An undergraduate at Jesus College, Cambridge (1968-71), David Bebbington began his doctoral studies there (1971-73) before becoming a research fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (1973-76). Since 1976 he has taught at the University of Stirling, where from 1999 he has been Professor of History. He has also taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, at Regent College, Vancouver, at Notre Dame University, Indiana, at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and at Baylor University, Texas.
He has delivered the Trustees' Lectures at Union Theological College, Belfast (1980), the Laing Lecture at London Bible College (1982), the Ben Marais Lecture at the University of Pretoria (1995), the Hayward Lectures at Acadia Divinity School, Nova Scotia (1998), the Didsbury Lectures at the Nazarene Theological College, Manchester (1999), the Drew Lecture at Spurgeon's College, London (2000), the Finlayson Lecture of the Scottish Evangelical Theology Society, Edinburgh (2004), the Murray Lecture at Atlantic Baptist University, Moncton, New Brunswick (2004), the Willson-Aldis Lecture at Truett Seminary, Baylor University, Texas (2005), the Laing Lecture at the London School of Theology (2006), the Branson Lecture at Burleigh College, Adelaide (2006), the S. R. Gardiner Lecture at the Sevenoaks Historical Society, Kent (2006), one of the Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration Lectures at Oklahoma Baptist University (2007), the Hughey Lectures at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague (2008), the Charles Perry Lecture at Ridley College, Melbourne (2009), the Deere Lectures at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, San Francisco (2009), the Friends of Dr Williams's Library, London, Lecture (2010) and the Moule Lecture at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (2012).
His publications include: Patterns in History (1979; 2nd edn 1990; 3rd edn 2001; Korean edn 1997); The Nonconformist Conscience: Chapel and Politics, 1870-1914 (1982; 2nd edn, 2010); The Baptists in Scotland (ed., 1988); Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (1989; 2nd edn 1993; Korean edn 2000); Victorian Nonconformity (1992; 2nd edn, 2011); William Ewart Gladstone: Faith and Politics in Victorian Britain (1993); Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles and Beyond, 1700-1990 (co-ed.,1994); Holiness in Nineteenth-Century England (2000); Gladstone Centenary Essays (co-ed., 2000); The Gospel in the World: International Baptist Studies (ed., 2002); Modern Christianity and Cultural Aspirations (co-ed., 2003); The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics (2004); The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody (2005; Korean edn, 2012); Protestant Nonconformist Texts: The Nineteenth Century (co-ed., 2006); Congregational Members of Parliament in the Nineteenth Century (2007); Baptists through the Centuries: A History of a Global People (2010); and Victorian Religious Revivals: Culture and Piety in Local and Global Contexts (2012).
Global Evangelical movement since 1730s; Methodist growth in the nineteenth-century British Isles; Dissenting academies; William Ewart Gladstone.
Bebbington DW (2018) Reformation and Revival Identities in British Dissent In: Reidel C (ed.) Freikirchen Forschung, Munster, Germany: Herausgegeben vom Verein fur Freikirchenforschuing. Frühjahrstagung des Vereins für Freikirchenforschung (VFF): Reformatorische Identität im europäischen Freikirchentu, 13.3.2016 - 13.3.2016, Wittenberg.
Bebbington DW (2018) Book review of: The Evangelical age of ingenuity in industrial Britain, by Joseph Stubenrauch, Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press, 2016, pp. viii + 285 incl. 12 figs. ISBN: 978 0 19 878337 4, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, 69 (1), pp. 200-202.
Bebbington DW (2017) Book review of: The Textual Culture of English Protestant Dissent, 1720-1800, Tessa Whitehouse, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015, xiii + 250 pp., 978-0-19-871784-3, English Historical Review, 132 (557), pp. 997-998.
Bebbington DW (2017) Theology. In: Larsen T, Ledger-Lomas M (ed.). The Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, Volume III: The Nineteenth Century. Oxford History of Protestant Dissenting Traditions, 3, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 347-368.
Bebbington DW (2017) Evangelicalism and secularization in Britain and America from the eighteenth century to the present . In: Hempton D, McLeod H (ed.). Secularization and Religious Innovation in the North Atlantic World, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 65-79.
Bebbington DW (2017) A British Perspective on Evangelicalism. In: Schmidt N, Lüdke F (ed.). Pietismus, Neupietismus, Evangelikalismus: Identitätskonstruktionen im erwecklichen Protestantismus . Schriften der Evangelischen Hochschule TABOR, 6, Berlin: Lit Verlag, pp. 129-144.
Bebbington DW (2017) The Legacy of Jonathan Edwards in Britain. In: Bezzant RS (ed.). The Global Edwards: Papers from the Jonathan Edwards Congress held in Melbourne, August 2015. Australian College of Theology Monograph Series, Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, pp. 1-21.
Bebbington DW (2016) Book review of: The Elusive Quest of the Spiritual Malcontent: Some Early Nineteenth-Century Ecclesiastical Mavericks, Timothy C. F. Stunt, Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock, 2015, 359+xiv pp., 978-1-4982-0931-1, Brethren Historical Review, 12, pp. 121-126.
Bebbington DW (2014) Book review of: The Correspondence of Henry Edward Manning and William Ewart Gladstone: The Complete Correspondence, 1833-1891, ed. Peter C. Erb, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, 4 vols, cxx + 485, 557, 442, 550 pp., ISBN 9780199577354, English Historical Review, 129 (541), pp. 1522-1524.
Bebbington DW (2014) Evangelicalism and British culture. In: Dickson NTR, Marinello TJ (ed.). Culture, Spirituality and the Brethren. Studies in Brethren History, 3, Troon, Ayrshire: Brethren Archivists and Historians Network, pp. 25-38.
Bebbington DW (2014) The spiritual home of W. E. Gladstone: Anne Gladstone's Bible. In: Doran J, Methuen C, Walsham A (ed.). Religion and the Household. Studies in Church History, 50, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, pp. 343-353.
Bebbington DW (2014) The Islington conference. In: Atherstone A, Maiden J (ed.). Evangelicalism and the Church of England in the Twentieth Century: Reform, Resistance and Renewal. Studies in Modern British Religious History, Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press, pp. 48-67.