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Senior Staff

Brent Leatherwood

Brent Leatherwood

President

Brent Leatherwood was elected as president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in 2022, after a year of leading the organization as acting president. Previously, he served as chief of staff at the ERLC, as well as the entity’s director of strategic partnerships. He brings an expertise in public policy to his work, having been the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party, the director of communications and policy strategy in the Tennessee General Assembly, and working for several years on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Brent is a dedicated member of his church, where he has served as a deacon since 2014. Brent is married to Meredith, and together they have three children.

Miles Mullin

Miles Mullin

Vice President and Chief of Staff

Miles S. Mullin II, Ph.D., serves as vice president and chief of staff for the ERLC, having previously served at the Missouri Baptist Convention, Hannibal-LaGrange University, and Southwestern Seminary, as well as a trustee for the ERLC. Miles was educated at the University of Virginia (B.A.), Southeastern Seminary (M.Div.) and Vanderbilt University (M.A., Ph.D.) where he studied American Religious History. He is an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society. Miles and his wife Jenny met in Cru. They have lived in five states and raised two adult sons.

Bobby Reed

Bobby Reed

Chief Financial Officer

Bobby Reed serves as chief financial officer. His primary responsibilities are financial oversight, human resources, and administrative business functions. Bobby, a graduate of Louisiana State University, came to the ERLC after serving on the staff of churches in Louisiana and Florida. He and his wife, Louise, have four grown children and two granddaughters.

Hannah Daniel

Hannah Daniel

Director of Public Policy

Hannah Daniel serves as the ERLC’s director of public policy, representing the policy interests of Southern Baptists to government through advocacy and education. Originally from Tennessee, she graduated from Union University with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in economics. She currently lives in Washington, D.C., where she is a member and small group leader at her local church.

Julie Masson

Julie Masson

Director of Communications

Julie Masson is the director of communications at the ERLC. She brings her fifteen years of marketing and communications experience from working for SBC entities and other non-profits to serve Southern Baptist churches. She directs the strategy and implementation of the organization’s comprehensive communications initiatives. Julie holds a Master’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communications from the University of Kansas. Julie and her husband served as church planters in Spain with the International Mission Board before settling in Kansas City with their three children.

Rachel Wiles

Rachel Wiles

Deputy Chief of Staff

Rachel Wiles serves as deputy chief of staff and director of placement for the Psalm 139 Project for the ERLC. In her role, she oversees the placement of ultrasound machines with pregnancy resource clinics around the country, determining placement and managing funds. She also coordinates activity in the president’s office under the overall strategy of the organization. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Family Studies from Union University in 2005. Rachel and her husband, Brad, have been married since 2006 and have a son and a daughter.

Staff

Elizabeth Bristow

Elizabeth Bristow

Press Secretary

Elizabeth Bristow serves as the press secretary for the ERLC. Elizabeth oversees public relations and media operations for the organization. She received a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing from Union University in 2010. She is a native of Tennessee and resides in Lebanon, Tennessee, with her husband and two children.

Allison Cantrell

Allison Cantrell

Policy Associate

Allison Cantrell serves as a policy associate in the ERLC’s Washington, D.C. office, where she assists with representing Southern Baptist policy initiatives. Previously, Allison resided in Florida, where she worked at the Governor’s Office and graduated with her Master’s in Demography at the Florida State University.

Kadin Christian

Kadin Christian

Assistant to the Office of the President

Kadin serves as assistant to the office of the president. An Alabama native, Kadin previously served as an intern with the ERLC, and then continued working under the leadership of the Chair of Research in Technology Ethics while he was a college ministry resident at First Baptist Church of Opelika. He graduated with a degree in Finance from Auburn University and is currently pursuing his Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Lizzy Davis

Lizzy Davis

Communications Assistant

Lizzy Davis serves as the communications assistant, helping to manage the ERLC’s online presence and assisting with projects and initiatives. Lizzy previously served as an intern for the ERLC before joining the team. She is completing her undergraduate degree at William Carey University.

Amanda Hays

Amanda Hays

Digital Marketing Manager

Amanda Hays serves as the digital strategist for the ERLC. Her responsibilities include digital marketing strategy & analytics. Amanda is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Stacey Keck

Stacey Keck

Accountant

Stacey Keck has served in the business and finance office since 2008. She assists the chief financial officer with accounting and human resource functions. Stacey is a graduate of Rhodes college. She and her husband, Bryan have two adult boys.

Grace Liu

Grace Liu

Communications Assistant

Grace Liu serves as communications assistant for the ERLC, with a special focus on editorial content and initiatives. Outside of the ERLC, Grace serves as Donor Relations and Communications Coordinator at The Field School in Chicago, Illinois. She received a B.S. in Community Leadership & Development and Violin Performance from Vanderbilt University. Originally from Virginia, Grace currently resides in Chicago and is an active member of Chicago West Bible Church.

Kevin Miller

Kevin Miller

Videography and Video Editor

Kevin Miller serves as videographer and video editor for the ERLC. He has a BS in Electronic Media Communication Production from Middle Tennessee State University. In addition to serving with the ERLC, he works full time for WTVF in Nashville and manages his sole proprietorship Elemental Video Co. He has been honored with 12 Emmy nominations as well as five Emmys in the mid-south region.

Lindsay Nicolet

Lindsay Nicolet

Editorial Director

Lindsay Nicolet serves as the editorial director for the ERLC. She oversees the day-to-day management of all content and resources from the Nashville office. Lindsay completed her Master of Divinity at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. She is married to Justin and they have a daughter and a son.

Jason Thacker

Jason Thacker

Research Fellow

Jason Thacker serves as a research fellow focusing on Christian ethics, human dignity, public theology, and technology. He also leads the ERLC Research Institute. He is the author or editor of several books including The Age of AI, Following Jesus in a Digital Age, and The Digital Public Square. In addition to his work at the ERLC, he serves as an assistant professor of philosophy and ethics at Boyce College in Louisville Kentucky. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee and Southern Seminary, where he is currently a PhD candidate in Christian ethics and public theology.

Jill Waggoner

Jill Waggoner

Communications and Public Relations Strategist

Jill Waggoner serves as a communications and PR strategist, writing and developing content for the organization’s online and print resources. She has served the ERLC since 2005, including as brand manager for Global Hunger Relief from 2014-2018. A graduate of Union University, she and her family reside in Lebanon, Tennessee.

Alex Ward

Alex Ward

Research Associate and Project Manager

Alex Ward serves as the research associate and project manager for the ERLC’s research initiatives. He manages long term research projects for the organization under the leadership of the director of research. Alex is currently pursuing a PhD in History at the University of Mississippi studying evangelical political activity in the 20th century. He holds degrees from Mississippi State University (BA), Vanderbilt University (MTS), and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (ThM). He and his wife Lindsey are church members in Tupelo, Mississippi. He and Lindsey have one daughter.

Carlotta White

Carlotta White

Psalm 139 Project Placement Coordinator

Carlotta White serves as the ERLC’s Psalm 139 Project placement coordinator organizing ultrasound machine placements for pregnancy resource centers and coordinating dedication services. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies. She and her husband, Justin, have been married since 2018 and have one child.

Palmer Williams

Palmer Williams

General Counsel and Senior Policy Advisor

Palmer specializes in legal and policy analysis related to international human rights, sanctity of life, and government affairs. As a licensed attorney specializing in international law, she has extensive experience advocating for human rights on the international stage, including at the United Nations. She earned her Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt Law School and her B.A. in Political Science and Community Development from Vanderbilt University. Palmer and her husband Joseph live in Nashville, Tennessee with their three sons.

Article 12: The Future of AI

We affirm that AI will continue to be developed in ways that we cannot currently imagine or understand, including AI that will far surpass many human abilities. God alone has the power to create life, and no future advancements in AI will usurp Him as the Creator of life. The church has a unique role in proclaiming human dignity for all and calling for the humane use of AI in all aspects of society.

We deny that AI will make us more or less human, or that AI will ever obtain a coequal level of worth, dignity, or value to image-bearers. Future advancements in AI will not ultimately fulfill our longings for a perfect world. While we are not able to comprehend or know the future, we do not fear what is to come because we know that God is omniscient and that nothing we create will be able to thwart His redemptive plan for creation or to supplant humanity as His image-bearers.

Genesis 1; Isaiah 42:8; Romans 1:20-21; 5:2; Ephesians 1:4-6; 2 Timothy 1:7-9; Revelation 5:9-10

Article 11: Public Policy

We affirm that the fundamental purposes of government are to protect human beings from harm, punish those who do evil, uphold civil liberties, and to commend those who do good. The public has a role in shaping and crafting policies concerning the use of AI in society, and these decisions should not be left to those who develop these technologies or to governments to set norms.

We deny that AI should be used by governments, corporations, or any entity to infringe upon God-given human rights. AI, even in a highly advanced state, should never be delegated the governing authority that has been granted by an all-sovereign God to human beings alone. 

Romans 13:1-7; Acts 10:35; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 10: War

We affirm that the use of AI in warfare should be governed by love of neighbor and the principles of just war. The use of AI may mitigate the loss of human life, provide greater protection of non-combatants, and inform better policymaking. Any lethal action conducted or substantially enabled by AI must employ 5 human oversight or review. All defense-related AI applications, such as underlying data and decision-making processes, must be subject to continual review by legitimate authorities. When these systems are deployed, human agents bear full moral responsibility for any actions taken by the system.

We deny that human agency or moral culpability in war can be delegated to AI. No nation or group has the right to use AI to carry out genocide, terrorism, torture, or other war crimes.

Genesis 4:10; Isaiah 1:16-17; Psalm 37:28; Matthew 5:44; 22:37-39; Romans 13:4

Article 9: Security

We affirm that AI has legitimate applications in policing, intelligence, surveillance, investigation, and other uses supporting the government’s responsibility to respect human rights, to protect and preserve human life, and to pursue justice in a flourishing society.

We deny that AI should be employed for safety and security applications in ways that seek to dehumanize, depersonalize, or harm our fellow human beings. We condemn the use of AI to suppress free expression or other basic human rights granted by God to all human beings.

Romans 13:1-7; 1 Peter 2:13-14

Article 8: Data & Privacy

We affirm that privacy and personal property are intertwined individual rights and choices that should not be violated by governments, corporations, nation-states, and other groups, even in the pursuit of the common good. While God knows all things, it is neither wise nor obligatory to have every detail of one’s life open to society.

We deny the manipulative and coercive uses of data and AI in ways that are inconsistent with the love of God and love of neighbor. Data collection practices should conform to ethical guidelines that uphold the dignity of all people. We further deny that consent, even informed consent, although requisite, is the only necessary ethical standard for the collection, manipulation, or exploitation of personal data—individually or in the aggregate. AI should not be employed in ways that distort truth through the use of generative applications. Data should not be mishandled, misused, or abused for sinful purposes to reinforce bias, strengthen the powerful, or demean the weak.

Exodus 20:15, Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:13-14; Matthew 10:16 Galatians 6:2; Hebrews 4:12-13; 1 John 1:7 

Article 7: Work

We affirm that work is part of God’s plan for human beings participating in the cultivation and stewardship of creation. The divine pattern is one of labor and rest in healthy proportion to each other. Our view of work should not be confined to commercial activity; it must also include the many ways that human beings serve each other through their efforts. AI can be used in ways that aid our work or allow us to make fuller use of our gifts. The church has a Spirit-empowered responsibility to help care for those who lose jobs and to encourage individuals, communities, employers, and governments to find ways to invest in the development of human beings and continue making vocational contributions to our lives together.

We deny that human worth and dignity is reducible to an individual’s economic contributions to society alone. Humanity should not use AI and other technological innovations as a reason to move toward lives of pure leisure even if greater social wealth creates such possibilities.

Genesis 1:27; 2:5; 2:15; Isaiah 65:21-24; Romans 12:6-8; Ephesians 4:11-16

Article 6: Sexuality

We affirm the goodness of God’s design for human sexuality which prescribes the sexual union to be an exclusive relationship between a man and a woman in the lifelong covenant of marriage.

We deny that the pursuit of sexual pleasure is a justification for the development or use of AI, and we condemn the objectification of humans that results from employing AI for sexual purposes. AI should not intrude upon or substitute for the biblical expression of sexuality between a husband and wife according to God’s design for human marriage.

Genesis 1:26-29; 2:18-25; Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Thess 4:3-4

Article 5: Bias

We affirm that, as a tool created by humans, AI will be inherently subject to bias and that these biases must be accounted for, minimized, or removed through continual human oversight and discretion. AI should be designed and used in such ways that treat all human beings as having equal worth and dignity. AI should be utilized as a tool to identify and eliminate bias inherent in human decision-making.

We deny that AI should be designed or used in ways that violate the fundamental principle of human dignity for all people. Neither should AI be used in ways that reinforce or further any ideology or agenda, seeking to subjugate human autonomy under the power of the state.

Micah 6:8; John 13:34; Galatians 3:28-29; 5:13-14; Philippians 2:3-4; Romans 12:10

Article 4: Medicine

We affirm that AI-related advances in medical technologies are expressions of God’s common grace through and for people created in His image and that these advances will increase our capacity to provide enhanced medical diagnostics and therapeutic interventions as we seek to care for all people. These advances should be guided by basic principles of medical ethics, including beneficence, non-maleficence, autonomy, and justice, which are all consistent with the biblical principle of loving our neighbor.

We deny that death and disease—effects of the Fall—can ultimately be eradicated apart from Jesus Christ. Utilitarian applications regarding healthcare distribution should not override the dignity of human life. Fur- 3 thermore, we reject the materialist and consequentialist worldview that understands medical applications of AI as a means of improving, changing, or completing human beings.

Matthew 5:45; John 11:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57; Galatians 6:2; Philippians 2:4

Article 3: Relationship of AI & Humanity

We affirm the use of AI to inform and aid human reasoning and moral decision-making because it is a tool that excels at processing data and making determinations, which often mimics or exceeds human ability. While AI excels in data-based computation, technology is incapable of possessing the capacity for moral agency or responsibility.

We deny that humans can or should cede our moral accountability or responsibilities to any form of AI that will ever be created. Only humanity will be judged by God on the basis of our actions and that of the tools we create. While technology can be created with a moral use in view, it is not a moral agent. Humans alone bear the responsibility for moral decision making.

Romans 2:6-8; Galatians 5:19-21; 2 Peter 1:5-8; 1 John 2:1

Article 2: AI as Technology

We affirm that the development of AI is a demonstration of the unique creative abilities of human beings. When AI is employed in accordance with God’s moral will, it is an example of man’s obedience to the divine command to steward creation and to honor Him. We believe in innovation for the glory of God, the sake of human flourishing, and the love of neighbor. While we acknowledge the reality of the Fall and its consequences on human nature and human innovation, technology can be used in society to uphold human dignity. As a part of our God-given creative nature, human beings should develop and harness technology in ways that lead to greater flourishing and the alleviation of human suffering.

We deny that the use of AI is morally neutral. It is not worthy of man’s hope, worship, or love. Since the Lord Jesus alone can atone for sin and reconcile humanity to its Creator, technology such as AI cannot fulfill humanity’s ultimate needs. We further deny the goodness and benefit of any application of AI that devalues or degrades the dignity and worth of another human being. 

Genesis 2:25; Exodus 20:3; 31:1-11; Proverbs 16:4; Matthew 22:37-40; Romans 3:23

Article 1: Image of God

We affirm that God created each human being in His image with intrinsic and equal worth, dignity, and moral agency, distinct from all creation, and that humanity’s creativity is intended to reflect God’s creative pattern.

We deny that any part of creation, including any form of technology, should ever be used to usurp or subvert the dominion and stewardship which has been entrusted solely to humanity by God; nor should technology be assigned a level of human identity, worth, dignity, or moral agency.

Genesis 1:26-28; 5:1-2; Isaiah 43:6-7; Jeremiah 1:5; John 13:34; Colossians 1:16; 3:10; Ephesians 4:24