Founded in 1982 by evangelical historians and Wheaton College alumni Mark A. Noll ’68 and Nathan O. Hatch ’68, the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals serves as a center for research while functioning as a program of Wheaton College.
For its core support, the Institute relies partially upon endowment income. Most program-related funding, however, originates in grants from foundations such as the Lilly Endowment, Inc., the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Luce Foundation, as well as gifts from individual donors. Conferences and conference-generated books have been one of the Institute’s most important contributions. To date, the ISAE has been the driving force behind thirty published volumes. Each academic conference and project results in a monograph or an edited volume of essays.
In addition to conferences, the ISAE has undertaken longer-term research projects that fund a portion of the work of several scholars. These projects have included studies about the impact of the foreign missions movement on North America, the financing of American evangelicalism, evangelicals' relationship to the mass media, and a study of American hymnody. The Institute's newest project, funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc., examines the career and legacy of famed evangelist Billy Graham.
Since 1985, the ISAE has published a quarterly newsletter, The Evangelical Studies Bulletin (ESB). The ESB reaches an audience of scholars, grad students, pastors, and interested laypeople with reviews of important new books on North American evangelicalism and historic and contemporary American religion, as well as notices about recent publications, academic conferences, and news about research funding opportunities.
Serving Wheaton College
The Institute frequently brings distinguished scholars of American religion to the campus of Wheaton College for lectures and meetings open to both the college and the local community.
Over the years the Institute has also offered classes and seminars on various themes and topics in American religious history for undergraduate and graduate students, as well as provided an opportunity for faculty interested in religion and American life to present and discuss their work.
Serving the Public at Large
Informing the News Media: The Institute’s staff members have penned articles and provided interviews for national magazines and newspapers (e.g., Time, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, and many more), and routinely serve as expert sources for the media on any number of topics and issues related to American evangelicalism.
Assisting Religious Publishers
The Institute regularly answers questions from editors and writers from religious periodicals, such as Christianity Today, The Christian Century, Charisma and many others, serving as an important element linking publishers and authors in evangelical and religious publishing networks.
Our Vision And Need
In addition to providing leadership in the study of evangelicals and informing the public, the ISAE seeks to support evangelical scholars from a variety of disciplines who seek to apply Christian truths to intellectual and cultural endeavors.
In order to promote the evangelical intellectual enterprise, the officers at Wheaton College have established an endowment to insure a measure of continuing support for the Institute. To continue its efforts in promoting evangelical scholarship, the Institute needs to add to this endowment. We ask donors who acknowledge the need to work for Christ and his kingdom in evangelical scholarship to contribute generously to this fund. If you are interested in contributing financially to the ISAE, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Make a Donation.