Campbell’s Latest Work Nets Honor From GBHEM

Ted Campbell

Perkins professor selected for year’s top book on United Methodist history

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has announced that Encoding Methodism: Telling and Retelling Narratives of Wesleyan Origins by Ted A. Campbell, professor of Church History at SMU’s Perkins School of Theology, was selected as this year’s recipient of the Saddlebag Award. The Saddlebag Award is given by the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church to the outstanding book on United Methodist history or a related subject published during the previous calendar year. 

Excelling within the award criteria of “respectable, readable, serious and accessible,” Encoding Methodism was acknowledged for offering a work that is both scholarly in its content and accessible to a broad audience. The Saddlebag Award will be presented July 11, 2018 at the Merging the Streams Convocation. Campbell will offer a presentation on his award-winning book during the convocation banquet. 

In Encoding Methodism, Campbell provides a comprehensive and well-documented account of the founding of Methodism and the distinctive identity of the religious community. He makes a pointed effort to highlight the development of the narratives of Wesleyan origins and the ways in which they have been used over time to describe or encode the unique and defining traits of Wesleyan/Methodist communities. The book shows how understanding the unique position and contexts of narrators provides a sound position to better grasp what really happened.

“When GBHEM relaunched its Publishing ministry in 2016, we intentionally sought to offer works that would serve as a resource for continued growth, encouragement and intellectual advancement within The United Methodist Church,” said Mark Hanshaw, J.D., Ph.D., associate general secretary, Division of Higher Education, GBHEM. “Ted’s work provides a holistic view of the history of the denomination, designed to help us better understand how our Methodist faith community has grown and changed over time, to become what it is today. We are honored to be the publisher for such an important work for the church and commend Ted for receiving the Saddlebag Award.” 

Campbell’s previous works include Wesleyan Beliefs: Formal and Popular Expressions of Core Teachings of Wesleyan Communities, The Gospel in Christian Traditions and Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials.

Published: Wednesday, July 11, 2018