David R. Swartz – Asbury University
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Professor of History

Department: Social Science & History

Office: Morrison 315

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Biographical Information

David began teaching at Asbury in 2010 after graduate training at the University of Notre Dame. Areas of expertise and teaching interest include American religious history, Mennonite history, twentieth-century American culture, global religion, Civil War memory, and issues of war and peace.

His first book, Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (2012, 2014), was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press. This first comprehensive history of the evangelical left charts the rise, decline, and political legacy of a movement that stood for antiwar, civil rights, and anticonsumer principles, even as it stressed doctrinal fidelity. Moral Minority earned positive reviews from the New York TimesJournal of American HistoryChristian CenturyHuffington Post, and Books & Culture.

His second book, Facing West: American Evangelicals in an Age of World Christianity (2020) was published by Oxford University Press. While we typically imagine Christian faith traveling from West to East and from North to South, Facing West shows that the line of influence also runs the other way. Grounded in interviews and archival research in Korea, Thailand, the Philippines, Uganda, Guatemala, and the United States, this history shows how missionaries and global evangelicals have shaped Americans from abroad.

Future projects include a history of the evangelical antitrafficking movement in Southeast Asia and a history of Civil War memory in Jessamine County, Kentucky.

For more of David’s writing, visit the Anxious Bench blog, his website at www.davidrswartz.com, and his CV.


  • Ph.D. in American History, University of Notre Dame (2008)
  • M.A., University of Notre Dame (2005)
  • B.A. in History, Wheaton College (1999)

Courses offered

  • The United States before 1877
  • The United States after 1877
  • Western Civilizations I
  • Western Civilizations II
  • The United States in the 1960s
  • The Study of History: Historical Methods and Historiography
  • Non-Western Cultures
  • War in American Memory
  • American Religious History
  • Liberal Arts Seminar


  • Project Grant for Researchers, Louisville Institute, “To Live and Die in Dixie: A Kentucky County Wrestles with Faith, Memory, and Its Confederate Statue,” 2021 ($29,460 award)
  • Scholarly Research Fellowship, Filson Historical Society, “To Live and Die in Dixie: Civil War Memory in Jessamine County, Kentucky,” 2020 ($500 award)
  • Project Launch Grant, Global Religion Research Initiative, funded by Templeton Religion Trust and administered by the University of Notre Dame, “Red-Light Rescue: Transnationalism and the Evangelical Campaign against Trafficking in Southeast Asia,” 2018 ($9,800 award)
  • Jack Shand Research Award, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, “Evangelical Transnationalism and the Campaign for Human Rights in Chiang Mai, Thailand,” 2016 ($4,000 award)
  • Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award, Asbury University, 2015
  • Runner-up for the Frank and Elizabeth Brewer Prize, American Society of Church History, 2012
  • John Highbarger Memorial Dissertation Award, University of Notre Dame, 2008-9

Contact David R. Swartz

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