304 Langdale Hall

1501 Mercer University Dr., Mercer University, Macon, GA 31207




University of Virginia                                                                                2003

Ph.D. in European and American Religious History

Dissertation: “Richmond’s Priests and Prophets in the 1950s: White Ministers and Congregations Struggle with Racial Change.”

Examines the dynamics of race and religion in Richmond, VA, during the 1950s. Adviser: Heather A. Warren.

Comprehensive exams in Early Church, American Catholic History, and American Protestant History.

Course Concentration in the Reformation, American Religious History, American South, and African-American Religious Traditions.

The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary                                        1993

M.Div. in Higher Education

Old Dominion University                                                                         1989

B.A. in History Asian and Latin American emphases


Mercer University                                                                         

Professor, History, College of Liberal Arts     Fall 2005–Present

Director, Spencer B. King, Jr. Center for Southern Studies  July 2017–Present

Spencer B. King Distinguished Professor, 2009-2010

*Teach Integrative courses (Interdisciplinary) and Great Books courses that focus on writing instruction. This three-course sequence focuses on critical reading, writing, and discussion. All freshmen and sophomore students take these courses.

*Teach the final course in the Great Books sequence (GBK 407) that focuses examines Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Weber, Conrad, Tolstoy, and Camus.

*Teach Southern Studies courses on Religion and a topical survey course called Problems in American History (Race), New South, and American History from 1940 in the Department of History.

*Teach in the Honors program and serve as managing editor of SPIRES, Mercer’s undergraduate journal.

*Co-author of National Endowment for the Humanities Challenge Grant for Mercer University for $500,000 to establish a $2 million Center for Southern Studies. We were awarded the full amount from the NEH.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Interdisciplinary & Southern Studies, CLA   Spring 2005

*Taught a First Year Seminar/Experience course that entails all the components of First Year Seminar with an integrated component of service learning and advising students.

*Taught a Southern Studies course (Religion in the American South).

*Taught Contemporary American Religions in McAfee School of Theology.

Fellow, University Commons                                                                      2001-2004

*First junior fellow in a new program funded through a grant from the Lilly Endowment designed to help undergraduate students reflect on calling and vocation.

*Taught a First Year Seminar course (Interdisciplinary) designed to help students reflect on their lives and their place in this world. This two semester course focuses on critical reading, writing, and discussion. All freshmen students take this course.

*Teach a First Year Seminar/Experience course that entails all the above mentioned for First Year Seminar with an integrated component of service learning and advising students. I currently advise 30 students.

*Teach a Senior Capstone (Interdisciplinary) designed to foster reflection upon a topic of interest (Black and White in American Culture) from a broad liberal arts perspective. Students have read sociological theory of race and racism, historical and autobiographical accounts of race relations, as well as novels about race in the United States.

*Taught topical survey course called Problems in American History (Race and Religion) in the Department of History

*Taught Introduction to New Testament in the Roberts Department of Christianity.

*Taught Introduction to Religion in the College of Continuing Education.

*Taught Introduction to Church History and Contemporary American Religions in McAfee School of Theology.

*Participated in regular colloquies of the Commons, including program design and writing.

 Journal of Southern Religion (jsreligion.org)


*Editorial oversight of content, which includes working with a managing editor, a book  review editor, and web editor.

*Shifting to a rolling release format and providing leadership as we move to a  comprehensive digital format

*Responsible of annual budgets and advertising revenue



Richmonds Priest and Prophets: Religious Richmonds Struggle with Civil Rights, Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2017.

Manuscript that examines how we might better understand churches and the civil rights movement outside the glare of “spectacles.” By focusing on 1950s and a single city, Richmond, the story of faith and political struggle becomes more  complicated.

“Driving Through the Great Depression,” in Re-Assessing the American South in the 1930s, Karen Cox and Sarah E. Gardner, eds. Baton Rouge: LSU Press, 2018.

“Virginia Baptists Conventions,” Encyclopedia Virginia. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Black_Baptist_Convention

Jessie Mercers Pulpit: Sermons Preached in a Community of Faith and Learning. Mercer University Press, 2006 Co-edited with Wilfred C. Platt, Jr.

Review of A Fire You Cant Put Out: The Civil Rights Life of Birminghams Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth by Andrew Manis (Alabama, 1999) for the Journal of Southern Religion 2 (1999), http://jsr.fsu.edu/thompson.htm

“‘Black Sacred Cosmos’: The Impact of African American Church’s Worldview on Martin Luther King, Jr.,” Paradigms: Theological Trends of the Future 8 (Summer-Winter) 1992-93, 21-30.



“Religion in Bertram Wyatt-Brown’s World of Honor” Southern Intellectual History Circle, Sewanee University, February 19-21, 2016.

“NASCAR’s Faith” Institute of Faith and Learning Conference: The Spirit of Sport, Baylor University, November 5-7, 2015.

“Do Something That Does Not Compute: Wendell Berry’s ‘Manifesto.’” Presented at the 2008 Association for Core Texts and Courses (ACTC), 14th Annual Conference, “Who Are We? Old, New, And Timeless Answers from Core Texts.” Session: “Persuading Texts: What Makes Some Good and Some Just Awful?” Plymouth Harbor, Massachusetts, April 3-6.

Hickory Hill Forum, “One and All: Individualism and Community in the South,” by invitation only. Thomson, Georgia, February 22-24, 2008.

Southern Intellectual Historians Circle. Program Committee, 2011-2014.

“Life on the Margins: First-Year Seminar Students Engage Economic Justice.” Presented at 2005 Seminars in Christian Scholarship, “Spirituality, Justice, and Pedagogy,” Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan, September 22-24.

“The Most Segregated Hour.” Presented at 2005 SECSOR Annual Meeting. Winston-Salem, NC, March. Withdrew for family medical reasons.

Leader: Workshop on Leading Classroom Discussion

With Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech as a starting point, I led First Year Seminar faculty in the use of texts for generating classroom discussion. Explored techniques that might work for individual teaching styles.

“We’re Not in Kansas Anymore: Dorothy, Oz, and the Changing Religious Landscape in the United States,” Presented for the 2003 Political Science Lecture Series: The Academy and Public Life: Knowledge, Politics, and PowerMercer University, October 8.

“Camp Hanover: Desegregation and the Limits of White Christian Leadership,” Presented at the 2003 SECSOR Meeting, Theme: American Race and Religion: Questions of Institutional and Theological De-/Segregation, Chattanooga, March 13-14.

“A ‘Statement of Conviction’: Richmond Ministers Standing Against Massive Resistance,” Presented at the 2002 SECSOR Meeting, Theme: Being Heard: the Public Role of Religion in America, Atlanta, March 9-10.

“Magnificent Obsessions: Religion, Moral Discourse and the Construction of Race,” Presented at the 2000 CIS in Meaning and Value Conference, Theme: Morality and Its Other(s), Albion College, November 9-11.



Primary: American Religious History, 20th Century U.S. History, Southern Religious History, African-American History, Reformation & Modern European History

Secondary: Biblical Studies, World Religions



Southern Studies (College of Liberal Arts)

Southern Jesus (300-level)

Religion in the Modern South (300-level)

Southern Studies Seminar: Religion and the Civil Rights Movement (400-level)

Religious Experience in the Ante-bellum South (300-level)

Religion in the American South (200-level)

History (College of Liberal Arts)

South Since Reconstruction (300-level)

African American History (300-level)

Problems in American History: Race (American Survey)

Problems in American History: Religion and Race (American Survey)

Interdisciplinary (College of Liberal Arts)

Integrative Studies: Self and World (100-level, with writing instruction focus)

Integrative Studies: Building Community (200-level, with writing instruction focus)

Great Books: Age of Ambiguity (400-level)

Great Books: Heroes and Poets (100-level) participated in preparation for teaching in

Great Books program

Senior Capstone: Black and White

Senior Capstone: Quest for Wholeness

First Year Seminar—Experiential: Composing the Self (100-level)

First Year Seminar—Experiential: Engaging the World (100-level)


Honors 101

Honors 250 (Travel abroad)

Honors 251 (Travel abroad)

Christianity (College of Liberal Arts)

Introduction to New Testament (100-level)

Church History (McAfee School of Theology)

Contemporary Religion in America (Graduate elective)

Church History I (Graduate core)

Church History II (Graduate core)


Managing Editor, Spires                                                                       2013

Chair, Interdisciplinary                                                                       2008-2012

Director, First Year Seminar                                                            2009-2012

Director, First Year Seminar—Experiential                               2006-2008

Executive Committee, Junior Faculty League                            2006-Present

Curriculum Committee                                                                      2007-Present

Admissions and Scholarship Committee                                     2005-2007

Interview Scholarship Candidates                                                  2005-Present

Led FYS Workshops for perspective students                           2005-2006

Future of First Year Seminar Committee                                     2003


American Academy of Religion, Southern Historical Association, Southern Intellectual History Circle.