David L. Weaver-Zercher

David L. Weaver-Zercher
David L. Weaver-Zercher
Professor of American Religious History

I’ve taught at Messiah College since 1997, when I completed my doctorate in American religious history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Moving from North Carolina to Grantham was a “coming home” of sorts, returning to the college where I had done my undergraduate work, worked in student government, and played on the baseball team.

As a Messiah undergrad, I was a chemistry major. My plans at the time were to become a medical doctor, but after being accepted to medical school, I decided to take a gap year to attend seminary. To make a long story short, I never went to medical school; rather, I completed my seminary degree, pastored for five years, and then pursued graduate work in religious history.

I currently teach a variety of courses in the areas of religion and theology, including Christianity in the United States, Religious Pluralism in America, Theology and American Culture, and Brethren in Christ Life and Thought. I also teach a First Year Seminar each fall that focuses on Amish life and culture. Much of my research and writing over the years has focused on Amish life, including Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy, a book that examines the Amish response to the 2006 Nickel Mines school shooting; and The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World.

My life away from Messiah College revolves around my family, which includes my wife Valerie, a freelance writer and editor, and three growing boys—Samuel (12), Isaiah (10), and Henry (8). We all love to read, we play lots of sports together, and in the summertime we like to camp and hike (Acadia National Park is our favorite place). We attend the Slate Hill Mennonite Church in Camp Hill.

Current vita

Ph.D., 1997
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
M.Div., 1987
Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary
B.A., 1983
Messiah College
Contact Information:
Messiah College
Suite: 3053
E-mail: dzercher@messiah.edu
Phone: (717) 796-1800 ext.7379
Fax: (717) 796-4790