Christopher H. Evans

Professor of History of Christianity and Methodist Studies
(617) 353-3272
AB Syracuse University
M.Div Boston University School of Theology
Ph.D. Northwestern University (in the joint program with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary)

Dr. Evans came to STH in 2010 after several years on the faculty of Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School where he served as professor of church history. His teaching and scholarship focuses on the history of Christianity, American religion, United Methodist history, and ministry studies. He is the author of several books, articles, and reviews including, The Faith of Fifty Million: Baseball, Religion, and American Culture (co-edited with William R. Herzog II), The Kingdom is Always but Coming: a Life of Walter Rauschenbusch that received an Award of Merit for the best work in history/biography from Christianity Today magazine, Liberalism without Illusions: Renewing an American Christian Tradition, and Histories of American Christianity: an Introduction. His latest book, The Social Gospel in American Religion was recently published by New York University Press. An ordained elder in the Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Dr. Evans has lectured, preached, and taught in numerous church and professional settings and been a presenter at several academic conferences.


The Histories of American Christianity: An Introduction. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2013.

Liberalism Without Illusions: Renewing an American Christian Tradition. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.

The Kingdom Is Always but Coming: a Life of Walter Rauschenbusch. Grand Rapids: William Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004.  Reprint edition, Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.  –Award of Merit recipient, Christianity Today(2005).

Co-Editor (with William R. Herzog II), The Faith of Fifty Million: Baseball, Religion, and American Culture. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

Editor, The Social Gospel Today. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

Editor, Perspectives on the Social Gospel: Papers from the Inaugural Social Gospel Conference at Colgate Rochester Divinity School. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.

Social Gospel Liberalism and the Ministry of Ernest Fremont Tittle: a Theology for the Middle Class. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1996.  –Jesse Lee Prize winner for best monograph on American Methodist History.

Book Chapters

“Walter Rauschenbusch and the Second Coming: the Social Gospel as Baptist History,” in Through a Glass Darkly: Uses and Misuses of Baptist History, Keith Harper, ed. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2012.

“Wesleyan Tradition.” The Blackwell Companion to Religion in America, Philip K. Goff, ed. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.

“Public Theology and Economic Equality: Reconsidering Walter Rauschenbusch’s Christianizing the Social Order.” Introduction for reprint edition of Rauschenbusch, Christianizing the Social Order. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2010.

“Baseball as Civil Religion: The Genesis of an American Creation Story.” The Faith of Fifty Million. Westminster John Knox Press, 2002.

“The Kingdom of Baseball in America: The Chronicle of an American Theology.” The Faith of Fifty Million.

“Historical Integrity and Theological Recovery: A Re-Introduction to the Social Gospel.” The Social Gospel Today.Westminster John Knox Press, 2001.

“Toward a New Social Gospel?” The Social Gospel Today.

“Defining the Target: Perspectives on the Social Gospel.” Perspectives on the Social Gospel. Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 1999.

Articles (Journals-Periodicals)

“Ties That Bind: Walter Rauschenbusch, Reinhold Niebuhr, and the Quest for Economic Justice,” in Soundings: an Interdisciplinary Journal 95 (November 2012): 351-369.

“A Home for Methodism in America–and for Me,” in Focus (Winter 2012), 14-21.

“Rethinking Classroom Diversity: Three Student Cultures in a Mainline Seminary,” Teaching Theology and Religion 10(October 2007): 223-230.

“Gender and the Kingdom of God: The Family Values of Walter Rauschenbusch,” American Baptist Quarterly 19 (December 2000): 352-368.

“History and Theology in the American Methodist Social Gospel: The Public/Private Split Revisited,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 35 (Fall 2000): 159-178.

“Reclaiming an Ecumenical Vision for the 21st Century: The Gospel in an Age of Ambiguity,”  American Baptist Quarterly 19 (June 2000): 154-163.

“From Militant Methodism to Secularized Christianity: The Place of the Social Gospel in American Methodist History,”Methodist History 38 (April, 2000):147-159.

“Knowing Our Stories: Towards a New Paradigm of United Methodist History,” The Quarterly Review 19 (Fall, 1999): 237-252.

“The Social Gospel as Pastoral Ministry: The Example of Ernest Fremont Tittle,” Methodist History 35 (April 1997):135-147.

“Where Did Our Hope Go?” The Christian Ministry (December 1995).

“Rediscovering Grace in an Impossible Calling,” The Christian Ministry (January 1994).

“Beware the Black Hole!” The Christian Ministry (January/February 1988).

Articles (Reference Volumes)

“Walter Rauschenbusch,” Encyclopedia of Christianity, Volume IV. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2005.

“Walter Rauschenbusch,” Dictionary of Modern American Philosophers. Bristol, England: Thoemmes Press, 2005.

“The Social Gospel,” Encyclopedia of Protestantism, ed. Hans J. Hillerbrand. New York: Routledge, 2003.

“Georgia Harkness,” Encyclopedia of New York State. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2003.

“Robert Payne” and “James Mudge,” The American National Biography. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Book Forewords/Prefaces

Prophetic Protestant Sermons on America’s War in Iraq (Marsh Chapel, Boston University), by Robert Allan Hill, Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009.

Gender and the Social Gospel. Wendy Deichmann Edwards and Carolyn DeSwarte Gifford, eds Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2003.

Poetry, Prose and Art in the American Social Gospel Movement, 1880-1910, by John C. Waldmeir, Lewiston: Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.

Miscellaneous Publications and Blogs (Selected):

“United Methodists in Tampa: Looking for Scapegoats, Living in Fear,” in Huffington Post May 7, 2012,

“Civil Religion and Populist Angst,” in PBS Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, January 28, 2010.  (

“Grassroots Faith: The Lessons of the Social Gospel,” in Religion Dispatches, May 5, 2009. (

“A Prayer for Parents,” in Prayers for the New Social Awakening. Christian Iosso and Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, eds. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2008.

“Top Five Ways that Baseball is a Religion,” The Atlanta Constitution, July 19, 2006 (Syndicated nationally).

Review Article

“In the Trenches,” review essay on In the Trenches with Jesus and Marx: Harry F. Ward and the Struggle for Social Justice, by David Nelson Duke in Perspectives in Religious Studies 31 (Summer 2004): 211-214.

Reviews (Selected)

Georgia Harkness: the Remaking of a Liberal Theologian, ed. R. Miles in Modern Believing: the Journal of Theological Liberalism 53 (January 2012): 97-99.

Economy, Difference, Empire: Social Ethics and Social Justice, by Gary Dorrien in The Journal of Church and State 53 (Spring 2011): 315-317.

The Methodist Experience in America: a History By Russell Richey et al, in Methodist History 49 (April 2011): 179-180.

Populist Saints: B.T. and Ellen Roberts and the First Free Methodists, by Howard Snyder in Church History 76 (September 2007):655-657.

America Heretic: Theodore Parker and Transcendentalism, by Dean Grodzins in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion 73 (Summer 2005): 926-928.

Experimental Americans: Celo and Utopian Community in the Twentieth Century, by George L. Hicks, in The Christian Century, December 4-17, 2002.

The Puritan as Yankee: a Life of Horace Bushnell, by Robert Bruce Mullin, in The Christian Century, November 6-19, 2002.

Whitebread Protestants: Food and Religion in American Culture, by Daniel Sack, in The Christian Century, January 3-10, 2001.

Direct Action: Radical Pacifism from the Union Eight to the Chicago Seven, by James Tracy, in Church History 66 (December 1997): 906-907.

Cults in Context: Readings in the Study of New Religious Movements, by Lorne L. Dawson, in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion 65 (Winter 1997):885-887.

Writing Out My Heart: Selections from the Journal of Frances Willard, ed. Carolyn DeSwarte Gifford, in Church History66 (June 1997): 391-392.

Roads to Rome: The Antebellum Encounter with Catholicism, by Jenny Franchot, in The Journal of the American Academy of Religion 64 ( Fall 1996): 705-708.

The Lost Promise of Progressivism, by Eldon J. Eisenach, in The Christian Century, March 22-29, 1995.

Academic Papers/Panels/Lectures (Selected)

“Ties that Bind: the Christian Economics of Walter Rauschenbusch and Reinhold Niebuhr,” The Niebuhr Society, the American Academy of Religion annual meeting, San Francisco, California, November 2011.

“For God and Glory: the Religion of Sports,” 29th Annual Spiritual Life Institute, St. Martin’s University, Lacey, Washington, June 2011.

“What Would Walter Want?: Walter Rauschenbusch and the Future of Religious Progressivism,” spring lecture sponsored by the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and the Department of Religious Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, March 2009.

“American Wesleyanism: a Tradition in Search of a Historiography,” The United Methodist Church at 40 Consultation, Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, GA, August 2008.

Baseball: an American Religion?” Founders Annual Lecture on Comparative Religion and Contemporary Life, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, March 2007.

“Meet the author” panel for The Kingdom is Always but Coming: a Life of Walter Rauschenbusch, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting, Rochester, NY, November 2005.

Panel chair, “Rochester Religion and Social Reform,” Society for the Scientific Study of Religion annual meeting, November 2005.

“Historical Studies and the Future of Theological Education,” St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, MO, March 2004.

“The Historical Significance of Walter Rauschenbusch.” Pacific School of Religion Public Lecture, March 2004.

“The Social Gospel: Then and Now.” Asian-American Pastors Consortium at the American Baptist Seminary of the West, Berkeley, CA., March 2004.

Panel discussion of book, Faith of Fifty Million: Baseball: Religion, and American Culture, Christopher H. Evans and William R. Herzog, ed. sponsored by the Religion and Popular Culture section, American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature annual meeting, Toronto, Ontario, November 2002.

“‘Children Misread Their Parents’: Gender, the Social Gospel, and the Family Ties of Walter and Winifred Rauschenbusch,” American Society of Church History winter meeting, Boston, MA., January 2001.

“Historical Perspectives on Women in the Church and in the World,” Baptist Missionary Training School Homecoming Week Lecture, Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, June 2000.