Robert Darden Selected as Outstanding Teaching Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences for 2016

April 26, 2017
Robert Darden

Robert Darden, courtesy photo

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WACO, Texas (April 26, 2017) – Robert Darden, professor in the department of journalism, public relations and new media, was named the Outstanding Teaching Professor in the College of Arts and Sciences for 2016.
“When the President’s Office called with the news, I was genuinely delighted,” said Darden. “I was thrilled that a teacher in the social sciences was recognized – I know there are some extraordinary teachers in these fields because I’ve heard them. I was grateful to colleagues in the department of journalism, public relations and new media who thought enough of what I do in the classroom to nominate me.”
Darden has also been named: Outstanding Professor, Research in the College of Arts and Sciences (2008), Centennial Professor (2008), Cornelia Marschall Smith Outstanding Professor at Baylor University (2011) and received the University Diversity Award (2008 and 2016).
“I think the fact that I had wonderful classroom teachers, especially at Baylor when I was an undergraduate, contributed mightily to this award,” he said. “I know I stand on the shoulders of giants. Baylor, in the mid-‘70s when I was a student, was known for the caliber of classroom teachers, professors who spoke without notes or PowerPoints and yet were mesmerizing. I never really thought about being a college professor, but I wanted to be like them.”
Darden started as an adjunct professor in several departments from 1988-1999 when he moved to tenure track and began teaching full-time.
Darden also is the founder and director of Baylor’s Black Gospel Music Restoration Project (BGMRP), which identifies, acquires, preserves, digitizes and catalogs recordings from the black gospel music tradition. One of its key recordings, “The Old Ship of Zion,” is among the highlights of the permanent Musical Crossroads exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) in Washington, D.C.
Darden is the author of “Nothing But Love in God's Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City,” “Nothing But Love in God's Water: Black Sacred Music from the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement, Volume I” and “People Get Ready! A New History of Black Gospel Music.” He also hosts a weekly radio program on KWBU-FM called “Shout! Black Gospel Music Moments,” which features the sounds and stories of the recordings in the BGMRP.
To learn more about Robert Darden and the courses he teaches, visit his page.
by Kelsey Dehnel, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 16,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


The College of Arts & Sciences is Baylor University’s oldest and largest academic division, consisting of 25 academic departments and 13 academic centers and institutes. The more than 5,000 courses taught in the College span topics from art and theatre to religion, philosophy, sociology and the natural sciences. Faculty conduct research around the world, and research on the undergraduate and graduate level is prevalent throughout all disciplines. Visit