Southern Baptist thought leader Daniel M. Darling has been named director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary (SWBTS), President Adam W. Greenway announced Oct. 25. He will also serve under presidential appointment as assistant professor of faith and culture at Texas Baptist College, SWBTS’s undergraduate school.
“The appointment of Dan Darling to lead the Land Center underscores our commitment to provide the very best theological education for men and women preparing to serve the churches of the Southern Baptist Convention,” Greenway said.
“In a day of moral upheaval and widespread rejection of God’s design for human flourishing, it is our unwavering commitment that the Land Center be a trusted partner in helping Southern Baptist churches and the broader evangelical world to understand the times and to apply effectively gospel truth in this day. Dan is the right person to elevate Southwestern Seminary’s work in cultural engagement, and in God’s providence now is the time. It is my joy to welcome the Darling family to Seminary Hill. I look forward to how they will enrich this community, especially the lives of our students.”
Darling, who most recently served as the senior vice president for communications of the National Religious Broadcasters, is a best-selling author of The Original Jesus, The Dignity Revolution, The Characters of Christmas, The Characters of Easter, and A Way With Words. He is also the host of a popular weekly podcast, “The Way Home.”
Previously, Darling served as vice president for communications at the Southern Baptist Convention Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, as well as in pastoral roles.
“I’m honored to join the wonderful team at Southwestern Seminary and assist President Greenway and the faculty in equipping future Southern Baptist church leaders,” Darling said. “We live in complex and confusing times – but times that are not a surprise to God. Our desire is to build at the Land Center for Cultural Engagement a place where Southern Baptists and the broader evangelical movement can both engage in substantive and thoughtful conversations that help equip Christian leaders and to train a new generation of robustly gospel-centered men and women to engage the world. I’m thankful to President Greenway for this strategic opportunity to serve the Kingdom.”
An award-winning writer, Darling is a columnist for WORLD Opinions and regular contributor to USA Today. His articles also have appeared in Christianity Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, TIME, The Huffington Post, National Review and First Things.
David S. Dockery, interim provost, expressed gratitude for the leadership Darling will bring to his new roles.
“I am genuinely excited about the appointment of Dan Darling as the new director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement,” Dockery said. “Dan will add much to the overall work of the Southwestern community as he gives leadership to this important center and as he invests in the lives of students through his work as assistant professor of faith and culture in the college. It is a delight to welcome Dan Darling to the Southwestern community.”
The Land Center was established in 2007 in honor of Richard D. Land, who led the ERLC for 25 years until his retirement in 2013, when he was named president emeritus. The center focuses on the study and research of ethics, public policy and other cultural and philosophical issues.
“I am delighted that President Greenway has appointed Dan Darling to be the next director of the Land Center for Cultural Engagement,” Land said. “Never has America been in greater need for Christians be the salt and light in culture that our Savior commanded us to be as part of being His ambassadors of reconciliation. Dan is well-equipped by calling and experience to carry on the mission of challenging Southern Baptists and other believers to engage the culture, preserving against decay and dispelling spiritual darkness.”
Since 2015, Darling has served on the pastoral staff of Green Hill Church in Mount Juliet, Tenn., leading in the areas of discipleship and leadership development, in addition to serving on the preaching team. Darling earned a bachelor’s degree in pastoral studies from Dayspring Bible College, has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and earned a master of arts degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Darling and his wife, Angela, have four children.
Darling’s appointments are effective Nov. 1.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Ashley Allen is director of news and information at SWBTS.)