Brian Franklin

Adjunct Lecturer Associate Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History




Office Location

Dallas Hall Room 227




Ph.D., Texas A&M University
B.A., Dallas Baptist University

Dr. Brian Franklin is the Associate Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History and Adjunct Lecturer in the SMU Department of History where he currently teaches Texas History.  Dr. Franklin’s research focuses on American religious and political history in the 18th and 19th centuries. His current manuscript project, America’s Missions: The Home Missions Movement and the Story of the Early Republic, explores the role of Protestant mission societies in shaping the religious, political, and regional world of the early American republic.




• “Towns and Toleration : The Disestablishment of the Church in New Hampshire.” In Disestablishment and Religious Dissent: Church-State Relations in the New American States, 1776-1833. Eds. Carl H. Esbeck and Jonathan Den Hartog (University of Missouri Press, forthcoming, 2019)
• “Baptists, the Mississippi Valley, and the Transformation of American Home Missions,” American Baptist Quarterly vol. XXXV (Fall/Winter 2016): 224-246
• “"Missions and Missiology." In The Jonathan Edwards Encyclopedia, eds. Harry Stout, Kenneth Minkema, & Adrian Neele (William Eerdmans, November 2017)
• “The Election of 2004(Editor and Webmaster), inThe Collective Memory Project(an ongoing, filmed oral history project dedicated to enhancing the archival record of the George W. Bush Presidency)
• “Book Reviews in the Journal of the Early RepublicThe Journal of Southern HistoryBaptist History & Heritage, and Southern Historian

Fellowships, Awards, and Grants

• Fellow, Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, “Religion and American Public Life: The Challenge of Pluralism,” Southern Methodist University, 2013-2014
• Seminar Participant and Grant Recipient, “Protestant Foreign Missions and Secularization in Modern America,” John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Washington University in St. Louis, 2013.
• Texas A&M University Dissertation Completion Fellowship, 2011-2012
• Lynn E. May Study Grant, Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives, 2010

Presentations and Lectures

• “Church-State Cooperation in American Home Missions to Indians, 1796-1815." John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, Mar. 2018 
• “Christian Nationalism and the American Church: A Historical Problem." Dallas Baptist University, Nov. 2017
• “The Second Great Awakening and the Making of “Christian America.” Redeemer Seminary, Oct 2014, Nov 2015.
• “George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush: Leadership at Home & Abroad.” Travels with Lonestar Presidents Teachers Institute, George W. Bush Presidential Library, July 2014.
• “Missionary, Speculator, Spy?: Church and State in Gideon Blackburn’s Mission to the Cherokee, 1803-1810.” American Society of Church History, Jan 2014.
• “Moderator, “Faith, the White House, and the Public Square: A Conversation with Every Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.” SMU Center for Presidential History, Sept 2013.


Brian Franklin portrait