D. H. Williams, Ph.D.

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Professor of Religion in Patristics and Historical Theology

  • Ph.D., University of Toronto, 1991
    • Major Fields: Patristic Literature and Theology; History Christianity
    • Minor Fields: Religions of Late Antiquity; Sociology of Religion
  • M.A., University of Toronto, 1986
  • Th.M., Princeton Theological Seminary, 1985
  • M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1981
  • B. A., Northeastern College, 1978

Besides teaching undergraduate and graduate courses, Williams is a Mentor-Scholar with the Green Scholars' Initiative which is involved with the transcription and translation of Latin manuscripts from the Carolingian era.

He is also active in teaching Christian studies in China. Since 2006 he has lectured at various universities in mainland China, and has had several articles published in Chinese, and serves as academic consultant for a publishing press in Beijing that is producing major works of the early Fathers. In the summers of 2009 and 2012, he was Visiting Research Professor at the People's University of China (Renmin) in Beijing. He is now Co-director for the Center of Hellenic Studies and Late Antiquity, Shandong University, Jinan, PRC.

On a more ministerial side, Williams seeks to highlight organizations that support Christians who are being persecuted around the world.

Academic Interests and Research

Patristics, Historical Theology in the Roman Empire and in earliest Syriac Christianity; contemporary Evangelicalism and Roman Catholicism; Tradition as an ecumenical language.

Professional Awards and Activities

Fellow, Center for Religious Inquiry across the Disciplines, 2005-pres.

Mentor and Lecturer in Honors Program, Baylor University, Honors College,2003-pres.

Affiliated Faculty, Department of Classics, Baylor University, 2012-pres.

Development of Early Catholicism Seminar

Oxford International Conference on Patristic Studies

Ecclesiastical History Society

Groupe Suisse d'Études Patristiques

North American Patristic Society – Member, Board of Directors 2002-05,

Chairman of Publications Committee 2000-05

Grants and Fellowships

University Research Grant, Baylor University, 2009.

University Research Leave, Baylor University, Fall 2006.

Institute for Studies in Religion Grant, Fall 2006.

University Research Grant, Baylor University (Summer-Fall, 2004).

University Teacher's Fellowship, The National Endowment for the Humanities

(Fall, 2000).

Research Grant, Loyola University Endowment for the Humanities (Summer,


American Academy of Religion Research Grant (Spring, 1990).


The Church’s Bible:  The Gospel of Matthew Volume Editor and contributor (Eerdmans Publishing, 2017).

Transformations in Biblical Literary Traditions: Incarnation, Narrative, and Ethics, co-editored. (Notre Dame Press, 2014).

Commentarium in Matthaeum by Hilary of Poitiers. Complete English translation and annotation. Fathers of the Church series vol. 125 (Catholic University of America Press, 2012).

Tradition, Scripture and Interpretation: A Sourcebook of the Ancient Church (Baker Academic Books, 2006).

Evangelicals and Tradition: The Formative Influence of the Early Church (Baker Academic Books, 2005). Selection in Mars Hill Journal 76 (Sept/Oct.2005) 2006.

Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism: A Primer for Suspicious Protestants (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999). Selections in Mars Hill Audio Anthology, 2000.

Ambrose of Milan and the End of the Nicene Arian Conflicts (Oxford University Press, 1995).

Selected Research Articles

“Introduction,” Christian Theologies of Salvation (Forthcoming, New York University Press, 2017).

“John 21:  Peter, John and Jesus” (Cascade Books, 2016).

“Ambrose and Apologetics,” Studia Patristica (2016)*

“Augustine’s Negotiation of The Liberal Arts,” The Journal for the Study of Christian Culture (2012) (in Chinese).*

“The Gospel of Matthew in Service of the Early Fathers,” Pro Ecclesia 23 (2015), 81-98.*

Migne’s Achievement and the Modern Transmission of Ancient Manuscripts,” in The Bible and the Arts, ed., Stephen Prickett (Edinburgh University Press, 2014).*

“Italy and Environs,” in Early Christianity in Contexts, ed. W. Tabbernee (Baker Academic, 2014).*

“The Evolution of Pro-Nicene Theology in the Church of the East,” From the Oxus River to the Chinese Shores: Studies on East Syriac Christianity in China and Central Asia, eds., Li Tang & D. W. Winkler, Orientalia-Patristica-Oecumenica Vol. 5 (2013).*

“More Nicene than Nestorian: Ancient Theology in the Church of the East,” Studia Patristica 52 (2012), 319-25.*

"A Catechetical Address on the Nicene Creed?" Harvard Theological Review (2010).


“Ambrose’s Last Shot at Apologetics” North American Patristics Society, Chicago, 2016.

“Ambrose’s Use and Disuse of the Argument of Antiquity,” North American Patristic Society, Chicago, May 2016.

“The Concretization at Spiritual Ideals,” Ancient-Future Christianity, Pittsburgh, 2016.

Papers presented at the People’s University of China, Beijing, 2016: “The Career of the Logos: A Brief Survey,” “Augustine’s Reclamation of the Liberal Arts,” “Earliest Christian Burials in the Catacombs,” “Amnesia about Early Christianity in China”

“Ambrose of Milan and His Use of Apologetics,” International Conference on Patristic Studies, Oxford University, UK, August 2015.

“The Trinity in Origen’s De principiis,” Shandong University, Jinan, PRC, May-June 2015.

“The Career of the Logos:  A Brief Biography.”  Peoples’ University of China, Bejing, PRC June 2015.

"How Indigenous is the "Fall of the Church" Historiography to Evangelical Protestantism?" Conference on the Ancient-Future Church, Wheaton College, March 2014.

"Some Characteristics of Mar Babai's Christology in On the Union," Fourth International Conference, Research on the Church of the East in China-Central Asia, Univerität of Salzburg, June 2013.

Current project

Currently working on a comprehensive volume on early Christian apologetic writings (Oxford University Press, 2018).

Courses Taught at Baylor
  • REL 5350 Apostolic Fathers
  • REL 5350 Early Latin Theologians
  • REL 5350 The Nicene-Arian Conflicts
  • REL 5350 Neo-Nicene Christianity
  • REL 5350 Orthodoxy and Heresy
  • REL 4350/CLA 4303 Development in the Thought of Augustine
  • REL 4352 History of Christianity I
  • REL 3353 Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christianity
View Dr. Williams' CV here.