The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement was established at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in order to open doors for the study and research of ethics, public policy and other cultural and philosophical issues.
The center was named in honor of Richard Land, a visiting professor at the seminary and president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC). The center was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2007 October. This will serve as an important site in accordance with the previous religious liberty movements that were held here under his guidance. The move honors the service of Dr. Richard Land who served for the purpose of religion and humanity for a long period of 20 years at various levels. Land is author of numerous books, including The Divided States of America: What Liberals and Conservatives Get Wrong About Faith and Politics.
The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement shares with the ERLC a desire, as stated in the ERLC mission statement, “to awaken, inform, energize, equip, and mobilize Christians to be the catalysts for the Biblically–based transformation of their families, churches, communities, and the nation.”
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Encouraging the encounter between faith and culture, the Richard Land Center provides a location at Southwestern Seminary for focused research, conferences and the study of religious liberty and Christian morality and action.
“Religious liberty is under attack today in our own country where we never thought it would be,” Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Seminary, said when the seminary’s board of trustees approved a recommendation to establish the center on Oct. 17, 2007.
“For nearly 20 years, the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has served the churches of the SBC under the remarkable leadership of Dr. Richard Land,” reads the seminary’s state of intent regarding the center. “Those years have marked the orchestration of voices of Baptist people and churches in a building crescendo of support for worldwide religious liberty, racial justice, the right to life for preborns, general moral and ethical reform in the social order, and a host of other issues of justice and moral conviction. The Board of Trustees of the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary joins the Board of Trustees of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission in the conviction that the time has come to honor this servant who has given himself so tirelessly to the cause of New Testament Christianity.”
In response to Southwestern’s statement, Hal Lane, chairman of the board of trustees for the ERLC of the SBC, said, “On behalf of the trustees of the ERLC, I would like to express my gratitude to the board of trustees of Southwestern Seminary for the opportunity to work with you in the establishment of the Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement. We look forward to honoring Dr. Land and continuing his legacy by educating future Christian ethicists who will encourage Christians and declare biblical truths to an increasingly dark and decadent culture.”
The partnership between Southwestern Seminary and the ERLC paves the way for individuals across America to have the opportunity to study and research ethics, public policy and other cultural and philosophical issues.
The ERLC is an agency of the SBC and focuses on the effects that social and moral concerns have on public policy issues. Its stated mission is: “To awaken, inform, energize, equip, and mobilize Christians to be the catalysts for the Biblically-based transformation of their families, churches, communities, and the nation.”