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Research Institute

The Research Institute, an initiative of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, seeks to be a persuasive, prophetic witness engaging the academy and equipping the church.

Assembled from among the most gifted Southern Baptist thinkers across a wide array of disciplines and institutions — law, theology, business, economics, medicine, ethics, international affairs, and public policy — the Research Institute exists to cultivate scholarly and theological engagement with the complex moral questions of the day, and to produce academic research and scholarship in service to local churches.

While Research Institute Fellows are neither employees of the ERLC nor spokespersons for the organization, they are invaluable to the work of the ERLC. Through their service as Research Fellows, these scholars and practitioners help equip Southern Baptists and our churches to engage critical issues by providing expert knowledge and resources in various fields including law and jurisprudence, medicine and bioethics, and philosophy and social science.

The Research Institute is a cross-disciplinary institution integrating Christian public witness through all spheres of culture. In addition to its annual meeting, the Research Institute actively promotes the work and innovative research of its Fellows and features the content and resources they produce through various ERLC channels throughout the year.

Disclaimer: Research Institute Fellows often have several additional institutional affiliations. Many are independent thought leaders and public academics apart from their role as Fellows for the Research Institute. Research Fellows speak for the ERLC only when publishing through the ERLC and Research Institute platforms. These positions are not intended to reflect the positions of any other affiliations the Fellows may have.

Senior Research Fellows:

Russell Moore, PhD (@drmoore): President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Daniel Akin, PhD (@dannyakin): President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Jason Allen, PhD (@jasonkeithallen): President, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Barry Creamer, PhD (@barrycreamer): President, Criswell College

David Dockery, PhD (@davidsdockery): Distinguished Professor of Theology, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Jeff Iorg, PhD (@Jeff_Iorg): President, Gateway Seminary

Richard Land, PhD (@rdland): President, Southern Evangelical Seminary

R. Albert Mohler Jr., PhD (@albertmohler): President, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Samuel W. Oliver, PhD (@DrDub_UU): President, Union University

Research Fellows in Christian Ethics:

Matthew Arbo, PhD (@MatthewBArbo): Assistant Professor of Theological Studies, Oklahoma Baptist University

Alan Branch, PhD (@AlanBranch1010): Professor of Christian Ethics, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Evan Lenow, PhD (@evanlenow): Ethics Professor, Mississippi College

Mark Liederbach, PhD (@MarkDLiederbach): Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture, Vice President for Student Services/Dean of Students, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Ken Magnuson, PhD (@kenmagnuson): Director of Evangelical Theological Society, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Thor Madsen, PhD: Academic Dean, Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Jeffrey Riley, PhD (@drjeffriley): Professor of Ethics,, Associate Dean of Research Doctoral Programs, New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Research Fellows:

Bruce Ashford, PhD (@BruceAshford): Professor of Theology and Culture at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Bryan Baise, PhD (@bryanbaise): Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Apologetics at Boyce College

Hunter Baker, PhD (@hunterbaker): Dean of Arts and Sciences at Union University

Bart Barber, PhD (@bartbarber): Pastor at First Baptist Church Farmersville, TX

Phillip Bethancourt, PhD (@pbethancourt): Senior Pastor at Central Church in College Station, TX

Dustin Bruce, PhD (@dustinbruce): Dean of Boyce College

Don Buckley, MD: President of Spanish Trail Family Physicians

Denny Burk, PhD (@dennyburk): Professor of Biblical Studies at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Dan DeWitt, PhD (@Dandewitt): Director of Center for Biblical Apologetics and Associate Professor of Applied Theology and Apologetics at Cedarville University

Trey Dimsdale, PhD: Legacy Planning and Foundation Outreach Director at First Liberty

Jason G. Duessing, PhD (@jgduessing): Provost at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Matthew Y. Emerson, PhD (@M_Y_Emerson): Dickinson Associate Professor of Religion at Oklahoma Baptist University

Nathan Finn, PhD (@nathanafinn): Provost and Dean of the University Faculty at North Greenville University

Adam Groza, PhD: Vice President and Professor at Gateway Seminary

Norris Grubbs, PhD (@norris_grubbs): Provost at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Matthew J. Hall, PhD (@MatthewJHall): Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Scott James, MD: Assistant Professor and Program Director for Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Alabama Birmingham

Thomas Kidd, PhD (@ThomasSKidd): Vardaman Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor University

Klon Kitchen (@klonkitchen): Senior Fellow for Technology and National Security at The Heritage Foundation

Jonathan Leeman, PhD (@JonathanLeeman): Editorial Director at 9Marks

Steve Lemke, PhD: Professor of Philosophy and Ethics and Vice President for Institutional Assessment at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary

Andrew Lewis, PhD (@andrewrlewis): Associate Professor at University of Cincinnati

Katie McCoy, PhD (@blondeorthodoxy): Assistant Professor of Theology in Women’s Studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Paul Miller, PhD (@Pauldmiller2): Professor of Practice of International Affairs at Georgetown University

Matthew C. Millsap, PhD (@mattmillsap): Assistant Professor of Christian Studies at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

C. Ben Mitchell, PhD: Member of NIH Human Fetal Tissue Research Ethics Advisory Board

Lilly Park, PhD (@LillyPark30): Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Daniel Patterson, PhD (@dlpatterson): Executive Vice President at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Stephen Presley, PhD (@sopresley): Associate Professor of Church History at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Rhyne Putman, PhD (@rhyneputman): Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Worldview Formation, Professor of Christian Ministries at Williams Baptist University

Juan R. Sanchez, PhD (@manorjuan): Senior Pastor at High Pointe Baptist Church

David Schrock, PhD (@davidschrock): Pastor of Preaching and Theology at Occoquan Bible Church

Jacob Shatzer, PhD: Associate Dean and Associate Professor of Theological Studies at Union University

R. Lucas Stamps, PhD (@lukestamps): Associate Professor of Christian Studies at Anderson University

Walter Strickland, PhD (@w_strickland): Associate Vice President for Diversity and Assistant Professor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Andrew Walker, PhD (@andrewtwalk): Associate Professor of Christian Ethics and Apologetics at Southern Seminary

Keith Whitfield, PhD (@kswhitfield): Acting Provost at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

John D. Wilsey, PhD (@JDWilsey): Associate Professor of Church History at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Curtis Woods, PhD: Lead Pastor, Severns Valley Baptist Church

Alicia Wong, PhD: Associate Professor of Women’s Ministry at Gateway Seminary

Malcolm Yarnell, PhD (@myarnell): Research Professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

John Mark Yeats, PhD (@jmyeats): Dean of Students at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary

Hershael York, PhD (@hershaelyork): Dean of the School of Theology at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

Legal Fellows:

Christiana Holcomb, JD (@ChristianaADF): Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom

Palmer H. Williams, JD (@palmerhwilliams): Founding Partner at The Peacefield Group

Joseph Williams, JD (@jjosephwilliams): Director of External Affairs of Governor Bill Lee at State of Tennessee, Founding Partner at The Peacefield Group

Sam Webb, JD (@samwebb1876): Attorney at The Cox Law Firm & Professor at Texas A&M University

Travis Wussow, JD (@traviswussow): Vice President for Public Policy and General Counsel at The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Associate Fellows:

Ashley Gorman: Acquisitions and Development Editor at LifeWay Christian Resources

Steven Harris (@smharris_): PhD Candidate in Religions of the Americas at Harvard University

Casey B. Hough (@CaseyBHough): Lead Pastor, Copperfield Church

Devin Maddox (@devinmaddox): Trade Books Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources

Lauren McAfee (@laurenamcafee): Project Coordinator at Hobby Lobby Corporate

Jason Thacker (@jasonthacker): Chair of Research in Technology Ethics at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission

Christy Thornton (@christyelis): Associate Director of PhD Studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary

Josh Wester (@jbwester): Chair of Research and Christian Ethics at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission