Robert B. Reese
Associate Professor of Cross-Cultural Ministry
Office Phone: 252-334-2049
B.S. in Mathematics, Harding University
M.S. in Mathematics, Northwestern University
M.A. in Missiology, Fuller Theological Seminary
Ph.D. in Missions, Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary
Historical Models of Christian Missions
Missionary Life and Work
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement
Strategies for World Evangelization
Theology of Missions
Robert was born in Zimbabwe, Africa, the son and grandson of American missionaries of the Church of Christ. His grandparents first went as missionaries to Zambia in 1929 taking along his father who was then an eleven-year-old boy. His father and mother met in Zambia in 1946 when his mother went there as a single missionary. After their marriage, they moved to Zimbabwe where Robert was born. Robert spent his childhood in both Zimbabwe and Arkansas, completing elementary school in Arkansas and high school in Zimbabwe. Then he attended Harding College in Arkansas where he studied to be a math teacher.
Robert first taught high school math in the Peace Corps in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and then returned to the United States to pursue a Master’s degree in math, obtaining that degree at Northwestern University in 1975. He then taught math at both high school and college level in various places like Memphis, St. Louis, and Los Angeles.
By this time he had married Mari-Etta, also a teacher, in 1978. Their first child, Ellen, was born in California in 1980. The young family felt called by God to mission work overseas, becoming church planting missionaries in Zimbabwe from 1981 to 2002. Two more children, Bobby and Charlotte, were born in Zimbabwe. About fifty new churches were planted in western Zimbabwe as a result of their team’s work.
Once the churches had grown to maturity, the Reeses moved their family back to the United States, where Robert entered doctoral studies in missions at Mid-America Baptist Seminary in Memphis, Tennessee from 2002 to 2005. His PhD dissertation was entitled “Dependency and Its Impact on Churches Related to the Baptist Convention of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe Christian Fellowship.” Robert became Director of the World Mission Resource Center operated by World Mission Associates in Lancaster, Pennsylvania from 2005 to 2008. His role was primarily educational in order to foster sound mission principles that would not create unhealthy dependency on foreign resources in the developing world. Besides having various articles published in academic journals, Dr. Reese published his first book late in 2010, Roots and Remedies of the Dependency Syndrome in World Missions.
In 2008, Robert became Associate Professor of Cross-Cultural Ministry at Mid-Atlantic Christian University. He continues to make yearly trips to Zimbabwe to train and encourage church leaders and now he takes MACU students with him.