I am a historian of Christianity in the United States, with interests in commemoration, memory, and material culture.
Raised in south-central Pennsylvania, I earned my bachelor’s degree at Messiah University before attending Temple University in Philadelphia, where I completed my MA in public history (2012) and my PhD (2020). In 2013, I returned to Messiah University, where I continue to serve in several roles.
First, I am as the director of the E. Morris and D. Leone Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan Studies. In this role, I draw on my training as a historian to help the university community (and its founding denomination, the Brethren in Christ Church) understand and interpret its history and theological heritage. My role involves planning an annual study conference and various lectures, administering various research grants and fellowships, and other activities.
Second, I am assistant professor of American religious history & interdisciplinary studies. I teach a variety of courses, including Introduction to Christian Theology, Christianity in North America, Religious Pluralism in America, Brethren in Christ Life + Thought, and the Wesleyan/Holiness Tradition. I also teach in our honors program and our first-year general education program, which focuses on helping students become critical thinkers and engaged writers.
Finally, I am the director of archives, supervising collections related to Messiah University, the Brethren in Christ Church, and the Ernest L. Boyer Center, a Messiah alumnus and one of the most significant leaders in American education in the twentieth century.
As a scholar, my research focuses on the intersection of commemoration, memory, and material culture in American Protestantism. My book, Exhibiting Evangelicalism: Commemoration, Conservative Christianity, and Religion’s Presence of the Past, the first study of the history of evangelical museums and historical sites in the twentieth- and twenty-first-century United States, will be published in 2022 by the University of Massachusetts Press, in their “Public History in Historical Perspective” series. In addition, my research and writing has focused on the history and theology of the Brethren in Christ Church. My work has appeared in Church History, Fides et Historia, Mennonite Quarterly Review, The Wesleyan Theological Journal, The Conrad Grebel Review, Brethren in Christ History and Life, and other scholarly and popular publications.
Outside of the classroom and the archives, my life revolves around my family: my wife, Katie, and our son, Lucas. I enjoy traveling, reading fiction, building with Lego, and staying active.
You can follow me on Twitter @devinmzt.