Our Faculty

Christopher Gehrz

Professor of History, Department Chair
Started at Bethel in 2003

Education: A.B. College of William and Mary; M.A., M. Phil., and Ph.D., Yale University

Area of expertise: Gehrz focuses his research on international and European history in the twentieth century, with particular interest in diplomacy, war, and human rights. He’s also drawn to the history of education, and his current research focuses on pietist models of Christian higher education.

AnneMarie Kooistra

Associate Professor of History

Started at Bethel in 2005

Education: B.A., Calvin College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Southern California

Area of expertise: Kooistra’s research involves the study of prostitution in Los Angeles from 1880 to 1940. She examines the process by which a handful of men began a systematic domination of the business and the ways in which the prostitution racket drew people of various racial and ethnic backgrounds together.

Diana Davis Magnuson

Professor of History

Started at Bethel in 1994

Education: B.A., Bethel College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Area of expertise: Magnuson’s primary fields are the United States Census of Population and the history of women in America. She’s also the Director of the History Center, Archives of the BGC and Bethel University.

Sam Mulberry

Assistant Professor of History  

Started at Bethel in 2003

Education: B.A., Bethel College; M.A., University of Minnesota

Area of expertise: Much of Mulberry’s original work centers on media production for both the Christianity and Western Culture program and the Academic Enrichment and Support Center. Currently, he’s focusing on academic podcasting and producing online workshops and training sessions for students.

Amy Poppinga

Instructor in History
Started at Bethel in 2005

Education: B.A., Bethel College; M.A., Luther Seminary; Ph.D. candidate, University of Exeter

Area of expertise: Poppinga studies the history of Islamic communities in the United States with her current project asking how growing up in a Western, non-Muslim society has impacted young Muslim-Americans' views on marriage. She's also interested in the history of Islamic societies in the Middle East (particularly after the end of colonialism) and the global history of Muslim women.

Ruben Rivera

Associate Professor of History and Chief Diversity Officer

Started at Bethel in 1996

Education: B.A., Southern California College; M.A.T.S., Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary; Ph.D., Boston University

Area of expertise: Rivera is currently revising his book on Alberto Rembao and pioneer Latin American Protestantism in the early twentieth century for popular audiences, and working on a new book about the cultural captivity of the gospel that will blend history and reader journey-through-exercises.

G.W. Carlson

Professor Emeritus
Started at Bethel in 1968

Education: B.A., Bethel College; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Area of expertise: G.W. (don’t call him “Dr. Carlson”) studies and teaches everything from the history, religion, and politics of Russia to political philosophy and ideology. He edits the Baptist Pietist Clarion and recently finished a chapter on the history of Bethel College for a new book on the Baptist General Conference.

Kevin Cragg

Professor Emeritus
Started at Bethel in 1980

Education: B.A., Wheaton College; M.A. University of Chicago; Ph.D., University of Michigan

Area of expertise: Cragg trained as an ancient historian, and also teaches courses on medieval Europe and the history of Minnesota. However, he is currently working on an environmental history textbook, based on one he developed at Bethel for the History and the Human Environment course.