Through Honors Research, Isaac Tuttle, ’20, Discovers Fascinating Character of A.C. Dixon

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Tuttle’s Experience Taught Him Benefits of Completing Laborious Study
A screenshot of Isaac Tuttle's presentation
A screenshot of Isaac Tuttle’s Honors Thesis presentation made during the Zoom teleconference. Courtesy of Joy Smith GWU student photographer


Isaac Tuttle, ’20, of Lenoir, N.C., enhanced his college experience by participating in the Gardner-Webb University Honors Program. He earned his degrees in history, and philosophy and theology. Recently, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Tuttle and other Honors students presented their research in a Zoom teleconference.

In the fall, Tuttle plans to attend the University of Alabama’s graduate school in history. He hopes to earn his doctorate and would like to teach history at the college level.

Tuttle’s research topic was “Peace as an Ideological War: How the Life of A.C. Dixon Reveals the Major Shifts in Transatlantic Evangelicalism after the U.S. Civil War.”

A photo of Isaac Tuttle playing the guitar sitting in a streetQ: Why did you choose your research topic and refine your study?

Tuttle: I chose my topic as I researched various facets of it throughout my history courses at Gardner-Webb. I began with a study of Charles Spurgeon’s relationship with the American South, but this eventually led me to the fascinating character of A.C. Dixon. Little did I know that this oft forgotten individual from Shelby, N.C., was such a pivotal figure in transatlantic evangelicalism. The more I researched, the more I realized that A.C. Dixon should be the focal point and Spurgeon should only be peripheral. Because of Dixon’s vast array of connections, he became a Fundamentalist medium through which I could observe all the major transatlantic theological shifts in evangelicalism.”

Q: What valuable lessons did you learn from doing your research?

Tuttle: There are countless things I learned along the way. I learned that in historical writing it is critical that one be concise yet profound. An historian has to be clear but also poignant. I learned that research is difficult and laborious, but it can also be exciting, adventurous, and very rewarding. I discovered bold and thought-provoking historians whom I had never previously encountered. I was reminded of how exciting new ideas can be and, likewise, how invigorating discovering old ideas continues to be.

Q: How did the GWU Honors Program enhance your GWU experience?

Tuttle: The Honors program has given me opportunities I never would have otherwise been offered. I have been able to serve, lead, plan, and participate in more ways than I can adequately convey.

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university. Gardner-Webb emphasizes a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics to prepare students to become effective leaders within the global community. Ignite your future at