Faculty Profile

Walter M. Wangerin, Jr., Professor of English and Theology

College of Arts and Sciences - Room 227
(219) 464-5241




Walter Wangerin, Jr. has already had enough life experience to fill several lifetimes. He has worked as a university professor, a radio announcer, and a book reviewer; he has traveled with migrant farm workers, participated in a Lakota Indian sun dance, and has been pastor of an inner-city church. Finally, he has written more than thirty books that have become favorites of people in all walks of life and of all ages.

His first novel, THE BOOK OF THE DUN COW, won both the National Book Award (Am.B.A., 1980) and The New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year, was followed by a sequel, THE BOOK OF SORROWS. In THE BOOK OF GOD, Wangerin uniquely sets forth the Biblical story in its own cultural and social settings. His collection of stories, RAGMAN AND OTHER CRIES OF FAITH, THE MANGER IS EMPTY, AND MIZ LIL AND THE CHRONICLES OF GRACE and IN THE DAYS OF THE ANGELS have reached a wide audience.

Among Walter Wangerin's nonfiction books are PREPARING FOR JESUS (advent meditations), AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE (about marriage), LITTLE LAMB, WHO MADE THEE? (about parents and children), MOURNING INTO DANCING (about mourning and grieving), and RELIVING THE PASSION (a meditation on the death of Jesus). He has also written children's books including WATER, COME DOWN, MARY'S FIRST CHRISTMAS, THISTLE, and POTTER. He also wrote THE CRYING FOR A VISION, a mystical tale about a Lakota boy's effort to save his people.

His latest books, SAINT JULIAN (a saint's tale) and THIS EARTHLY PILGRIMAGE (a compilation of three previously published books with added material) are currently available.

To read many, other writings by Walter Wangerin, Jr. please visit his personal website.


Honorary Doctorate - Valparaiso University 1986
M.Div. - Christ Seminary-Seminex, St. Louis, MO 1976
M.A. in English Literature (All course work and requirements for the Ph.D. completed except the dissertation) - Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 1968
B.A. - Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, IN 1966
A.A. - Concordia Junior College, Milwaukee, WI 1964

Research Interests

Walter M. Wangerin, Jr. has authored many Children's books, Collections of Short Stories and Essays, Devotional pieces, Poetry, book reviews for The Washington Post Book World and The New York Times, and Articles in numerous periodicals. Please visit his website: www.walterwangerinjr.org for details of all his works. Listed here are only his published Novels.


  • The Crying for A Vision
    -  Paraclete Press (previously Simon & Schuster, 1994) 2003
  • Saint Julian
    -  Harper San Francisco 2003
  • Paul: A Novel
    -  Lion UK and Zondervan (Gold Medallion Book Award, 2001) Published in 8 languages worldwide 2000
  • THE BOOK OF GOD the Bible as a Novel
    -  Lion UK and Zondervan, Published in 25 languages worldwide (Gold Medallion Book Award, 1996) 1996
  • The Book of Sorrows
    -  Zondervan (previously Harper & Row, 1985) (Campus Life's Editor's Choice, 1985; Association of Logos Bookstores Awards for Best Fiction, 1986) 1996
  • The Book of the Dun Cow
    -  Harper & Row (New York Times' Best Children's Book of the Year; The National Book Award, 1980) 1978

Professional Affiliations

  • Professor and occupant of Emil & Elfriede Jochum Chair, Valparaiso University
    1991 - present
  • Speaker
    Lutheran Vespers (an International radio show), 1994 - present
  • Frequent Lecturer
    At Universities and Professional Conferences