David R. Swartz

Associate Professor of History
MO 412
(859) 858-3511 ext. 2118

David R. SwartzDavid began teaching at Asbury in 2010 following a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Notre Dame under Mark Noll and George Marsden. His first book, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2012, has earned positive reviews from the New York Times, Journal of American History, Christian Century, Huffington Post, and Books & Culture. His second project, under contract with Oxford University Press, deals with global evangelicalism. Areas of expertise and teaching interest include American religious history, twentieth-century American politics, global religion, and issues of war and peace.

Courses offered

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


  • Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012)
  • Global Reflex: Evangelical Internationalism in the American Century (contract with Oxford University Press, anticipated 2019)

Selected publications

  • “The Evangelical Left,” 442-67, in Kurt W. Peterson, Thomas S. Kidd and Darren Dochuk, eds., American Evangelicalism: George Marsden and the Shape of American Religious History (Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2014).
  • “Global Reflex: International Evangelicals, Human Rights, and the New Shape of American Social Engagement,” 221-41, in Brian Steensland and Philip Goff, eds., The New Evangelical Social Engagement (Oxford University Press, 2013).
  • “The Evangelical Left and the Move from Personal to Corporate Responsibility,” 264-88, in Axel Schaffer, ed., American Evangelicalism and the 1960s (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013).
  • “Embodying the Global Soul: Internationalism and the American Evangelical Left,” Religions 3, No. 4 (September 2012), 887-901.
  • “Evangelicalism Re-Baptized: Anabaptists and the Evangelical Left,” in Jared Burkholder and David Cramer, eds., The Activist Impulse: Exploring the Intersection of Anabaptism and Evangelicalism (Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2012).
  • "The Evangelical Left and the Future of Social Conservatism," Society 49, No. 1 (January-February 2012), 54-60.
  • "Mark O. Hatfield and the Politics of an Earlier Era," Religion Dispatches (August 11, 2011).
  • "Identity Politics and the Fragmenting of the 1970s Evangelical Left," Religion and American Culture 21, No. 1 (Winter 2011), 81-120.
  • “A Third Way: The Politics of Spiritual Community in Evangelicalism,” Communal Societies 30, No. 1 (Spring 2010).
  • “The New Left and Evangelical Radicalism,” Journal for the Study of Radicalism 3, No. 2 (Fall 2009), 51-79.
  • “Future Directions in North American Scholarship” in Mennonite Quarterly Review 81, No. 1 (January 2007): 69-75.
  • “Woman, Thou Art Almost Loosed!: The Rise of Women Ministers in the Nineteenth-Century Mennonite Brethren in Christ Church,” Wesleyan Theological Journal 41, No. 2 (Fall 2006): 112-141.
  • “’Mista Midnights’: Mennonites and Race in Mississippi,” Mennonite Quarterly Review 78, No. 4 (October 2004): 469-502.

Selected presentations

  • “Evangelical Mission and the Path of Civil Rights Nonviolence from Gandhi to King,” Organization of American Historians, Providence, Rhode Island (April 7, 2016)
  • “Jimmy Yen, World Vision, and Evangelical Transnationalism,” Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, Newport Beach, California (October 23, 2015)
  • “Sat Tal Ashram and the Transnational Civil Rights Movement,” Communal Studies Association, Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky  (October 2, 2015)
  • “Christ of the American Road: E. Stanley Jones, India, and Civil Rights,” Roosevelt Study Center, Middelburg, Netherlands (July 13, 2015)
  • Respondent to “Moral Minorities in Christian America, 1850-1970,” Conference on Faith and History, Pepperdine University, Malibu, California (September 27, 2014)
  • “E. Stanley Jones and the Power of Cross-Cultural Exchange,” Kangnam University, Seoul, South Korea (May 16, 2014)
  • “Cold War and Caste: E. Stanley Jones and the American Civil Rights Movement,” Centre for Imperial and Post-Colonial Studies, University of Southampton, United Kingdom (April 24, 2014)
  • “E. Stanley Jones, Civil Rights, and the Global Reflex,” Organization of American Historians, Atlanta, Georgia (April 10, 2014)
  • “Anabaptists, Evangelicals, and the Search for a Third Way in Postwar America,” Schrag Lectures, Messiah College, Grantham, Pennsylvania (March 6, 2014)
  • Respondent to “The Evangelical Left: Retrospect and Prospect: A Review Session of Moral Minority: The Evangelical Left in an Age of Conservatism by David Swartz,” Evangelical Theological Society, Baltimore, Md. (November 20, 2013)
  • “The Evangelical Left: Oxymoron or Opportunity?” David L. Franz Annual Lecture, Gordon College, Wenham, Massachusetts (October 3, 2013)
  • “Evangelicals for Social Action’s Legacy as a Moral Minority,” Eastern University (July 13, 2013)
  • Willson-Gross Lectures, Union College, Barbourville, Kentucky (April 10-11, 2013)
  • “The Kingdom of God and the Limits of Electoral Politics,” Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana (February 12, 2013)
  • “People of Peace in a Violent World,” Mennonite Conference, Goshen, Indiana (August 3, 2012)
  • “Global Reflex: International Evangelicals, Human Rights, and the New Shape of American Social Engagement,” Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (May 18, 2012)
  • “More with Less: What a Cookbook Can Tell Us about Religious Culture in the 1970s,” Asbury University (March 8, 2012)
  • “What the History of the Evangelical Left Can Tell Us about the Future of Social Conservatism,” Claremont McKenna College, Claremont, Cal. (May 20, 2011)
  • “The Evangelical Left and the Move from Personal to Corporate Responsibility,” Colloquium on “New Perspectives on American Evangelicalism in the 1960s: Revisiting the “Backlash,” Keele University, Stoke-on-Trent, United Kingdom (April 16-19, 2011)
  • “Evangelicalism Re-Baptized,” Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana (April 2010)
  • “The Third Way: The Politics of Spiritual Community in the Evangelical Left,” Communal Studies Association National Conference, Aurora, Oregon (October 2009)
  • “The Chicago Declaration, the Evangelical Left, and the Limits of Evangelical Politics,” American Studies Association National Conference, Religion Caucus, Albuquerque, New Mexico (October 2008)
  • Response to Theron Schlabach, “Mennonites, Amish, and Related Groups in North America,” Mennonite Historical Library Centennial Conference (May 2006)


  • Book reviews in Conrad Grebel Review, Books & Culture, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Marginalia, American Historical Review, Journal of Southern Religion, and Mennonite World Review
  • Manuscript reviewer for Oxford University Press, University of Pennsylvania Press, Religion and American Culture, Register of the Kentucky Historical Society, Religions
  • Winner of 2015 Frances White Ewbank Excellence in Teaching Award, Asbury University
  • Founder and faculty sponsor of Plowshares, a Central Kentucky group that promotes peace and reconciliation
  • Judge for Undergraduate Paper Competition (2010-14), Center for Communal Studies, University of Southern Indiana
  • Winner of 2008-2009 John Highbarger Memorial Dissertation Award, University of Notre Dame ($250 award)
  • Winner of 2009 Donald Durnbaugh Starting Scholar Award, Communal Studies Association ($200 award)
  • Winner of 2009 competition for best graduate student paper, Center for Communal Studies, University of Southern Indiana ($500 award)


  • American Historical Association
  • American Studies Association
  • Conference on Faith and History

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