Curtis Freeman

Research Professor of Theology and Baptist Studies; Director, Baptist House of Studies
215 Gray

Duke Divinity School
Box 90968
Durham, NC 27708-0968
(919) 660-3401

B.A., Ph.D., Baylor University
M.Div., Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Curtis Freeman teaches historical theology. His dissertation and earlier research was on Augustine of Hippo, but more recently his work has explored areas of Free Church theology. His books include Ties That Bind (Smyth and Helwys), Baptist Roots (Judson Press), A Company of Women Preachers: Baptist Prophetesses in Seventeenth-Century England (Baylor University Press), and he has written numerous articles seek to describe the development of a distinctly Baptist theological tradition. His current book project is entitled Contesting Catholicity: Theology for Other Baptists (Baylor University Press), and he is editing the history of colonial Baptists by Morgan Edwards. He is active in the Baptist World Alliance, serving on the Commission on Doctrine and Christian Unity.

A Third Way: Curtis Freeman's Journey as An 'Other Baptist' (pdf)
Biographical Sketch (pdf)





  • John Bunyan, The Pilgrims Progress: The first serious theological book I read. I recently traveled to Bedford and Elstow to retrace the steps of Bunyan's journey.
  • Christopher J. Ellis and Myra Blyth, Gathering For Worship (Canterbury Press 2005): Without question the finest worship resource for Baptists. Produced for the Baptist Union of Great Britain. An updated and much expanded version of the Patterns and Prayers.
  • Paul S. Fiddes, Tracks and Traces: Baptist Identity in Church and Theology (Paternoster 2003): A series of interlinked essays that relate Baptist identity to a theology of covenant and to participation in the triune communion of God. Studies in Baptist History and Thought, series Paternoster/Wipf&Stock
  • Steven R. Harmon, Towards Baptist Catholicity (Paternoster 2006): Readers will be as illumined by the contents as they are intrigued by the title. Studies in Baptist History and Thought, series Paternoster/Wipf&Stock
  • Franklin Littell, The Free Church: (Starr King Press 1957): Still a classic statement of the free church vision. Out of print and hard to find.
  • James William McClendon, Jr., Systematic Theology, 3 volumes (Doctrine, Ethics, and Witness) (Abingdon 1986-2000): The best systematic theology from a baptist standpoint.
  • Miroslav Volf, After Our Likeness (Eerdmans 1998): An excellent ecumenical and evangelical communion ecclesiology written from the perspective of the free church.
  • D. H. Williams, Retrieving the Tradition and Renewing Evangelicalism (Eerdmans 1999): If the conviction of "Scripture only" is accepted as normative, how do evangelicals account for historical continuity with apostolic Christianity? Find out. Read his followup book Evangelicals and the Tradition (Baker 2005).
  • Nigel Wright, Free Church Free State (Paternoster 2005) This is the best contemporary statement of a Baptist ecclesiology that I know of.
Selected Publications
Recent Courses
  • The Free Church
  • Free Church Theology
  • Roger Williams
  • Faith and Freedom