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Jennifer Powell McNutt, PhD

Franklin S. Dyrness Associate Professor in Biblical and Theological Studies

On Faculty since 2008
630.752.5220
BGC 541


The Rev. Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt is a tenured, Associate Professor of Theology and History of Christianity at Wheaton College, a Fellow in the Royal Historical Society, and director of Wheaton’s M.A. programs in Theology and History of Christianity. Dr. McNutt received her Ph.D. in History from the University of St. Andrews (Reformation Studies Institute, 2008), M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary (2003), and a B.A. in Religious Studies from Westmont College (2000).

She is the recipient of several academic awards including the Overseas Research Student Award (Universities, U.K.) for her doctoral research and the Sidney E. Mead Prize (American Society of Church History) for her first published article. Her first monograph, Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798 (Ashgate, 2014), was awarded the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize by the American Society of Church History. In 2013-2014, Dr. McNutt was awarded Wheaton’s Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities (2013) for exemplifying excellence in the classroom, a deep commitment to inspiring students to realize the ideals of careful scholarship in their own work, and the integration of the Christian faith and learning in the Humanities. In 2017, Westmont College honored Dr. McNutt with an 80th Anniversary Alumni Award for her work as a professor at Wheaton in cultivating “thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and the world.” In 2017, she was one of the Reformation experts interviewed for "A Call to Freedom" documentary that was produced to mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. In 2018, that documentary was awarded three regional Emmys including Outstanding Historical Documentary.

Dr. McNutt’s research specializes in the history of the church and Christian Theology from the Reformation through the Enlightenment with particular expertise in John Calvin and his clerical legacy, the Reformed tradition, the relationship between Christianity and science, and the history of the Bible and its interpretation. Current contracted projects include co-editing The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation (OUP) with Prof. Herman Selderhuis and editing the 1-2 Peter, 1-3 John, Jude volume for the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series (InterVarsity Press Academic). She recently published the co-edited volume, The People’s Book: The Reformation and the Bible (IVP, 2017), for the Wheaton Theology Conference series. She is currently researching and writing two monographs: the history of the French Bible from the early-modern period through the Enlightenment and a social history of John Calvin’s thought. Her research has received international grants including the Andrew Mellon Research Fellowship (2015-2016) at the Huntington Library and the Huntington Trinity Hall Exchange Fellowship at the University of Cambridge (2015-2016). Her publications include academic journal articles and book chapters as well as popular ecclesiastical pieces for Christianity Today and Christian History Magazine. In 2017, Dr. McNutt was awarded first place in Christianity Today’s essay contest for her article on how clergy during the Enlightenment contributed to the advancement of modern science.

Dr. McNutt is also an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and is co-president of McNuttshell Ministries, Inc. with her husband, Rev. Dr. David McNutt. She enjoys preaching at churches and on college campuses, writing for popular outlets, and conducting podcast and video interviews.

If you are interested in booking Dr. McNutt for a speaking engagement, feel free to contact her via email: jennifer.mcnutt@wheaton.edu.

University of St. Andrews, Reformation Studies Institute
Ph.D., History, 2008

Princeton Theological Seminary
M.Div., Divinity, 2003

Westmont College
B.A., Religious Studies, Biblical Languages Concentration, 2000

  • History of Christianity
  • Historical Theology
  • The Reformation
  • John Calvin & the Reformed Tradition
  • Martin Luther
  • History of the Bible & Hermeneutics
  • History of Protestant Clergy
  • Secularization and Modernity
  • The Enlightenment
  • Religion and Science
  • Royal Historical Society: Fellow since 2014
  • American Society of Church History
  • Sixteenth Century Society
  • Calvin Studies Society
  • American Historical Association
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Evangelical and Theological Society
  • Clergy Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Invited speaking engagements have included the following: Pepperdine University Bible Lectureships (May 2018); The McIntyre Lecture in the History and Philosophy of Science, Wheaton College (April 2018); Calvin Symposium on Worship, Calvin College (Jan. 2018); The Society of Biblical Literature, The Hebrews Group (Nov. 2017); Evangelical Theological Society, Panel Speaker for “Public Theology” (Nov. 2017); McMaster Divinity School, Centre for Post-Christendom Studies (Oct. 2017); Moody Bible Institute, Chapel Address (Oct. 2017); Hope International University (Sept. 2017); Brigham Young University (Sept. 2017); The Marion E. Wade Center, Wheaton College (Feb. 2016); Faculté de Théologie Protestante de Paris (Nov. 2015); the University of St. Andrews, Reformation History and Intellectual History Seminar Speaker (Oct. 2015); The Huntington Library (July 2015); Yale Divinity School, Church Leadership and Growth Colloquium Speaker (May 2015); Biblica’s Conversations on the Bible (Jan. 2015); The American Scientific Affiliation (Nov. 2014); Westminster Seminary California, Convocation Speaker (Oct. 2014); Calvin Studies Society Colloquium, “Calvin & the Book” hosted at Princeton Theological Seminary (April 2013)

Dr. McNutt regularly presents conference papers at the Sixteenth Century Studies conferences and the American Society of Church History conferences. She also preaches, teaches adult education, and leads retreats for Presbyterian churches in the area and beyond, including those outside the Reformed tradition. In these ways, Dr. McNutt is committed to both contributing to the academic conversations within her field of expertise as well as serving the church and enriching the faith of Christians in the areas of Christian History and Theology with her work.

Books 

Jennifer Powell McNutt and David Lauber, eds. The People’s Book: The Bible and the Reformation (IVP, 2017). Wheaton Theology Conference volume, 500th Anniversary of the Reformation

Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva during the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798 (Ashgate, 2014). Awarded the 2014 Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize, American Society of Church History

Academic Articles

“Calvin Legends: Hagiology and Demonology” in Calvin in Context, ed. Ward Holder (Cambridge University Press, submitted and forthcoming 2019)

“La théologie protestante au XVIIIe siècle,” Introduction à l'histoire de la Théologie, ed. Pierre-Olivier Léchot (Labor et Fides, Nov. 2018).

“Interpretations of Genesis 1–2 among the Protestant Reformers” in Since the Beginning: Interpreting Genesis 1-2 Through the Ages, ed. Kyle Greenwood (Baker Academic, Aug. 2018).

“Currents in Church History” in Didaktikos: Journal of Theological Education, vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov., 2017), pp. 45-46.

“Word and Sacrament: The Gordian Knot of Reformation Worship” in The People’s Book: The Bible and the Reformation, eds Jennifer Powell McNutt and David Lauber (InterVarsity Press, April 2017), pp. 132-151.

“Reformed Preaching in the Age of Enlightenment: A Comparison of Jonathan Erskine’s ‘Enlightened Evangelicalism’ with Geneva’s ‘Reasonable Calvinism’” in Intellectual History Review Journal, special issue, 26:3 (Sept. 2016), pp. 371-389.

“Replacing Calvin? Calvin's Catechism in Eighteenth-Century Geneva" in Calvin and the Book, Calvin Studies Society Colloquium 2013 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, July 2015), pp. 57-76.

“James, ‘The Book of Straw,’ in Reformation Biblical Exegesis: A Comparison of Luther and the Radicals” in Reconsidering the Relationship between Biblical and Systematic Theology in the New Testament: Essays by Theologians and New Testament Scholars, eds Benjamin E. Reynolds, Brian Lugioyo and Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Mohr Siebeck, July 2014), pp. 157-176.

“What is the meaning of evil and suffering?” in Theology Questions Everyone Asks: Christian Faith in Plain Language, eds. Gary Burge and David Lauber (Downer’s Grove: IVP, Feb. 2014), pp. 80-94.

Timothy Larsen and Jennifer Powell McNutt, “The Reformation and Protestantism” in The Book of Books: Biblical Canon, Dissemination, and Its People, eds Jerry Pattengale, Lawrence H. Schiffman, and Filip Vukosavović (Israel: Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, 2013), pp. 102-105.

Jennifer Powell McNutt and Richard Whatmore, “The Attempts to Transfer the Genevan Academy to Ireland and America, 1782-1795” in The Historical Journal, 56:2 (June, 2013), pp. 345-368.

“The Consolation of Criminals: Clergy and State Dynamics in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” in Bulletin de la Société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Genève, 40 (2010), pp. 55-66.

“Hesitant Steps: Acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” in Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture Journal, vol. 75, n.3 (Sept. 2006), pp. 544-564. *Essay awarded the Sidney E. Mead Prize (2005), American Society of Church History

 

  • Reformation expert for the three-time regional Emmy award-winning documentary "A Call for Freedom" including the award for the Outstanding Historical Documentary (2018)
  • Christianity Today’s Science Writing Contest (2017)Awarded first place by Christianity Today out of 200 entries for essay, “Forgotten Figures: How Pastors of the Enlightenment Helped Advance Modern Science”
  • Westmont College 80th Anniversary Alumni Award Honoree (2017)Honored for cultivating “thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and the world.”
  • Royal Historical Society Fellow (2014-Present)Elected to the fellowship by the history guild for my book, Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment (Ashgate, 2014).
  • The Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize (2014) – Awarded by the American Society of Church History for outstanding scholarship in church history by a first-time author of a monograph: Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798 (Ashgate, 2014).
  • Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities (2013) – Awarded to a distinguished Wheaton College faculty member in the Humanities whose teaching exemplifies excellence in the classroom, a deep commitment to inspiring students to realize the ideals of careful scholarship in their own work, and the integration of the Christian faith and learning.
  • Sidney E. Mead Prize (2005) – Awarded by the American Society of Church History for the most outstanding essay written by a doctoral student: “Hesitant Steps: Protestant Acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar in Eighteenth-Century Geneva”

The Refugee Crisis: A Church Historian's Response

Dr. Jennifer McNutt's TowerTalk encourages us to reflect upon how the church has dealt with similar refugee challenges in the past in order to gain insight for Christian responses today.

 

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