Professor of Humanities
Robert López was saved in the Mandarin Baptist Church of San Fernando Valley in his late thirties. He emerged from an unorthodox childhood, some of which has been published in his 2015 book, Jephthah’s Daughters: Innocent Casualties in the War for Family Equality.
The professional journey that brought Dr. López to Southwestern Baptist is a complicated tale. He received a BA in Political Science from Yale in 1993. His first full-time job was in New York City, working in a labor union’s arbitration department, during time off from his undergraduate work. Next he worked at Hispanics United serving as a bilingual court advocate for Latino teenagers detained in Erie County’s jails. Later he went on to spend two years as a paralegal in Manhattan, doing translations in French and assisting in asylum cases for Francophone applicants from the Congo and Haiti.
For several years in the 1990s, Dr. López worked at MTV Networks Latin America, first as a dubbing and acquisitions coordinator, then as a coordinator and eventually a manager at Nickelodeon Latin America based in Miami Beach. In that capacity, Dr. Lopez coordinated the translation of over 2,000 hours of children’s programming into Spanish and Portuguese; he traveled throughout Latin America to coordinate the launch of children’s networks with overseas partners and affiliates.
It was in 1998 that Dr. López returned to his birthplace, Buffalo, and enrolled in graduate school with the hopes of becoming a professor.
Graduate work led to a PhD in English and MA in Classics from SUNY Buffalo, in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He has taught full-time as a university professor since defending his dissertation, “Antiquity and Radical Authority 1773-1861” in 2002. Past teaching experiences include years in Buffalo as an instructor, two years as an assistant professor in New Jersey, three years as an assistant professor at a Catholic college in New York, and eight years in Los Angeles, where he was promoted to an associate professorship and tenured.
In a June 7, 2016 column in the Daily Caller, Dr. López publicly declared that his Christian faith was more important than tenure, and vacated his lifelong appointment and benefits. It is his belief that higher education in the United has suffered from its abandonment of the Christian principles on which tenure and most of the medieval institutional features of the field were initially based. He hopes to address these problems from within the world of Christian education, not turning away from the problems in secular pedagogy but still maintaining a critical distance from the false consensuses that overwhelm secular colleges as well as many nominally religious institutions.
Dr. López believes that literature and the creative arts are an integral component in evangelization. He views his years in secular liberal education as the training ground, which helped him to understand the importance of fighting for Christian values in popular culture and in arts & letters. He continues to be active as a researcher and writer, with over 100 columns in American Thinker, Federalist, First Things, Daily Caller, Barbwire, Ethika Politika, and elsewhere.
Dr. López met his wife in 1999 and has been married to her since 2001. They have two children.