Darryl Tippens has spent a lifetime in college, first as student, then as professor, and most recently as the Provost of Pepperdine University since 2001, where he also serves as Professor of English. Prior to his service at Pepperdine, he taught at Abilene Christian University for fourteen years. He began his teaching career at Oklahoma Christian University from 1973 to 1987, where he also served as Chair of the Division of Language and Literature. His academic credentials are impressive, to be sure, but professional recognition is not his goal. “One of the characteristics of a faithful person is to be a seeker,” Darryl says. His pursuit of knowledge is more than an academic exercise. He endeavors to practice the truths he has discovered. Paraphrasing from 1 Corinthians, he states, “Knowledge is useful, but without love, I become that sounding gong.”
Darryl’s church upbringing, though somewhat lacking in certain theological areas, instilled in him a very high view of Scripture and a desire to seek truth. This quest for truth “caused him to listen to the Gospel again.” As he journeyed toward a more meaningful faith in Jesus, he had the grace to encounter some remarkable people who embodied the Gospel in a powerful way, fellow pilgrims who, in the words of Bonhoeffer, were “love with skin on.” By immersing himself in Scripture and the writings of church fathers of the past and contemporary thinkers such as Henry Nouwen, Darryl has become attuned to the “communion of the saints, the great cloud of witnesses that has existed since biblical times and spans the epochs of church history.”
He also pursues communion with believers in his local church. Darryl has served churches in various capacities—as a teacher, elder/shepherd, and minister—in Kansas City, Baton Rouge, Oklahoma City, Abilene, and Malibu, California. As a churchman and father, he is determined to pass on the values of his faith to the next generation. In order to connect with that generation, Darryl has become an avid student of American culture, even teaching classes on American film as literature. With Carley Dodd and David K. Lewis, two colleagues from Abilene Christian University, he jointly authored three books on adolescent spirituality, including THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO GENERATION X. His most recent book, PILGRIM HEART: The Way of Jesus in Everyday Life, is the culmination of years of thinking and experience in which he proposes a return to spiritual practices, some of them ancient and forgotten, that have cultivated the vibrant faith that has sustained the church for centuries.
Darryl is on the editorial boards of two periodicals, New Wineskins and Explorations in Renaissance Culture. He is a frequent contributor to a variety of publications. He particularly enjoys researching, writing about, and teaching the literature of the English Renaissance. He has published articles and essays on William Shakespeare, John Milton, Walt McDonald, literary theory, and the Bible as literature. He also serves on the board of the City of Angels Film Festival (Los Angeles), writes film reviews, and teaches film as literature. With Stephen Weathers and Jeanne Murray Walker, he jointly edited SHADOW AND LIGHT: Literature and the Life of Faith, a popular anthology of literature. He and Anne, his wife of 39 years, live in Malibu. They have two grown sons and one granddaughter, all of whom live in Austin, Texas.