Mercer Professor Dr. David Gushee Elected Vice President of American Academy of Religion


ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University professor Dr. David Gushee was elected vice president of the American Academy of Religion (AAR) Board of Directors on Thursday. The AAR is the world's largest professional association of scholars who study religion, with 9,000 members representing some 900 colleges, universities, seminaries and schools in North America and abroad.

“I am grateful for this vote of confidence from my colleagues in religious studies, and I very much look forward to taking up these new responsibilities with the American Academy of Religion,” said Dr. Gushee, who serves as Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics and director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer.

He joins the association's governing board, which is responsible for meeting the AAR's legal fiduciary obligations as well as guiding its strategic direction through planning, policy development, assessment and advocacy. His appointment is a three-year commitment, as he will serve one year each as vice president, president-elect and president.

Dr. Gushee is widely regarded as one of the leading moral voices in American Christianity. As Distinguished University Professor at Mercer, he teaches in McAfee School of Theology and throughout the University in his specialty, Christian ethics. As director of the Center for Theology and Public Life, he organizes events and courses to advance quality conversations about major issues arising at the intersection of theology, ethics and public policy.

He is the author or editor of 20 books and hundreds of articles in his field, including Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust, Kingdom Ethics, The Future of Faith in American Politics, The Sacredness of Human Life, Changing Our Mind and Evangelical Ethics.

Dr. Gushee has always accompanied his scholarly production with church work; activism related to issues such as human rights, creation care, the death penalty and LGBT acceptance; opinion writing for Religion News Service and previously for The Washington Post, Huffington Post and Baptist News Global; board service with Sojourners and the Center for Victims of Torture; and domestic and global media consultation. He has lectured on every continent, including endowed lectures in New Zealand and Holland in 2015.

Dr. Gushee earned his Bachelor of Arts at the College of William and Mary (1984), Master of Divinity at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (1987) and both a Master of Philosophy (1990) and Doctor of Philosophy (1993) in Christian ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York.

He and his wife of 31 years, Jeanie, reside in Atlanta. They have two daughters, one son and one grandson.

For more information on the American Academy of Religion, visit

Kyle is senior director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he serves as editor of the Mercerian alumni magazine and News@Mercer e-newsletters, and he coordinates hometown and university news releases.