John D. Wilsey is a Research Fellow of the CRCD. His scholarly interests are largely centered on the history of how America has viewed itself and its place in the world, as well as the theological influence on America’s national identity. His academic pursuits also include research on the Enlightenment, religious freedom, American church/state relations, and the contributions of the Black church on American religious and political culture.

As both an author and editor, Wilsey has extensive experience in publishing his work. His most recent book was released by Eerdmans in 2021, titled God’s Cold Warrior: The Life and Faith of John Foster Dulles. Other titles include One Nation Under God: An Evangelical Critique of Christian America (Pickwick, 2011), and American Exceptionalism and Civil Religion: Reassessing the History of an Idea (IVP Academic, 2015). A respected authority on the writings of Alexis de Tocqueville, he edited Democracy in America: A New Abridgment for Students (Lexham, 2016).

Wilsey is also a gifted speaker, and has been a guest lecturer at institutions including Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary, the University of Notre Dame, the University of Louisville, the Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg, Waynesburg University, Calvin University, St. Francis University, Hannibal-LaGrange University, Charleston Southern University, and Grand Valley State University.

Wilsey is currently Associate Professor of Church History at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Book Review Editor for the The Southern Baptist Journal of Theology. During the 2017-2018 academic year, he served as the William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life with the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. Prior to his work in academia, Wilsey taught history and Bible in middle and high school classrooms and held positions in Christian school administration.

Wilsey earned a B.A. in history from Furman University (1992), and an M.Div. (1998) and Ph.D. (2010) from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Our Vision

The Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy envisions democratic societies which affirm the essential role of religious convictions, peoples, and institutions in cultivating free and flourishing communities.

Our Mission

To achieve our vision, the CRCD supports the creation and promotion of high quality scholarship at the intersection of religion, culture, and democracy. Our publications, programming, and resources affirm the importance of religion as a public good for strengthening social bonds and reinforcing foundational freedoms.