The Centre for Baptist Studies was initially founded in 2002 as The Centre for Baptist History and Heritage, with Professor John Briggs serving as its first director. The Centre’s aim was to encourage research in Baptist studies. During his time, Professor Briggs supervised several doctoral students in Baptist history via the University’s Faculty of Theology. He was also responsible for teaching Baptist history to those training for the ministry.

In 2009, Rev Dr Anthony Cross was appointed Director. Dr Cross had been editor of the Paternoster series ‘Studies in Baptist History and Thought’. He brought these skills to the Centre and established its publications arm. Dr Cross also oversaw the first of several lecture series and conferences, launching with a series (organised jointly with the Centre for Christianity and Culture) marking the 400th year of Baptist beginnings, which was published as Exploring Baptist Origins.


In 2012, Rev Professor Paul Fiddes took responsibility for the Centre, expanding the Centre’s public work in one-day conferences in partnership with the Baptist Historical Society. Alongside him, Dr Larry Kreitzer was appointed publications manager, overseeing the growing number of books and papers the Centre was producing. Conferences looked at Baptists and Peace Movements, Baptists and the First World War, Baptists and Poetry, Baptists and Jews, and Baptists and Anabaptists as a Fourth Strand of the Reformation.

In 2018, Dr Christine Joynes was appointed Director, and the Centre was renamed the Centre for Baptist Studies. This saw a shift to looking at not just Baptist history, but present expressions of Baptist life and thought. Dr Joynes continued to oversee one-day conferences, with subjects like Baptist Women Through the Centuries, Baptists and Blake, Charting the History of Black British Baptists, and John Clifford. Dr Joynes also worked closely with the Angus Library, helping to establish the Friends of the Angus and their seminar programme, as well as a set of lunchtime seminars aimed at those in ministry.

Tim Middleton photoIn 2023, Dr Tim Middleton was appointed Director. He is supported by Rev Dr Andy Goodliff, Lecturer in Baptist History, and Dr Helen Cameron, Research Fellow in Baptist Studies.