Research Fellowship Program | Presbyterian Historical Society

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Research Fellowship Program

The society invites applications for research fellowships, a program designed to encourage faculty, independent researchers, and students to use and publish from the society's rich holdings.

The program will award research and travel grants of $2,500. Applicants must demonstrate a need to work in the society's collection for a minimum of one week and a maximum of one month. Applications are accepted from persons whose normal place of residence is farther than seventy-five miles from Philadelphia.

Projects in all fields of study, including history, American studies, mission history, architecture, and ecumenism are invited. In accepting this grant, fellows agree to submit a report to the society within two months of their last visit. The society requests a copy of each final work for its holdings, and fellows are encouraged to adapt their research for publication in the Journal of Presbyterian History.


  • Open to faculty, students, and independent scholars and researchers.
  • Open to all fields of study, including history, American studies, mission history, architecture, and ecumenism.
  • Place of residence must be farther than seventy-five (75) miles from Philadelphia.
  • Applicants of underrepresented backgrounds and voices and those focusing on lesser-known and underrepresented topics are especially encouraged to apply.

Selection Criteria:

  • Adherence to application instructions and requirements (see below).
  • Strong correlation between the proposed topic and the Presbyterian Historical Society’s collections.
  • Demonstrated need to work with the society’s collections for a minimum of one week and maximum of one month.
  • Clearly defined topic with evidence of sound research intentions and practices (scope, methodology, and argument).
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the subject’s historiography.

Applications will be reviewed by independent scholars and PHS staff.


  • $2,500 cover travel, lodging, and other research expenses.

Timeline for 2025:

  • Applications due by Feb. 3, 2025. Awards announced by March 17, 2025.

Application instructions and requirements:

  • To apply, fill out the webform and upload the two required attachments (narrative and CV):
  • Narrative application. Download the application questions and formatting instructions here. (Download Adobe Reader (free) at 
  • Brief curriculum vitae. We request that the vitae not exceed two pages and must list all earned degrees, date received (or expected), institution, and field of study as well as any major publications. 
  • Letters of recommendation. Two letters of recommendation are required. If you are a graduate student, one of the letters should be from your dissertation/thesis supervisor. Letters should be tailored to your specific project and written by individuals who are familiar with your research topic and/or your ability to produce a complete and high-quality research product. Please ask your references to send their letters directly to Natalie Shilstut, Director of Programs and Services, You will be asked to provide the full name and email address for each reference on the webform.

Luca Azuma, Ph.D. student at University of North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.), for "Upon a Rainbow Cross: a History of LGBTQ+ Christianity in North America."

Dr. Elesha Coffman, Associate Professor of History at Baylor University (Waco, Tex.), for "Making Religion News."

Dr. Emily Conroy-Krutz, Associate Professor at Michigan State University (East Lansing, Mich.), for "Around the World with the Browns."

Dr. Alderi Souza de Matos, Official Historian for Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPB) and Professor of Church History and Historical Theology at Andrew Jumper Presbyterian Graduate Center, Mackenzie Presbyterian University (São Paulo, Brazil), for "Brazilian Presbyterian history."



Dr. Kazimierz Bem, Evangelical Theological Seminary in Wroclaw (Poland) and pastor of First Church (Marlborough, MA [UCC]), for “Presbyterian Missions to Polish Immigrants in Baltimore, c. 1880-1940”

Morgan Crago, graduate student at the Boston University School of Theology, for “The Social Thought of Brazilian Ecumenical Leaders in the Context of 20th Century Social Christianity, 1930s-60s”

Ezer Roboam May May, graduate student at Centro de Investigaciones y Estudios Superiores en Antropología Social (CIESAS-Peninsular, Mérida, Mexico), for “The Encounters of American Missionaries, Mayan Converts, and Mexican Ministers in Twentieth Century Mexico”

Dr. Nicholas Pruitt, Eastern Nazarene College, for “Cold War, Christian Nation: Christian Nationalisms during the Second Red Scare”


Sopanit Angsusingha, graduate student at Georgetown University, for "Engendering Faith and Education in Iraq: American-Iraqi Encounters in Presbyterian Mission Schools, 1920s-1950s"

Hannah Peckham, graduate student at the University of Notre Dame, for “American Outposts: Higher Education Abroad and the Making of the Modern United States, 1920-1968”

Dr. Ben Wright, University of Texas at Dallas, for Empires of Souls: The United States, Britain, and West African Colonization


Dr. Anne M. Blankenship, North Dakota State University, for “Race, Religion, and Immigration: How Protestants, Catholics, & Jews Faced Mass Immigration, 1882-1924”

Connor S. Kenaston, graduate student at the University of Virginia, for “Faith Networks: Religion, Media, and Capitalism in Twentieth-Century America”

Dr. Reuben Loffman, Queen Mary University of London, for “Missionaries, Medicine, and Modernity: The Presbyterians in Kasai, 1900-1959”

Cynthia Martinez, graduate student at Rice University, for “'Por Cristo, El Hogar y la Patria': The Role of American Protestant Missionaries in Social Reform during the Porfiriato, 1876-1911”


Dr. Leanne Calvert, University of Hertfordshire, for "Sexuality and Social Control: Irish Presbyterians in North America, 1717-1830"

Yasmina El Chami, graduate student at the University of Cambridge, for "Constructing Beirut: Missionary Education and the Project of the City in Nineteenth-Century Lebanon"

Kevin Rose, graduate student at the University of Virginia, for "Living Green: The Neoliberal Climate of Protestant Environmentalism"


Christopher W. Anderson, graduate student at the University of Illinois at Chicago, for "The Environmental History of Outdoor Ministry, 1945-2008"

Youngeun Koo, graduate student at the University of Tuebingen (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen), Germany, for "'Children in Need' and Intercountry Adoption from South Korea (1953-1979)"

Johanna L. Peterson, graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, for "'A Measure of All Nations': Girls' Schools and Constructions of Citizenship in Lebanon, 1919-1951"


Douglas H. Brown Clark, graduate student in American Religious History at Vanderbilt University, for “Radicalizing the Church: Gayraud Wilmore, Prophetic Religion, and the Black Freedom Struggle”

Anna Holdorf, graduate student in History at the University of Notre Dame, for “A Harvest for Heaven and Earth: U.S. Religion and Agricultural Development in Twentieth-Century Latin America”

Dr. Andrea L. Turpin, Assistant Professor of History at Baylor University, for A Debate of Their Own: Women in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy


Dr. Heath W. Carter, Assistant Professor of History at Valparaiso University, for The Kingdom May Yet Reign: The Social Gospel in American Life

Paul Emory Putz, graduate student at Baylor University, for “Champions of Faith: Cold War America and the Rise of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (1954-1970)”

Debra Faith Skiles, graduate student at Virginia Tech University, for “Presbyterian Women Missionaries and the Development of Korean Christianity”


Dr. Yaqoob Bangash, Forman Christian College, for his book project, Literacy and Character Building: The American Presbyterian Mission in the Punjab, 1849-1972.

Julian Cole Phillips, graduate student at New York University, Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, for his project, "Iranian Students in the Tehran Community School, 1935-1980."


Dr. Christopher Pearl, Lycoming College, for his book project, “For the Good Order of Government”: The American Revolution and the Creation of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 1740-1799.

Scott Libson, Ph.D. candidate at Emory University, for his dissertation, “The Christianization of Capital: The Business of Mission Movement Fundraising, 1865-1929.”


Kristen A. Shedd, Ph.D. candidate, University of California, Santa Barbara, "The Decline of Moral and Political Authority: Mainstream Protestants in McCarthyite America."

Noel C. Stringham, Ph.D. candidate, University of Virginia, "Nuer Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and Religion in South Sudan (1805-2006)."


Christopher Schlect, Ph.D. candidate, Washington State University, "Battle for the Good Earth: Empire and Gender Meet Fundamentalism and Modernism."

Gene Zubovich, Ph.D. candidate, University of California, Berkeley, "Protestant Social Consciousness in the 1940s."


Beth Hessel-Robinson, Ph.D. candidate, Texas Christian University, "'Let the conscience of Christian America speak!': How White Protestant Churches Responded to the Evacuation and Internment of Japanese Americans During World War II."

Shing-Ting Lin, Ph.D. candidate, Columbia University, "The Female Hand: The Making of Professional Women’s Medicine in Modern China, 1880-1940."


Stephen Dove, Ph.D. candidate, University of Texas at Austin, "Creating Local Protestantism in Guatemala, 1882-1935."

G. Kurt Piehler, Associate Professor, University of Tennessee, A Religious History of the American GI in World War II.


Robert Bauman, Associate Professor, Washington State University, Religion, Community Organizations, and the Long War on Poverty.

John Hardin, Ph.D. candidate, University of Maryland, "Retailing Religion: Corporate Advertising and Marketing in American Christian Churches, 1900-2000."


Matthew McCullough, Ph.D. candidate, Vanderbilt University, "To Extend the Blessings of Liberty: Protestant Missions and the Language of Expansion in the Spanish-American War."

C. Scott Nesbitt, Ph.D. candidate, University of Virginia, "The Politics of Forgiveness after Slavery and the American Civil War."


Joshua Allen Paddison, Ph.D. candidate, University of California at Los Angeles, "American Heathens: Religion, Race, and Reconstruction in California."

LeeAnn Reynolds, Ph.D. candidate, Vanderbilt University, "Red and Yellow, Black and White: Maintaining Segregation, 1920-1955."


Zahra Pamela Karimi, Ph.D. candidate, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "The Role of American Presbyterian Missionaries in Reforming Iranian Domesticity, 1838-1945."

Kyle B. Roberts, graduate student, University of Pennsylvania, "Presbyterian Evangelicals in Early New York City."


Ellen J. Fleischmann, University of Dayton, Under an American Roof: The Encounter among Women of Greater Syria and American Protestant Women, 1830-1950.

Jasamin Rostam-Kolayi, California State University, San Marcos, Gender, Class, and Nation: The Women's Press and Education Reform in Iran, 1890s-1950s.

Gardiner Humphrey Shattuck, Jr., American Protestant Responses to Genocide, 1915-1950.

Andrew Witmer, University of Virginia, The Color of Faith: Protestant Foreign Missions to Africa and American Approaches to Race.


Richard J. Bell, graduate student, Harvard University, "Daily Lifting the Poisoned Bowl: Reform and Suicide in the Early Republic."

James F. Findlay, Jr., Professor Emeritus, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, A History of the National Council of Churches of Christ in America 1974-2004: An Exploratory Essay.

Sean Michael Lucas, Adjunct Professor of Church History, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, For a Continuing Presbyterian Church: Conservative Dissent in the Presbyterian Church in the United States, 1924-1974.

Karen Fisher Younger, Lecturer, Pennsylvania State University, Female Colonization Supporters in Antebellum America.