We're Going to Need a Bigger Boat - Constructively Addressing Controversial Issues in the Classroom
Presented by Bradley Bull, M.Div., Ph.D., LMFT Tennessee Tech University
Tuesday, 9/26/2017, 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Online and C213 Olmsted Penn State Harrisburg
  • What do we do when the class gasps at a student’s comment?
  • How do we honor our grandparents while exploring new ideas they would hate?
  • How do we simultaneously promote confidence and humility, boldness and tact?
  • How do we promote healthy tolerance of “different” and peaceful intolerance of hatred?

Developmentally, college students’ narrow dualistic thinking often contributes to resistance or hostility toward new ideas. Dr. Bull will discuss strategies to address those "uncomfortable" moments we all experience in the classroom by promoting respectful dialog, enhancing autonomy that values tradition, and nurturing open-mindedness.

Bradley Bull


While job-hunting after doctoral work, Dr. Brad Bull was the first (and only?) Ph.D. to serve as a seasonal driver helper with UPS in Knoxville, TN, making enough money to buy his children Christmas presents and seeing the sharp contrast between extreme affluence and severe poverty just a few streets from each other.

Prior to shifting to college teaching at age 40, Bull served as an associate pastor for youth and young adults. He holds the distinction of taking such an outspoken position for separation of church and state and the full rights of non-Christians in U.S. society that his wife was fired from her job at church-based private school. (After multi-party dialog, she was reinstated after two weeks.)

In college and seminary, Bull worked on farms, in a steel-parts fabrication factory, as an aide in a psychiatric hospital, and as a chaplain at a large urban hospital. He holds a BA in psychology, a master of divinity in pastoral counseling, a Ph.D. in human ecology, and is a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has taught undergraduate psychology and graduate counseling at small, private, sectarian colleges, and now teaches in the College of Interdisciplinary Studies at Tennessee Tech University in Cookeville, TN. His courses include Youth Studies, Intimate Relationships, and Personal and Professional Integrity. In college he served as student government president and won the state championship in after dinner speaking. As a professor he has been recognized as student advocate of the year and senior-choice convocation speaker.