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ERLC Academy to focus on God, Gospel

NASHVILLE (BP) — God and the Gospel will be at the heart of two days of ethics training when the fifth annual ERLC Academy begins May 20.

About 170 pastors, students and other Christians are registered for the event hosted by the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) at the SBC Building in Nashville. Russell Moore, the ERLC’s president, will teach “Introduction to Christian Ethics” to pastors, seminary and college students, Bible teachers, ministry leaders and others.

The academy’s goal is for Christians to leave “with a comprehensive framework that helps them understand the basics of ethics and ethics’ rootedness in the Gospel,” said Andrew Walker, who oversees the ERLC Academy, in written comments for Baptist Press.

“Christians do not follow an abstract ‘morality;’ we follow Christ, who traded his moral righteousness for our immoral unrighteousness,” said Walker, the ERLC’s director of research and senior fellow in Christian ethics. “When we understand that ethics is intimately connected to who God is, and how He has revealed Himself in Christ, it expands our horizons for understanding why every moral action is an opportunity to reflect the image of Christ and to glorify God.”

Participants in the academy will receive training in addressing such questions as:

— How does the Gospel shape an evangelical approach to ethics?

— How can I understand the world and its approach to cultural engagement?

— How should I understand essential ethical issues such as bioethics, marriage, sanctity of human life, religious liberty, sexuality and decision-making?

In addition to Moore’s lectures, the two-day schedule will include question-and-answer forums and breakout sessions. Online learning modules also will be part of the academy.

Seminary and college students are able to take part in the ERLC Academy for course credit. In addition to the two-day introductory ethics course, Moore will teach a May 22-24 seminar for doctoral students, who will also participate in the May 20-21 class.

Before becoming ERLC president in 2013, Moore was provost and dean of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he taught ethics and theology. He serves now as distinguished professor of Christian ethics at Southern Seminary and visiting professor of ethics at Southeastern and New Orleans Baptist Theological seminaries.

The ERLC Academy was held previously in Nashville in 2015 and 2017. Washington, D.C., was the site of the academy in 2016 and 2018.

Information about the ERLC Academy is available at https://erlc.com/upcoming-events/erlc-academy.