Martin Spence

Associate Professor of History

Faculty Positions:

Traditional Undergrad Academics - Humanities

Contact Martin Spence

Contact Infox

Phone: 616-254-1650


Spence is Associate Professor of History at Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is originally from Suffolk, England. He graduated high school from Sudbury Upper School and then worked for a year on the pastoral team of a local church. A first generation college student, he next studied for a B.A. in History at Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. After a break working at Coventry Cathedral's Centre for International Reconciliation, he returned to Oxford to complete his graduate studies. His doctoral dissertation examined the prophecy movement in the nineteenth-century British church.

In Oxford, he taught history classes for the University and for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities semester abroad program. Before coming to Cornerstone, Spence spent three years in Glasgow, Scotland, teaching history at International Christian College, a multi-denominational Evangelical college.

He is married to Molly and they have two children.

Role at CU

Spence teaches World Civilization and European History classes.


  • Article on Billy Graham chosen by editors of Journal of 20th Century British History (OUP) as among the top ten articles published in the twenty-five year history of the journal, 2015
  • Scouloudi Publication Award, Institute of Historical Research, 2014
  • Scouloudi Research Award, Institute of Historical Research, 2013
  • Senior Scholarship, Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford, 2006–2007
  • Masters and Doctoral award holder, Arts and Humanities Research Council of Great Britain, 2002–2007
  • The Royal Historical Society Frampton Prize, 1998


  • Popular Evangelicalism in the Age of Mass Democracy (Under Contract to Ashgate/Taylor & Francis)
  • "Doing History for the People of God: Realizing the Missional Potential of the World History Survey Class." Fides et Historia (Forthcoming, April 2016)
  • "Evangelicals and Domestic Mission in the North Atlantic World." In Andrew Atherstone and David Ceri-Jones, eds., Ashgate Research Companion to the History of Evangelicalism (Ashgate, Forthcoming)
  • Spence, M. (2015). Heaven on earth: Reimagining time and eternity in nineteenth-century British evangelicalism. Eugene, OR: Pickwick Publications.
  • "Unravelling Scottish Evangelicalism: Part Three." Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 32.1 (2014), 75–101.
  • "Unravelling Scottish Evangelicalism: Part Two." Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology 31.2 (2013), 163–186.
  • "John Foster and the Integration of Faith and Learning." Christian Scholar’s Review, 42.2 (2013), 149–67.
  • "Jock Troup." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Lawrence Goldman. Online ed., September 2012.
  • "A. Douglas Brown." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Lawrence Goldman. Online ed., September 2012.
  • "Archibald Geike Brown." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Lawrence Goldman. Online ed., September 2012.
  • "David McIntyre." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. Lawrence Goldman. Online ed., September 2012. Co-authored with Molly House Spence.
  • "Writing the Sabbath: The Literature of the Victorian Sunday Observance Debate," in The Church and Literature, ed. Peter Clarke & Charlotte Methuen, 283–95. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, 2012.
  • "Unravelling Scottish Evangelicalism: Part One." Scottish Bulletin of Evangelical Theology, 30.1 (2012), 30–50.
  • "The Renewal of Time and Space: The Missing Element of Debate About Nineteenth-Century Premillennialism." Journal of Ecclesiastical History 63.1 (2012), 81–101
  • "The Restitution of All Things in Nineteenth-Century Evangelical Premillennialism" in The Church, the Afterlife and the Fate of the Soul, ed. Peter Clarke & Tony Claydon, 349–59. Woodbridge: Boydell and Brewer, 2009.
  • "'Disturbing the Complacency of Religion'? The Evangelical Crusades of Dr. Billy Graham and Father Patrick Peyton in Britain, 1951–54," Journal of 20th Century British History, 18.4 (2007), 481–513. Co-authored with Alana Harris.

Congratulations to Dr. Spence for the release of his book called Heaven on Earth: Reimagining Time and Eternity in Nineteenth-Century British Evangelicalism, published by Wipf and Stock. Dr. Spence also co-wrote an article with Alana Harris in 2007 about Billy Graham and a Catholic evangelist, Patrick Peyton in 1950s Britain which has been selected as among the editors' Top Ten for the 25th Anniversary of the Oxford University Press journal's 20th Century British History.


  • Review of David Bebbington and David Ceri Jones, eds., Evangelicalism and Fundamentalism in the United Kingdom during the Twentieth Century, in Fides et Historia 46.2 (2014), 126–8.
  • Review of Bruce R. Berglund and Brian Porter-Sz?cs, eds., Christianity and Modernity in Eastern Europe, in Fides et Historia 43.2 (2011), 143–145.

Other Media

  • Contributor to "Jock Troup and the Fisherman's Revival" (dir. Gary Wilkinson, 2012). Aired on UCB TV, August 19, 2012.


  • D.Phil., University of Oxford
  • M.A., University of Oxford
  • B.A., University of Oxford


—Playing the piano
—Leading worship in his local church
—Musical theatre


—History of Christianity
—British history
—History of evangelicalism