Historical Theology

Dr. Dale R. Stoffer

Dr. Dale R. Stoffer is a professor of Historical Theology at the Ashland University Theological Seminary.

When it comes to church history, Dr. Stoffer is a walking encyclopedia. In particular, his expertise on the Brethren Church is astounding, and he has published multiple works on the subject, many of which are used in Brethren schools. Students find that Dr. Stoffer is down-to-earth, approachable, and kind, and his informative and personal nature make for a great learning environment. In order to bring church history to life, Dr. Stoffer doesn't just teach facts but makes sure that students understand the people and circumstances behind the facts. In this way, he prepares new leaders who, in learning from the past, can bring the transformative presence of Christ into all their relationships.

During his own training at Ashland Theological Seminary, Dr. Stoffer had a clear sense that he should prepare himself for ministry both in the church and the academy. This calling has proven helpful as Dr. Stoffer has employed his gifts of teaching, administration, and discernment in various roles over the years: church planter, pastor, academic dean, and professor, to name a few. Of all these phases in life, Dr. Stoffer considers church planting to have been one of the most formative experiences in his faith journey. Unlike established churches, church plants must rely on God to supply their resources, and this is how Dr. Stoffer discovered what it means to truly trust God in all things.

Dr. Stoffer and his wife, Marcia, met through youth activities in the Brethren Church, but really got to know each other at Ashland College (before it became Ashland University!) They have two grown children, who are married to wonderful spouses.

From spring through fall, Dr. Stoffer spends a good deal of time tending his vegetable garden, fruit trees, and flower garden. During the winter he settles down with some biographical works to read. He also enjoys singing in the church choir, doing genealogical exploration, and adding to his stamp collection. Like most Ashland folks, Dr. Stoffer is a die-hard Cleveland and Ohio State sports fan and supports Ashland University sports as well. About once a year, Dr. Stoffer and his wife take one major vacation. His favorite so far has been Banff and the beautiful Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. Dr. Stoffer has many interests and hobbies, but all are topped by his small grandchildren, Josie and Henry. He finds great joy in playing with them and helping to shape their outlook on life.

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