ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University Distinguished Professor of Christian Ethics Dr. David Gushee was presented one of the Religion Communicators Council's 22 Wilbur Awards on Saturday in recognition of his column writing for Religion News Service (RNS).
The awards are given to honor excellence by individuals in secular media – print and online journalism, book publishing, broadcasting and motion pictures – for communicating religious issues, values and themes during the previous year.
Dr. Gushee was presented with the Wilbur Award for Digital Communications: Faith-Based Blogs during the council's 87th annual national convention in New York City.
“It is a great honor to receive this unexpected award for my RNS writing. I consider it a privilege to have this platform for communicating publicly about Christian ethics and public life, and am grateful to Mercer for providing me the time to pursue the intensive writing schedule this column involves,” said Dr. Gushee, who began his column for RNS, the non-profit news agency based in Washington, D.C., in June of last year.
The Wilbur Awards, named for the late Marvin C. Wilbur, a pioneer in religious public relations, longtime council leader and former Presbyterian Church executive, have been presented annually since 1949. Juries of media professionals, coordinated by council members across the country, evaluate submissions in eight categories based on content, creativity, impact and excellence in communication religious values.
This year's award-winners came from a diversity of media outlets, such as The Associated Press, The Atlantic, CBS News, CNN, National Geographic, NPR, Oprah Winfrey Network, Slate and Vanity Fair.
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. He was recently voted vice president of the American Academy of Religion and president-elect of the Society of Christian Ethics, and will serve three-year terms as an officer for both organizations.
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 RNS 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 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.
Founded in 1929, the Religion Communicators Council is the oldest public relations professional association in the U.S. It has more than 400 members and six regional chapters. Members represent Baha'i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Jewish organizations and work in advertising, print and electronic communication and public relations. For more information, visit www.religioncommunicators.org.