on faculty since 1988
Ph.D., University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1991
M.Phil., Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto, Ontario, 1975
B.A., Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, 1970
Dr. Brad Breems has taught sociology at Trinity since January 1988. He also serves as the chair of the department and at one time or another has taught each sociology class offered.
“I love and admire people, and I’m fascinated by human interaction and the ordered character of human relations: its regularity, predictability, and stability. Likewise, I’m fascinated by how that order is disrupted and broken down. Sociology looks at all those aspects.”
Dr. Breems emphasizes the Christian perspective of sociology. He asserts that the discipline gives us a deeper understanding of humanity's relationship with God.
“Sociology connects God, human culture, and the physical world. God created the world with order, and disorder came through disobedience to his laws. People develop social structures from their patterns of life. Though this structure is often good and comfortable, they also structure evil in which people take advantage of power and resources. Sociology tries to understand how these structures have led to deprivation and inequality. Thus, it can inform the Christian walk and show how the body of Christ can influence the world in a way that pleases God.”
His current research is in the effects of globalization on culture, society, work, and economic relations.
“I want to help students understand the connection between current events and their personal lives. Sociology gives us an opportunity to study how people relate to each other and compare their relations to how God wants us to relate to one another. Then we can better determine if we are living as God desires.”
When the weather permits, Dr. Breems bikes a seven-mile route to campus from his home in Blue Island, Illinois. He likes to spend time being with family, reading, gardening, and listening to blues music.
"Wherever I've lived, I wanted to feel like I’m part of the culture. I got into blues when I came to Chicago. I'm interested in ethnicity and origins of folk tradition within ethnic groups, and the evolution of blues music from the Delta to Chicago is intriguing."
Dr. Breems and his wife, Helen, have three married children and three grandchildren. The family attends Pullman Christian Reformed Church in Chicago.