Congratulations to Jennifer Woodruff Tait- Longest Running Editor of Christian History!
Sometimes it’s OK to brag a little, especially if the object is someone else. Allow us to shine the spotlight on our editor, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer Woodruff Tait. Jennifer now adds one more accolade to her collection of distinguished accomplishments: longest-tenured editor of Christian History magazine! With 26 issues to her name, Jennifer has now out-edited her closest runners-up, Kevin Miller (24 issues) and Mark Tuttle (22 issues).
Jennifer has earned degrees in English and music (undergraduate) and library science and church history (graduate). She has followed her vocation as a professor, a music director, a blogger, an author, a priest, and even a librarian, and she uses all of these skills (except perhaps those of music director) in her current work with Christian History. So how did we get so lucky as to have this accomplished historian and talented communicator join our team even as we were trying to figure out how to produce a top-notch magazine?
Jennifer was looking for a change from academia in 2011 when she got the call from her friend Dr. Chris Armstrong asking for help in re-launching Christian History under Christian History Institute. Having previously edited 11 issues, Chris was eager to get the magazine back in print, and he had the Rolodex to help make it happen. Jennifer began with CHI as proofreader for issue 101 on “Healthcare and hospitals in the mission of the church.”
As a trained historian and an accomplished author, and a soon-to-be Episcopal priest, Jennifer was the natural choice to do nearly all of the writing for our next publication, a booklet on the history of worship. From there she stepped into the editor’s seat for issue 102 “People of Faith,” and has been there for almost every issue since. Readers appreciate her skill in presenting academically robust material in an accessible style. Further, her theological training and experience in several denominations allows her to tell the history of the faith in as fair a manner as possible.
Jennifer has capably led us through the history of a vast array of topics from biographies like those of Charlemagne and George Müller to denominational histories such as the American Methodists, the Quakers, and the Baptists to topical surveys like our issue on the Wonder of Creation. She steered us through difficult waters in Debating Darwin and delighted our senses with our award-winning issue on food and faith. And let’s not forget the flagship series on the Reformation that condensed a century of turmoil into four expanded issues and one fold-out timeline!
Congratulations Jennifer! We look forward to many more journeys into history with you at the helm, and maybe we’ll even figure out a way to use that music director experience!