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Pippert, Wesley G. (1934-) | Archival Collections at Wheaton College

Name: Pippert, Wesley G. (1934-)


Historical Note:

Wesley Gerald Pippert was born on May 13, 1934. He was fifth among seven children born to Mr. and Mrs. Harry V. Pippert. His parents were farmers near Mason City, Iowa. For the first eight years of his education, Pippert attended a one-room rural schoolhouse. He later attended the University of Iowa, where he graduated with honors and a B. A. in editorial journalism in 1955.

Soon after graduating from college, Pippert began working with United Press International (UPI). From 1955 to 1966, he worked at various UPI bureaus including Minneapolis, Bismark, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, and Chicago. During this time, he also served as a lay pastor of two Methodist churches in South Dakota as well as continuing his schooling. In 1964, Pippert attended the Near East School of Archaeology in Jerusalem and worked on the Dothan Excavation. He completed a four-year United Methodist Pastoral Course of Studies at Garrett Theological Seminary in 1966. Pippert also graduated from the Wheaton College Graduate School in 1966 with an M.A. degree in Old Testament in which his thesis was titled, "Politics of the Judges."

Pippert continued his education in 1966 by becoming a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association. Following this experience, he became the first press aide of Senator Charles H. Percy (Republican, Illinois) from 1967 to 1969. In 1969, Pippert rejoined UPI in Washington as the overnight editor, continuing in this position until 1971. From 1971 to 1973, Pippert served as the cultural affairs reporter in Washington. During that time he was also assigned to the McGovern Campaign in 1972. Pippert was the principal UPI reporter on Watergate from 1973 to 1975.

In 1975, Pippert became a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan on a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). He returned to Washington in 1976 in order to cover Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign as the principal UPI reporter. Pippert followed Carter to the White House and was assigned there from 1977 to 1981. He continued in Washington by reporting on Congress from 1981 to 1983. In 1978, Pippert married Rebecca Manley, a national consultant on evangelism for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. They have one daughter and one son.

Pippert left Washington in 1983 and traveled as a UPI correspondent to Israel, serving as manager from 1983 to 1986. In 1986, he was appointed the Senior Middle East correspondent. Returning to the United States in 1987, he became a Fellow in both the Institute of Politics, and the Center for Press, Politics, and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Pippert served as a special assistant to Rep. Paul B. Henry (Republican, Michigan) in 1989. He is currently a faculty member at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.

Over the years, Pippert has spoken on more than 60 college campuses as well to numerous professional and religious organizations. In addition to the tens of thousands of stories he wrote for United Press International, Pippert has also written more than 100 articles in 50 publications. Some of these publications include the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune Sunday magazine, Vital Speeches, Quill, Christian Century, and Christianity Today. Pippert has spoken and written extensively on the relationship and integration of biblical faith and the mass media. He has authored several chapters in books which include American Evangelicals and the Mass Media, Letters to Graduates, Jaws of Victory, and Dictionary of Christian Social Ethics.

In addition, Pippert has written many books that include: Missions and Reconciliation (1969), Faith at the Top (1974), Memo for 1976: Some Political Options (1974), The Spiritual Journey of Jimmy Carter: In His Own Words (1978), Land of Promise, Land of Strife: Israel at Forty (1988), An Ethics of News: A Reporter's Search for Truth (1989) and The Hand of the Mighty: Right and Wrong Uses of Our Power (1991).

Pippert has received several professional honors and awards. He received special mention in the editorial category of the Associated Church Press 1981 Awards of Merit for his article "The Presidency -- Measuring Up," in The Interpreter, November-December 1980. He received first place in the reporting category of the Evangelical Press Association's 1983 contest for Higher Goals in Christian Journalism for "How the Abortion Legislation Was Aborted" in Eternity magazine, November 1983. Lastly, in 1987, he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Gordon College for teaching at that institution.

Note Author: Wheaton College Archives & Special Collection staff






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