Q&A with professor of psychology David Entwistle


David Entwistle, professor of psychology, earned his undergraduate degree in psychology at Taylor University and his masters and doctorate in clinical psychology at Biola University. He is in his 19th year of teaching at Malone.

Aviso: How did you get here?

Entwistle: This is a long story; I’ll give you the short version. I was in practice as a clinical psychologist, and I had started teaching a little bit on the side and found I

David Entwistle, a professor of psychology, has been with Malone for 19 years. (Photo by Charley Garwood)

really enjoyed it. And so I decided that it would be a better life for my family and also better for me to be doing academia. I had never heard of Malone College, but I came across it incidentally, sent a blind letter of inquiry . . . and a week later, I got a phone call saying somebody had just announced that they were retiring.

Aviso: What is your focus in the field of psychology?

Entwistle: Well, my background is clinical psychology, so psychological disorders, psychological treatment . . . and over the years I’ve developed a real interest in personality theory and also in integrative issues in psychology and Christianity.

Aviso: How do you see the study of psychology intersect with faith here, for your students or for you?

Entwistle: I think in a lot of ways. First, we look at the biblical view of people who are created in the image of God, but fallen. That really fits psychology very well—we have incredible capacities . . . you just can’t help but stand back in awe of how this is all put together. At the same time, while we have lots of incredible abilities, it’s also pretty obvious that we’re in a very broken world. Relationships are broken, people are broken, and one of the things that we’re called to as Christians is to try to be agents of redemption and reconciliation in the midst of a broken world. And I think psychology fits that very well.

Aviso: Tell me about your family.

Entwistle: My wife and I have been married for 31 years, and we have three kids. One is a doctoral student in biochemistry at Michigan State; one is a political science major at Gordon College; and our youngest is an engineering major at Calvin College.

Aviso: How has your experience in the field of psychology helped you with your family, as a father or husband?

Entwistle: Being a parent, there’s a lot of psychological research on what makes good parenting. So for instance, one thing we’ve tried to do (imperfectly) is hit that balance between offering structure and expectations and guidelines but also lots of love, warmth, and good communication.

Aviso: For anyone who isn’t a psychology major but wants to learn more, what books or paths would you recommend?

Entwistle: Within our Gen Ed package, intro to psychology is one of the options . . . and I think that’s a very, very good introduction to what psychology is all about. One of the things I really like about that course is that most people, when you think of psychology, you think of helping people with psychological problems. But that’s like ten percent of what [psychology] is about. We cover so much[in the course]—biological basis of behavior, cognition, consciousness, neurological structures, social psychology, and on and on.

Aviso: What is your favorite hobby?

Entwistle: I do a lot of biking. I’ll do anywhere from two to five thousand miles of biking a year.

Aviso: Do you do any races?

Entwistle: I did do my first century last week. I did a hundred-mile ride to raise money for cystic fibrosis research.

Aviso: If you could have studied anything else in college, what would you have done?

Entwistle: Probably philosophy or theology.

Aviso: What is your favorite method of travel, and where would you go if money wasn’t an issue?

Entwistle: It’s a toss-up between bicycle and airplane. If I could go anywhere—I’ve been all around the world. I go to Poland fairly often, so I have lots of friends there.

Blaire Thompson is the editor-in-chief of The Aviso AVW.


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