Richard Slimbach, PhD


Professor Emeritus, Department of Sociology, TESOL, and Modern Languages

Richard Slimbach, PhD, has served at APU since 1990. Following graduation from Humboldt State University, he picked fruit with migrant farmers and tutored Vietnamese refugees. The tutoring connection led to graduate studies in TESOL, followed by two years dedicated to occupational literacy program development among Muslim cycle rickshaw drivers in Hyderabad, India. Slimbach’s PhD in International and Comparative Education included ethnographic field research on nonformal educational development among the Baloch people in Karachi, Pakistan. Slimbach is the founder of APU’s global studies major and cofounder of the Master of Arts in Transformational Urban Leadership (MATUL) program, a field-based global development program focused exclusively upon the world’s burgeoning informal settlements. His teaching specialties are in urban sociology, applied anthropology, global service-learning, and qualitative research design. Slimbach directs the Global Learning Term, a self-directed, full-immersion study-and-service-away program that has enabled hundreds of global studies students to conduct small-scale community research and academic service-learning projects in more than 50 non-Western countries. Slimbach is the author of Becoming World Wise: A Guide to Global Learning (Stylus Publishing, 2010), Transcultural Journeys: Anthropology for Everyday Life (World WiseBook, 2012), and The Art of World Learning: A Sourcebook (Stylus Publishing, 2017).


  • PhD, International and Comparative Education, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, William Carey International University
  • BA, Humboldt State University

Academic Area

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


  • Cross-Cultural Program Design
  • Social Anthropology
  • Participatory Research
  • Global Service-Learning
  • Urban Sustainability
  • Urban Sociology

Courses Taught

  • GLBL 301 – Anthropology for Everyday Life
  • GLBL 305 – Peoples and Places
  • GLBL 310 – Intercultural Communication
  • GLBL 315 – Urban Culture
  • GLBL 325 – Family Organization
  • GLBL 330 – Community Transformation
  • GLBL 335 – International Internship
  • GLBL 340 – Community Life
  • GLBL 345 – Urban Religious Movements
  • GLBL 350 – Global Study Project
  • GLBL 496 – Senior Seminar: Global Issues and Prospects
  • SOC 359 – Immigrant L.A.