Robert Caldwell

Associate 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 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, The Development of Doctrine
  • Ph.D. Seminars: Jonathan Edwards, New England Puritanism, Historical Methodology, The Second Great Awakening
  • Bachelor's Level Courses: The Enlightenment, Survey of Church History


Recent Articles & Essays

  • "The Ministerial Ideal in the Ordination Sermons of Jonathan Edwards: Four Theological Portraits." Themelios 38 (2013): 390-401.
  • “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

  • “What is Christ to Me, if He is Not Mine?”: Andrew Croswell, Antinomianism, and the Gospel of Free Grace in the First Great Awakening." Evangelical Theological Society, San Diego, CA, November 21, 2014.
  • "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.

Research Interests - I would welcome working with doctoral 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, Crowley, Texas
  • 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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