The Andrew Walls Fellowships

Professor Andrew Walls

The Andrew Walls Fellowships have been established in honour of our colleague Professor Andrew Finlay Walls OBE and will provide visiting IASH Fellowships for African scholars at the University of Edinburgh, to further research into African Christianity.

Andrew Walls was a pioneering historian of Christian missions, and in many ways was the architect of the field of study now known as World Christianity. He was an influential voice challenging the Eurocentric perspectives on Christianity prevalent in both the academy and the media. His insistence that Christianity should be understood as a religion flourishing in much of the Global South came from his own experience of living in West Africa pre- and post-independence. Andrew taught at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone and the University of Nigeria Nsukka in the 1950s and 60s and in his later years spent much of his time at Akrofi-Christaller Institute for Theology, Mission and Culture in Ghana. He was a forerunner of current debates around ‘decolonising the curriculum’ and was a champion of African scholars and students, providing them with a platform and encouragement to change the field.

We believe this Fellowship programme is a fitting tribute to Andrew. It continues his life-long dedication to supporting African scholars, contributes to global debate and research into African Christianity, and builds capacity within institutions in Africa.  We particularly hope it will foster and deepen ties with institutions across the continent that Andrew had a close association with.

The University of Edinburgh is committing seed funding for this initiative, and we are seeking further support from individuals and organisations to enable the Fellowships to be established over several years. Our aim is to raise sufficient funds to launch the Fellowship programme in 2023.

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About the Andrew Walls Fellowships

The Andrew Walls Fellowships will be open to African scholars conducting research in the area of African Christianity, and each year we may focus on particular themes within this broad area. The Fellowships support early career researchers (up to 7 years post PhD) and will offer a 2-3 month Fellowship with the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities. We hope to utilise our partnerships and networks, including those with institutions that Professor Walls had close ties to, to raise awareness of the Fellowship programme.

Hosted at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities (IASH), the Fellows will work closely with the Centre for the Study of World Christianity and the Centre for African Studies. The Fellowships will promote closer networking and partnership between northern and southern hemisphere institutions in advancing the scholarly and collaborative study of African Christianity.  

The Andrew Walls Fellowships will offer:

  • A research visit in Edinburgh, one of the world's most intellectually inspiring cities, for 2-3 months
  • Dedicated office space and University library access
  • Weekly Fellows’ social events to build community
  • Collegial work-in-progress seminar series for testing new ideas
  • Calendar of engaging events at the Institute and Colleges
  • Membership of the dynamic international network of IASH alumni

We anticipate applications for the Andrew Walls Fellowship will open in autumn 2022.

Further information

Professor Andrew Finlay Walls: A Tribute | Centre for the Study of World Christianity (

Centre of African Studies | School of Social and Political Science (