History at Aquinas College

Bethany Kilcrease, Ph. D.

Professor of History
(616) 632-2429
H 307


After growing up in Ludington, Michigan I moved to Grand Rapids and attended Calvin College, just down the road from Aquinas. Once I had graduated from Calvin, I moved to the East Coast and began a Ph.D. program in modern British history at Boston College. After seven years of grueling historical labor, I received my Ph.D. from Boston College in May 2009. While I loved living in Boston (all the books and baseball!), I am thrilled to be back in West Michigan and a member of the faculty at Aquinas College.

As a research historian, I specialize in modern British and European intellectual and religious history. My first book, The Great Church Crisis and the End of English Erastianism, 1898-1906 (Routledge, 2016) studies the political impact of an 1898-1906 anti-Catholic panic on Church-State relations. You can purchase a copy for only $149.95. My current research examines the ways Victorian Catholic apologists popularized the latest scientific discoveries.

A major goal of my research and writing activities is to support my undergraduate teaching. I regularly teach classes on World History (1500-present), Humanities II (1500-present), History of Christianity, Modern Europe, Medieval and Early-Modern British HistoryModern British History, a research seminar on the British Empire, World War I, and Historiography. Years of teaching Aquinas students have led me to appreciate the way historical skills are applicable in many areas of life. My forthcoming book Falsehood and Fallacy: How to Think, Read, and Write in the 21st Century (University of Toronto Press, 2021) shows students how to use what they learn in history class to think and communicate critically. 

In addition to enjoying teaching and other historian stuff, I also enjoy hiking (especially the Ludington State Park!), bird-watching, running, biking, good beer, British detective novels, and hanging out with my husband Jack and daughters Miriam and Ruth. Oh, and I am seriously really into cats and volunteer at Crash’s Landing Cat Rescue and Placement Center.

>More about Dr. Kilcrease


  • Ph.D., Boston College
  • B.A., Calvin College