Dr. Richard F. Wilson
Columbus Roberts Professor of Theology
Chair of Roberts Department of Religion
Co-Director of Religion and Public Diplomacy Program
- B.A., Mississippi College
- M.Div., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
- Ph.D., Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
I came to Mercer University in 1988. My years at Mercer have been both exciting and rewarding.
“Teaching theologian” is how I usually describe myself. By inclination and training I am driven to ask and explore questions about how God is present in creation, in history, and in the midst of communities of faith. I ask and explore those questions in the context of my own participation in the Baptist tradition, which always shapes my understanding of what it means to be a Christian. At the same time I am eager to learn from the rich traditions found in the history of the Judeo-Christian communities, Islam, and the varied religions in the East.
At Mercer I have been challenged to live and work by the integrity of my questions. Mercer’s distinct heritage as a Baptist university reminds me of the importance of the freedom of conscience and a willingness to grant others the freedom to explore their own questions and commitments. Also I am continually renewed by the questions and commitments of my students and co-workers in the university.
My teaching includes courses that introduce the literature, history, and faith of the Old and New Testaments. I regularly teach upper-level courses that engage some aspect of Christian Theology. Over the years, I have taught gladly in the Great Books Program of the College of Liberal Arts. More recently I have taught INT 301, Engaging the World.
Mercer is not my whole life, however. Since 1995 I have been involved with the Baptist World Alliance. In 2001 I joined the Commission on Christian Ethics, and in 2010 I was named to a five-year stint as Chair of the Commission on Christian Ethics. Attending those meetings gives Lucy (my wife since 1975) and me a chance to travel together every year.
I have a passion for baseball, too. Nearly every year I take an extended vacation during which I visit as many minor league and major league parks as I can.
Finally, my life is refreshed by my active involvement in the life of the Church. I am a deacon at the First Baptist Church in Macon. I teach Sunday School. Also, I enjoy preaching and teaching in churches across the Southeast.