Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Punxsutawney, Jefferson County
Punxsy native Ward is the author of numerous books focusing on issues in education and religion, including Values Begin at Home.
Ted Ward was born in 1930, and soon began pursuing a life related to his Christian faith, and belief in education. He served as a professor of education at Michigan State University and Professor of Christian Education and Mission at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School between 1956 and 1994. At Trinity, he also served as Dean of International Studies, Mission, and Education. Ward’s interests and involvement included moral development, teacher education, and non-traditional theological education in Third World countries. Active on many boards and a consultant to many evangelical organizations, Ward has influenced a generation of educational leaders to serve the Christianity around the world.
Ted Warren Ward was born in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, on December 15, during the Great Depression. In 1936, the Ward family moved to Avon Park, Florida, where he completed his high school education. Ward’s Presbyterian upbringing led him to make a formal faith commitment when he was 11 years old.
In 1948, Ward moved to Wheaton, Illinois, to begin a degree in Music education at Wheaton College. There he met and fell in love with Margaret Hockett from Evanston, IL. Ted graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1951, and in June he and Margaret were married. Following this, in 1953, Ward moved to Florida where he would begin a Masters program in music teacher education. He received the Master of Education degree in 1954, with an emphasis in music teacher education. During this time Ward was active in church leadership (Director of Christian Education, 1954-1956, Gainesville, Florida) and a choral director/instrumental teacher at the University of Miami throughout 1951-1954 while also having the major responsibility of helping to develop regional school-based teacher education centers in Duval and Pinellas Counties. Ward left the University of Florida in 1956 and accepted an appointment as Professor of Education and Curriculum Research for Michigan State University, where he would stay for 30 years. Throughout his tenure at MSU, Ward focused on educational development (such as his development of Pontiac, the school-based teacher education center), leading to his appointment as Curriculum Coordinator for the College of Education from 1961 to 1963. Ward also had a passion for aiding the development of handicapped teaching resources, as demonstrated by his work for the U.S. Office of Education (1965-1972) for their Instructional Materials Center for Handicapped Children and Youth.
Throughout the 1970s, Ward’s influence was felt in all aspects of education at MSU. He worked as a research specialist in Ethnographic Studies for the Institute for International Studies in Education from 1973-76. After this, Ward became Chairman of both the University Advisory Council and the Committee on Mission of the College of Education. As well as these academic posts, Ward served at two churches as Minister of Music (1957-1961 and 1962-1970 in Detroit and Lansing respectively), and as president and chairman of the board of the Pontiac Symphony Orchestra Association, Pontiac, Michigan (1959-1961), and the U.S. Congress on the Family (1976). Ward’s spiritual principles were instrumental in establishing and directing the MSU Values Education Research Center. His work in the area of moral development and the family led to involvement with the National Association of Evangelicals.
Throughout his years at MSU, Ward’s professional interests developed, including theological education, missionary roles and problems, leadership development, and cultural orientation of teachers and missionaries. Ward’s efforts to establish teacher education centers in local school districts were an innovation throughout the 1970s. There is hardly an evangelical theological institution in North America that does not have at least one faculty member who has been touched in some way by Ward’s passion for the educator as facilitator of the learning community. Ward has also played a big role in providing education in developing nations. The evangelical community knows Ted best for his work in education throughout the Third World. Wards efforts encompass international community development, mission strategy, and development in theological education, which have given him an intimate knowledge of educational matters around the world.
Ward retired from MSU in 1985 as Professor Emeritus for the College of Education, and moved to Illinois to establish a Ph.D. program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (TEDS) in Christian Education. Ward describes his move to TEDS as a feeling that “At MSU, I was involved in non-institutional reforms in human development.… [but] Trinity was open to a broader definition of education.”
In the fall of 1985, Ward started his final year at Michigan State, and began halftime at Trinity. Soon after the move, he was appointed Professor of Christian Education and Mission; Dean of International Studies, Mission, and Education; and named Aldeen Professor of Missions, Education, and International Studies.
As a Christian educator, Ward has a passion for the field of Christian Education to be driven by sound theology and guided by careful research, and his ongoing insistence that Christians must think theologically about educational questions. Perhaps Ward’s greatest legacy will be the effect he had on the students who came to TEDS. In 1994, a group of international students who were studying at Trinity were questioned regarding what had attracted them to study at TEDS. All mentioned that Ted Ward had come to their country and each had the opportunity to talk personally with him.
Ward officially retired from Trinity in 1994, continuing in a gradually diminishing, but still active teaching role until 1999. In 1997, Ward set up an institution known as the Ward Consultation. The different series created by the Consultation focus on issues relevant to Ward’s concern for “intercultural competency and educational practice in a variety of settings.” Each theme follows a three-year plan, which allows the specialists involved to demonstrate significant thought and action. Each year, each one of these specialists will facilitate the session, and since the Consultation’s inception these specialists have focused on such diverse issues ranging from “African Theological Education” to a “Religious Response to Terrorism.” The structure of these consultations is intended to encourage interaction and problem solving related to the consultation’s theme. Since 2001 Ward has served as Senior Advisor for Leadership Development for the MacLellan Foundation, consulting on project funding for overseas leader development programs, especially in India and China. He continues to speak and write.
What Makes the Difference? East Lansing: College of Education, Michigan State University, 1958.
Concern for the Individual in Student Teaching: Forty-Second Yearbook of the Association for Student Teaching. Cedar Falls, IA: Association for Student Teaching, 1963.
Evaluation of Instructional Materials. USOE/MSU Regional Instructional Materials Center for Handicapped Children and Youth, Position Paper No. 1. East Lansing: Michigan State University, 1967.
Programmed Instruction for Theological Education by Extension. Holt: Michigan State University, Committee to Assist Missionary Education Overseas, 1970.
Values Begin At Home. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1979.
Living overseas: A book of preparations. New York: The Free Press/Macmillan, 1984.