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Scholarly Expertise

April's scholarly pursuits and research interests center around Russian religious history, particularly the theology and everyday religious practice of believers in the late Soviet period. April has teaching experience in the history of Christianity, Eastern Orthodox theology and history, modern European history, academic writing, and Jewish history in Russia and the Soviet Union.

PUBLICATIONS (click on underlined links)

Edited Book

An Inner Step Toward God: Writings and Teachings on Prayer by Father Alexander Men (2014)

(for other translation projects (Russian to English), go to the Translations page)

Peer-Reviewed Articles

With Nadezhda Beliakova, “Богословие приличия: представления евангельских христиан-баптистов о внешнем виде женщин в поздне- и постсоветский периоды” [Theology of Decorum: Perspectives on Women’s External Appearance among Evangelical Christians-Baptists in the Late- and Post-Soviet Periods], Государство, религия, церковь в России и за рубежом 36, no. 2 (2018): 163-93. [thematic issue on “Gendered Strategies and Disciplinary Tactics in Religious Associations”]

“The ‘Lived Religion’ of Evangelical Christian-Baptist Women in Soviet Siberia (1945-1991),” Quaestio Rossica 6, no. 2 (2018): 454-67. [thematic section on “Religious Nonconformity in Modern Russian History”]

Майкл Бурдо и Центр по изучению религии и коммунизма в контексте защиты религиозной свободы (1959-1975)” [Michael Bourdeaux, the Centre for the Study of Religion and Communism, and the Defense of Religious Liberty, 1959-1975], Государство, религия, церковь в России и за рубежом 35, no. 1 (2017): 216-43. [thematic issue on “Churches during the Cold War"]

Book Chapters

“Father Aleksandr Men’ and Jewish Christian Identities under Soviet Secularism.” In Russia, Religion, and Secularism: The Varieties of Russian Modernity, edited by Ana Siljak (soon to be published in the NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies by Cornell University Press). Forthcoming in 2024.

"Protest from the Margins: A Human Rights Campaign Led by Evangelical Women in the Soviet Union, 1964-1987." In Speaking for Truth, festschrift in honor of Rev. Canon Michael Bourdeaux, edited by Michael Long, Julie deGraffenried, and Xenia Dennan (in peer review with the NIU Series in Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies by Cornell University Press). Forthcoming in 2024-2025.


“Council of Prisoners’ Relatives.” In Voices of the Voiceless: Religion, Communism, and the Keston Archive, edited by Julie deGraffenried and Zoe Knox, 39-41. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2019.

Book Reviews

Wallace L. Daniel, Russia’s Uncommon Prophet: Father Aleksandr Men and His Times (DeKalb: NIU Press, 2016). Modern Greek Studies Yearbook: A Publication of Mediterranean, Slavic, and Eastern Orthodox Studies 32/33 (2016-2017): 417-20.

Irina Yazykova, Hidden and Triumphant: The Underground Struggle to Save Russian Iconography (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2010). Journal of Ecclesiastical History 62, no. 3 (2011): 654.

Journalism & Other Periodical Publications

With Mark Elliott. "The Russian Christians Boldly Issuing Anti-War Appeals." Religion Unplugged, March 29, 2022.

Women in Evangelical Churches in the Former Soviet Union: A Response [to an Interview with Pastor Shirinai Dosova].” East-West Church & Ministry Report 24, no. 4 (2016): 5-6.

"Evangelical Women in Siberia as Preservers of Memory." Keston Newsletter, no. 22 (2015): 1-7.

Areas of Expertise










Brandeis University
Waltham, MA
M.A. (History), 2014

​Ph.D. (History), 2022


At Brandeis University, April French served as Vice President of the Graduate Student Association and on multiple committees. Her major fields were Modern Russian History (1700-2000) and Modern European History (1750-2000). Her outside field was Transnational Christianity. April taught a course in the history department on the transnational modern history of women in Christianity, as well as a University Writing Seminar on Jewish identity and experience in the Soviet Union. Her dissertation was entitled, "The Lived Religion of Baptist Women and Children in Soviet Siberia, 1941-1991." Her advisor was Gregory L. Freeze.

Regent College
Vancouver, BC

​M.A. (Theological Studies), 2011


At Regent College, April focused her studies on the history of Christianity, but she also was trained in biblical languages, biblical studies, and theology. Her thesis was entitled, "Spiritual Dissident: The Writings of Father Aleksandr Men' as Dissent from Soviet Ideology." Her advisor was Sarah C. Williams.


University of Wyoming
Laramie, WY

B.S. (Physical Education Teaching), 1997

B.A. (Elementary Education), 1999


While at the University of Wyoming, April studied in the field of education. Upon graduating from UW, she went into full-time Christian ministry to university students. The skills and knowledge she acquired during her undergraduate studies have served her well, and she has never lost her passion for mentoring students and facilitating their learning.


Tip of the Cap Award
2019-20 - 2023-24
Awarded six times across five academic years by Mortar Board Senior Honors Society at the University of Wyoming for staff members who demonstrate “exceptional contributions to the university and inspiration to students."
Academic Writing Fellow
Awarded to participate in the inaugural year of an interdisciplinary writing program at the University of Wyoming.
University Prize Instructorship
Awarded by Brandeis University's Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. This prize made it possible for April to teach a course in the spring semester of 2017.
Fulbright Student Research Grant
Awarded by the Institute of International Education and funded by the US State Department, this grant allowed April to conduct historical research and oral history interviews in Siberia for her dissertation.
Keston Scholarship
Awarded by the Keston Institute for research at the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society at Baylor University.
Tauber Institute for the Study of European Jewry 
Graduate Research Award

Awarded for further research toward an essay on Father Aleksandr Men's Jewish identity, expected to be published within a volume provisionally entitled Russia, Religion, and Secularism: The Varieties of Russian Modernity.

Irving & Rose Crown Fellowship
2011-2014, 2015-2017

Awarded upon admission to Ph.D. studies at Brandeis University's history department.


Church History Award
Awarded by Regent College for being the top history student.
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