Timothy L. Smith
Early life and education
Smith was born April 13, 1924 in Central, South Carolina, the son of Nazarene ministers. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Virginia, where he was a Thomas Jefferson Scholar and Phi Beta Kappa student, and his doctoral degree in history from Harvard University under Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr.
Smith began his teaching career at the Eastern Nazarene College (ENC) in 1949 and left in 1954 to take a position at East Texas State University. During his time at ENC, he was the first director of Quincy School Department-sponsored College Courses, Inc., after which fellow Eastern Nazarene history professor Charles W. Akers transformed it into Quincy Junior College and served as its first full-time director. He later went on the teach at the University of Minnesota before becoming director of the American Religious History doctoral program and Chair of the Education Department at the Johns Hopkins University, where he taught for 25 years.
Smith received numerous awards and honors, and served as president of both the American Society of Church History, and the Society of Religious Historians. He was also an ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene, and pastored churches in Massachusetts, Maine, and Colorado.
A prolific author who published in nearly every historical journal, Smith's best-known and most-praised work is his 1957 book Revivalism and Social Reform, formed from his dissertation from Harvard, which received the Brewer prize from the American Society of Church History. Smith also wrote a history of the Church of the Nazarene, Called Unto Holiness, which Smith considered his most outstanding accomplishment.
The Wesleyan Theological Society at Northwest Nazarene University established a book award in honor of Smith and Mildred Bangs Wynkoop in 1999, and presents an award annually. The 2008 recipient of the award, Randall J. Stephens, currently teaches at the Eastern Nazarene College, as well.
Notes and references
- Legacy.com Obituaries
- Washington Post: Obituaries, January 24, 1997
- Nazarene.org: Timothy Smith and the Recovery of the Nazarene Vision
- Wipf and Stock Publishers: Author Timothy L. Smith
- Librarything.com: Timothy L. Smith
- Wesley Center for Applied Theology: "THE HISTORIOGRAPHY OF THE WESLEYAN/HOLINESS TRADITION" by David Bundy
- Christianity Today: "Obituary: Historian Smith, 72, Dies" posted 4/07/1997 12:00AM
- James R. Cameron Center: History of the History Department at Eastern Nazarene College
- Wesley Center for Applied Theology: SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE by Timothy L. Smith
- University of Notre Dame: The story of Notre Dame, the Restless Christian College Conference, October 10, 1968, James Burtchaell, C.S.C, Chair
- James R. Cameron Center at Eastern Nazarene College: Contemporary reviews of Revivalism and Social Reform
- Wesley Theological Society: Timothy L. Smith and Mildred Bangs Wynkoop Book Award
- Harvard University Press: The Fire Spreads" by Randall J. Stephens, 2008 Smith-Wynkoop Book Award
- Nazarene.org: Historiography of Timothy L. Smith
- Nazarene.org: Smith's work online
- Christianity Today Smith Obit