Wheaton College Announces ISAE Closure

Wheaton College has announced that the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals (ISAE) will be closed at the end of December 2014.  The Autumn issue of the Wheaton alumni magazine carried this official statement: "After more than three decades, Wheaton will close the ISAE effective December 31, 2014.  Founded in 1982 by evangelical historians Mark A. Noll and Nathan O. Hatch, the ISAE 'has a long history of sterling contribution to the world of Christian reflection,' says Dr. Stan Jones, provost.  The Isae brought distinguished scholars of American religion to campus for conferences, lectures, and meetings, and facilitated the publication of 30 conference-related books.  Projects completed by the ISAE over the years include studies about the impact of the foreign missions movement on North America, the financing of American evangelicalism, evangelicals' relationship to mass media, a study of American hymnody, and a study opf the career and legacy of Billy Graham."  The Institute will hold a final public event, "A Movement for the 21st Century: The Future of Evangelicalism" at 7:00 PM on Thursday, October 30th in Barrows Auditorium in the Billy Graham Center.  You can find more information >>Here

New ISAE-Produced Video on Graham Crusades Now Available

Part of a larger project on the influence of evangelist Billy Graham, the ISAE is happy to announce that the 50-minute video documentary A Gathering of Souls: The Billy Graham Crusades is now available from Vision Video.  Made by award-winning documentary maker Tim Frakes, this video examines the crusades that shaped the face of Evangelical Christianity in the 20th century.  Graham's campaigns served as a catalyst for dozens of para-church organizations, united a splintering Evangelical community, and altered the course of countless individual lives. With expert commentary from pastors, academics, Graham associates, and fellow evangelists such as Luis Palau, this documentary gives the history of the crusades from the first event in Los Angeles in 1949 to the groundbreaking 1957 New York City crusade and on to remarkable gatherings behind the Iron Curtain and in the Far East.  You can find the video >> Here

"The Bible in American Life" Report

The Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture at IUPUI in Indianapolis has released its report on "The BIble in American Life".  Among its findings--48% of Americans claim to have read the Bible in the last year and 9% of the population claims to read it every day.  You can find a link to the report>> Here

The ISAE's "Billy Graham and Modern Evangelism"

Coverage of the ISAE's "Billy Graham and Modern Evangelism" January 24th meeting at Gordon-Conwell Theo. Seminary's Charlotte campus in The Charlotte Observer and on WSOC-TV (channel 9). 

Ashgate Studies in Evangelicalism

British academic publisher Ashgate has just launched an exciting new series: Ashgate Studies in Evangelicalism. The series editors are Andrew Atherstone (Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University) and David Ceri Jones (Aberystwyth University, Wales). The series editors hope that the imprint will quickly establish itself as the natural home for monographs and other works on every aspect of the history and theology of the global evangelical movement from its beginnings in the 1730s until the present day. The first monograph will be a major reassessment of the life, ministry and influence of the eighteenth-century dissenting leader, Philip Doddridge. If you have a recently completed doctoral thesis, or a completed manuscript of a work on any aspect of the evangelical movement, the editors would be keen to hear from you. Further details of the series can be found at:

God's Forever Family named Christianity Today's "Book of the Year":

ISAE Associate Director Larry Eskridge's recent book God's Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America (Oxford, 2013) was awarded the top slot in the History/Biography category and named "Book of the Year" overall in Christianity Today magazine's annual competition

Vision Video to distribute new ISAE-produced video on Billy Graham's Crusades

The ISAE has just inked a contract with Vision Video for distributing its recently-produced video A Gathering of Souls: The Billy Graham Crusades. Part of a grant from the Lilly Endowment that also funded the recent "Worlds of Billy Graham" conference, the film was produced and directed by Tim Frakes who did the work on the Institute's 6-part video series People of Faith: Christianity in America. Keep an eye out for A Gathering of Souls which should be available sometime in early 2014.

Lilly Endowment spotlights ISAE's People of Faith video series

Read an interview about the Institute's video series People of Faith with the ISAE's Larry Eskridge on the Lilly Endowment's "Resourcing Christianity" webpage>> 

Is contemporary American evangelicalism a generation that knoweth not Billy Graham?

Veteran religion reporter Ken Garfield (ex-Charlotte Observer) writes about the ISAE's recent "Worlds of Billy Graham" conference and present-day evangelicals' receding memory of Graham's influence and legacy: "Analysis: Billy Graham's Legacy is Fading 'Into the Mists of History.'"

Martin Marty on the recent ISAE's "Worlds of Billy Graham" conference

Martin E. Marty, professor emeritus of Church History at the University of Chicago Divinity School offers some thoughts on the ISAE's "Worlds of Billy Graham" conference as well as on the larger questions involving Graham's influence within American Christianity in his Sightings column of Monday, September 30th:  "Billy Graham Taught Christians New Ways of Being in the World."

Complimentary copies of July 2012 issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research available from the ISAE

The July 2012 "Faith, Flags, and Identities" issue of the International Bulletin of Missionary Research featured several articles from the ISAE's 2011 "Saving the World? The Changing Terrain of American Protestant Missions" conference by scholars such as Heather Curtis, Mark Ellingsen, and Jason Vickers.  For a complimentary hard copy of this issue contact the ISAE.  To view the issue on line, visit the IBMR website>>

ISAE's People of Faith video series wins 2013 "Silver Remi" Award for best documentary in Religion, Ethics and Spirituality.

Another award for the ISAE's People of Faith series produced and distributed by Vision Video, this one at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival, the oldest film festival in the South.  To buy a copy of People of Faith>>

Hispanic Evangelicals Drawing Increased Attention:

Here's a commentary from the Huffington Post >> on the growing impact and awareness of Latino evangelicals as set forth in the current Time cover story >> (subscription content).

Evangelicals Trending Toward Stronger Attachments to Their Faith and Churches Over the Decades

Amid the growth within the United States' population of people with no religious affiliation,  a study by a sociologist at the University of Nebraska  claims American evangelicals have grown in their identification with their religious beliefs and churches at the same time as American Catholics are trending in the opposite direction. Study website >>

Evangelical Voters More Unified in Their Conservative Voting Patterns?

This article in Christianity Today about early analysis of the 2012 Presidential and local elections would seem to suggest that talk in recent years arguing evangelicals were moving toward the Democrats and political points leftward may not have been on-target. One caveat for thinking about the piece's observation that evangelicals have moved from a 50-50 split between Democratic and Republican presidential candidates since 1980:  that race was something of an “evangelical political cage match ” pitting the candidacy of Southern Democrat—and avowedly born-again incumbent—Jimmy Carter, vs. the new darling of the emerging Religious Right, Ronald Reagan. Read the article on-line >>

New Survey Shows “Nones” on the Rise and Self-Identifying Protestants On the Decrease

A new study just released by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life states that those identifying as having “no religion ” now account for just under 20% of the population, and includes nearly 30% of those under 30 years of age. Meanwhile, fewer than half (48%) of the population now describe themselves as “Protestant. ”  Study website >>

Study: Public Perceptions of Size of Various American Religious Groups

According to a new study from Grey Matter Research & Consulting, the American Public believes that only 20% of the U.S. population is Protestant, and that even Protestants seriously underestimate the percentage of people in the country who are Protestant.  Meanwhile, most other groups (except Catholics) greatly overestimate the size of their own faith community.

Read the press release >>

American Bible Society Releases Its “State of the Bible 2012” Report

The New York City-based American Bible Society (founded in 1816) has released its annual State of the Bible report.  Among its findings:  85% of American households own a Bible, but 54% of those surveyed could not name the first five books of the Old Testament. Report website >>

ISAE's People of Faith Video Series Wins Awards

The International Christian Visual Media (ICVM) group has announced that the ISAE's 6-part documentary video series People of Faith was selected as the winner of two “Bronze Crown” awards in the categories of “Best Series” and “Best Documentary Over $50,000”.  Website >>

Berger on Pew Lausanne Survey

March 1st, 2012

Eminent sociologist of religion Peter Berger provides an interesting analysis of a Pew survey of evangelical leaders at the 2010 Third Lausanne Congress of World Evangelization held in Cape Town in 2010.

Read article in The American Interest >> 

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