Date of Award

January 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Arts (DA)



First Advisor

Kimberly K. Porter


Teachers of college-level courses on American religious history generally leave out the importance of local and regional histories when telling the story of religion in America. The study of local history provides a fertile ground for understanding broad national trends in a local context. This dissertation focuses upon a little-studied religious body in North Dakota to see how Anglo settlers on the prairie viewed their religious experience in a Gilded Age and Progressive Era context. By emphasizing the records of the North Dakota Baptist State Convention at the North Dakota State Archives in Bismarck and the First Baptist Church of Grand Forks at the Orin G. Libby Department of Special Collections, it quickly became evident that the North Dakota Baptists fell solidly in line with the overarching English-speaking Protestant establishment that supported such efforts and ideas as evangelism, reform, nativism, and the Great War as the pathway to a truly Christianized America. As a Doctor of Arts project, this research was integrated into a course on Religion in American Politics and Culture. The results of this case study in terms of student learning and assessment make up the conclusion of this project.