Dr. John Coleman’s journey into the realm of mathematical science began with philosophy. As an undergraduate at KentState University, he took symbolic logic, then Wittgenstein.
“Through logic, I got interested in math and the beauty of mathematical science,” he says.
He grew up with five sisters and a large extended Catholic family in Cleveland, Ohio, where his father was a computer programmer. During high school, Coleman drifted away from the faith, reading a lot of Camus and calling himself an existentialist. But at age 17, he discovered C.S. Lewis.
At Kent State, he got involved with evangelical student groups and Protestant churches, occasionally attending Mass. He met and married his wife, Marybeth, who was raised Catholic but was attending a charismatic church.
It was only after Coleman had completed his PhD at the University of Colorado and was teaching at a rural college in Oklahoma that the couple returned definitively to Catholicism in 1997.
“We needed the rootedness of the historical Catholic faith,” he says. “We were also attracted back to the Church by the Marriage Encounter movement. And when our three children came along, that forced us to decide where we wanted to raise them religiously.”
In 1998, Dr. Coleman came to Franciscan University. He’d been impressed with the University since attending a charismatic conference here in the early 1980s when his sister, Deborah (Coleman ’84) Yoon, was studying theology.
As a professor at Franciscan, he’s glad he can open class with prayer.
“My favorite thing about Franciscan is the spirit of love and gentleness here.”
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