Thomas E. I. Whittaker



65 Concord Ave
Apt. 2
Somerville, MA 02143 USA


PhD (expected), Harvard University, 2021
MA, University of Chicago Divinity School, 2014
BA, University of Chicago, 2012


Church History: Reformation through Modern
American Religious History
World Christianity and History of Missions
History of Evangelicalism and the Reformed Tradition

I am a PhD candidate in the History of Christianity within the Committee on the Study of Religion at Harvard University, expecting to receive my degree in the summer of 2021. I am also a committed Reformed and evangelical Christian, excited by the prospect of employing my teaching and research for the good of the church. My academic work is focused on the history of American evangelicalism, with a particular interest in the history of missions, and I am equipped to teach across American church history as well as the history of Christianity more broadly from the Reformation onwards.

In my dissertation I have sought to explore what I call the “missionary republic”: the construction of a vision of the United States as a Christian nation that tied frontier church planting, foreign, and Indian missions to the cultivation of a virtuous republic. I seek to understand how the enthusiasm for missions turned from a small, networked interest group composed of evangelicals tied to discreet transatlantic religious networks in the 1790s into a massive, cultural phenomenon that drove a full-scale transformation of American religious life in the 1820s and 1830s.

I have broad teaching experience at both Harvard University and Gordon College. At Gordon, I taught a large introductory course in western civilization that sought to grapple with the relationship between church and culture from antiquity to modernity. At Harvard, I have served for two years as the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Study of Religion, teaching the seminar that guides seniors through the thesis process and serving as an advisor to undergraduate concentrators. I have also designed and taught a seminar at Harvard examining the history of evangelicalism and politics in America.