Paul Ropp grew up on a small Mennonite family farm near Normal, Illinois in the 1950s. He graduated from Bluffton College in 1966, and went on to graduate school at the University of Michigan where he finished his doctorate in Chinese history in 1974. He has taught Chinese history at Clark University since 1985. He is active in the First Unitarian Church of Worcester, and retains his lifelong interest in nonviolence as the most effective tool for conflict resolution and the promotion of social justice and positive social change. At the First Unitarian Church, he serves on the Peace and Justice Committee that is chaired by his wife, Marjorie. Paul and Marjorie are also active in the Friends of the Sudanese, a support group for Sudanese refugees in the Worcester area. He and his wife, Marjorie, live in Worcester, MA.