Richard Land, D. Phil.(Oxon.)
Dr. Richard Land is President Emeritus of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral, and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families and their faith. He served as president from 1988 to 2013.
Prior to becoming The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission’s President, Dr. Land served as The Criswell College’s Vice-President for Academic Affairs from 1980 to 1988. He had taught as Professor of Theology and Church History at that institution since 1975.
Dr. Land graduated with the Bachelor of Arts degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University and with the Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England. He also received a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as student body president and received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the outstanding graduating student.
While on leave of absence from The Criswell College, Dr. Land served from January 1987 to May 1988 as Administrative Assistant to the Honorable William P. Clements, Jr., Governor of Texas. Dr. Land was the Governor’s senior advisor on church-state issues and areas relating to “traditional family values” as well as anti-drug, anti-pornography and anti-abortion legislation. In addition to these issues, Dr. Land had senior staff responsibility in the areas of public higher education, mental health and retardation, the physically handicapped, and AIDS.
Dr. Land serve multiple terms with the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. Former President Bush selected Dr. Land for his first two terms at the Commission (September 2001 to September 2004). He was then reappointed by former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist in 2005 and Senator Mitch McConnell in 2007 and 2010.
In February 2005, Land was featured in Time Magazine as one of “The Twenty-five Most Influential Evangelicals in America.”
In May 2004, Land was recognized by the prestigious National Journal as one of the ten top church-state experts “politicians will call on when they get serious about addressing an important public policy issue.”
Dr. Land has spoken on college campuses, in churches and in other forums across America on the crucial issues facing the American family in the twenty-first century. From 1980 until 1988, Dr. Land hosted a syndicated weekly radio program, Issues of the Eighties, which generated an enthusiastic response among listeners in many cities.
He co-hosted a 30-minute nationally syndicated weekday radio talk show, For Faith & Family, a radio presence carried on over 400 radio stations across the country and on-demand on the Internet.
Dr. Land’s latest book, The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives Get Wrong About Faith and Politics is published by Thomas Nelson and was re-released in January 2011 with a new preface.
Dr. Land takes those on the right and the left to task for misstating God’s role in America’s affairs, suggesting instead that it is possible to “affirm and practice belief in God while simultaneously practicing a rigorous separation of church and state.”
The book has earned accolades from a diverse audience, with endorsements from Madeleine Albright, Peter Gomes, Michael Novak, and Peter Berger, among many others. Senator Joseph Lieberman penned the foreword to the book.
Dr. Land has also recently authored Imagine! A God-Blessed America (Broadman & Holman, 2005) and Real Homeland Security (Broadman & Holman, 2004). His other books include: For Faith & Family, The Earth Is The Lord’s, Life At Risk, Citizen Christians, and Christians In The Public Square.
Dr. Land has also contributed articles to both learned journals and popular periodicals and has served as contributing editor for the Criswell Study Bible and the Believer’s Study Bible. He is a Southern Baptist minister, having been ordained since 1969. He has pastored Baptist churches in Texas, Louisiana and England. Dr. Land is listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in Religion.
Dr. Land also served as Executive Editor of FFV, a national magazine dedicated to coverage of traditional religious values, Christian ethics, and cultural trends.
Dr. Land is a native Houstonian and a sixth-generation Texan. His record as a pro-family advocate is capped by his proudest accomplishment—his over 35-year marriage to his wife Dr. Rebekah Land (a psychotherapist in private practice) and his personal investment with her in the lives of their three adult children, Jennifer, Richard, Jr., and Rachel.