BETHANY, W.Va. — Dr. Peter M. Morgan, one of the foremost authorities on the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in America, is Bethany College’s first Renner Visiting Scholar of the 2008-09 academic year. The 1961 Bethany graduate will also serve as interim pastor at Bethany Memorial Church and chaplain of the College.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Dr. Morgan back to Bethany as part of our Renner Visiting Scholar program,” said Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of the College. “His vast knowledge and academic expertise will be wonderful resources not just for our students but for the entire Bethany community.”
A noted author and lecturer who began his career as a student pastor at Chapel Hill Christian Church in Wellsburg while still an undergraduate at Bethany, Morgan spent nine years as President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society (1995-2004). He is currently Historian in Residence and editor of publications at the National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C.
Morgan earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany in 1961 and received his Masters of Divinity from Lexington Theological Seminary in 1964. He has also studied at Oxford University, Emory University and Princeton University. His publications, which include several books along with audio and video tapes, now number more than 50 titles. Earlier this year, Dr. Morgan received a Citation of Honor from Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University in recognition of his contributions toward Disciples Working for Christian Unity.
After graduating from Bethany, Morgan spent 15 years as a pastor in Iowa, Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia. He was added to the program staff of the Division of Homeland Ministries for the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in 1976 and served there until his installation as President of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.
Morgan has maintained close ties to his alma mater throughout his career. He was chosen as the Oreon E. Scott lecturer in 1983 and delivered the Historical Society’s inaugural Forrest H. Kirkpatrick Lecture at Bethany in 1992. Morgan was the College’s Founder’s Day speaker in 1996 and returned to Bethany later that year to receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. He gave another Kirkpatrick Lecture in 1998, at a formal convocation of college presidents and deans in the Stone-Campbell Movement, and spoke at a 2003 ceremony honoring former Bethany president and fellow Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) scholar Dr. D. Duane Cummins.
Morgan and his wife, Lynne — also a 1961 Bethany graduate — will move into Hibernia on Sept. 18. The historic brick house was recently renovated and restored for use as the Renner Visiting Scholars Residence. Bethany College founder Alexander Campbell printed The Millennial Harbinger, one of the most prominent religious periodicals ever to emanate from a frontier press, at Hibernia during the 1840s. Since that time, Hibernia has provided shelter to countless visitors, students, faculty and two College presidents.
Bethany College is a small college of national distinction located on a picturesque and historic 1,300-acre campus. Founded in 1840, Bethany is the oldest college in West Virginia.