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Kevin M. Watson

Associate Professor of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies
Kevin M. Watson
Phone: 404.727.4194
    • PhD, Southern Methodist University, 2012
    • MDiv, Wesley Theological Seminary, 2005
    • BA, University of Oklahoma, 2002

    On leave for the academic year 2020-21.

    In addition to his role at Candler, The Rev. Dr. Kevin M. Watson is a member of the faculty at the Graduate Division of Religion. Prior to joining the Candler faculty in 2014, Watson taught at Seattle Pacific University and Perkins School of Theology.

    His research interests focus on Christian formation and discipleship from a Wesleyan perspective, particularly communal formation, Wesleyan/Methodist Christianity, the history of early Methodism, American Methodism, common misunderstandings of the Wesleyan tradition, and current events in The United Methodist Church. In addition to writing articles for both scholarly and popular publications, Watson is the author of four books, including Pursuing Social Holiness: The Band Meeting in Wesley’s Thought and Popular Methodist Practice (Oxford Univ. Press, 2014). He is currently working on a book about the pan-Methodist history of the Wesleyan tradition in the U.S.

    Watson is an ordained elder in Oklahoma Conference of The United Methodist Church, and is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Wesleyan Theological Society. He is an at-large member of the editorial board for the Works of John Wesley and Methodist Review.

    Selected publications

    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication
    • Faculty Publication


    Old or New School Methodism? The Fragmentation of a Theological Tradition, Oxford University Press, 2019

    Co-author,The Band Meeting: An Invitation to Intentional Relational Transformation, Seedbed, 2017

    Pursuing Social Holiness: The Band Meeting in Wesley's Thought and Popular Methodist Practice, Oxford University Press, 2014

    The Class Meeting: Reclaiming a Forgotten (and Essential) Small Group Experience, Seedbed, 2013

    A Blueprint for Discipleship: Wesley's General Rules as a Guide for Christian Living, Upper Room Books, 2009

    Co-editor,Reclaiming the Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley's Sermons for Today, Upper Room Books, 2007

    Chapters and Articles

    "'Holiness of Heart and Life': Unity, Holiness, and the Mission of Methodism, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (Ed.)," in Unity of the Church and Human Sexuality, General Board Of Higher Education and Ministry, 2018

    "American Methodism: A Contested Theological Tradition," in Embodying Wesley's Catholic Spirit, Pickwick Publications, March 16, 2017

    Review of The Church in the Long Eighteenth Century in Wesleyan Theological Journal, vol. 49 no. 2, Wesleyan Theological Society, March 01, 2014

    "In the Shadows of Segregation: The Integration of Perkins School of Theology in the Civil Rights Era," in Methodist History, vol. LI, no. 3, General Commission on Archives and History, The United Methodist Church, April 01, 2013

    "Forerunners of the Early Methodist Band Meeting," in Methodist Review, vol. 2, 2010, The Methodist Review, September 01, 2010

    "The Form and Power of Godliness: Wesleyan Communal Discipline as Voluntary Suffering," in Wesleyan Theological Journal, Wesleyan Theological Society, April 01, 2008

    Selected awards

    Smith Wynkoop Book Award for Old or New School Methodism?, Wesleyan Theological Society, 2020

    Teaching and Research Grant, Candler School of Theology, 2018

    Brewer Fund grant, 2017-2018

    "On Eagle's Wings Excellence in Teaching Award," Candler School of Theology, 2016-2017

    Teaching and Research Grant, Candler School of Theology, 2015-2016

    "Kevin Watson Talks Methodism Past & Present" - Juicy Ecumenism, May 21, 2020

    "Big Pandemic. Small Groups" - The Weight podcast, May 7, 2020

    "A Dialogue in Biblical Interpretation - Part 1" - Dunwoody United Methodist Church panel discussion on human sexuality, May 8, 2019

    "A Dialogue in Biblical Interpretation - Part 2" - Dunwoody United Methodist Church panel discussion on human sexuality, May 8, 2019

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, October 18, 2018

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, October 4, 2016

    "The Wesleyan Band Meeting" - Seedbed, January 26, 2016

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, October 6, 2015

    Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, February 10, 2015

    Selected courses

    United Methodist History

    The Method of Early Methodism

    Holiness Movement and American Methodism

    Reconciliation and Wesleyan Communal Formation