J. Gordon Melton, Ph.D.

J. Gordon Melton

Dr. J. Gordon Melton, an expert on Methodism, new religions, American Religious History and religion in China, is the Distinguished Professor of American Religious History of Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion. He is also the founder and director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion in Woodway, Texas.

Melton founded the Institute for the Study of American Religion in 1968. The Institute has been responsible for the publication of more than 400 reference and scholarly texts since its founding.

Examples of Melton’s writings have been cited by Cornish Rogers, Ph.D., of the School of Theology at Claremont in California, introducing Melton and his most recent book, "A Will to Choose: The Origins of African American Methodism," in 2006. He has authored more than 35 books on American religious history, including the Encyclopedia of American Religions (8th edition, 2009) and the Encyclopedia of African American Religion (1993). He has also written numerous scholarly articles and papers.

He was honored with the Distinguished Service Award by The General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church for his work on Methodist historical research and writings. The Distinguished Service Award is given to scholars that have made a substantial contribution to furthering church history, specifically in Methodist historical studies.

A pioneering scholar in the field of New Religions Studies, Melton sits on the international board of the Center for Studies in New Religions (CESNUR) based in Turin, Italy, the primary academic association focusing on studies of new and minority religions.

Melton graduated from Birmingham-Southern College (B.A., ’64), Garret Evangelical Theological Seminary (M.Div. ’68), and Northwestern University (Ph.D., ’75).

To interview Dr. Melton, contact Terry Goodrich, (254) 710-3321, or the Office of Media Communications at (254) 710-1961.