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Mission & Purpose
The L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture seeks to engage culture as salt and light, presenting and defending the Christian faith and demonstrating its implications for all areas of human existence.
The Center has a two-fold purpose: (1) To convey graciously and apply effectively the Christian worldview to all areas of culture and to the human condition; (2) To encourage and support the Church in its redemptive work.
Bruce Riley Ashford was born in Chesapeake, VA, but spent his childhood years in Roseboro, NC. He received his B.A. in Communications from Campbell University. Upon graduation from Campbell, he entered Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his Master of Divinity. After spending two years overseas as a university instructor, he returned to the United States to enter the Ph.D. program at Southeastern. He defended his dissertation, “Wittgenstein’s Impact on Anglo-American Theology: Representative Models of Response to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Later Writings,” in December 2003.
In 2001 he began teaching adjunctively in The College at Southeastern and was elected to the faculty in 2003. Currently, he holds the position of Associate Professor of Theology and Culture. From 2005-2008 he served as the Director of the Lewis A. Drummond Center for Great Commission Studies. Then, in January 2009 Dr. Ashford accepted the position of Dean of The College at Southeastern.
Ashford is a member of the American Academy of Religion; the Evangelical Philosophical Society; the Evangelical Theological Society; American Philosophical Association; American Association of Philosophy Teachers; Association for Liberty, Philosophy, and Society; the Society of Christian Philosophers; and the Evangelical Missiological Society.
In addition to his teaching schedule, Ashford preaches for various denominations, including Southern Baptist, American Baptist, Mennonite, Presbyterian Church-USA, Presbyterian Church of America, United Methodist Church, Episcopal, Assemblies of God, Church of God, United Pentecostal, Four Square, and Russian Baptist.
He has studied, lectured, or led student groups to countries such as Russia, Czech Republic, Hungary, India, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Germany, Great Britain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Jordan, and Turkey.
He has lectured, debated, or spoken on college campuses, including UNC-Chapel Hill, Duke University, University of Florida, Appalachian State University, Methodist College, UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Greensboro, Gardner-Webb University, Campbell University, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Anderson College, Criswell College, and Kazan University (Russia).
He was a co-recipient of a creative teaching grant from Yale Divinity School’s Center for Faith and Culture. Together with David Nelson, former Dean of the Faculty at Southeastern, he received one of four $5,000 awards from Yale for a course they designed to help pastors equip their congregations to live wisely in the context of contemporary American culture.
Ashford has published articles with a number of academic journals including Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Journal for Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, Analele Universitãtii Din Craiova, and Iran & The Caucuses.
“It is an honor to be involved in the work of the Center. We hope to encourage Christians to bear testimony to the truth, goodness, and beauty of Christ, in a world that is too often ignorant of our Lord. We seek to show that the Christian worldview is eminently reasonable and bears upon all dimensions of culture, including the arts, the sciences, and the public square. Indeed, such things were created by Christ and find their fruition in Him. Above all, it is our desire to speak in a winsome and persuasive manner, as indeed the Story we have to tell is the greatest story ever told; it is true.” ~ Bruce R. Ashford
Dennis Darville was born in McComb, Mississippi. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies from The College at Southeastern and received his Masters in Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently applying to the University of Bristol as a Ph. D.Candidate.
Darville's professional background is diverse. He served twelve years as a campus minister, ministering to college students at the Universityof Georgia and then moving to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Also, he was involved in planting a campus church in Houston, TX.
After serving as a campus minister, Darville left the campus for the marketplace. Over a twelve year span, he served as Vice President of Ashworth Golf, then Vice President of Greg Norman Apparel, and another few years as Vice President of PING Apparel. Those years taught him a wealth of information, not the least of which is the need to see the primacy of Christ in all spheres of life and the urgent need for kingdom-perspective and balance. Darville has also had the privilege of serving as an interim pastor, campus speaker and corporate consultant.
Darville now serves as Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Additionally, he is a member of the Board of Links Players International, an international ministry using the game of golf as a platform to reach men and women for Christ. He also serves on the Committee for the Scripture and Hermeneutics Seminar and is also a member of the Evangelical Theological Society.
He has been married to LeeAnne for thirty years and has two children, Joanna and Jonathan, and one son-in-law, Joe.
"It is a rare privilege to associate with these men who give direction to the Center. They are men for whom I hold the deepest respect. The Center, at its heart, recognizes the claims of Christ on a world he has both created and redeemed. I cannot imagine anything more valuable than participating in the efforts of the Center for Faith and Culture to plant the flag of Christ's lordship in all spheres of life. May we once again take responsibility of pressing the claims of Christ in the market-place of ideas. " ~ Dennis Darville
Mark Liederbach was born in Cherry Hills, New Jersey. Having nothing against the North, he was first moved by Divine providence (in the form of his parents) to Potomac, Maryland for his formative years and then further south and west for his formal education. He received his B.S. in Energy Resource Development from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia; the M.A. in Theology and Church History from Denver Seminary; and the Ph.D. in Theology, Ethics and Culture from The University of Virginia. He began his career as a campus minister with Campus Crusade for Christ where he served for 4 years at Virginia Tech and later as the campus director of the Campus Crusade for Christ ministry at West Virginia University. During his Ph.D. years he taught Business Ethics at the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. After completing his Ph.D. he served as a Visiting Professor of Religious Studies at James Madison University where he taught World Religions, Philosophy and Ethics related courses. Since 2000 he has been teaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary as an Associate Professor of Christian Ethics. Since 2010, Liederbach also serves at Southeastern as the Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Services.
Liederbach is an active member in the Evangelical Theological Society and Evangelical Philosophical Society.
Not only does Liederbach frequently present academic papers at various conferences, he is also in demand to be the keynote speaker for campus events, marriage seminar’s and retreats, men’s conferences and ethics related conferences, panel discussions, and video presentations.
His publications include articles on the nature of beauty, conceptions of the self, virtue ethics, just war theory, the conscience, methods of moral decision making, and ethics as worship. He has recently been featured in an online panel discussion related to the issue of war and torture as well as an ethics video series published by the North Carolina Family Policy Council.
Liederbach is currently under contract with Kregel to complete a work on the Emergent Church movement and is currently writing a text entitled Ethics as Worship to be completed soon.
He is married to Harriette and they have three children: Daniel, Hannah, and Katherine.
“We live in a time and societal environment in which there is great uncertainty regarding the relationship between ethical convictions and tolerance, theology ideologies and societal trends, personal beliefs and our role in the public square. That is, there is great confusion over the proper interplay of faith and culture. The fact that most of the world’s great points of discussion are directly related to this interplay supports our conviction that the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture’s mission and purpose are both timely and profoundly relevant.
It is my great hope that the center will assist believers and non-believers alike in the process of understanding and employing a right ordering of faith and culture in order to have a redemptive influence on society and ultimately bring glory of God. It is my further hope that through our efforts we might honor well the life and calling of the man for whom the center is named and the Savior he has so faithfully and effectively served.” ~ Mark Liederbach