Wangerin was a professor at Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana since 1991, where he taught literature, theology, and creative writing. He was honored in 2009 when he was selected one of Valpo's 150 Most Influential Persons.
Wangerin is the author of more than thirty novels, numerous children's books, and a handful of plays, and he has received several awards for his short stories and essays. He has been a college professor, a radio announcer, a book reviewer, a pastor of a Lutheran church, and has also taken part in cultural ceremonies such as a Lakota Sun-Dance.
Most of his writing has been religious, primarily giving theological guidance on subjects such as marriage, meditation, parenting, and grieving. Other religious books concern the events in the Bible. Below are listed some of his writings: