Robert Keeley

Robert Keeley


  • MA, Colorado, 1982
  • PhD, University of Denver, 1989


Robert Keeley’s life-long interest in faith formation animates his scholarship and teaching. He has authored several books and articles on matters of faith and speaks frequently at conferences, churches, and schools. For Dr. Keeley, faith is central to preparing teachers who make a difference in the lives of students. Since coming to Calvin in 1997, his courses with pre service teachers, Curriculum and Instruction and Teaching Religion to Children and Adolescents, hinge on deepening conceptual understandings by developing relationships between people. His 20-year career teaching math to middle and high school students in New Jersey, Colorado and Michigan taught him a thing or two about relationships and effective teaching. In fact, his desire to support thoughtful learning relationships spawned during his master’s degree in Mathematics Education from the University of Colorado and his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Denver resulting in co-authorship of two college math textbooks as well as a number of books and articles about helping children and people of all ages grow in their faith.  Whether teaching math, religion or how to teach, he makes sure students are known and valued – it is a central aspect of his scholarship on developing faith.  

Dr. Keeley’s deep experience and interest in the intersection of faith, learning, and development in Calvin’s Education Program creates natural connections with Calvin Theological Seminary where he has worked as their Director of Distance Learning since 2014. He is also a musician, guitar player, and worship leader and shares his leadership gifts often in his church, in Calvin’s chapel, and other places around West Michigan.

Related Information

  • Read Bob's recent Faculty Profile, published in Verge (vol 2.3)
  • He and his wife are in charge of children’s ministry at their church; he plays the guitar (he used to have his own band) and writes a blog about music.

Academic interests

  • Spiritual development of children


  • Keeley, R. and Keeley, L. (2019) Dear Parent: A Guide for Family Faith Formation. Faith Alive Christian Resources, Grand Rapids, MI.
  • Keeley, R. and Keeley, L. (2018) “The Building Blocks of Faith: a Model for Integrating Children’s Ministry into the Congregation's Vision for Faith Formation.” in Story, Formation & Culture: Current Approaches to Children's Spirituality & Ministry edited by Espinoza, Estep and Morganthaler.

  • Keeley, R., (2010) Faith Development and Faith Formation: More than Ages and Stages, Lifelong Faith.

  • Helping Our Children Grow in Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2008) is listed as one of five essential books on children's ministry by the Christian Century (Oct. 18).

  • Keeley, R., ed. (2010) Shaped By God: Twelve Essentials for Nurturing Faith in Children, Youth and Adults. Grand Rapids, MI: Faith Alive Christian Resources.

  • Keeley, R., (2010) Step by Step: Faith Development and Faith Formation in R. Keeley (ed) Shaped By God: Twelve Essentials for Nurturing Faith in Children, Youth and Adults. Grand Rapids, MI: Faith Alive Christian Resources.

  • Keeley, R. (2010) Tell the story, Trust the Spirit.  ParentLife, 17 (3)

  • Keeley, R. & Keeley, L. (2010) Child of God: a Christmas play for children. Faith Alive Christian Resources, Grand Rapids, MI. 

Professional services

  • Consulted with teachers at Denver Christian High School on seminar curriculum, June 2010


In the news

A teacher to teachers, known for scholarship and service

Education professor Robert Keeley is the recipient of the 2020 Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching, Calvin's highest teaching honor.

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