Whitworth University

Founded in 1890, Whitworth University is a private, residential, liberal arts institution affiliated with the Presbyterian church. Beck A. Taylor serves as Whitworth’s president. Whitworth joined the SSA in 2016.


Whitworth’s mission is to provide its diverse student body an education of mind and heart, equipping its graduates to honor God, follow Christ, and serve humanity.

SSA Liaisons:

Patrick-01Dr. Patrick Van Inwegen, Associate Professor of Political Science at Whitworth University, teaches courses emphasizing the international and comparative aspects of politics. His teaching and research connect this discipline with themes of nonviolent action and sustainability.  His early work on nonviolence in revolutionary situations and has spawned several articles on Velvet Revolutions and related coursework convinced him of the need for a general textbook on revolutions; this resulted in his book Understanding Revolution (Lynne Reinner Publishers).  Dr. Van Inwegen taught and conducted research at Whitworth’s Costa Rica Center during the 2012-13 academic year, and he has developed a strong practical research focus on sustainability issues, especially carbon offsetting.  At Whitworth University, he serves as the chair of the campus Sustainability Committee.  Whether traveling with students in Costa Rica or Ireland and in classes on campus, Dr. Van Inwegen has consistently sought to engage students and to become a better teacher.

Elizabeth AbbeyDr. Elizabeth Abbey is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.  A sixth-generation farm kid, she grew up on the wheat farm that was homesteaded by her great-great-great grandfather.  She received bachelor degrees in biology and chemistry from Whitworth University, an MA in Exercise Physiology from the College of St. Scholastica, and her PhD in Nutrition in Sport and Chronic Disease from Virginia Tech.  Elizabeth is also a registered dietitian nutritionist, having completed her dietetic internship at the Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, MN.  At Whitworth, she teaches classes in nutrition, health, and food policy, and she serves on the Spokane Food Policy Council. Her research interests include examining how churches do/don’t approach issues related to health and their motivations for doing so.  An avid runner and bike commuter, Elizabeth relishes opportunities to enjoy God’s beautiful creation.