Skip to main content

Dennis Pettibone



Professor of History

Office: Brock Hall 3006


Phone: 423.236.2741


B.A., La Sierra College

M.A., Loma Linda University

Ph.D., University of California, Riverside


Dennis Pettibone is completing his 24th year as Professor of History at Southern Adventist University.

Pettibone first fell in love with the Southern campus when he visited it in 1971 on the way back to California after attending a wedding in Maryland. “Southern Adventist University is the most beautiful Adventist college or university campus I’ve ever seen.” After dreaming, for 12 years, of joining the history faculty at Southern, in 1988 that dream became a reality. “I feel really fortunate to be a part of this university,” Pettibone says.

He received his formal education on the West Coast. He completed his B.A. in History at La Sierra College, received a master’s degree from Loma Linda University, and earned a Ph.D. in History at the University of California, Riverside. In addition to teaching at the elementary and secondary level in the Adventist school system, he has also taught at Atlantic Union College and at Columbia College in Aurora, Colorado.

“I enjoy almost all aspects of history,” says Pettibone. His areas of special emphasis, however, are in Church/State relations, American history since the Revolution, and modern European history.

Pettibone is a member of the American Historical Association, the American Society of Church History, and several other professional organizations. He wrote the tenth-grade Seventh-day Adventist denominational history textbook and has written articles for such publications as Liberty, Adventist Review, and National Review. He had a chapter published in The World of Ellen G. White and wrote a history of Southern Adventist University and prepared a paper on Seventh-day Adventist relations with the state in the U.S. and Canada for a committee of the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists. He is currently working on a book tentatively titled Seventh-day Adventists and the Religious Right. In 2008 he presented a series at the Carolina Camp Meeting entitled “Church History and the Mission of the Church.”

Among his recent presentations at scholarly conferences are: “The Da Vinci Code, Historical Accuracy and The Nature of Christ,” “Martin Luther’s Views on the Antichrist,” and “Seventh-day Adventists and the Religious Right: A Nineteenth-Century Perspective.” Earlier, Pettibone enjoyed doing research on such topics as the Cherokee Trail of Tears and the Sand Creek Massacre. He also enjoys photography and hiking.