Baylor University Author and Professor of History Wins 2017 Lilly Fellows Program Book Award

November 6, 2017

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WACO, Texas (Nov. 7, 2017) – Andrea L. Turpin, Ph.D., associate professor of history in Baylor University’s College of Arts & Sciences, has won the 2017 Lilly Fellows Program Book Award for her book “A New Moral Vision: Gender, Religion, and the Changing Purposes of American Higher Education.”

This biennial award honors an original and imaginative work that exemplifies the principles of faith and learning in the Christian intellectual tradition, the vocation of teaching and scholarship, or the history, theory or practice of the university as the site of religious inquiry and culture.

Turpin’s book was one of 20 books nominated for this award, and on Oct. 27 at the Lilly Fellows Program annual National Conference in Los Angeles, it was announced as the winner.

“A New Moral Vision” examines the role of women as they entered United States colleges and universities and how their presence and engagement has shaped the changing ideas about the moral and religious purposes of higher education. In writing this book, Turpin has drawn on extensive research from a multitude of colleges and universities. The book finds its argument at the crossroads of gender ideals, religious beliefs, educational theories and social change.

In an interview with Patheos, an online platform for religious and spiritual topics, Turpin describes her book as a women’s history and gender history.

“It recovers the voices of female educators who contributed to debates over the role of religion, and it also asks how the new presence of women in higher education affected changing ideas about the moral purposes of men’s education as well as women’s,” Turpin said.

During her doctorate program at the University of Notre Dame, Turpin noticed that the books she was reading about the changing role of religion in American higher education hardly mentioned women, according to an interview with The Way of Improvement Leads Home. Given the fact that women first entered higher education during the time when universities were abolishing required religious instruction and worship, Turpin wanted to know more about how these phenomena interacted. This curiosity and consequential research led to the authorship of “A New Moral Vision.”

The Lilly Fellows Program in the Humanities and the Arts describes Turpin’s book as “an ambitious and thoughtful historical study that complicates and challenges the view that American higher education has simply become increasingly secular over time.”

Turpin specializes in the studies of U.S. women and gender, U.S. religious and intellectual history and the history of U.S. higher education. She has taught several different courses at Baylor such as “History of the American Woman to 1865” and her graduate seminar, “Women, Gender and Sex in American Religious History.” Turpin also has been the recipient of a number of other awards and grants for her work.

The Lilly Fellows Program in Humanities and the Arts was founded in 1991 and is based at Valparaiso University in Indiana. The program seeks to strengthen the quality and character of church-related institutions of learning, as well as to publicize highly-qualified scholars and generate a national discussion about the relationship between Christianity and the academic vocation.

To learn more about Turpin and her work, visit the department of history website.


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 17,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 26 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit