JACKSON, Tenn. – Aug. 2, 2007– Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, will be the keynote speaker for Union University’s summer graduation ceremony Aug. 3.
About 260 students will receive degrees during the 6 p.m. ceremony at West Jackson Baptist Church, bringing the total number of Union graduates to nearly 900 for the academic year.
Land is the author of the new book, “The Divided States of America? What Liberals and Conservatives are Missing in the God-and-Country Shouting Match.” In 2005, Time magazine named him as one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America.
Prior to his tenure as ERLC president, which began in 1988, Land served as vice president for academic affairs at Criswell College, where he had taught theology and church history since 1975.
“It is both an honor and a privilege to have the opportunity to share in the graduation ceremony at Union,” Land said. “I have personal ties to the university through having a daughter who is a graduate (class of ’96) as well as having had the opportunity to have known Dr. Dockery as a colleague and friend for many years.
“It has been exciting to watch as Union has blossomed into one of the finest Christian liberal arts universities in the country under Dr. Dockery’s inspirational and capable leadership.”
Land graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University, and earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University. He also received a Master of Theology degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“Richard Land has provided key leadership and brilliant commentary regarding important ethical issues and religious liberty matters for Southern Baptists for more than two decades,” Union University President David S. Dockery said.
“His voice in the national public square has grown in influence year after year, and his recent book provides significant insight for moving the conversation forward on current church-state challenges. Richard Land has been a wonderfully supportive friend of Union University, and we are honored to have him as our speaker for this commencement service.”