ERLC appoints Nathan Finn as senior fellow

The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention has hired Nathan A. Finn to serve as a senior fellow with an emphasis on matters related to religious liberty.

Nathan Finn

Finn is a professor of faith and culture at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., where he also serves as executive director of the Institute for Transformational Leadership. In addition to his roles at North Greenville, Finn is the bivocational teaching pastor at Taylors First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C.

Finn is a church historian and theologian whose research interests include Baptist history and identity, the intersection of faith and culture, the doctrine of the Christian life, and Christian higher education. Finn is active in Southern Baptist denominational leadership and serves as the current recording secretary of the SBC. He has also served as vice chair of the Committee on Resolutions (2021), is a member of the Cooperation Group (2023-2024), and is an ex-officio member of the SBC Executive Committee (2022-present).

“Religious liberty has been a core Baptist distinctive from our movement’s inception, and it remains at the heart of the ERLC’s mission,” Finn said. “I also believe it is one of the most important justice issues of our age. I’m honored to serve Southern Baptists by helping our churches reflect on the enduring importance of religious liberty and its implications, to respond to contemporary challenges to our ‘First Freedom,’ and to better understand how the Baptist ideal of a free church in a free state helps promote Great Commission faithfulness and cultivate authentic human flourishing.”

Finn is author or editor of more than a dozen books, most notably, “The Baptist Story: From English Sect to Global Movement” (B&H Academic, 2015), “History: A Student’s Guide” (Crossway, 2016), “Historical Theology for the Church” (B&H Academic, 2021), and “A Handbook of Theology” (B&H Academic, 2023). He frequently writes columns for WORLD Opinions and Baptist Press.

“Dr. Finn is one of the leading Baptist voices on questions of religious liberty in the public square today,” said Jason Thacker, director of the ERLC Research Institute and senior fellow. “He brings a wealth of experience and historical insight to these questions as he models how central religious liberty is to our gospel work and to Baptist identity. Religious liberty is not an optional add-on to our common life together, but absolutely central to what it means to be human and how we ought to live with one another in community as we seek to proclaim a proper understanding of the relationship of the church and state in a pluralizing society.”

Finn joins RaShan Frost, a senior fellow focusing on human dignity issues, and Thacker, who focuses on pro-life and other bioethical issues on the research team.

Prior to his roles at North Greenville University, Finn previously served as a church historian at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.; dean of the School of Theology and Missions at Union University in Jackson, Tenn.; and as provost and dean of the university faculty at North Greenville University.

Finn earned his doctor of philosophy in theological studies with a concentration in church history from SEBTS. Finn and his wife have four children.