Ethan Schrum, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of History and Political Science
Phone: (626) 815-6000, Ext. 3374
Fax: (626) 815-3868
Photo of Ethan Schrum, Ph.D.


Ethan Schrum joined Azusa Pacific in 2014 as an assistant professor of history, with particular responsibility for teaching 20th century U.S. history. He studies the relations of knowledge, value, and liberal democracy in late modernity, especially by investigating the history of universities and academic knowledge. His scholarship is at the intersection of modern intellectual history, the history of the U.S. in the world, science and technology studies, and the history of capitalism. He has published several articles, including “Clark Kerr’s Early Career, Social Science, and the American University,” and “Establishing a Democratic Religion: Metaphysics and Democracy in the Debates Over the President’s Commission on Higher Education.”

Schrum is currently completing a book based on his dissertation, “Administering American Modernity: The Instrumental University in the Postwar United States.” It describes how the American research university became essential for political economy and the social order in the quarter-century after World War II. By carefully analyzing the thought of former University of California president Clark Kerr and lesser-known postwar university leaders, the project elucidates how their technocratic vision for American modernity drove this institutional change.

In addition to his work at APU, Schrum is an affiliated scholar of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University of Virginia, where he held a postdoctoral fellowship from 2011 to 2014. He is involved in two IASC projects, The Moral Foundations of Education Project and The New “Spirits” of Capitalism Project.


  • Ph.D., History, University of Pennsylvania
  • M.A., Religion in American Life, Wheaton College
  • M.S., Chemical Engineering, Northwestern University
  • B.S., Chemistry, Illinois Wesleyan University

Academic Areas

  • Honors College
  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    • Department of History and Political Science


  • 20th Century U.S. History
  • American Intellectual History
  • History of U.S. Foreign Relations

Courses Taught

  • HIST 151 – United States History to 1865
  • HIST 152 – United States History Since 1865
  • HIST 300 – Introduction to Historical Studies
  • HIST 334 – History of American Foreign Affairs
  • HIST 389 – Modern American Intellectual History
  • HIST 484 – Historical Themes
  • HON 101 – Leadership
  • HON 300 – Core IV (Great Works since 1850)