Donald B. Kraybill, Ph.D.

Distinguished College Professor and Senior Fellow,
Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies
Joint appt., Sociology and Religious Studies departments

The Young Center, Elizabethtown College
One Alpha Drive, Elizabethtown, PA 17022

Email:      Fax: 717-361-1443

Curriculum Vita [pdf]



Current and Recent Research

Young Center Books:
Johns Hopkins Press

Young Center for Anabaptist  and Pietist Studies

Amish Studies web site


Current and Recent Research

1. Beard Cutting Attacks: In the fall of 2011 a string of beard-cutting attacks in eastern Ohio frightened that Amish community. The fact that the perpetrators were from the Bergholz Amish community generated an avalanche of television coverage and print and web stories worldwide about Amish-on-Amish violence as the bizarre story played out and the defendants were sentenced in February 2013. Kraybill assisted the federal prosecutors in understanding Amish culture and developing the case against the sixteen Bergholz defendants. He served as an expert witness for five hours at the three-week federal trial in September 2012 and is continuing to research the Bergholz Amish community.

2. The Amish, a book co-authored with Steven M. Nolt (Goshen College, IN) and Karen Johnson-Weiner (SUNY Potsdam, NY), was Kraybill's recent major effort. The book, published by the Johns Hopkins University Press in the spring of 2013, provides a comprehensive description and analysis of Amish culture in North America in the twenty-first century. It results from a four-year collaborative research project supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

3. “From the Buggy to the Byte: How the Amish Tame Technology” is the working title of a research project on the Amish understanding of technology. National in scope, this project explores different ways in which Amish communities cope with technology by rejecting, accepting, adapting, and inventing new forms. The results will be summarized in an academic book.

4. Recent research on Amish businesses resulted in two professional articles. "Amish Enterprise: The Collective Power of Ethnic Entrepreneurship" focuses on the collective power of the Amish community in supporting robust Amish-owned and -operated businesses. It was published in Global Business and Economics Review in early 2010. "Sources of Enterprise Success in Amish Communities" focuses specifically on the reasons and social sources for the remarkable success of Amish businesses. It appeared in The Journal of Enterprising Communities in 2011. Kraybill's coauthors for both articles were Steven M. Nolt and Erik Wesner. The research was funded through a grant from the Kauffman Foundation.

5. Concise Encyclopedia of Amish, Brethren, Hutterites, and Mennonites is a single-volume encyclopedia providing easy access to basic topics and information about these four Anabaptist communities in North America. It was released by Johns Hopkins University Press in October 2010.

6. The Amish Way: Patient Faith in a Perilous World is an exploration of the spiritual life and practices of the Amish. Coauthored with Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher, The Amish Way was released by Jossey-Bass in September 2010.

7. Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy discusses the Amish response to the Nickel Mines tragedy and their understanding of forgiveness. Co-authored with Steven M. Nolt and David L. Weaver-Zercher, it was published by Jossey-Bass in 2007. The paperback edition was published in March 2010 and includes an interview by Terri Roberts, the mother of the man responsible for the shooting in the schoolhouse.

8. Church Member Profile 2006, a large three-year study of members of the Church of the Brethren, Mennonite Church USA, and the Brethren in Christ, was coordinated by Professor Kraybill. He also directed the Brethren in Christ Member Profile; Carl D. Bowman directed the Brethren Member Profile; Conrad Kanagy directed the Mennonite Member Profile. Results were analyzed in late 2006 and early 2007. Road Signs for the Journey: A Profile of Mennonite Church USA, an interpretation of the Mennonite survey data by Kanagy, and Resources for the Journey, an accompanying CD/DVD package, were released in July 2007. Portrait of a People: The Church of the Brethren at 300, an interpretation of the Brethren survey data by Bowman, was published in 2008.