Baptist History & Polity

Michael H. Windsor

Fall 2023

Baptist History and Polity will investigate the history of Baptist churches from 17th century England to their present global ministry.  The course will look at Baptist historiography, major developments and significant doctrinal identity for the movement. Major topics covered include: Baptist origins and the historiography of Baptist successionism; early English Baptists; the development of associations among Baptists; the development of the missionary movement among Baptists; C. H. Spurgeon and the “Down-Grade Controversy”; colonial Baptists in America and their influence on religious liberty; landmarkism; Contemporary Baptist organization; and Baptist polity. It is expected that this course will cause the student to: a) expand his/her knowledge of Baptist heritage; b) develop his/her awareness of the ecclesiastical identity of Baptists; c) become cognizant of significant issues among Baptists; and d) make contemporary applications to potential ministry situations. 3 credit hours.

Dr. Michael Windsor serves as the Professor of Church History and the Director of Library Services at Virginia Beach Theological Seminary. He is a member of the original VBTS faculty and has served at the seminary since its first classes in 1996. Before coming to VBTS, Dr. Windsor ministered for 16 years as a pastor in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Dr. Windsor earned his academic degrees at University of Wisconsin-River Falls (BA, MA), University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (MLIS), and Central Baptist Theological Seminary of Minneapolis (MDiv, ThM, ThD). Read more....

Dr. Windsor can be contacted at

50% – Research Paper (20 pages)
30% – McBeth Questions
20% – Course Reading

The following textbook is required: