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Wheaton College Associate Professor Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt is Appointed to the Franklin S. Dyrness Chair in Biblical and Theological Studies

July 17, 2019

Associate Professor of Theology and History of Christianity Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt has been appointed as the Franklin S. Dyrness Chair in Biblical and Theological Studies. Dr. McNutt will present her inaugural Dyrness Chair lecture on March 30, 2020.

Jennifer McNutt headshotAssociate Professor of Theology and History of Christianity Dr. Jennifer Powell McNutt has been appointed as the Franklin S. Dyrness Chair in Biblical and Theological Studies.

The endowed chair, named for Franklin S. Dyrness ’27 D.D. ’60, was established in 1987. It is held by a professor committed to the historic Reformed tradition as expressed in the Westminster Confession of Faith. Previous holders include Professor of Hebrew Bible Emeritus Dr. C. Hassell Bullock and Dr. Nicholas Perrin, who was recently appointed to the presidency of Trinity International University.

“Dr. McNutt is a well-regarded scholar of John Calvin, his time in Geneva and the Reformed movement in northern Europe,” said Wheaton College Provost Dr. Margaret Diddams. “Her teaching and research have helped others to understand and embrace the riches of the Reformed tradition.”

“I am deeply honored to take up the Dyrness Chair at Wheaton College in the School of Biblical and Theological Studies,” Dr. McNutt said. “Wheaton College has not failed to invest in my growth as a teacher and scholar since I first started out here with my Ph.D. newly in hand. I am immensely grateful to the leadership—particularly former Dean David Capes, Provost Diddams, President Ryken, and the Board of Trustees—as well as to my excellent colleagues for this affirmation. The opportunities that this chair provides to expand my work in the field and to continue to contribute to the mission of the College is an immeasurable gift. It is a joy and a privilege to live out my vocational calling and build my academic career at Wheaton College.”

Dr. McNutt has served Wheaton College as a faculty member since 2008. In addition to her teaching and research, she coordinates the M.A. programs in History of Christianity and Theology at Wheaton College Graduate School.

Dr. McNutt received a Ph.D. in History from the University of St. Andrews’ Reformation Studies Institute in 2008, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2003, and a B.A. in Religious Studies with a concentration in Biblical Languages from Westmont College in 2000. 

Her research specializes in the history of Christianity from the Reformation through the Enlightenment with 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. Her research, writing, and teaching have received accolades including the Overseas Research Student Award from the University of St. Andrews, as well as the Sidney E. Mead Prize and the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize, both from the American Society of Church History. In 2014, she was elected to the Royal Historical Society.

Dr. McNutt was awarded Wheaton College’s Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities in 2013. In 2017, she was awarded first place in Christianity Today’s Science Essay contest for a historical piece on clergy and science. She participated in the Reformation documentary "A Call to Freedom," which was awarded three regional Emmy Awards including Outstanding Historical Documentary in 2018.

Dr. McNutt is the lead editor for The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation, and is a volume editor for the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series. Her ongoing archival research explores the history of the French Bible from the early-modern period through the Enlightenment, and she is writing a social history of John Calvin’s theology for the Christian Theology in Context series, as well as a textbook on Reformation theology. Dr. McNutt’s research has received grants including the Andrew W. Mellon Research Fellowship, and a Trinity Hall College Exchange Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. She was recently elected Vice President of the Calvin Studies Society.

Dr. McNutt will present her inaugural Dyrness Chair lecture on March 30, 2020.