Kristin Kobes Du Mez


  • B.A., History and German, Dordt College
  • Ph.D., American History, specialties in women's history and religious history, University of Notre Dame


"I've enjoyed work-related travel recently to Switzerland, London, Wales, and Scotland--not bad for an Americanist. Closer to home, my hobbies include reintroducing native plants to our urban acreage, trying (and often failing) at gardening, and spending time with my three kids."

Kristin Du Mez enjoys teaching courses in US social and cultural history, and in recent years her students have worked on developing historical walking tours for the GR Walks app. Thus far topics have included an East Grand Rapids walking tour of Ramona Park, a downtown Grand Rapids historical river walk, and a historical walking tour of beer in Grand Rapids.

Academic interests

Kristin Du Mez's research areas include gender and religion in late-19th and 20th-century U.S. history, specifically gender, religion, and foreign policy, and the intersections between Christianity and feminism.

Her recent book, A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism, was published by Oxford University Press in May, 2015. The book traces the remarkable life and innovative theology of Katharine Bushnell (1855-1946), an intrepid social reformer and anti-trafficking activist.  

At Calvin, Professor Du Mez is a member of Gender Studies committee, and she is also on the board of the Henry Institute and the Nagel Institute. She also serves on the board of the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council, and she is on the Historical Committee of the Christian Reformed Church. She is also on the editorial board for Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought.

Current Projects

Kristin Du Mez's current research project, Journey of Faith: A Religious History of Hillary Rodham Clinton, examines Clinton's Methodist faith and brings to light the often hidden influences of progressive Christianity on American politics and society. She has written on this project at Religion and Politics, the Anxious Bench, and in the Washington Post. She also recorded a podcast for Christianity Today on the topic.

Upcoming Talks

  • "Christianity and Feminism"
    Panel discussion sponsored by the Calvin College Sexuality Series
    Tuesday, October 18, 2016
  • "Where are the Women?: The Challenges of Writing Religious Biographies of Women”
    Conference on Faith and History, Regent University
    Friday, October 21, 2016, 2:45pm
  • "Teaching US Women’s History at Christian Institutions: Challenges and Opportunities—A Roundtable Discussion"
    Conference on Faith and History, Regent University
    Saturday, October 22, 2016, 1:15pm 
  • Discussion on A New Gospel for Women: Katharine Bushnell and the Challenge of Christian Feminism
    Indiana Wesleyan University’s President’s Author Series
    Thursday, November 10, 2016, Globe Theatre, 7:00pm 
  • "Witness through Service: A History of Methodist Women's Social Action"
    Park RIdge United Methodist Church, Park Ridge, IL
    November 13, 2016, 12:00pm
  • “New Directions: Christianity and Culture in Modern America”
    Panel discussion at Notre Dame’s “Enduring Trends and New Directions” conference in honor of the retirement of Mark A. Noll
    Friday, March 31, 2017

Read Kristin Du Mez's posts on Historical Horizons, the history department blog.

Courses taught


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Current Projects
  • Journey of Faith: A Religious History of Hillary Rodham Clinton
Articles and book chapters
  • “Katharine Bushnell’s God’s Word to Women: Theology and Social Reform in Victorian America,” inFinding Themselves: Women and the Bible in the Nineteenth Century. (Volume in The Bible and Women: An Encyclopaedia of Exegesis and Cultural History, forthcoming).
  • “Reorienting American Religious History: The Case of Katharine Bushnell,” in American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History, edited by Darren Dochuk, Thomas S. Kidd, and Kurt W. Peterson. University of Notre Dame Press, 2014.
  • “Selfishness One Degree Removed: Madeline Southard’s Desacralization of Motherhood and a Tradition of Progressive Methodism,” Priscilla Papers 28, no. 2 (Spring 2014): 17-22.    
  • “Katharine Bushnell” and “Lee Anna Starr,” in Biographical History of Women Biblical Interpreters. Baker Academic Press, 2012.
  • “Leaving Eden: Resurrecting the Work of Katharine Bushnell and Lee Anna Starr,” in Breaking Boundaries: Female Biblical Interpreters who Challenged the Status Quo. T&T Clark, 2010.
  • The Beauty of the Lilies: Femininity, Innocence, and the Sweet Gospel of Uldine Utley,” Religion and American Culture 15, no. 2 (Summer 2005): 209-243. 
  • Review of Edward Humes, Over Here: How the G.I. Bill Transformed the American Dream (Orlando, FL: Harcourt, 2006), in Minds in the Making 03, no. 2 (Spring 2008); Reprinted as “The Legislation That Made the Greatest Generation.” Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought, 22, no. 10 (December 2007).
  • Review of R. Marie Griffith’s Born Again Bodies: Flesh and Spirit in American Christianity (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2004) in Fides et Historia, Vol. 38, No. 1, Winter/Spring 2006.
Recent Blog Posts & Additional Publications
Recent Invited Talks and Conference Papers
  • "Methodist Women and Progressive Christianity: From Katharine Bushnell to Hillary Clinton," March 10, 2016 (Park Ridge United Methodist Church, Park Ridge, IL)
  • "Purity, Patriarchy, and the First Wave of Christian Anti-Trafficking Activism," November 11, 2015, Calvin College Sexuality Series (Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI)
  • "The Crime Is the Fruit of the Theology: Sexual Purity, Christian Patriarchy, and the First Wave of Global Anti-Trafficking Activism," November 4, 2015 (Hope College, Holland, MI)
  • "Hillary Clinton’s Faith and the Place of Progressive Christianity in American Public Life," October 29-31, 2015, Iowa Conference on Presidential Politics (Dordt College, Sioux Center, IA)



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