Faculty Profiles

Amber Thomas Reynolds

Amber Thomas, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor in History

On Faculty since 2018


Amber Thomas received a Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Edinburgh in 2018. Focusing on modern evangelicalism, her current project explores the emergence and post-World War II cultural shifts in the American-evangelical mantra, “God has a plan for your life.” The themes this encompasses are many and varied--including providence and vocation, the modern missionary movement, parachurch ministries, the conflict between fundamentalism and neo-evangelicalism, the Cold War, youth culture,  consumerism, changing women’s roles, and the broader ethical shift from “self-denial” to “self-fulfillment” in American culture. Additional areas of research include the global Charismatic Movement and single Christian women’s place in church history. After becoming a Dr. and a Mrs. in the same year, she and her husband, Matt, have enjoyed serving the church together and tending to their ever-growing book collection.

University of Edinburgh
PhD., Ecclesiastical History, 2018

Wheaton College Graduate School
M.A., Religion in American Life, 2010

West Virginia University
B.A., Music, with a minor in Religious Studies, 2007

  • History of Christianity
  • Modern Evangelicalism
  • American Culture and Religion
  • Missions and World Christianity
  • Billy Graham Center Archives & Special Collections

“Economic Systems, Prosperity, and Contemporary Christianity.” [6,000 words] In Handbook of Contemporary Christianity in the United States, edited by Mark A. Lamport (Rowman and Littlefield, forthcoming). 

“Fundamentalist Magazine Networks.” [8,500 words] In The Oxford Handbook of Christian Fundamentalism, edited by Andrew Atherstone and David Ceri Jones (Oxford University Press, forthcoming).

“Robert Walker’s Christian Life Magazine: A Missing Link Between Mainstream American Evangelicalism and Charismatic Renewal.” In Transatlantic Charismatic Renewal, c.1950-2020, edited by Andrew Atherstone, Mark Hutchinson, and John Maiden (Brill, 2021). 

“Mott, John R.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception (DeGruyter, 2021). 

“Postwar American Evangelicals and World Religions: A Case Study of Intervarsity’s Urbana Student Missionary Conventions.” International Bulletin of Mission Research 40:3 (July 2016): 228-42.


-- Baptists and the Holy Spirit: The Contested History with Holiness-Pentecostal-Charismatic Movements. By C. Douglas Weaver. Baylor University Press, 2019. Jo. of Ecclesiastical History 72:1 (January 2021): 218-220.

-- Village Atheists: How America’s Unbelievers Made their Way in a Godly Nation. By Leigh Eric Schmidt. Princeton University Press, 2016. Jo. of Ecclesiastical History 69:1(January 2018): 207. 

  • U.S. Pop Culture since 1900
  • World History since 1500
  • History of Christianity in North America
  • Modern World Christianity
  • Christian Thought
  • American Society of Church History
  • Conference on Faith and History

American Society of Church History Winter Meeting 2019
4 Jan 2019
Chicago, Illinois
Panel Organized: “New Perspectives on the History of the Charismatic Renewal in the U.S. and Globally”

Conference on Faith and History Biennial Meeting 2018
6 Oct 2018
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
“Henrietta Mears and the Meaning of History”

American Society of Church History Winter Meeting 2018
7 Jan 2018
Washington, D.C.
“For Such a Time as This: The Esther Motif, Providence, and Evangelical Political Engagement in Postwar America”

“Charismatic Renewal in Historic Perspectives, 1950-2000”
14 Sep 2016
Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom
“Robert Walker and the Missing Links Between Mainstream Evangelicalism, the ‘Deeper Life’ and Charismatic Renewal”

Institute of Historical Research Modern Religious History Seminar
9 Mar 2016
School of Advanced Study, University of London, London, United Kingdom
“‘Dear Reverend Abby’: Negotiating Christian Integrity and Cultural Change in Postwar American-Evangelical Advice Columns”

American Society of Church History Winter Meeting
2016 7 Jan 2016
Atlanta, Georgia
“Reviving and Reforming the Missionary ‘Call’: Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Urbana Student Missions Conference”
Panel organized: “Reforming World Christianity: Conflict, Negotiation, and National Leadership in Student Movements”
Chair and respondent: Dana Robert, Boston University

Yale-Edinburgh Group on the History of the Missionary Movement and World Christianity
25 Jun 2015
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
“Postwar American Evangelicals and World Religions: A Case Study of the Urbana Student Missions Conference”

British Association for American Studies 60th Annual Conference
11 Apr 2015
University of Northumbria, Newcastle, United Kingdom
“Evangelical Christianity, American Citizenship, and Civil Religion: Herbert J. Taylor’s Influence from the Great Depression to Vietnam”
Panel sponsor: Historians of the Twentieth-Century United States (HOTCUS)

Ecclesiastical History Society Postgraduate Colloquium
6 Mar 2015
University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom
“Evangelical Youth Culture and Providence in Mid-Twentieth-Century America”

“Towards the Ends of the Earth: Exploring the Global History of American Evangelicalism, 1840-2010”
24 Apr 2014
Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, Univ. of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom
“From Self-Denial to Self-Fulfilment? Assessing the Missionary ‘Call’ in C20 American Evangelicalism”

“Migration and Mission in Christian History”: Joint Conference of the American Society of Church History and the Ecclesiastical History Society  
5 Apr 2014
Oxford Brooks University, Oxford, United Kingdom
“The Divine Missionary Call in the Age of Migration”