By / Apr 9

Nashville, Tenn., April 9, 2024 —The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, has hired Nathan A. Finn, Ph.D., to serve as a senior fellow with an emphasis on matters related to religious liberty.

Finn is a professor of faith and culture at North Greenville University in Tigerville, South Carolina, where he also serves as executive director of the Institute for Transformation Leadership. In addition to his roles at North Greenville, Finn is the bi-vocational teaching pastor at Taylors First Baptist Church in Taylors, South Carolina. 

Finn is a church historian and theologian whose research interests include Baptist history and identity, the intersection of faith and culture, the doctrine of the Christian life, and Christian higher education. Finn is active in Southern Baptist denominational leadership and serves as the current recording secretary of the SBC. He has also served as vice-chair of the Committee on Resolution (2021), is a member of the Cooperation Group (2023-2024), and is an ex-officio member of the SBC Executive Committee (2022-present).

“Religious liberty has been a core Baptist distinctive from our movement’s inception, and it remains at the heart of the ERLC’s mission,” said Finn. “I also believe it is one of the most important justice issues of our age. I’m honored to serve Southern Baptists by helping our churches reflect on the enduring importance of religious liberty and its implications, to respond to contemporary challenges to our ‘First Freedom,’ and to better understand how the Baptist ideal of a free church in a free state helps promote Great Commission faithfulness and cultivate authentic human flourishing.”

Finn is author or editor of more than a dozen books, most notably, “The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement” (B&H Academic, 2015), “History: A Student’s Guide” (Crossway, 2016), “Historical Theology for the Church” (B&H Academic, 2021), and “A Handbook of Theology” (B&H Academic, 2023). He frequently writes columns for WORLD Opinions and Baptist Press.

“Dr. Finn is one of the leading Baptist voices on questions of religious liberty in the public square today,” said Jason Thacker, director of the ERLC Research Institute and senior fellow. “He brings a wealth of experience and historical insight to these questions as he models how central religious liberty is to our gospel work and to Baptist identity. Religious liberty is not an optional add-on to our common life together, but absolutely central to what it means to be human and how we ought to live with one another in community as we seek to proclaim a proper understanding of the relationship of the church and state in a pluralizing society.”

Finn joins RaShan Frost, a senior fellow focusing on human dignity issues, and Thacker, who focuses on pro-life and other bioethical issues on the research team. 

Prior to his roles at North Greenville University, Finn previously served as a church historian at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina; dean of the School of Theology and Missions at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee; and as provost and dean of the university faculty at North Greenville University.

Finn earned his doctor of philosophy in theological studies with a concentration in church history from SEBTS. Finn and his wife have four children.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest Protestant denomination with more than 13.6 million members and a network of over 47,000 cooperating churches and congregations. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C.

To request an interview contact Elizabeth Bristow by email at [email protected]

By / Aug 11

NASHVILLE, Tenn., August 11, 2014 The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention is announcing the launch of a new Research Institute under the direction of its president, Russell Moore, and the appointment of an array of new scholars and professionals as research fellows.

Moore commented on the launch and addition of new fellows to the Institute.

The aim of the Research Institute is to be a catalyst to connect the agenda of the gospel to the complex questions of the dayand to do so at the highest levels of academic scholarship for the good of local congregations. I am thrilled to get to work together with an exceptionally gifted band of scholars and leaders as we seek to be a persuasive, prophetic witness engaging the academy and equipping the church.

The idea of a Research Institute has a long history within the organization. A previous Research Institute was established by the organization in 1999. This new Research Institute and its fellows will assist the ERLC in its mission by producing a variety of materials to equip Southern Baptists and churches to engage ethical and cultural issues of the day.

The newly named fellows come from all six Southern Baptist seminaries, several Baptist colleges, private and public universities and other prominent institutions such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Center for Law and Justice.

Barrett Duke, the ERLC vice president for public policy and research, directs the Research Institute. Andrew Walker, the ERLC director of policy studies, serves as the Institutes associate director.

The Research Institute will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the ERLC “National Conference”: at the Opryland Hotel October 27-29.

A review of the newly named fellows is available at “”:

The Southern Baptist Convention is Americas largest Protestant denomination with more than 15.8 million members in over 46,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBCs ethics, religious liberty and public policy entity with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.

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