Prof. Robert Darden

Prof. Robert Darden
High Res Photo



  • Intro to Mass Communication
  • Magazine and Feature Writing
  • Screenwriting
  • Film Writing/Criticism/Review
  • Reporting and Writing for Media
  • Writing for Media Markets
  • Research Methods/Special Topics (graduate level)


  • Baylor University, 1976
    Bachelor of Science in Education (Journalism/Art)
  • University of North Texas, 1978
    Master of Arts (Journalism)

Year Started at Baylor

  • Adjunct: 1988-1999
  • Tenure: 1999


  • Arts & Entertainment Editor for The Waco Tribune-Herald (1978-1986)
  • Gospel Music Editor for Billboard magazine (1984-1994)
  • Senior Editor of The Wittenburg Door (1987-2007)
  • Professor at Texas State Technical College for one semester (1988)
  • Freelance full time and teacher in Baylor’s professional writing and telecommunications department (1988-1999)
  • Adjunct: Film & Digital Media (1995-1998)
  • Department of English (Professional and Technical Writing), Assistant Professor (1999-2006)
  • Department of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media, Associate Professor
  • Department of Journalism, Public Relations & New Media, Professor (2015-Present)
  • darden_nbligw_v1Author of more than two dozen books, including Nothing But Love in God's Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Vol. I (2014, Penn State University Press) and Nothing But Love in God's Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City (2016, Penn State University Press)
  • Recipient of Rotary Foundation Fellowship to study art history and film at the University of Bristol in Bristol, England, 1986
  • Articles and short stories have appeared in: "The New York Times," "The Oxford American," "Southern Arts," Amazing Journeys," "The Fort Worth Star-Telegram," The Library of Congress/National Registry of Historic Recordings, "Journal of Church and State," Oxford University's "Grove Dictionary of American Music, 2nd Edition" (gospel music), "World Book Encyclopedia" (multiple entries), Huffington Post (multiple articles), and many others
  • Interviewed and featured on NPR's "1A" with Joshua Johnson, "All Things Considered," "Morning Edition," "Talk of the Nation," "Fresh Air," and "Tony Cox Show" (Australian Broadcasting Corporation), "Tapestry"(Canadian Broadcasting Corporation) and "Outlook" (BBC World Service)
  • Interviewed in The New Yorker, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Observer, and others
  • 2008 Baylor University Centennial Professor.
  • 2008 Outstanding Research Professor, College of Arts & Sciences
  • 2010 First Diversity Award, Baylor University
  • 2011 Cornelia Marshall Smith Award, Outstanding Professor, Baylor University
  • 2016 Outstanding Professor, College of Arts & Sciences, Teaching
  • Founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project at Baylor University, now the world's largest initiative to identify, acquire, digitize, catalogue, and make accessible the fast-vanishing vinyl of gospel music's golden age
  • 2020 Named Baylor University's 27th Master Teacher
  • 2021 Became the 12th Baylor professor to be selected as a Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation Piper Professor for the State of Texas

Interests & Hobbies

  • Black gospel music
  • Religious humor and satire
  • Fiction
  • World music
  • Ethnic cuisine
  • Foreign films
  • Travel

Favorite Thing about Teaching

"I get students who want to change the world."

Favorite Thing about Baylor

"Once again, I get students who want to change the world."