Robert Caldwell

Assistant Professor of Church History

Dr. Caldwell has enjoyed teaching Church History and Historical Theology at Southwestern since 2004. His research focuses on the history and theology of Evangelicalism in North America, with specialties in American Awakenings and the theology of Jonathan Edwards. Currently he is writing his third book, Theology of the American Revivalists: The Theology of the Great Awakenings from Edwards to Finney (forthcoming from IVP Academic). He has published articles in Calvin Theological Journal, Southwestern Journal of Theology, and Themelios, as well as in the recent B&H volume Adoniram Judson: The Bicentennial Celebration of America’s First Missionary, 1812-2012. Raised in western New York, he was educated in the Chicagoland area, studying first at Northwestern University (B.A.) where he met his beautiful bride, Lisa, and later at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.Div., Ph.D.). He is a long-time guitarist and enjoys running. He and Lisa have two grade-school aged daughters.


  • Ph.D. in Historical Theology: Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 2003
  • M.Div. & M.A. Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, 1997
  • B.A. Northwestern University, 1991

Courses Taught

  • Core M.Div. Courses: Church History 1 & 2; Baptist Heritage, Hermeneutics
  • Master's Level Electives: Jonathan Edwards, American Christianity, The Second Great Awakening, Development of Doctrine
  • Ph.D. Seminars: Jonathan Edwards, New England Puritanism, Historical Methodology, The Second Great Awakening


Recent Articles & Essays

  • "The Ministerial Ideal in the Ordination Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: Four Theological Portraits." Themelios, forthcoming in 2013.
  • “Theological Context: New England’s New Divinity and the Age of Judson’s Formation.” In Adoniram Judson: The Bicentennial Celebration of America’s First Missionary, 1812-2012, edited by Michael A. G. Haykin and Jason G. Duesing, 31-52. Nashville: Broadman & Holman, 2012.
  • “A Brief History of Heaven in the Writings of Jonathan Edwards.” Calvin Theological Journal, 46.1 (April, 2011): 48-71.

Recent Presentations

  • "Becoming a Christian in Colonial America: A Sketch of Three Revival Theologies in the First Great Awakening." Evangelical Theological Society, Milwaukee, WI, November 16, 2012.
  • “A Tough Nut to Crack: Edwards’s Trinitarianism and its Reformed Scholastic Heritage.” Jonathan Edwards for the New Millennium. Annual Meeting of the Jonathan Edwards Society, The First Churches of Northampton, Northampton, Massachusetts, October 1-3, 2010.
  • “Andrew Croswell and the Anatomy of American Antinomianism in the Wake of the First Great Awakening.” Secularization and Revival: The Fate of Religion in Modern Intellectual History, Baylor’s Symposium on Faith and Culture, Baylor University, October 8-10, 2009.

Research Interests - I would welcome working with doctoral and masters students in these areas:

  • Jonathan Edwards and the Edwardsean theological tradition
  • The Great Awakenings in North America
  • Baptist Studies related to the above topics


  • The Evangelical Theological Society
  • The Conference on Faith and History
  • The American Society of Church History


  • Family: Wife, Lisa, and two grade-school aged daughters, Audrey & Natalie
  • Church Membership: Rock Creek Baptist Church
  • Guitarist – proud owner (and player) of a ‘77 Les Paul, a ‘79 silver anniversary Stratocaster, and a ’93 Taylor 512.
  • Runner – Marathon (4:40); Half-Marathon (1:50:18); 10K (48:30); 5K (22:50)
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