Faculty Profiles

Amber Thomas Reynolds

Amber Thomas, Ph.D.

Adjunct Assistant Professor of History

On Faculty since 2018



Amber Thomas Reynolds received a Ph.D. in the history of Christianity from the University of Edinburgh in 2018. Her current project focuses on 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, popular culture, youth culture, consumerism, changing women’s roles, increasing attention to social issues and race, 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, tending to their ever-growing book collection, and chasing their toddler.

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

  • Evangelicalism
  • Christian periodicals
  • American culture
  • Missions and World Christianity
  • The Billy Graham Archives and Special Collections at Wheaton College

Book Manuscript in Progress

"'God has a plan for your life': American Evangelicals Discern God's Will"

Book Chapters and Articles

Amber Thomas Reynolds. “Ambivalence, Apocalypticism, and Apologetics: Neo-Evangelical Periodicals’ Conflicting Interpretations of the UFO issue” [9,000 words]. In American Evangelicals and UFOs, edited by Todd M. Thompson. Routledge Studies in Evangelicalism (forthcoming, Routledge).

_______. “Fundamentalist Magazine Publishing” [8,500 words]. In The Oxford Handbook of Christian Fundamentalism, edited by Andrew Atherstone and David Ceri Jones. Oxford University Press, 2023.

_______. “Economic Systems, Prosperity, and Contemporary Christianity.” In Handbook of Contemporary Christianity in the United States, edited by Mark A. Lamport. Rowman and Littlefield, 2022. Pages 103-115. 

_______.“Robert Walker’s Christian Life Magazine: a Missing Link Between Mainstream American Evangelicalism and Charismatic Renewal.” In Transatlantic Charismatic Renewal since 1950, edited by Andrew Atherstone, Mark Hutchinson, and John Maiden. Brill, 2021. Pages 37-60.

_______.“Mott, John R.” In The Encyclopedia of the Bible and its Reception. DeGruyter, 2022.

Amber R. Thomas. “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.


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. 

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.

The Journal of Biblical and Theological Studies, a journal aiming to make high-level scholarship accessible to the advanced undergraduate student, in addition to scholars.

  • Review editor in history of Christianity
  • Co-editor with Ryan Brandt: Special Issue, Fall 2023, "Twentieth-Century Evangelicalism in the U.S. and Beyond"
  • U.S. Pop Culture since 1900
  • World History since 1500
  • History of Christianity in North America
  • Modern World Christianity
  • Christian Thought
  • U.S. History Since 1865
  • Modern U.S. History and Evangelicals 
  • American Society of Church History
  • Conference on Faith and History

Presbyterian Scholars Conference
17-18 Oct 2023
Harbor House, Wheaton College
Paper: "Toward a Cultural History of Jeremiah 29:11"
Panel Response to William Harrison Taylor, Unity in Christ and Country: American Presbyterians in the Revolutionary Era

Presbyterian Scholars Conference                    
18 Oct 2022
Harbor House, Wheaton College
Paper: “Twentieth-Century Magazine Networks and Fundamentalist Identity”
Panel Response to Nathan Feldmeth et al, Reformed and Evangelical Across Four Centuries (Eerdmans, 2022)

Presbyterian Scholars Conference                     
19 Oct 2021
Harbor House, Wheaton College 
Paper: “'Tell Me, Pastor': Evangelical Advice and Decision-Making Literature in the  Twentieth Century”
Panel Response to Arlin Migliazzo, Mother of Modern Evangelicalism: The Life and Legacy of Henrietta Mears 

Conference on Faith and History Online Coffee Conversations
30 Oct 2020
Interview of Dr. Elesha Coffman, editor, Fides et Historia 

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”