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John L. Ruth


Whether through books or film, author and historian John Ruth is recognized for his informative and meaningful works depicting the lives of Mennonites and their spiritual cousins, the Hutterites and the Amish. A glimpse into his background reveals a deep devotion to God, the Mennonite people and their traditions. 

A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, John has been a Mennonite pastor for fifty-seven years. His wife, Roma, has served by his side for fifty-six of those years.  Reflecting his Mennonite upbringing, John rarely brings attention to his achievements. Still, his educational background is impressive. After earning both an M.A. and a PhD in English from Harvard University, he joined the faculty of Eastern College in St. Davids, PA, as a professor of English. His teaching experience also includes time spent as a guest professor teaching American Literature at the University of Hamburg, Germany.

John is an eloquent communicator and a prolific writer of books, articles, lectures and documentaries. He has been published in Christianity Today, Mennonite Quarterly Review and Quaker Life. His documentaries on the Amish and the Hutterites have appeared on PBS and been featured on “60 Minutes.” His most current books include THE EARTH IS THE LORD’S: A Narrative History of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference and the soon-to-be released FORGIVENESS: A Legacy of the West Nickel Mines Amish School.

For the past two decades, John has served in various leadership capacities at Salford Mennonite Church in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. He and his wife have three grown children.

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