An undergraduate at Jesus College, Cambridge (1968-71), David Bebbington began his doctoral studies there (1971-73) before becoming a research fellow of Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge (1973-76). Since 1976 he has taught at the University of Stirling, where from 1999 he has been Professor of History. He has also taught at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, at Regent College, Vancouver, at Notre Dame University, Indiana, at the University of Pretoria, South Africa, and at Baylor University, Texas.
He has delivered the Trustees' Lectures at Union Theological College, Belfast (1980), the Laing Lecture at London Bible College (1982), the Ben Marais Lecture at the University of Pretoria (1995), the Hayward Lectures at Acadia Divinity School, Nova Scotia (1998), the Didsbury Lectures at the Nazarene Theological College, Manchester (1999), the Drew Lecture at Spurgeon's College, London (2000), the Finlayson Lecture of the Scottish Evangelical Theology Society, Edinburgh (2004), the Murray Lecture at Atlantic Baptist University, Moncton, New Brunswick (2004), the Willson-Aldis Lecture at Truett Seminary, Baylor University, Texas (2005), the Laing Lecture at the London School of Theology (2006), the Branson Lecture at Burleigh College, Adelaide (2006), the S. R. Gardiner Lecture at the Sevenoaks Historical Society, Kent (2006), one of the Oklahoma Centennial Commemoration Lectures at Oklahoma Baptist University (2007), the Hughey Lectures at the International Baptist Theological Seminary, Prague (2008), the Charles Perry Lecture at Ridley College, Melbourne (2009), the Deere Lectures at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary, San Francisco (2009), the Friends of Dr Williams's Library, London, Lecture (2010) and the Moule Lecture at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (2012).
His publications include: Patterns in History (1979; 2nd edn 1990; 3rd edn 2001; Korean edn 1997); The Nonconformist Conscience: Chapel and Politics, 1870-1914 (1982; 2nd edn, 2010); The Baptists in Scotland (ed., 1988); Evangelicalism in Modern Britain: A History from the 1730s to the 1980s (1989; 2nd edn 1993; Korean edn 2000); Victorian Nonconformity (1992; 2nd edn, 2011); William Ewart Gladstone: Faith and Politics in Victorian Britain (1993); Evangelicalism: Comparative Studies of Popular Protestantism in North America, the British Isles and Beyond, 1700-1990 (co-ed.,1994); Holiness in Nineteenth-Century England (2000); Gladstone Centenary Essays (co-ed., 2000); The Gospel in the World: International Baptist Studies (ed., 2002); Modern Christianity and Cultural Aspirations (co-ed., 2003); The Mind of Gladstone: Religion, Homer and Politics (2004); The Dominance of Evangelicalism: The Age of Spurgeon and Moody (2005; Korean edn, 2012); Protestant Nonconformist Texts: The Nineteenth Century (co-ed., 2006); Congregational Members of Parliament in the Nineteenth Century (2007); Baptists through the Centuries: A History of a Global People (2010); and Victorian Religious Revivals: Culture and Piety in Local and Global Contexts (2012).