Rae Mellichamp

I graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in Industrial Engineering in 1962 and then served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force (Strategic Air Command and Alaskan Air Command) for two and a half years. Upon completing my military service, I worked as an engineer in industry for another two years and then returned to academia where I would spend the next 40 plus years of my life. I received a Ph. D. in Engineering Management from Clemson University in 1969, and began teaching in the College of Business at the University of Alabama, retiring as Emeritus Professor of Management Science after 25 years and a very satisfying academic career.

During my years as a university professor I was fortunate to be able to work for most of the time in an emerging new field—knowledge-based systems, a branch of the discipline of Artificial Intelligence. In this connection, I conducted research and consulted for some of the leading organizations in the country including AT&T, General Motors, NASA (The Space Shuttle program), and the U.S. Army (Star Wars program). And as university professors must do, I published scholarly articles in such journals as The Harvard Business Review, Management Science, Decision Sciences, Expert Systems, Interfaces, IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, The Journal of Intelligent Manufacturing, Simulation, and IEEE Networks.

In the summer of 1970, my wife Peggy and I attended a conference for Christian professors at Arrowhead Springs, California, sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ where I was challenged to consider how I could use my influence as a Christian professor in the lives of my students and colleagues, in the teaching and research activities of my university, in my academic discipline, and in attempting to restore truth to the culture. We joined Crusade as associate staff members in 1972 and helped to launch Crusade's faculty ministry, Christian Leadership Ministries. Upon retirement from the University of Alabama in 1994, we joined Crusade full-time and have continued working as faculty representatives with the faculty ministry which is now Faculty Commons, a network of about 10,000 Christian professors and academic staff in the U.S. and abroad. We have spoken professionally and from a ministry perspective to faculty, faculty wives, and student audiences on over 100 university and college campuses in the U.S. and a dozen other countries in the last 15 years.

Our involvement in faculty ministry has focused on developing strategies and materials for equipping university and college professors for becoming effective representatives of Christ in the academy and in the culture. To this end, I have written a couple of books and numerous other pieces including, "Ministering in the Secular University; A Guide for University Professors and Staff", "Go Fast, Turn Left: Simple Instructions for Following Jesus", "What Would Jesus Do at Your University?", "How to Make Tenure", "Ministering with Professors", and "Christian Faculty Discipleship Curriculum (Volume 1 & 2)". One of the important challenges in equipping university professors is to provide them with an understanding and appreciation for apologetics, hence my interest in and support for The Aeropagus.