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Goshen College Archives (Indiana)

Kauffman, J. Howard, 1919-2003

  • 1919-10-04-2003-11-18

J. Howard Kauffman (10/04/1919-11/18/2003) was Professor of Sociology at Goshen College from 1948 to 1984. During his tenure, Kauffman introduced thousands of students to basic social science research methods and contributed his own research and scholarship to the understanding of family and community, particularly within the contexts of the Mennonite Church and the larger societal trend toward urbanization. In collaboration with colleagues Leland Harder and Leo Driedger, Professor Kauffman researched and wrote two books about the beliefs and social patterns of Mennonites: Anabaptists Four Centuries Later (1975) and The Mennonite Mosaic (1991).

Kauffman served the Mennonite Church throughout his career at Goshen College as well as working closely for many years with the Mennonite Historical Society and The Mennonite Quarterly Review. He was a member of College Mennonite Church. Kauffman was also active in numerous organizations including the Indiana Council on Family Relations, the National Council on Family Relations, and the National Council of Churches. He conducted family life seminars on behalf of the World Council of Churches in Barbados, Ghana and Botswana. He led groups of Goshen College students on Study-Service Terms in Belize in 1974-75 and in China in 1981.

In 1948 Kauffman was the first instructor with a graduate degree in sociology to join the Goshen College faculty. The Department of Sociology had been launched in 1939 under Guy F. Hershberger’s direction. Howard, a student assistant to Hershberger, was encouraged by Professor Hershberger and Dean Carl Kreider to get a master’s degree and return to Goshen to teach. Following his graduation from Goshen College in 1947, Kauffman earned a Master of Arts degree in rural sociology from Michigan State University and began teaching in Goshen College’s Sociology Department in the fall of 1948. He took a leave of absence in 1954-1955 to begin studies at the University of Chicago from which he was granted a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Department of Sociology in 1960. As a means of providing his students with research projects, J. Howard Kauffman founded and directed (1967-1984) the Social Research Service at Goshen College.

1919 Born October 4, 1919 in West Liberty, Ohio.
1937 Graduated from West Liberty High School.
1939 Enrolled in Goshen College in September.
1941 December 26, 1941 drafted. Entered Civilian Public Service (CPS) Camp #8, Marietta, Ohio.
1943 With Ralph (?) Kline closed CPS Camp #8 and entered CPS Camp #45 at Luray, Virginia in May.
1943 In fall transferred to CPS Unit in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
1944 November 26, 1944 married Verda Pauline Lambright (03/09/1921-12/22/2011) at Shore Mennonite Church in Shipshewana, Indiana.
1944 December 2, 1944 arrived at a CPS Camp #92 at Powellsville, Maryland.
1945 December 1, 1945 transferred to MCC headquarters, Akron, Pennsylvania.
December 21, 1945 discharged from Civilian Public Service.
1946 Enrolled in Goshen College.
1947 Graduated in June from Goshen College with a major in sociology. There were two prior graduates with sociology degrees from Goshen College, Samuel Miller in 1941 and Millard Lind in 1942. D. Paul Miller also received a degree in sociology in 1947.
Enrolled in Michigan State University.
1948 June 1948 received M.A. in sociology from Michigan State University.
In September 1948 joined the faculty of Goshen College as the first instructor with a graduate degree in sociology.
1950 Offered the course, “Introduction to Social Work”, for the first time with 15 students.
Appointed Treasurer of the Mennonite Historical Society.
1954 Led “Students in Industry” unit in Chicago during summer of 1954.
Entered the University of Chicago.
1955 Returned to Goshen in December and began work on dissertation.
1956 Dissertation field work in the summer.
In the fall returned to teaching at Goshen College.
1957 Offered the first course in anthropology at Goshen College, “Cultural Anthropology”, with 21 students.
1960 June, 10, 1960 received Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.
Began membership on Bethany High School Board of Directors.
1961-62 Sabbatical year in Frankfurt, Germany. Travel in Europe and the Mideast.
1966 August: Leadership Training Institute on Christian Family Life, Barbados, sponsored by the World Council of Churches.
1966-69 Study Coordinator, Study Commission on Church Organization, Mennonite General Conference.
1967 Meeting in April to organize the Social Research Service.
1968,69 Participant in the NDEA Seminar on African Studies sponsored by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education, summer 1968 at the University of California at Los Angeles, and summer 1969 in Africa.
1970 Sabbatical in Africa.
Instructor, Seminars on Family Life, sponsored by the All-Africa Council of Churches, Ghana, June 1970 and Botswana, August 1970.
Research in Africa, May-December 1970, on Kinship and Marriage in Africa.
1971-75 Research Project Director, “Church Member Profile”, a survey of Mennonite church members.
1974-75 Director, Goshen College Study-Abroad Program (SST) in Belize.
1979 January-August: Sabbatical leave.
1981 Director, Goshen College Study-Abroad Program (SST) in China.
1984 Retirement from Goshen College.
1987-91 Research Project Director, “Church Member Profile II”, a follow-up survey of Mennonite church members.