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Key Researcher

Thomas Edward Frank

University Professor and Chair

THOMAS EDWARD FRANK is University Professor and chair of the Department of History at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. A scholar of American religious history, particularly Methodism, Professor Frank teaches undergraduate history courses on religious utopian communities, liberal arts colleges, and contemporary issues of conservation of the natural and built landscape.  He offers courses in religious leadership, spirituality and the arts in the School of Divinity.

A graduate of Harvard College (B.A.) and Emory University (M.Div. and Ph.D.), Dr. Frank completed a Masters in Heritage Preservation at Georgia State University in 2006. He taught at Emory University for 23 years before coming to Wake Forest in 2010.

Dr. Frank’s publications include a study of the relationship of Protestant Christianity and the liberal arts college in his Theology, Ethics, and the Nineteenth Century American College Ideal (Mellen 1993). He has written extensively on the culture and place of American congregations; his book The Soul of the Congregation(Abingdon 2000) exploring congregational narrative and sense of place is widely used in clergy education. Author of the standard textbook on the evolution and practice of United Methodist polity and organization,Polity, Practice, and the Mission of The United Methodist Church (3rd Ed., Abingdon 2006), he has written polity articles for the Encyclopedia of Religion in  America (2010),the Oxford Handbook of Methodist Studies (2009) and the T and T Clark Companion to Methodism (2010), and co-authored with Russell E. Richey Episcopacy in Methodist Tradition: Perspectives and Proposals (Abingdon 2004).