Ethan Schrum, Ph.D.

Associate 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.”

In June 2019, Cornell University Press will publish Schrum's first book, The Instrumental University: Education in Service of the National Agenda after World War II. It shows how elite research universities moved away from their founding ideals and instead portrayed themselves as instruments for spurring economic development and solving social problems. In so doing, they helped to legitimate a new conception of society—that America was becoming a knowledge economy. 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 associate fellow of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia, where he held a postdoctoral fellowship from 2011 to 2014 and is a member of the Colloquy on Culture and Formation.


  • 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 386 – Modern America
  • HIST 389 – Modern American Intellectual History
  • HIST 484 – Historical Themes
  • HON 101 – Leadership
  • HON 300 – Core IV (Great Works since 1850)
  • HUM 221/321 – Core Texts in History

Office Hours

Monday: 11:30am - 12:30pm
Friday: 1:00pm - 3:00pm

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