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ERLC trustees elect Mullin as chief of staff

NASHVILLE (BP) – Veteran Southern Baptist academic Miles Mullin is the new chief of staff and vice president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission.

The ERLC’s trustees elected Mullin unanimously upon the recommendation of Brent Leatherwood, the commission’s president, in a special called meeting Thursday (Jan. 26). Mullin became the first addition to the ERLC’s senior staff since Leatherwood’s election as president in September 2022.

Mullin taught at seminary and university levels in Baptist life for 17 years prior to his current role as leadership development strategist in the church revitalization network of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).

He served as assistant, then associate, professor of church history from 2005 to 2015 at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Houston campus and professor of religious history and Christian studies from 2015 to 2022 at Hannibal-LaGrange University, an MBC-affiliated school in Hannibal, Mo. While at Hannibal-LaGrange, Mullin also was vice president for academic administration and dean of the faculty for 4 1/2 years and founding director of the university’s Center for Christian Worldview.

Leatherwood said in an ERLC news release, “Our mission calls us to assist our churches and it is from the service we render that we speak to the important issues of the day. I can think of no one better than Miles Mullin, and the deep well of experience serving churches he draws from, to help us accomplish this vital work. His strengths in leadership and administration will enhance an already strong team at the ERLC. 

“Moreover, he has a deep appreciation for the role of healthy institutions in SBC life and the broader culture,” Leatherwood said. “From his time supporting local churches, to the guidance he provided in academia, to his passion for developing leaders, Miles’ knowledge and expertise will help ensure this Commission continues to bring a distinctively Baptist voice” into the public arena.

An ERLC trustee since 2019, Mullin said in the news release, “Since I was a teenager, my relationship with Jesus Christ has been nurtured in Southern Baptist congregations, and so I am deeply honored to have the opportunity to serve the churches of the SBC in this way.”

Citing the ERLC’s “important role in Baptist life,” Mullin said, “I am glad to be joining such a great team under the leadership of Brent Leatherwood and am looking forward to what we can accomplish together.”

Mullin preaches regularly and has served the Southern Baptist churches he has been a member of in various teaching and leadership roles. He is a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal.

Lori Bova, chair of the ERLC’s trustees, said in the news release she is “overjoyed with our trustees’ affirmation” of Mullin in the online meeting. He “brings a wealth of expertise and exemplifies Christ-centered leadership,” she said.

In the news release, other SBC leaders also commended Mullin’s election.

MBC Executive Director John Yeats described Mullin as “a man of honor and noble character.”

“While thoroughly equipped to teach in the sphere of academia, he has a heart to serve pastors and their local churches,” Yeats said. “He is staunchly prolife but is articulate in a number of ethical concerns.”

Nathan Finn, provost and dean of the faculty at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., called Mullin “the ideal choice.”

“Miles is a thoughtful historian of American Christianity, a seasoned academic leader and a committed Southern Baptist churchman,” Finn said. “He cares deeply about the mission of the ERLC, and he knows how to lead teams and develop other leaders around him.”

Mullin and his wife Jenny have two adult sons.

He received a Bachelor of Arts in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, a Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy, both in religion, from Vanderbilt University.

The ERLC’s trustees elected Leatherwood unanimously at their annual meeting in September after he had served for a year as acting president.

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