Dr. Brent Raisley Joins Biology, Pre-Nursing Programs

Some of Dr. Brent Raisley’s earliest and fondest memories are the ones he spent surrounded by one of God’s masterworks: science.

When he was a young boy, his grandfather operated the largest dairy farm in western Pennsylvania. Raisley and his parents lived on a patch of land his grandparents gave to them, which
he described as “basically in the middle of nowhere,” with their nearest neighbor more than a mile away.

Rural life suited Raisley just fine — the cornfields, streams and ponds around his childhood home became his outdoor lab. And that, he said, is where his passion for science all started.

“I would go collect frog eggs and watch them hatch into tadpoles, catch caterpillars and put them in jars and watch them turn into butterflies,” he said. “I remember being 8 or 9 years old, and on Saturdays, I would just get up and leave the house at sunrise with my bike and a fishing pole and not come back until sundown. I’d come back with scrapes and bruises and who knows what I had in my backpack.”

Raisley’s love for science never ebbed as he grew — in fact, he just became more passionate about the field. He dedicated himself to the study, going on to earn a PhD from Oklahoma State University. He taught through graduate school and worked in research for several years, which he said led him to some difficult crossroads because of his devout Christian faith.

“I’ve actually not been promoted and not had research contracts renewed because I was a Christian and not the hardcore athiest biologist that you expect,” he said. “But I believe it’s important for Christians to be well-versed in both science and theology, especially if they’re going into healthcare, science or research.”

He said for him personally, his knowledge of science helps him better understand creation — and puts him in even greater awe of God.

Now, he’s looking forward to sharing that passion with his students at MACU. Raisley joined the campus faculty as a biology professor this summer. He also serves as the director of MACU’s pre-nursing degree program. He’s taught at various levels in the last 20 years but said that college students are his favorite age group — especially biology majors who share his passion for God’s creation.

“I enjoy teaching, mentoring and helping students move forward, blaze those trails, get over obstacles and help encourage them to do what they want to do with their lives,” Raisley said. “I feel like God has called me to be here at MACU, and He has put me in a unique position where I can teach a combination of science and faith.”

Dr. Brent Raisley and his wife have been married for more than 20 years and have two daughters, Maddy and Lily. Outside of the classroom, you can probably find Dr. Raisley outdoors. His favorite hobby is taking care of the family’s pets: they have two dogs, two geckos, two rats, a ball python and 22 backyard chickens. He is active in his home church, where he teaches Sunday School and participates in worship teams, choir and missions.

MACU is excited to welcome Dr. Raisley to the campus family!

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