Goertz, Peter S. (1886-1948)
|Peter S. Goertz (1886-1948)
Photographer: McCormick Armstrong,
Source: Mennonite Church USA Archives -
North Newton: #2009-0145
Peter S. Goertz: dean and professor of philosophy and religion at Bethel College, 1930-1948; born 3 October 1886 at Aulie-Ata, near Tashkent, in Asiatic Russia to Siebert Goertz and Helena Dalke-Goertz, Peter Goertz married Mathilda Harms in 1910. They had three children. After she died in 1931, he married Helene Riesen, 1933.
Goertz studied at McPherson College (AB, 1914), Yale Divinity School, (BD, 1917), and under Kenneth Scott Latourette at Yale U. (PhD, 1933). His thesis was "A History of the Development of the Indigenous Chinese Christian Church Under the American Board of Fukien Province."
Before coming to Bethel College as dean, Goertz was a school superintendent in Kansas, 1910-1913 (Partridge and Hillsboro); missionary and seminary teacher for the American Board of Missions in China, 1918-1926; and professor of philosophy and religious education, Tabor College, 1926-1930. He was vice-chairman of the Mennonite Brethren peace committee, 1932-1936.
Goertz is remembered as a gifted teacher who opened the door to the fascinating world of philosophy for his students. As a dean he was a gifted listener to students as well as faculty. He served Bethel College during its successful achievement of North Central Association accreditation. In his later years he moved from the Mennonite Brethren to membership in the General Conference Mennonite Church. He died suddenly on 4 August 1948 after returning from a sabbatical leave spent in relief work in Europe for Mennonite Central Committee.
"Final Services for Dean of Bethel College Held Last Saturday." Mennonite Weekly Review 26 (12 August 1948): 1.
Warkentin, A. and Melvin Gingerich, compilers. Who's Who Among the Mennonites. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1943: 86-87.
Wedel, P. J. and E. G. Kaufman. The Story of Bethel College. North Newton, KS: Bethel College, 1954: esp. 374.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 348. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Enz, Jacob J. "Goertz, Peter S. (1886-1948)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 18 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G6608.html.
APA style: Enz, Jacob J. (1987). Goertz, Peter S. (1886-1948). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 18 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/G6608.html.