Andrea Sterk

I joined the Department of History at the University of Minnesota in 2015 after teaching for 13 years at the University of Florida, and before that, at the University of Notre Dame and Calvin College. 

My research focuses on the history of Christianity in Late Antiquity and Byzantium.  My book Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church. The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity (Harvard, 2004), examines the seeming paradox of men who renounced the world, on the one hand, yet came to wield power and authority as leaders in the church, on the other.  My interests in premodern world Christianity led to my sourcebook, Readings in World Christian HistoryEarliest Christianity to 1453 (Orbis, 2004).  I have also published John Comenius. The Labyrinth of the World, with Howard Louthan (Paulist, 1998) and edited the volume of essays, Religion, Scholarship, and Higher Education. Perspectives, Models, and Future Prospects (Notre Dame, 2002).  In keeping with my broader interest in religious history, I directed with Nina Caputo a 3-semester series of lectures and seminars on the challenge of religion in history.  Our co-edited volume of essays on that theme has been published as Faithful Narratives: Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity (Cornell, 2014).  

I am currently working on a study of eastern Christian mission from the age of Constantine to the conversion of the Slavs.  The book focuses on Christianization “from below” along the extensive frontiers of the East Roman or Byzantine Empire — in southwest Asia, northeast Africa, and eastern Europe.  In connection with this project I have been a member-in-residence at the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, NJ,  a recipient of an ACLS grant, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

In the past two decades I have especially enjoyed teaching undergraduate courses on Late Antiquity, the history of Christianity, the medieval world, and a seminar on conversion; and I have directed many senior theses.  On the graduate level, I have supervised students on topics in late antique, early medieval, and early Byzantine history, particularly themes and processes connected with Christianization, both east and west.  At the University of Minnesota I am part of the core faculty in Religious Studies and a member of the graduate faculty in the Department of Classics and Near Eastern Studies.  I am also excited to be part of a thriving Center for Medieval Studies and a Consortium for the Study of the Premodern World, both of which comprise many faculty and graduate students working on the Mediterranean and Near East.  

Alongside my research and teaching I serve on the editorial board of Brill’s Series on the Early Middle Ages, and in 2016 I became a co-editor of the journal Church History. Studies in Christianity and Culture, which is currently housed at the University of Minnesota.


  • Faithful Narratives. Historians, Religion, and the Challenge of Objectivity (Cornell University Press, 2014), with Nina Caputo
  • Renouncing the World Yet Leading the Church.  The Monk-Bishop in Late Antiquity (Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2004)
    • Readings in World Christian History.  Earliest Christianity  to 1453  (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2004)  [Volume of primary sources from global Christianity, co-edited with John Coakley]
    • Religion, Scholarship, and Higher Education.  Perspectives, Models, & Future Prospects (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2002) 
    • John Comenius. The Labyrinth of the World and the Paradise of the Heart (NY: Paulist Press, 1998), with Howard Louthan

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