Leonard to be installed in Baptist studies chair - Word&Way

Leonard to be installed in Baptist studies chair

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Bill J. Leonard will be installed as the first James and Marilyn Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies at the Wake Forest University School of Divinity Jan. 24.


Bill Leonard

The installation will be held in conjunction with the divinity school’s spring convocation at 11 a.m. in Wait Chapel on campus.

Featured speaker at convocation will be Harvey G. Cox Jr., professor of divinity at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. Cox will speak on “The Baptist Motif.”

Leonard was founding dean of the divinity school. A leading scholar of Baptist studies, he retired in 2010 as dean but continued to teach church history in the divinity school and the university’s religion department.

The Baptist studies chair honored James Dunn, longtime executive of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, and his wife. Both have been active supporters of the divinity school, and Dunn joined the faculty in 1999.

Current divinity school dean Gail O’Day said last fall that the Baptist studies program would enhance future ministry in Baptist churches.

“Bill’s teaching writing and public engagement with Baptist life will ensure that the Dunns’ commitment to the preservation of individual liberty and freedom in Christ will continue … as we educate a new generation of women and men for religious leadership,” said O’Day.