BSIR Scholars

These scholars have been selected through a competitive process to present their papers on the 2023 theme: Baptists and Global Mission. As Scholars consider how Baptists around the world have thought about missions and engaged in missionary work, Fellows will respond to their work in progress.

2023 Scholars


Slavery, Scripture, and Civil War: The Long Shadow of Baptist Missionaries in Mexico

Ángel J. Gallardo is Assistant Professor of Church History at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Austin, Texas, where he teaches courses on the history of Christianity, race and religion in the Americas, and directs the Certificado en Ministerio program. Prior to joining Austin Seminary, he served on the faculty of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. A native of Mexico City, Dr. Gallardo is the co-chair for the Latina/o Religion, Culture and Society program unit in the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature. He also serves on the General Board of the Hispanic Summer Program. Dr. Gallardo is currently working on his first book which considers how, in the wake of 1492, theological notions about nature undergird or undermine colonial configurations of power in the modern world.


Music in the Naga Missions - 1838-1911

Senchumbeni Kikon is currently pursuing a PhD in Church Music at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She is from Nagaland, India. She holds a Master of Music degree in Church Music from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas, and a Bachelor of Music degree from Margaret Shishak School of Music at Patkai Christian College, Nagaland, India. Her research interests include the Church Music and Worship of North-East India, Music in missions and ministry, Global Worship, and expressions of Christian Worship in the Global South.


“That Pauline Woman:” The Development of Women's Foreign Mission Work among Northern and Southern Baptists

Laura Levens earned a B. A. from Baylor University (2005), and an M.Div. (2008) and Th.D. from Duke University Divinity School in Durham, NC. She has worked at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky ( since 2014, and is the Associate Professor of Christian Mission. She recently published "A word about . . . mythmaking, gender, and race in the histories of Ann Judson and Sojourner Truth" in Review & Expositor and published chapters on Ann Judson and William James Simmons for More Witnesses to the Baptist Heritage (Mercer, 2021). She is revising a biography of Ann Judson's mission work & theology for Baptist series of the University of Tennessee Press.


Called to Be Disciples: Mission, Context, and Ethical Intensity in the Italian Baptists' Confession of 1990

Tommaso Manzon received a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Trento, and a PhD in Theology & Religious Studies from King’s College, London. Previously, he read theology at the University of Cambridge, and philosophy at the University of Padua. Recently, he was accepted as a research fellow at IBTS, Amsterdam. Tommaso serves as a youth pastor in a Baptist church in Milan, Italy. His interests are varied and include systematic theology (specifically, 19th and 20th century theology and its connection to philosophical thought) and the history of Christian spirituality. At the moment he is working on a project that seeks to explore Luther’s reception of Dionysius the Areopagite.  


Conquering “The Vast, Immense World for Christ”: Brazilian Baptists Sing about Their Mission

Maria Monteiro is originally from Recife, Brazil and serves as Lecturer in Church Music at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, and as Music Director at Primera Iglesia Bautista Mexicana (First Mexican Baptist Church), in San Antonio. Before joining the Baylor faculty in 2020, she taught for seventeen years at Baptist University of the Américas, also in San Antonio. Maria holds a Master of Music (1991) and a Bachelor of Music (1987) degrees in Music History and Literature from Baylor University, a Certificate of Graduate Studies in Musicology (1998) from Duke University, and a Ph.D. in Church Music (2021) from Baylor (dissertation: “Perceiving Parallax: Human Agency in the Changing Nature, History, and Influence of the Brazilian Baptist Hymnal Cantor Cristão”).  


Temperance Abroad: A Tale of the Temperance Movement in Nagaland, the Most Baptist Land on Earth  

Husezo Rhakho is a Third-year Ph.D. student at Baylor University. He received his Th.M. in Christian Thought from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, M.Div from Kohima Bible College, Nagaland, and Bachelor of Arts (History majors) from Patkai Christian College, Nagaland, India. He is interested in Global Baptist Mission, World Christianity, Indigenous religion, and mission studies. His research focuses on the current trends of World Christianity in terms of Christian Revival and renewal movements in the 20th century. His work explores the history of Baptist missions in North India and the growth of Christianity in North India. 


Southern Baptists and the Making of American Imperialism: Cuba, Panama, and the Overseas Work of the Home Mission Board, 1886–1933

Benjamin (Jack) Young is a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame. A historian of the modern United States, his work engages the intersections of religion, politics, and the metropolitan built environment. Presently, his research centers on two separate lines of inquiry: evangelical suburbanization in the post-World War II South, and the global influence of American Protestantism in the twentieth century. His scholarship has appeared in Baptist History and Heritage, and he has written for broader audiences in the Washington Post and at Patheos. An Iowa native, Young received his BA in History and Religion from Baylor University. 

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