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Rubel Shelly preached for the Family of God at Woodmont Hills in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1978 to 2005. During that time, he also taught at David Lipscomb University, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, and Tennessee State University. He has filled adjunct positions at Pepperdine University, Abilene Christian University, Emmanuel Seminary, and Kentucky Christian College. He became Visiting Professor of Religion and Philosophy at Rochester College, located in Rochester Hills, Michigan, in 2005, and began full-time duties there in June of 2006.
In addition to church and academic responsibilities, Shelly has worked actively with such community projects as Habitat for Humanity, American Red Cross, From Nashville With Love, Metro (Nashville) Public Schools, Faith Family Medical Clinic, and Operation Andrew Ministries.
He is the author or co-author of more than 30 books, including several which have been translated into languages such as Korean, Japanese, Portuguese, French, and Russian. He has published widely in religious journals.
Shelly has done short-term work in such places as Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Brazil, Honduras, Germany, Bulgaria, Croatia, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic.
He holds degrees from Harding University (B.A.), Harding Graduate School of Religion (M.A., M.Th.), and Vanderbilt University (M.A., Ph.D.).
He is married to the former Myra Shappley, and they are the parents of three children: Mrs. David (Michelle) Arms, Tim, and Tom.