Dr. Scott Culpepper

Professor of History

I specialize in Europe and the Atlantic World with a particular emphasis on the intersections of politics, religions, and popular cultures. Some of my particular topics of interest include religion and politics in medieval and Tudor/Stuart England, the Reformations and Wars of Religion, the history of Christianity, the study of witch hunts and moral panics, the impact of the Black Death and other diseases on Christian beliefs and practices, and the evolution of concepts of religious toleration and freedom of conscience.

One of my favorite aspects of teaching at Dordt is the opportunity to teach the Core 140 and 145 courses on culture and worldviews. My academic interests are wide-ranging, and these courses give me the chance to explore with my students all of the human experience from the dawn of time to the Cold War. I enjoy probing the tough questions of life with them through critical discussion of controversial issues, rigorous engagement with primary source materials, and active learning through historical simulations.

Students expect to encounter the unexpected in my upper-level history classes. Some days students may come to class and learn about history. Other days, students will come to class and live it as we engage in historical simulations that place them in the court of Henry VIII or send them on a mission to negotiate a formal alliance between Brazil and other Latin American nations before their classmates can form their own coalitions.

My current research projects include a book manuscript tentatively titled The Devil Made Them Do It: How Spiritual Warfare and Satanic Panics Possessed Religions, Politics, and Popular Cultures. I also write fiction in the thriller and horror genres inspired by my academic pursuits. You can find some of my articles, updates on my writings, information about my courses, and other reflections on my website.

Courses Taught

  • Roots of Western Culture and Worldviews (Core 140)
  • Modern Western Culture in Global Context (Core 145)
  • Themes in History (HIST 202)
  • Latin America (Core 273/HIST 213)
  • Witch Hunts, Renaissance, and Reformations (HIST 222)
  • Early Modern Europe (HIST 223)
  • Religion in American Culture (HIST 306)
  • Topics in the History of the British Isles (HIST 327)
  • Special Topics: Elizabethan England (HIST 342)
  • Senior History Seminar- United States History Emphasis (HIST 388)
  • Senior History Seminar- World History Emphasis (HIST 389)


  • Ph.D., Religion/Emphasis in Historical and Church-State Studies, Baylor University (2006)
  • M.A., History, Northwestern State University (2000)
  • M.Div., Historical and Theological Studies, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (1999)
  • B.A., History, Louisiana College (1996)

Selected Publications