Dr. James Gorman

Professor of History
Profile image for Dr. James Gorman
B.S. in Business Administration (Kentucky Christian University)
M.Div. with an Emphasis in the History of Christianity and Greek (Abilene Christian University)
Ph.D. in Religion (Baylor University)

Website: Academia

Books and Other Projects: Among the Early Evangelicals: The Transatlantic Origins of the Stone-Campbell Movement

Slavery’s Long Shadow: Race and Reconciliation in American Christianity

Three chapters in the book Answered by Fire: The Cane Ridge Revival Reconsidered (Abilene Christian University Press, 2021), including one chapter on the Second Great Awakening, one chapter on the religious “exercises” at the revivals, and one chapter on women exhorters at the revivals.

Articles:Your Mother in the Gospel: The Remarkable Story of Emma Johnson,” Johnson Magazine (Spring 2018): 20-25.

Why Study History? Virtue via Dialogue,” Fides et Historia (2019): 157-161.

Review of In the Great Stream: Imagining Churches of Christ in the Christian Tradition by Leonard Allen in Journal of Discipliana.

Review of Jim Cook, The Myth of the Stone-Campbell Movement in Restoration Quarterly.

Review of The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Race in American History, Kathryn Gin Lum and Paul Harvey, eds., in Stone-Campbell Journal.

“Campbell’s Core Continuity, Change, and Complexity: A Historiographical Reflection on Douglas Foster’s A Life of Alexander Campbell,” Restoration Quarterly, 64.4 (2022): 193-200.

“The Hidden Origins of the Campbell Movement: Cooperating across Denominational Boundaries,” Common Grounds Unity Newsletter, August 19, 2023.

Podcasts: “Well, How Did We Get Here?” Episode 36 on Common Grounds Unity Podcast

“A Long Shadow” Episode  37 on Common Grounds Unity Podcast



My favorite part about teaching at Johnson is: The freedom to bring together faith and history in all my classes, which allows me to emphasize the formational aspect of history in ways I could not in more restrictive environments.

When I’m not teaching, I love to: Play with my two daughters, hike, play music, read.

In my classes, students can expect: High energy from me; to be challenged in various ways; to experience formation.

My best advice to a new student in my program is: Have fun, be diligent in your work, come see me often, and do not miss the annual History Major cookout at my house!

Because of my influence, I most want my students to become: More thoughtful actors in the world, more concerned for unity and justice, and more like Christ.

The myth-busting truth about my discipline I most want people to understand is: History is not about dates and facts. History is the complex story of who we have been. When studied well, history has the capacity to transform individuals. I even make the argument to my students that practicing the habits of history can cultivate the virtues or postures of listening and dialoging—much needed habits in a world where people have difficulty hearing other voices or presenting those other people well.

A quote that influences how I live is: Philippians 2:5-11 has long been a favorite lifestyle passage of mine, which says that we should have the same mindset as Christ in our relationships. The description of that mindset is self-giving love and service, which is a virtue I must, however imperfectly, strive to cultivate.