Land Center Fellows

The Land Center Fellows program is a gathering of Baptist and evangelical scholars. We are honored and delighted these brilliant and godly men and women are willing to share their work and engage in scholarship around important biblical and cultural issues facing the church. Scholars will gather periodically online throughout the year and in person at least once a year. 

C. Ben Mitchell
Senior Fellow

C. Ben Mitchell is a professor of ethics who recently retired from more than a decade as the Graves Chair of Moral Philosophy at Union University where he also served for three years as Provost & Vice President for Academic Affairs and Special Assistant to the President. Mitchell also consults on matters of public policy and has given testimonies before policymaking groups including the U. S. House of Representatives, the Institutes of Medicine, and the Illinois Senate.

David Dockery
Senior Fellow

David S. Dockery serves as professor of theology, editor of the Southwestern Journal of Theology, special consultant to the president. Having authored or edited more than 40 volumes, and contributed to more than 75 other books, he is best known for his works in the area of Baptist studies, Christian higher education, and biblical interpretation. He also leads the Center for Global Evangelicalism at Southwestern Theological Seminary.

Nathan Finn
Senior Fellow

Nathan Finn, Provost and Dean of the University Faculty at North Greenville University, is a historical and systematic theologian who writes and speaks widely on Baptist history and thought, leadership, and Christian higher education. He serves as a Research Fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He frequently preaches and teaches for local churches, ministry leadership conferences, Bible conferences, and other similar events.

Hunter Baker
Public Policy

Hunter Baker, J.D., Ph.D. serves as dean of the college of arts and sciences and professor of political science at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. He is the author of three books (The End of Secularism, Political Thought: A Student's Guide, and The System Has a Soul), has contributed chapters to several others, and has written for a wide variety of print and digital publications. He is the winner of the 2011 Michael Novak Award conferred by the Acton Institute and has lectured widely on matters of religion and liberty.

In addition to his work at Union, Baker also serves as a contributing editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. He is a fellow of both the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy.
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Jeremy Blaschke
Science & Technology

Jeremy has always been fascinated by small creatures and their place in God’s creation. As an undergraduate at Bryan College, he majored in Biology with a minor in Origins Research. He then earned his Masters and PhD from the University of Tennessee where he focused on the diversification of parasitoid flies around the world. Currently an Associate Professor of Biology at Union University, Jeremy teaches Zoology and Environmental Ethics, researches the systematics of bug-killing flies and cricket-assassin wasps, and writes on the complicated dialogue between Christian theology and parasite biology.

He and his wife Ally have two energetic and animal-loving boys, Jack and Charlie. In his spare time, Jeremy loves being outside with his family, gardening, hiking, playing football, and practicing macrophotography.
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Luke Bobo
Faith, Vocation, & Economics

Luke Bobo is a visiting instructor of contemporary culture at Covenant Seminary, and is the author of several books including, Race, Economics, and Apologetics: Is There a Connection?, A Layperson’s Guide to Biblical Interpretation, and Living Salty and Light Filled Lives in the Workplace. He co-authored or serve as editor of Worked Up: Navigating Calling After College, Fertile Ground: Faith and Work Field Guide for Youth Pastors, and Discipleship With Monday In Mind: 16 Churches Connecting Faith and Work.

He enjoys spending time with his wife, Rita, and two adult kids, Briana and Caleb. He interests include contemporary culture, virtue formation, apologetics, ethics, justice, golf, traveling, writing, speaking, teaching, spending time with young people, meeting new people, and wine. Luke holds a PhD from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; a Masters of Divinity from Covenant Theological Seminary; a Masters of Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia; and a Bachelor of Science of Electrical Engineering from the University of Kansas.
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Casey Hough
Public Theology

Casey serves as the Lead Pastor of Copperfield Church in Houston, TX. In addition to his role at Copperfield, Casey serves as an Assistant Professor of Biblical Interpretation at Luther Rice College and Seminary. Casey holds a B.G.S. in Computer Applications from Louisiana Tech University, an M.Div. in Biblical Languages, a Th.M. in Biblical Interpretation from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (NOBTS), and a Ph.D. in Biblical Interpretation from NOBTS with minors in theology and in ethics. He wrote his dissertation on the relationship between Zechariah 1-8 and the book of Ephesians under the supervision of Dr. Charles Ray and Dr. Norris Grubbs.

Casey and his wife, Hannah, have three sons and two daughters. Casey also actively writes for various evangelical outlets, serving primarily as an Associate Research Fellow for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. He is a fellow in the St. Peter Fellowship of the Center for Pastor Theologians. Casey’s research interest consists of biblical hermeneutics, methods of interpretation, biblical and contemporary Christian ethics, post-exilic prophetic theology and ethics, Pauline theology and ethics, and evangelical public theology.
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Dennis Greeson
Public Theology
Dennis Greeson is Dean of the BibleMesh Institute and PhD candidate in Systematic Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theology Seminary. His research interests include divine providence, the philosophy of history, and Christian's cultural callings, especially in the thought of Abraham Kuyper. He has published articles and book chapters on Dutch Neo-Calvinism and is co-authoring a book on the theology of culture. He lives with his wife and three children in Youngsville, NC.
Jason Thacker
Science & Technology

Jason Thacker serves as chair of research in technology ethics and director of the research institute at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He also serves as an adjunct instructor of philosophy, ethics, and worldview at Boyce College in Louisville, KY. He is the author of several books including Following Jesus in the Digital Age and The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity. He also serves as the editor of The Digital Public Square: Christian Ethics in a Technological Society and co-editor of the forthcoming Essentials in Christian Ethics series with B&H Academic. He is the project leader and lead drafter of Artificial Intelligence: An Evangelical Statement of Principles, and his work has been featured at Slate, Politico, The Week, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, and Desiring God.

He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee in Knoxville and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he is currently pursuing a PhD in ethics, public theology, and philosophy. He serves as an associate fellow with the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, an advisor for AI and Faith, and a research fellow with the ERLC Research Institute.
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Obbie Tyler Todd
Ministry Ethics

Obbie Tyler Todd is a pastor and historian. He is the pastor of Third Baptist Church of Marion, Illinois and serves as adjunct faculty at Luther Rice College & Seminary. Obbie is the author of three books, including The Moral Governmental Theory of Atonement (Cascade, 2021), A Baptist at the Crossroads (Pickwick, 2021), and Southern Edwardseans (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2022). Obbie has also been published in a dozen academic journals and has written on American history for Desiring God, The Gospel Coalition, and The Liberty Fund.

Obbie holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Kentucky, received two masters from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and earned a PhD at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He has served churches in Kentucky, Louisiana, and Georgia. Obbie and his wife Kelly have twins.

Mark Tooley
Foreign Policy & Global Engagement

Mark Tooley is president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy and editor of IRD’s foreign policy and national security journal, Providence: A Journal of Christianity & American Foreign Policy.  He worked eight years for the Central Intelligence Agency and is a graduate of Georgetown University.  In 1994 he joined IRD to found its United Methodist project (UMAction) and became IRD President in 2009.

He is the author of Taking Back The United Methodist Church (2008), Methodism and Politics in the 20th Century: From William McKinley to 9/11 (2012), and The Peace That Almost Was: The Forgotten Story of the 1861 Washington Peace Conference and the Final Attempt to Avert the Civil War (2015). He has written for The Wall Street Journal, World, Law and Liberty, National Review and other publications.  He contributed chapters to several books: The New Christian Zionism: Fresh Perspectives on Israel and the Land (2016), Race and Covenant: Recovering the Religious Roots for American Reconciliation (2020), The Next Methodism: Theological, Social, and Missional Foundations for Global Methodism (2022), Just War and Christian Traditions (2022), and Social Conservatism for the Common Good: A Protestant Engagement with Robert P. George (2023).
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Jared Wellman
Ministry Ethics

Jared Wellman serves as the Lead Pastor at Tate Springs in Arlington, Texas and as an Adjunct Professor of Apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

He has earned a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Philosophy from Criswell College in Dallas, Texas, as well as a Ph.D. in Theology at South African Theological Seminary. He is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

In 2012 he published his first book, "The Church Member," and has served as a co-author and editor on various Resolutions in the Southern Baptist Convention on issues related to life, ethics, legislative policies, sexual abuse, and genocide. In his free time, Jared enjoys writing, following the NBA, and spending time with family. He's been married to Amanda since 2006, and they are blessed with four children.
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George Yancey
Faith & Culture

Dr. George Yancey is a Professor at the Institute for Studies of Religion and Sociology at Baylor University. He has a Master's degree in economics and a Doctorate in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin. He has published several research articles on institutional racial diversity, racial identity, atheists, cultural progressives, academic bias, and anti-Christian hostility. His books includeBeyond Racial Gridlock (Intervarsity Press), a Christian book that articulates a mutual obligations approach to racial issues, and, with Michael Emerson, Transcending Racial Barriers (Oxford University Press), an academic book that articulates a mutual obligations approach and Beyond Racial Division (InterVarsity Press) that examines the use of collaborative conversations to reduce racial tensions.

John D. Wilsey
History, Culture, & Theology

John D. Wilsey (PhD, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor of Church History and Philosophy at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and research fellow at the Center for Religion, Culture, and Democracy. He was the 2017-18 William E. Simon Visiting Fellow in Religion and Public Life at the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, where he conducted his research for his most recent book, God's Cold Warrior: The Life and Faith of John Foster Dulles(Eerdmans, 2021). He is currently working on two book manuscripts, provisionally entitled A Conservative Primer on Religious Freedom (Eerdmans) and God and Country: Exploring Faith, History, and American Identity (B&H Academic). He is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys spending time with his wife Mandy and two daughters. Wilsey is a member of Kenwood Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Scott James
Medical Ethics

Scott James serves as an elder at The Church at Brook Hills. He and his wife, Jaime, have four children and live in Birmingham, Alabama, where he works as a pediatric infectious diseases physician and researcher. He is a Senior Research Fellow with the ERLC, a Fellow of the Center for Baptist Renewal, and a member of Focus on the Family’s Physician Resource Council. He is also the author of Advent- and Easter-themed family worship books, as well as the illustrated children’s books Where Is Wisdom?The Littlest Watchman, and The Sower

Rebeccah Heinrich
Foreign Policy & Global Engagement

Rebeccah L. Heinrichs is a scholar of international relations and US foreign policy. Ms. Heinrichs publishes frequently in leading political magazines and academic journals and provides briefings and analysis to government and business leaders on foreign affairs, defense policy, and strategy. She regularly contributes analysis on national news and radio programs.

Ms. Heinrichs served in the US House of Representatives as an adviser to former Congressman Trent Franks where she focused on matters related to the Strategic Forces Subcommittee of the Armed Services Committee. She was instrumental in starting the Bipartisan Missile Defense Caucus. Prior to her work on defense policy, she was on the oversight staff of the House Judiciary Committee. Ms. Heinrichs is a 2022 Rumsfeld Foundation graduate fellow in pursuit of a Doctorate of Defense and Strategic Studies at Missouri State University. She earned her MA in national security and strategic studies from the US Naval War College and graduated with highest distinction from its College of Naval Command and Staff, receiving the Director’s Award for academic excellence. She earned her BA in history and political science from Ashland University in Ohio where she was an Ashbrook Scholar. Ms. Heinrichs currently serves as a member of the board of trustees at Ashland University and the Ashbrook Center.  She and her husband are members of a Southern Baptist church and live in Virginia with their five children. Ms. Heinrichs is a senior fellow at the Washington D.C.-based think tank Hudson Institute where she specializes in national defense policy with a focus on strategic deterrence. She is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics where she teaches nuclear deterrence theory, and is a contributing editor of Providence: A Journal of Christianity and American Foreign Policy. 
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Katie McCoy
Gender & Sexuality

Katie McCoy serves as Director Women's Ministry at Texas Baptists. She holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from Southwestern Seminary (TX), where she served on faculty for five years. Katie's research includes the patterns of justice for women in Old Testament laws as well as the intersection of theology, gender, and women's studies. She has co-authored a work on the doctrine of humanity as part of the Theology for the People of God series (B&H Academic) and is a frequent speaker and writer on women's and gender issues. You can find Katie online at

Christina Crenshaw
Faith, Vocation, & Economics

Dr. Christina Crenshaw has 20 years experience as a professor, researcher, writer, and anti-human trafficking advocate. She holds a PhD in Education with an emphasis in English from Baylor University. Her undergraduate and masters degrees in English were earned at Texas A&M University. She holds a Texas state certified secondary teacher. True to her continuous learner personality, she is also completing a postdoctoral Masters of Theology at Dallas Seminary.

Dr. Crenshaw has extensive work in anti-human trafficking efforts. She has published and presented on human trafficking prevention curriculum in peer reviewed journals and at academic conferences. Her abolition and advocacy efforts extend beyond academia. Dr. Crenshaw has also partnered with several anti-trafficking organizations such as The A21 Campaign, UnBound Now, The Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition, Operation Mobilization’s Freedom Climb, and The Texas Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force. Currently, Dr. Crenshaw serves as an Associate for Cultural Engagement and Leadership at Dallas Theology Seminary’s Hendricks Center. As a Fellow with the Land Center, Dr. Crenshaw looks forward to further engaging work focused on the intersection of the Church and culture for the sake of equipping the next generation, furthering God’s purposes, and giving Him all the glory. As a Lecturer at Baylor University, she taught Faith and Writing, Vocational Leadership, and Human Trafficking Awareness courses. As an Assistant Professor at California Baptist University, she served in a dual department position teaching English and Education courses. Dr. Crenshaw has also held staff leadership positions as the Director of Baylor’s Leadership Minor and as the Program Director for Truett Seminary’s Faith and Sports Ministry. Prior to her experience in higher education, she dedicated the first four years of her education career to teaching high school students in both public and private schools.
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Brent Leatherwood
Public Policy

Brent Leatherwood currently serves as Acting President of the ERLC, as well as Vice President of External Affairs and Chief of Staff. Before coming to the ERLC, he served as the executive director of the Tennessee Republican Party from December 2012 to December 2016, where he managed the organization’s campaign apparatus at the federal, state and local levels. He also worked on Capitol Hill as a senior legislative aide to former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. Brent and his wife Meredith have three children and are members of The Church at Avenue South, where Brent serves as a deacon.

Bart Barber
Distinguished Fellow for Baptist Studies

Bart Barber has served as the pastor of First Baptist Church in Farmersville, Texas, since 1999. At the SBC Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California, June 14-15, 2022, Bart was elected President of the Southern Baptist Convention. A native of Lake City, Arkansas, Bart has served churches in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. He has earned degrees from Baylor University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, culminating in a PhD in Church History. He is married to Tracy Brady Barber. Together they have two children, Jim and Sarah.

Richard Land
Founding Fellow

Dr. Richard Land serves as the Executive Editor of The Christian Post. Previously, he served as the President of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention prior to becoming the president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in 2013. In 2007, The Richard Land Center for Cultural Engagement was established by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary where Dr. Land is a Visiting Professor. Dr. Richard Land is a well-respected commentator on issues related to religion, politics, history and culture, and has appeared in thousands of media interviews in most major media outlets over the course of his career.