Wingate Faces

Edwin Bagley

Written by Kellen Williams (Marketing & Communications Intern)

While working toward a bachelor’s degree in English at Samford University, Edwin Bagley had to choose a minor. He decided on a minor in philosophy, and he said he “fell in love with it.” So, after obtaining his undergraduate degree, he continued studying and received master’s degrees in divinity and philosophy, then ultimately obtaining Ph.D in philosophy.

As a philosophy professor, Dr. Bagley’s favorite class to teach is Ethics. “A lot of people think the world has gotten worse morally,” he said. “I don’t think so; I think it’s just different.” Bagley said that while living in Alabama during the 50s and 60s, “the public morality was pretty bad.” He mostly teaches Ethics now in GPS classes which, titled “Global Perspectives,” have a philosophical aspect and a global view.

Beyond the schools from which he studied and taught, Bagley has traveled the world investigating religions. “Absolutely my travel has helped me in my teaching,” he said. Through Wingate’s W’International program, he has been able to incorporate travel into his teaching. He has directed more W’International courses than anyone else at Wingate, with a current total of 10. He believes studying abroad can be a starting place for many, as it was for him; “The international focus at Wingate makes it distinct,” Bagley said. “You find out what life is really like.”

Russia remains one of Bagley’s favorite places to visit and he visited multiple times. His trip to St. Petersburg “was the most transformative,” he said. “Being in Russia during the Cold War period was a great discovery process.” Some of his other favorite places to visit are England and India, of which he said he “would go back in a heartbeat if there weren’t so many other places to go.”

When not traveling, he enjoys playing tennis at the Wingate tennis courts, where he plays two – three times a week with colleagues. “Relationships with faculty get better year by year,” he said. “I’ve made good friends of many years.” Over the years, Bagley has watched the faculty grow, improve and govern decisions. “Faculty can take a strong role in helping the school grow,” he said. “The seriousness and quality of students has grown as well.” He sees students as more competitive than they used to be, but also “incredibly nice”. “The students here are friendly,” he said. “We see more camaraderie.”

Bagley is working on a proposal for where he will travel next, which he anticipates to be somewhere in Asia. In the meantime, he will continue to expand his Global Perspectives at Wingate. “We go out into the world, he said. “But the world has come to us.”