Native American Theology

An Introductory Reader’s Guide to Native American Theology, by Dr. Terance Espinoza.

The term “Native American Theology” is broadly defined here as Biblical and Theological Studies by or about people who identify as Native American, American Indian, Indian, Amerindian, First Nations, First Peoples, Alaska Natives, Indigenous People of North America, or related identity markers including specific tribal identity. The opinions and goals in this body of literature are varied, and there is no single theological representative to rule them all. The purpose of this list is to provide resources that speak from a particular social location and that will contribute to becoming more well-read in this broad area of theological reflection. Special thanks to Dr. Joe Saggio for consulting on this list.


  1. Baldridge, William E. “Toward a Native American Theology.” American Baptist Quarterly 8 (1989): 228-238.
  2. Kidwell, Clara Sue, Homer Noley, and George E. “Tink” Tinker. A Native Amerivcan Theology. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2001.
  3. Saggio, Joseph J. “Native Americans and Christianity in North America.”  Bloomsbury Religion in North America.  London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2021.


  1. Baker, Josiah. “Native American Contributions to a Christian Theology of Space.” Studies in World Christianity 22 (2016): 234-246.
  2. Christensen, Mark Z. Translated Christianities: Nahuatl and Maya Religious Texts. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press, 2014.
  3. Deloria, Vine Jr.  God is Red: A Native View of Religion. 30th Anniversary Edition. Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum, 2003.
  4. ———-. “A Native American Perspective on Liberation Theology.” Pages 12-20 in Is Liberation Theology for North America: The Response of First World Churches to Third World Theologies. New York: Theology in the Americas, 1978.
  5. Des Gerlaise, Nanci.  Muddy Waters: An Insider’s View of North American Native Spirituality. Eureka, MO: Lighthouse Trails, 2012.
  6. Dunn, Pauline. A Trial of Beauty: A Short History of American Indian Bible College. Phoenix: American Indian Bible College, 1984.
  7. Jackson, Norman Wentworth. “Native American Theology and the United Church of Christ.” Prism 5 (1990): 67-80.
  8. Journal of NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community <>
  9. Rausch, David A. and Blair Schlepp.  Native Voices.  Grand Rapids: Baker, 1994.
  10. Saggio, Joseph J. “Toward an Indigenous Model of Native American Ministry within the Assemblies of God” Pneuma 31 (2009): 85-104.
  11. Saggio, Joseph J. and Jim Dempsey, eds. American Indian College: A Witness to the Tribes. Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 2008.
  12. Smith, Craig.  Whiteman’s Gospel.  Winnipeg: Indian Life Books, 1997.
  13. Tarango, Angela. Choosing the Jesus Way: American Indian Pentecostals and the Fight for the Indigenous People. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2014.
  14. Treat, James, ed.  Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices of Religious Identity in the United States and Canada.  New York: Routledge, 1996.
  15. ———-. Around the Sacred Fire: Native Religious Activism in the Red Power Era: New York: Palgrave MacMillan, 2003.
  16. Twiss, Richard. Rescuing the Gospel from the Cowboys: A Native American Expression of the Jesus Way. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2015.
  17. ———-. One Church, Many Tribes. Raleigh, NC: Regal Books, 2000.
  18. Wildman, Terry M. First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2021.
  19. Woodley, Randy. Indigenous Theology and the Western Worldview: A Decolonized Approach to Christian Doctrine. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2022.
  20. ———-. Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.
  21. ———-. Living in Color: Embracing God’s Passion for Ethnic Diversity. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2004.
  22. Yong, Amos and Barbara Brown Zikmund, eds. Remembering Jamestown: Hard Questions About Christian Mission. Eugene: Pickwick, 2010.

Note to Students

As with all research bibliographies, resources are included not because they are endorsed but because they make a contribution to the discipline in a meaningful way. It is not expected that you will agree with everything in these resources or with everything the authors say in other venues. But it is important to read with a generous and open attitude in order to understand what they are saying so that whether you agree or disagree with them, you are able to articulate their views in a fair and clear manner.

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