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Fall 2006 · Vol. 35 No. 2 · pp. 266–67 

A Short Biography of Ronald J. Sider

Douglas B. Miller

Ronald J. Sider was born in Stevensville, Ontario, in 1939. He and his wife, Arbutus Lichti Sider, have three grown children and live in Philadelphia. An ordained minister in the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ churches, he is a member of the Brethren in Christ Church of Grantham, Pennsylvania, and the Oxford Circle Mennonite Church, Philadelphia.

Sider earned his B.A. in 1962 from Waterloo Lutheran University (now Wilfrid Laurier), Waterloo, Ontario, his M.A. in History in 1963 from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, and his Ph.D. in History from Yale in 1969. He is Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry and Public Policy and Director of the Sider Center on Ministry and Public Policy at Palmer (formerly Eastern Baptist) Theological Seminary, Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, and President of Evangelicals for Social Action.

A widely known speaker and writer, Sider has spoken on six continents, published twenty-seven books (many in international editions) and scores of articles. His Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger (1977; 5th ed. 2005) was recognized by Christianity Today as one of the one hundred most influential religious books of the twentieth century. Among his most recent books are The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscience: Why Are Christians Living Just Like the Rest of the World? (Baker, 2005), Toward an Evangelical Public Policy: Political Strategies for the Health of the Nations (ed. with Diane Knippers; Baker, 2005), Churches That Make a Difference: Reaching Your Community with Good News and Good Works (with Philip N. Olson and Heidi Rolland Unruh; Baker, 2002), Doing Evangelism Jesus’ Way: How Christians Demonstrate the Good News (Baker, 2003), and Just Generosity: A New Vision for Overcoming Poverty in America (Baker, 1999).

In addition to articles in popular magazines and newspapers, his work has appeared in academic journals such as the Journal of Theological Studies, Fides et Historia, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Scottish Journal of Theology, New Testament Studies, International Review of Mission, Novum Testamentum, Social Work and Christianity, and the Journal of Church and State.

Sider is the publisher of PRISM magazine and a contributing editor of Christianity Today and Sojourners. He serves on boards and councils such as The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, the Faith and Service Technical Education Network of the National Crime Prevention Council, and the Social Action Commission of the National Association of Evangelicals. He has lectured at scores of colleges and universities around the world, including Yale, Harvard, Princeton, and Oxford.

The biography was compiled with assistance from information sent by Prof. Sider.

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