Dr. William Skiles was born and raised in the Los Angeles area, where he met his wife at Fuller Theological Seminary while working on his M.Div. He went on to earn his Ph.D. at University of California, San Diego. Before coming to Regent, he served as a lecturer at California State University at San Marcos and Palomar Community College in Southern California.
His research focuses on the cultural and religious history of modern Germany, specifically the Nazi period. His dissertation, titled Preaching to Nazi Germany: The Confessing Church on National Socialism, the Jews, and the Question of Opposition, examines sermons delivered from the pulpits in the Third Reich, and explores themes such as resistance to the Nazi regime as well as anti-Semitism within the German Protestant churches. His current research focuses on the ministries and experiences of German pastors of Jewish descent in Nazi Germany.
Skiles believes that students should graduate college not just better informed, but better citizens and people. Using scripture as our standard of truth, he encourages students to think critically about the past and its impact on the present.
He says, “My goal in the classroom is to support students to interact meaningfully and critically with history — the events, the figures, and the problems of the past — and to express their ideas with confidence and eloquence. They learn to step in to another’s shoes, to step into another time, and thereby to see our own day from a variety of perspectives — informed all along the way by the Biblical worldview. This process of self-aware interpretation is the beginning of the examined life that helps us determine meaning and significance for ourselves.”
Skiles and his wife live in Virginia Beach with their three young children. He enjoys hiking, running and playing soccer with his kids.
Faculty Research Grant, Regent University, Virginia Beach, 2016-17
Judaic Studies Research Grant, University of California, San Diego, 2011
Leo Baeck Institute – DAAD Research Grant, Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst, 2009
History Department Fellowship, University of California, San Diego, 2006
“Spying in God’s House: The Nazi Secret Police and Sermons of Opposition,” in Church History and Religious Culture, 98 (2018), 1-23.
“Protests from the Pulpit: The Confessing Church and the Sermons of World War II,” in Sermon Studies 1, no. 1, (2017), 1-23.
“‘The Bearers of Unholy Potential’: Confessing Church Sermons on the Jews and Judaism,” in Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 11, no. 1, (2016), 1-29.
German Studies Association
Central European History Society
American Society of Church History