SNU professor spends summer in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands

Kelly Yates, adjunct professor of Theology and Ministry and Professional Studies is a third year Ph.D. student in Wesley Studies at Nazarene Theological College, Manchester, United Kingdom, where she spent eight weeks this summer for her annual residency. She is writing a dissertation about John Wesley's Catholic Spirit, which is the way that he describes Christian tolerance and unity.

 Kelly Yates at the
Christ Church gate, Osford

During this time Yates did research, wrote, met with her Ph.D. supervisor, Dr. Geordan Hammond (director of the Manchester Wesley Research Centre and author of the book, John Wesley in America, Restoring Primitive Christianity), and attended seminars at the college. Seminars at the college included lectures by established professors from universities around England and papers presented by Ph.D. students. Yates did not present a paper this year at the college as she had three paper proposals accepted by conferences. The first conference was in Bath, "George I: 300 Years on Reconstructing the Succession." Her paper was about a ghost who 'haunted' John Wesley's parents' home in rural England when he was a boy. However, Yates became ill and could not attend this conference.


One of the major highlights of Yates trip was meeting Wesley scholar, Dr. Henry Rack, retired professor of Church History at the University of Manchester and author of Reasonable Enthusiast: John Wesley and the Rise of Methodism. She had tea at his house, and they talked history and theology for hours.

 Yates and Henry Rack

The second conference at Pembroke College, Oxford took place June 25-27,
"George Whitefield at 300: An International Tercentenary Conference." It was sponsored by the Manchester Wesley Research Centre (of which Yates is a junior fellow, Aberystwyth University, the Oxford Centre for Methodism and Church History, and The Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University.

One can link to the conference information here:
Link to the NCN coverage of the conference:

George Whitefield (1714-1770) was the world's most well known evangelist in the eighteenth century. He crossed the Atlantic seven times and preached across the American colonies and Great Britain. The conference celebrated the 300th anniversary of the birth of Whitefield and provided an assessment of his life and ministry. There were 60 scholars who attended from around the world. Yates presented a paper on a sermon George Whitefield preached at the end of the Second Jacobite Rising in 1746, "How Awful it would be if a Popish Abjured Pretender were Forced on the British Throne: George Whitefield's Response to Papal Accusations and the Jacobite Rebellion."

The day Yates returned to Manchester from Oxford, her husband, Chris, and daughters Brianna and Skyler came to see her. They stayed just over a week. They took the train to London, spent time in Manchester, and then went to Liverpool.

Yates family at an outdoor café in Manchester, England

The next few weeks Yates spent on research and wrote a paper for the "Doubting Christianity" Ecclesiastical History Conference, July 22-24 held at the University of Sheffield.

Yates presented a paper related to her dissertation research, "John Wesley's Use of Doubt as a Principle of a Catholic Spirit." When this conference was finished, she travelled to the Netherlands to visit a friend who recently graduated from Nazarene Theological College.

Although Yates had a productive time of research this summer, she was quite glad to come home to Oklahoma!

Southern Nazarene University’s mission is to transform lives through higher education in a Christ-centered community. As a Christian community of scholars, we model the hospitality of grace, the pursuit of truth and the practice of discipleship, all within the Wesleyan-holiness tradition, as we prepare graduates who THINK with clarity, ACT with integrity and SERVE with purpose.