James Estes

Medievalist and Church Historian in Washington, DC

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James Estes, MSLS, PhD, is the Library Director and Associate Professor of Medieval Studies & Church History at Wesley Theological Seminary, in Washington, DC.

As an academic library director and religious studies scholar, he has a demonstrated commitment to education, scholarship, and the transformation of libraries into 21st-century learning institutions. His portfolio comprehensively unites librarianship, administration, pedagogy, and research (church history and medieval studies). His career includes over twenty years’ experience in academic and special libraries informed by continuous professional development and engagement with emerging library technologies, practices, and trends.

As a scholar he is interested primarily in vernacular religious texts as they explore meaning-making and serve as windows into medieval religious culture and history. His main area of study is religious thought in early medieval England and Old English literature. At Wesley Theological Seminary he teaches the history of Christian spirituality and religious movements in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. He received his PhD from The Catholic University of America, where he studied Christian spirituality and historical theology, with particular interest in medieval English vernacular literature. His current scholarly research (for a monograph under contract with Wipf and Stock Publishers/Pickwick Publications) examines Alfred the Great's cultural and educational reform as a religious reformation concerned with the restoration of wisdom in early medieval England.

James was appointed Library Director at Wesley Theological Seminary in 2013. As a library leader and academic librarian, he is comprehensively engaged in academic administration and educational leadership. His focus is on the role of academic libraries in teaching, learning, and scholarly communications, and has additional interests in the book arts, the history of the book, and information literacy.

  • Education
    • The Catholic University of America
    • Wesley Theological Seminary
    • The George Washington University