Published on March 27, 2012 by Mary Wimberley  

Biographers Mark Noll and Carolyn Nystrom will be honored by Samford University's Beeson Divinity School as winners of the 2012 John Pollock Award for Christian Biography for their book, Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Asia and Africa.

They will receive the award Tuesday, April 3, at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel at Samford. Noll will speak at the service in conjunction with Beeson's World Christianity Focus Week.

Their book, published by IVP Books, tells the life stories of 17 Christian leaders from Asia and Africa. Subjects include Ugandan martyr Janani Luwum, Indian mystic Sundar Singh and Ignatius Cardinal Kung of China.

Noll is Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dane. Nystrom, author of more than 75 books, is a freelance writer based in Chicago, Ill. 

This marks the first time since it was established in 2001 that the Pollock Award has recognized a book that is about more than one person, or was written by more than one person.

The award honors Christian biographer John C. Pollock, a British writer whose more than 30 books on religion include The Billy Graham Story.  Recent winners include Eric Metaxas for Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy in 2011, and John Wigger for American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists in 2010.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.