Jennifer Powell McNutt, Ph.D.


Biblical and Theological Studies Department

Associate Professor of Theology and History of Christianity
On Faculty since 2008

Office: BGC 541


Ph.D. History, Reformation Studies Institute, University of St. Andrews, 2008

M.Div., Princeton Theological Seminary, 2003

B.A. Religious Studies, Westmont College, 2000

These degrees include additional studies at the University of Oxford, Jerusalem University College, Université de Genève, Institut Catholique de Paris, and Universität Heidelberg.

About Jennifer Powell McNutt

My work explores the early-modern era from the Reformation through the Enlightenment with a particular focus on the development of the clergy and church in its thought and practices within the social, cultural, and political context of Europe.

My book, Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798, was recently published by Ashgate in its Eighteenth-Century Studies Series. This study of the clerical legacy of Calvin during the Enlightenment contributes to a revised and more complex understanding of the relationship between religion and Enlightenment by re-examining secularization theory through a socio-historical, theological, and prosopographical methodological approach. This original contribution was the basis for my election to the Fellowship of the Royal Historical Society.

Furthermore, as the degree coordinator of the M.A. program in History of Christianity since 2009 and as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 2010, I am committed to equipping students with knowledge and understanding of Christian History while supporting and mentoring them as they develop intellectually and spiritually in their vocational pursuits.

Research & Professional Honors

  • American Society of Church History - "Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize" (2014) for Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva in the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798
  • Royal Historical Society - Elected Fellow (2014)
  • Wheaton College – “Leland Ryken Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities” (2013)
  • American Society of Church History – “Sidney E. Mead Prize” (2005)
  • University of St. Andrews – “Overseas Research Student Award” (2003-2006)

Select Publications


  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva during the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798, Eighteenth-Century Studies Series (Ashgate: Jan. 2014).

Articles and Essays

  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “Replacing Calvin? Calvin's Catechism in Eighteenth-Century Geneva" in Calvin and the Book, Calvin Studies Society Colloquium 2013 (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, forthcoming 2015) – IN PRESS.
  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “James, ‘The Book of Straw,’ in Reformation Biblical Exegesis: A Comparison of Luther and the Radicals” in Reconsidering the Relationship between Biblical and Systematic Theology in the New Testament: Essays by Theologians and New Testament Scholars, eds Benjamin E. Reynolds, Brian Lugioyo and Kevin J. Vanhoozer (Mohr Siebeck, July 2014), pp. 157-176.
  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “What is the meaning of evil and suffering?” in Theology Questions Everyone Asks: Christian Faith in Plain Language, eds. Gary Burge and David Lauber (Downer’s Grove: IVP, Feb. 2014), pp. 80-94.
  • Timothy Larsen and Jennifer Powell McNutt, “The Reformation and Protestantism” in The Book of Books: Biblical Canon, Dissemination, and Its People, eds Jerry Pattengale, Lawrence H. Schiffman, and Filip Vukosavović (Israel: Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, 2013), pp. 102-105.
  • Jennifer Powell McNutt and Richard Whatmore, “The Attempts to Transfer the Genevan Academy to Ireland and America, 1782-1795” in The Historical Journal, 56:2 (June, 2013), pp. 345-368.
  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “The Consolation of Criminals: Clergy and State Dynamics in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” in Bulletin de la Société d’histoire et d’archéologie de Genève, 40 (2010), pp. 55-66.
  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “Hesitant Steps: Acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” in Church History Journal, vol. 75, n.3 (Sept. 2006), pp. 544-564. [Essay awarded the Sidney E. Mead Prize (2005), American Society of Church History]

Publications include the following: Encyclopedia and dictionary articles such as to Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Walter de Gruyter, 2011); book reviews to journals such as the Journal of Early Modern History, the Sixteenth Century Journal, and the Journal of Ecclesiastical History; and French translations for the University of Michigan’s Collaborative Online Translation Project of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopedia.

Ecclesiastical Articles

  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “Think you had a bad day? 10 things to remember from church history when you're discouraged in ministry” Leadership Journal Online (Nov. 2014).
  • Jennifer Powell McNutt, “The Enduring Church” in Christianity Today (Jan. 2011), 44-47.

Invited Speaker

  • “Popularizing Science: Clerical Engagement with Science during the Age of Enlightenment,” American Scientific Affiliation (Nov. 4, 2014)
  • “Calvin Meets Voltaire,” Westminster Seminary California Convocation Speaker (Oct. 8, 2014)
  • “Replacing Calvin? Calvin's Catechism in Eighteenth-Century Geneva," Plenary Speaker at Calvin Studies Society Colloquium “Calvin & the Book” (April 2013)

Additional paper presentations delivered at some of the following venues: American Society of Church History Conference, Sussex Centre for Intellectual History, Calvin Congress, the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference, Université de Genève, and University of St. Andrews.

Current Research

I have begun research on my next monograph, which will be a multi-year archival project on the history of the French Bible from the sixteenth through the eighteenth century with a focus on the Genevan French Bible. Delving into this topic provides an opportunity for exploring the material culture of the Bible as well as its exegetical and theological development while considering the rise of modernity in light of the intended role and function of the Bible in society, politics, and culture. Through this approach, my research proposes to trace the emergence and development of the Genevan French Bible and its role and impact on the Francophone world. Determining the significance of the Bible and its role and authority in Genevan life provides yet another opportunity toward further elucidating the bridge between the Reformation and the age of Enlightenment.

In addition to writing my second monograph, I am also co-editing The Oxford Handbook of the Bible and the Reformation with Herman Selderhuis (Oxford University Press).This research is being supported by the following funding sources: The Huntington Library Andrew Mellon Research Fellowship, The Huntington Trinity Hall Exchange Fellowship, Wheaton College’s Faculty Global Research Award, and Wheaton College’s Alumni Association Grant.

Courses Taught

  • BITH 372: Historical Theology
  • BITH 377/ SCI 490: Theology & Science
  • BITH 485 / 558-3: The Theology of Martin Luther
  • BITH 486 / 558-2 / 793: Theology of John Calvin
  • BITH 558-3: Religion & Science: Galileo to Darwin
  • BITH 576: History of Christianity to 1900
  • BITH 581: The Reformation
  • BITH 655: Historical Theology: Reformation
  • BITH 677: Puritans
  • BITH 677: The Radical Reformation
  • BITH 683: Historiography
  • BITH 684: Methods in Scholarship
  • BITH 687: The Reformed Tradition in America
  • BITH 695-4 (Independent Studies): Eastern Orthodoxy & Reformers; Church & the French Revolution; The Reformers and the Canon; French for Reading; The Enlightenment; Early Modern Anabaptists & Jews; The Rise of the Cult of Mary; English & Scottish Puritans; Medieval European Conversions; Discipline in Colonial America.

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