David Ayers

Interim Provost; Dean, Alva J. Calderwood School of Arts and Letters
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Contact Information
Phone: 724-458-2010
Email: ayersdj@gcc.edu

David Ayers

Education 

  • Ph.D., Sociology, New York University
  • M.A., Sociology, American University
  • B.A., Psychology, Edinboro University of Pennsylvania 

Areas of Expertise 

  • Marriage and family
  • Crime, deviance, and law
  • Social movements
What specific courses do you teach?
 
  • The Family as a Social Institution
  • Medical Anthropology
  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Law and Society
Outside of our relationship with God, marriage and family is the most important cluster of social practices, roles, and institutions in society. Teaching cultural anthropology provides a way to overview every main facet of culture, and I like teaching the medical anthropology class because I find that this combines areas like family and religion, and it is interesting and useful to see how different cultures understand and treat the body, health, illness, and diseases. Students in this class are often heavily from the sciences and pre-med, and that mix of students (humanities, social science, hard science) makes for a fascinating group. Plus I get to invite some interesting guest lecturers and do some neat experiential things, like having one of our biologists and his wife cook meals based on insects for us!
 
What is the most important piece of advice you give students to help them succeed?
The chief issue for social scientists is not “What is fashionable?” or “What is politically correct?” or “What are people willing to accept?” The chief issue is “What is true?” Finding out what is true is hard work and often leads to taking unpopular stands and facing social pressure.
 
I try to teach students how to identify good facts and logically analyze them to reach valid conclusions. I also try to highlight the struggles of those who take unpopular stances in following the facts honestly rather than caving to cultural pressure or parroting the politically correct lines.
 
Selected Publications


Books

  • Christian Marriage: A Comprehensive Introduction (Lexham Press, 2018, forthcoming).
  • Investigating Social Problems (Cengage/Wadsworth, 2005).
  • Experiencing Social Research (Cengage/Wadsworth, 2002).

Chapters

  • “Foreword” in Victor Kuligin’s Snubbing God: The High Cost of Rejecting God’s Created Order (Weaver Books, 2017).
  • “Sociology” in Gene Veith, Douglas Wilson and G. Tyler Fischer (Eds.) Omnibus VI: The Modern World (Veritas Press, 2012).
  • “Cultural Anthropology” in Gene Veith, Douglas Wilson and G. Tyler Fischer (Eds.) Omnibus IV: The Ancient World (Veritas Press, 2009).
  • “Evaluating Learning Software in the Classroom: A Preliminary Study” with Vincent F. Distasi, William P. Birmingham, Ananda Gunuwardena, and Gary L. Welton, in Jane C. Prey, Robert H. Reed, and Dave A. Berque (Eds.), The Impact of Tablet PCs and Pen-based Technology on Education (Purdue University Press, 2007).
  • “The Inevitability of Failure: The Assumptions and Implementations of Modern Feminism” in Recovering Biblical Manhood & Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, Eds. (Crossway, 1991, 2006). 

Articles & Book Reviews

  • “My Brother’s Pregnancy?” (op-ed appeared in numerous print sources), September 2016. 
  • "Tethered to Technology: Escaping the IT Trap.” (op-ed appeared in numerous print sources), October 2015.
  • “Abortion’s Slippery Slope: The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.” (op-ed appeared in numerous print sources), August 2011.
  • “The Art of Moral Protest: Culture, Biography, and Creativity in Social Movements by James M. Jasper.” (book review), Christian Scholar’s Review. Winter, 1999.
  • “Feminism under Fire by Ellen R. Klein.” (book review), Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. September, 1998.
  • “Black Progress in the 1980’s.” (op-ed), Grove City Allied News. April, 1998.
  • “Businesses Should Invest—Wisely—In Schools.” (op-ed), Grove City Allied News. October, 1997. 
  • “More Money for Public Education?” (op-ed), Grove City Allied News. April, 1997.
  • “The Gospel of Sincerity: The Re-Emergence of Inclusivism and Post-Mortem Evangelism.” Crosswinds. July, 1995.
  • “An Interview with Christian Liberty Academy’s Paul Lindstrom.” Crosswinds. July, 1995.
  • “Can Businesses Help the Schools?” Practical Homeschooling. November, 1994.
  • “MacWorld Conference in Boston.” Practical Homeschooling. November, 1994.
  • “Is Public Education Doomed?” Practical Homeschooling. September, 1994.
  • "Global Village Schools Institute Conference.” Practical Homeschooling. September, 1994.
  • “National Educational Computing Conference.” Practical Homeschooling. September, 1994.
  • “The Feminist Tragedy.” Crosswinds. Spring/Summer, 1993.
  • “My Days and Nights in the Academic Wilderness.” Heterodoxy. January, 1993.
  • “The Age of Terrorism by Walter Laqueur.” (book review), Christian Scholar’s Review, 1990.

Is there any additional experience you would like to share?
I have been on faculty in three different colleges since 1986, have done research and consulting, been a live-in delinquency rehabilitation counselor and supervisor, and been a psychiatric intern and assistant in three different mental hospitals—one state and two private. 

You might be surprised to know that... 

  • In the 1980s I did extensive direct field research on a Jewish militant group in New York City that was being investigated and treated as a terrorist organization by the FBI/New York City Joint Terrorist Task Force.
  • My father was a covert intelligence officer with the Central Intelligence Agency from the inception of the CIA into the early 1970s, and both my parents were cryptographers with Naval Intelligence during World War II.

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