Dr. Timothy Larsen Named President-Elect of American Society of Church History

December 19, 2023

The Wheaton College Carolyn and Fred McManis Professor of Christian Thought and Professor of History will begin his three-year term in 2024, transitioning from president-elect to full president in 2025.

Wheaton College IL Dr. Timothy Larsen, Professor of Christian Thought and HistoryAccording to the American Society of Church History’s (ASCH) website, the Society is a “scholarly community dedicated to studying the history of Christianity and how it relates to culture in all time periods, locations, and contexts.” One of the oldest societies of its kind in the U.S., the ASCH was founded in 1888 by Philip Schaff. Since then, the society has been led by countless accomplished church historians, including Roland H. Bainton, Albert C. Outler, Jaroslav Pelikan, Marty Marty, David Steinmetz, Elizabeth Clark, George Marsden, Nathan Hatch, Bernard McGinn, and Hans Hillerbrand. Key ASCH resources for practicing scholars across disciplines include an annual conference and a quarterly peer-reviewed journal, Church History: Studies in Christianity and Culture.

ASCH presidents are elected by a majority vote among all ASCH members in the fall after receiving a nomination to the candidacy by at least three current members. Presidential candidates must have been active members of ASCH for several years, recognized as scholars in their field, and have previous leadership experience in the Society. Larsen was elected with a society-wide vote in the fall of 2023.

As president-elect in 2024 and full president in 2025, Larsen will plan and lead both the 2025 and 2026 annual conference programs. In 2026, he will head the ASCH Nominating Committee’s election for the next president-elect.

Larsen studied under Dr. Mark Noll and graduated magna cum laude from Wheaton College in 1989, and summa cum laude from the Wheaton College Graduate School in 1990. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Stirling under Dr. David Bebbington, and a D.D., a ‘higher’ doctorate, from the University of Edinburgh.

Larsen has served on faculty at Wheaton College since 2002. He specializes in modern British religious history, with research interests in the intersection of religion and intellectual history, anthropology and religion, and the history of evangelicalism, among other topics. He also serves as an honorary fellow at the  University of Edinburgh School of Divinity and an honorary research fellow with the School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. Previously, Larsen has been a visiting fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge; All Souls College, Oxford; and Christ Church, Oxford; and is a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He is the author or editor of twenty books including Crisis of Doubt: Honest Faith in Nineteenth-Century England, A People of One Book: The Bible and the Victorians, The Slain God: Anthropologists and the Christian Faith, John Stuart Mill: A Secular Life, and The Oxford Handbook of Christmas (all with Oxford University Press).