Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (MBTS) has named historian Thomas S. Kidd as distinguished professor of church history.
Kidd will continue as distinguished professor of history at Baylor University, commuting to Kansas City, Mo., from Waco, Texas, for doctoral seminars and to instruct graduate and doctoral students in the discipline of history both in classroom and in conference settings.
Midwestern President Jason Allen said the seminary has “a longstanding relationship with Dr. Kidd, and we look forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead. I’m thankful for the partnership with Baylor University that though Dr. Kidd will remain in residence there, he’ll be on our campus multiple times a year, leading doctoral seminars, teaching master of divinity intensives and supervising doctoral students. Students can come to Midwestern Seminary and anticipate to study with Dr. Tommy Kidd.
“Dr. Kidd is extensively published and widely respected throughout the Baptist and evangelical world and beyond,” Allen said. “Adding Dr. Kidd to the ranks of our other church historians and historical theologians is a tremendous step forward in those disciplines, putting us as a theological institution in an enviable position.”
Allen added that Kidd’s joining the faculty reflects “God’s blessing on Midwestern Seminary wherein in recent years He has been pleased to send us a new generation of accomplished scholars, dedicated churchmen and devoted Southern Baptists who are committed to Midwestern Seminary’s vision of existing for the church.”
Kidd said he looks forward to joining Midwestern “in its work to glorify the Lord and serve the church by training up a new generation of pastors and Christian scholars. Midwestern is one of the most exciting seminaries on the American church landscape today, and I am delighted and honored to contribute to the dynamic faculty that Midwestern is assembling.”
Kidd said he hopes “to bring students a strong sense for what the Lord has done in and through the church and for them to learn from the great ‘cloud of witnesses’ that we encounter in church history. Too often, American Christians act as if not much has happened between the time of Christ and this Sunday’s church service. Our failure to search out the lessons of church history deprives us of a trove of wisdom for ministry.”
Kidd added that his hope for students in his courses would be for them to realize Christians need not set aside their faith while they do serious, scholarly historical inquiry. Instead, they can serve the Kingdom with a deeper historical understanding of how the church came to be what it is today.
Kidd began his teaching career at Baylor in 2002 after completing a Ph.D. in history at the University of Notre Dame, where he worked with historian of religion George Marsden. He also holds master of arts and bachelor of arts degrees from Clemson University in South Carolina.
In addition to his professorship in history, Kidd is associate director of Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion. He has authored numerous books including American History, volumes 1 and 2 (B&H Academic, 2019), Benjamin Franklin: The Religious Life of a Founding Father (Yale University Press, 2017), American Colonial History: Clashing Cultures and Faiths (Yale University Press, 2016), Baptists in America: A History (with Barry Hankins, Oxford University Press, 2015), George Whitefield: America’s Spiritual Founding Father (Yale University Press, 2014), Patrick Henry: First Among Patriots (Basic Books, 2011), God of Liberty: A Religious History of the American Revolution (Basic Books, 2010), American Christians and Islam (Princeton University Press, 2008) and The Great Awakening: The Roots of Evangelical Christianity in Colonial America (Yale University Press, 2007).
Kidd also blogs at The Gospel Coalition’s “Evangelical History” website.
He and his wife Ruby have two sons. They attend Highland Baptist Church in Waco, Texas, where Kidd teaches Sunday School.