Ryan Butler

Ph.D. Candidate
High Res Photo

Office Hours

M/W/R 1:30-2:30

Advisor: Philip Jenkins


  • M.Div., Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, CA), 2014
  • B.S., Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL), 2006

Research Interests

My research focuses on religious history, slavery and abolition, and the relationship between social activism and foreign policy in the 18th- and 19th-century Atlantic world. I am especially interested in exploring how transnational networks and comparative approaches illuminate theological, cultural, and intellectual currents. My dissertation, “Clapham’s ‘Vital Religion’: Stewardship and Synergy in an Age of Empire, 1772-1846,” examines the Clapham Sect activists, situating their work in a transatlantic context to explore issues of race, empire, and theology.


  • “Transatlantic Discontinuity? The Clapham Sect’s Influence in the United States” (accepted, Church History)
  • Book reviews in Journal of the Early Republic, Journal of Ecclesiastical History

Courses Taught

  • World History Since 1500
  • World Civilization Since 1500 (Wayland Baptist University, Kijabe, Kenya)

Miscellaneous: Prior to pursuing an academic career, I served for four and a half years as an intelligence officer in the Air Force. Having worked and lived in various areas of the world, I am passionate about studying the role of history and religion in cultures—both across time and space—and communicating those insights well, since I have seen firsthand how they shape our thoughts and actions today.