Robert Bringolf

I was very fortunate to grow up in a Christian home but like most kids, I had to struggle through doubts and questions before claiming my faith as my own...not my parents'. In college I strayed from the Lord but always knew He loved me and was pursuing me. In grad school He really got my attention when I was bar-tending. I knew I could not continue to choose that lifestyle and claim to love the Lord. Thankfully I was surrounded by a couple of true friends who pointed me back to God. Thankfully He never stopped pursuing me and welcomed me back with open arms, just like the Prodigal Son (or Prodigal God!) story. Since then I have grown steadily in my faith and walk, with some bumps and detours. Starting a tenure-track faculty position was incredibly stressful and eventually anxiety and depression took hold. After months of daily struggles, I cried out to God for help with my identity crisis. At the very moment I proclaimed out loud that 'I am a child of God,' the anxiety and depression were gone in an instant. It was like a switch. Like a weight and haze left my body. I don't know if it was a demonic force, but I know what I felt at that moment. God is faithful. He is a God of Love, order, peace and harmony, not chaos, destruction, and discord. With daily surrender to Him, life has been entirely different. He is in control, not me, and I trust that He will provide not only for me but for our whole family. It has taken all of the pressure off of my trying to be good, or trying to have all of the answers. I don't. But I know who does and I know He wants to have a relationship with us. He loves to give good gifts, if we will ask. There is peace in this world, but it can't come from any circumstances, chemical, political party, relationship, and it cannot be purchased. It comes only from abiding in the Lord. He walks with us through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. He leads us beside still waters. Peace is not the absence of suffering, it's the presence of God. That peace can be yours too if you will seek Him.

My Life

Favorite Quote

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. 3 He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. -Psalm 40: 1-3

Friends describe me

quiet, sincere, candid, goofy, committed

My hobbies

Fishing, basketball, guitar, weightlifting, playing with kids

Fantasy dinner guests

My grandpa

Best advice I ever received

Trust in the Lord. He is Good.

My undergrad alma mater

Wartburg College

My worst subject in school


In college I drove

S-10 pickup

If I weren't a professor, I would

Have a professional fishing ministry

Favorite books

A Reason for God (Tim Keller), Radical (David Platt), Blue Like Jazz (Donald Miller),

Favorite movies

Braveheart, Christmas Vacation, Hacksaw Ridge, Talladega Nights

Favorite city

Cedar Key, FL

Favorite coffee

any with French vanilla

Nobody knows I

gave up on basketball at age 38 but have gotten back in shape and am playing as well as when I was 35, not to mention dunking again. 🙂

My latest accomplishment

Helping a grad student re-commit his life to Christ.

Current Research

My research was focused on aquatic toxicology and fisheries biology generally, but I'm now an administrator so research is quickly becoming a thing of the past.