Charlie Hartman comes to teaching at Roger Williams University from a 39 year career as an American Baptist pastor. The First Baptist Church in Swansea, his last pastorate, is about to celebrate its 350th anniversary. Called to be the 46th settled pastor, he began to discover the church's deep and rich history. This reignited his interest in the interplay of politics and religion. His research over the last ten years has led to the publication of the congregation's oldest records (begun in 1649) and an involvement in local historical and preservation efforts. "Understanding the origins of our congregation as early Baptists worked for acceptance and toleration in cooperation with each other gives a much clearer picture of the establishment of an American core value: the separation of church and state."
Entering seminary at the end of the 1960's, he found himself in the swirl of events that included the civil rights movement, anti-war movement, the women's movement, and the beginnings of the "green" movements. Colgate Rochester, Bexley Hall, Crozer Theological School in Rochester, NY was characterized by its commitment to the liberal Evangelical traditions of Walter Rauschenbush and Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Hartman has served five congregations, large and small, in four states. Teaching in both formal and informal contexts has equipped him to bring educational challenge to students of all ages and backgrounds. His doctoral work examined how people learn in the contexts of interactive systems and institutions such as schools, employments, families and military service.
Dr. Hartman is married to Beverly Rathbun, musician, teacher and author. Together they have three grown sons. He enjoys hiking (he has climbed the 100 highest mountains in New England), skiing and travel. He loves music and plays clarinet for the RWU instrumental ensemble, bass for the Rockin' Revs and other groups. He and Beverly perform for congregations, nursing homes and weddings. Dr. Hartman’s greatest domestic talent is cooking and he enjoys seeing well satisfied folks around the table.