Jennifer Powell McNutt, Ph.D.

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

Office: BGC 219
Phone: (630)752-5331


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 early modern to modern European and North American history with expertise in how Christianity developed as it related to social, political, cultural, biblical, gender, and economic factors.

In 2008, I finished my doctoral work at the University of St. Andrews in conjunction with the Reformation Studies Institute and graduated with my Ph.D. in History. The work I completed there contributes to the revisionist understanding of the relationship between religion and the Enlightenment by re-examining the secularization theory in so far as it relates to the church and clergy of eighteenth-century Geneva through a socio-historical, theological, and prosopographical methodological approach.

Since I began teaching at Wheaton in 2008, my research interests have continued to explore the history of the clergy and the contextual transformation of the church in its institutional organization, thought, and practices from the Reformation period through the Enlightenment. Among my particular research interests are John Calvin and the Reformed tradition, religion and science, and the causes and affects of the French Revolution.

Furthermore, as the degree coordinator of the M.A. program in History of Christianity since 2009 and as an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (USA) since 2010, I am dedicated to sharing my passion for and knowledge of the history and theology of Christianity in context through the teaching and care of students as they develop intellectually and spiritually in their vocational pursuits.

Courses Taught

  • BITH 372: Historical Theology
  • 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): The Enlightenment; The Reformers and the Canon; French for Reading

Membership in Professional Societies

  • American Historical Association
  • Sixteenth Century Society
  • American Society of Church History
  • American Academy of Religion
  • Calvin Studies Society
  • Reformation Studies Institute, University of St. Andrews
  • Centre for French History and Culture, University of St. Andrews


Reformation & Post-Reformation:

  • John Calvin
  • Geneva’s church and clergy, 16th-18th century
  • The Reformed Tradition in Europe and America



  • The Age of Enlightenment in Europe and America
  • The Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the Huguenots
  • The French Revolution
  • Religion and Science
  • The Founding Fathers and Genevan Immigrants

Papers Published and/or Presented

I. Publications


Calvin Meets Voltaire: The Clergy of Geneva during the Age of Enlightenment, 1685-1798 (Ashgate: Eighteenth-Century Studies Series) - Forthcoming.

Academic Articles & Essays

“Francis Bacon” and “Pierre Bayle” in Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception: Athena-Blessing, ed. Hermann Spieckermann, vol. 3 (Walter de Gruyter, 2011).

“Edict of Nantes”, “Henry IV” and “The Elizabethan Settlement” in The Westminster Handbook to Theologies of the Reformation, ed. R. Ward Holder (WJK, 2010), 60-61, 80, and 63.

 “Hesitant Steps: Acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” in Church History Journal, vol. 75, n.3 (Sept. 2006), 544-564. Awarded the Sidney E. Mead Prize in 2005 by the American Society of Church History for the best essay written by a doctoral student

Ecclesiastical Articles

“The Enduring Church” in Christianity Today (January 2011), 44-47.

“Isaiah 9:1-4”, “Isaiah 42:1-9” and “Isaiah 49:1-7” for Feasting on the Word: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, eds. David L. Bartlett and Barbara Brown Taylor, Year A, vol. 1 (WJK, 2010), 266-271, 218-223, and 242-247.

Academic Book Reviews

Review of Charles Partee's The Theology of John Calvin, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History, vol. 62 (2011), 398-399.

Review of Katherine Crawford’s Perilous Performances: Gender and Regency in Early Modern France, The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 37, n.2 (Summer 2006), 524-526.

Review of Matthew Glozier’s Scottish Soldiers in France in the Reign of the Sun King, The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 37, n.2 (Summer 2006), 467-469.

French Translations

University of Michigan's Collaborative Online Translation Project of Diderot and D’Alembert’s Encyclopedia[]:

“Théocratie” - Forthcoming

“Formulaire” July 2005

“Ecclésiastique” Nov. 2004

II. Paper Presentations

 “Calvin, Calling, & Capitalism” – paper presented for the Wheaton College Alumni Club Event in St. Louis (12 March 2011).

“Theology at Lausanne III” – paper presented for the Midwest Mission Studies Fellowship in Chicago (6 Nov. 2010).

“The Genevan Clergy in the Age of Enlightenment” – paper presented at Toronto University College & Seminary (30 Sept. 2010).

“Calvin Comes to America: New Geneva and the Founding Fathers” – paper presented for Wheaton College’s Humanities Brown Bag Colloquium (Sept. 2010).

Chrétiens et citoyens: Religion and Politics in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” – paper presented at the American Society of Church History Conference in San Diego (9 Jan. 2010).

“‘Calvin was not a child of the Enlightenment’: The Theological Legacy of Calvin in the Preaching of Geneva’s Eighteenth-Century Clergy” – paper presented in Geneva, Switzerland at the Calvin Congress 2009 (26 May 2009).

“‘The Science of Salvation’: Preaching during the Genevan Enlightenment” – paper presented at the University of Cambridge, Church History Seminar (28 Feb. 2007).

“Calvin and Knox: Religion & Politics in Sixteenth-Century Europe” – guest lecture at Westmont College, Political Science Department (12 Jan. 2007).

“Église et Société dans la Genève du XVIIIe siècle” – paper presented at the Université de Genève, Institut d’Histoire de la Reformation (24 Oct. 2006).

“French Palaeography, 15th century-18th century” – guest lecture at the University of St. Andrews (2 March 2006).

“Hesitant Steps from the Reformation to the Enlightenment: Protestant Acceptance of the Gregorian Calendar in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” – paper presented at the University of Oxford for the British Society of Eighteenth-Century Studies Conference (5 Jan. 2006).

“The Changing Face of Calvin’s ‘ Prudish Republic’: A Study of Religion & Enlightenment in the Context of Eighteenth-Century Geneva” – paper presented at the University of St. Andrews, Reformation Studies Institute Seminar (8 Dec. 2005).

“An Enlightened Utopia? Exploring the Theatre Controversy of Eighteenth-Century Geneva” – paper presented at the Scottish Universities’ Church History Conference (26 Feb. 2005) and American Society of Church History Conference in Seattle (9 Jan. 2005).

“Ministers and Philosophes: Church and Society in Eighteenth-Century Geneva” – paper presented at the University of St. Andrews, Reformation Studies Institute Seminar (4 Nov. 2004).


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