 2018.[13] In the spring of 2020 he returned as Senior Advisor to the President.

In 2019-2020 he served as the interim president and CEO for Religion News Service and the Religion News Foundation.[14] He co-authored the six-episode TV docuseries (and book), Inexplicable: How Christianity Spread to the Ends of the Earth (TBN, 2020, hosted by Dennis Haysbert).[15]


In 2012, while Pattengale was a non-resident Senior Fellow at Baylor University's Center for the Studies of Religion, Indiana Wesleyan University awarded him the World Changing Faculty Award[16] In 2014, it named him its first University Professor since its 1920 founding.[1]

In 2015 and 2016, the Indiana Associated Press Media Editors and the Hoosier State Press Association each honored Pattengale for his newspaper commentaries.[17][18]

In 2017, he served as a consultant for Lee Strobel's film The Case for Christ (produced by Peter Schockey). He has served Indiana Wesleyan University in academic administration since 1997, most recently as Assistant Provost for Public Engagement.[1]

He currently sits on the boards of Christianity Today[19], Africa New Life[20], and Yale's Jonathan Edwards' Center[21], and serves as the Associate Publisher for Christian Scholar's Review[22].

"First Century Mark"Edit

In May 2018, Dirk Obbink and Daniela Colomo published the papyrus fragment P.Oxy. 5345 in volume LXXXIII of the Oxyrhynchus Papyri series of the Egypt Exploration Society.[23] This fragment contained portions of six verses from the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark, and was designated  137 in the standard classification of New Testament papyri. Obbink and Colomo dated it to the later 2nd or earlier 3rd century, but rumours of its content, provenance and date had been widely discussed since 2012, fuelled by an ill-advised claim [24] by Daniel B. Wallace in 2012 that a fragmentary papyrus of Mark had been authoritatively dated to the late first century by one of the world's leading paleographers, and might consequently be the earliest surviving Christian text.

Following publication in 2018, the Egypt Exploration Society, the owners of the papyrus fragment, released a statement[25] clarifying both the provenance of the fragment and the role of Dirk Obbink in the circumstances of misleading information subsequently emerging on social media. The EES stated that the text in the fragment had only been recognised as being from the Gospel of Mark in 2011. In an earlier cataloguing in the 1980s by Revel Coles the fragment had been described as 'I/II', which appeared to be the origin of the much discussed assertions of a very early date. In 2011/2012 the papyrus was in the keeping of Dirk Obbink, who had showed it to Scott Carroll and Jerry Pattengale, representing the Green Collection and its programs respectively. It was not until the spring of 2016 that the EES realised that the rumoured "First Century Mark" papyrus that had become the subject of so much speculation was one and the same as their own fragment P.Oxy. 5345; whereupon Dirk Obbink and Daniela Colomo were requested to prepare it for publication.

In the July/August 2019 issue of Christianity Today, Jerry Pattengale wrote an article in which he published for the first time his own perpectives on the 'First Century Mark' Saga. Pattengale states that he had been present with Scott Carroll in Dirk Obbink's rooms in Christ Church, Oxford in late 2011, when the Papyrus 137 fragment was offered for sale to the Museum of the Bible, which Pattengale then represented. Also offered for sale were fragments of the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, all of which Dirk Obbink had then proposed as likely to be of a 2nd century date; but the Mark fragment was presented as more likely 1st century. According to Pattengale, he had undertaken due diligence in showing images of the four fragments to selected New Testament textual scholars, including Daniel B. Wallace - subject to their signing non-disclosure agreements in accordance with Dirk Obbink's stipulations; and purchase was eventually finalised, with the fragments agreed to remain in Professor Obbink's possession for research prior to publication. It was not until a gala dinner in November 2017, celebrating the opening of the Museum of the Bible, that Pattengale realised that the First Century Mark fragment had been the property of the Egypt Exploration Society all along, and consequently had never legitimately been offered for sale. [26] He reported this immediately, from the gala. The key backstory and personality profiles in this case are profiled in The Atlantic (May 2020) by celebrated writer, Ariel Sabar.


  1. ^ a b "IWU Names Dr. Jerry Pattengale as First University Professor". 3 September 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  2. ^ Garner, J. B. et al., (2008) “Indiana Wesleyan University.” In W. G. 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. ^ University of Michigan, School of Education, P-16 Workshops (February 22, 2007):
  4. ^ 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).
  5. ^ Jerry Pattengale, “The Whole Student Approach as a Teaching Model,” in Teaching the Whole Student: Engaged Learning with Heart, Mind, and Spirit. David Schoem, Christine Modey, and Edward P. St. John, Editors (Sterling, VA: Stylus, and Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2017. Pp. 17-39).
  6. ^ 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):
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ Pattengale, Jerry. "Jerry Pattengale". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  9. ^ Leeann Doerflein, “IWU Professor Joins UN Panel,” Marion Chronicle-Tribune (February 14, 2020):
  10. ^ "The Green Scholars Initiative — University of Leicester". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  11. ^ "How Hobby Lobby's president is standing up for religion — and putting it into schools". 2014-04-17. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  12. ^ "In the Capitol's shadow, massive Museum of the Bible readies for opening". Religion News Service. 2017-11-13. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  13. ^ Pattengale, Jerry. "The 'First-Century Mark' Saga from Inside the Room". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  14. ^ “Religion News Foundation Welcomes Interim Leader,” RNS (Dec. 10, 2019);
  15. ^ The Eric Metaxas Show (February 13, 2020):
  16. ^ "Distinguished Senior Fellow in Baylor's Institute for Studies of Religion Receives World Changing Faculty Award from Indiana Wesleyan University". Media and Public Relations - Baylor University. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 31 May 2019.
  17. ^ Associated Press (2016-04-15). "Winners announced in 2015 Indiana APME newspaper contest". Daily Herald. Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  18. ^ "Jerry Pattengale receives first-place award from Hoosier State Press Association". Retrieved 2019-07-08.
  19. ^
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  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ Obbink, Dirk.; Colomo, Daniela. (2018). Parsons, Peter John; Gonis, N. (eds.). The Oxyrhynchus Papyri LXXXIII. Egypt Exploration Society. pp. 4–7.
  24. ^ Wallace, Daniel B. (23 May 2018). "First-Century Mark Fragment Update". Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  25. ^ "Statement in response to questions raised about the new fragment of Mark P.Oxy. LXXXIII 5345". Egypt Exploration Society. 4 June 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2018.
  26. ^ Pattengale, Jerry (28 June 2019). "The First-Century Mark Saga from inside the room". Christianity Today. Retrieved 8 July 2019.