(MACON) – Bruce T. Gourley has been named associate director for The Center for Baptist Studies at Mercer University. He will manage the Center's web site, help produce The Baptist Studies Bulletin, coordinate conferences and participate in all other phases of the Center's work.
The Center for Baptist Studies sponsors and encourages the scholarly study of Baptists through instruction, research, publication and collection of historical materials; seeks to strengthen Baptists' understanding of their historical place in the broader Christian Church; and interprets issues and trends in contemporary Baptist life and American culture.
"Bruce Gourley is a remarkable fit for the Center for Baptist Studies and for Mercer University," said Dr. Walter B. Shurden, executive director of The Center for Baptist Studies. "His background, education, skills and commitment will greatly enrich the work of The Center for Baptist Studies."
Currently a Ph.D. student in American History at Auburn University, Gourley is specializing in Southern studies and writing his dissertation on the subject of Baptists in Georgia during the Civil War. He is the author of The Godmakers: A Legacy of the Southern Baptist Convention and a growing number of professional articles and book reviews.
Gourley earned his bachelor of arts degree from Mercer University in 1988, with majors in Christianity and English. In 1992, he received his master of divinity degree from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. From 1993-2002, Gourley served as the area director of Baptist Campus Ministries in Billings, Mont., and as an instructor of church history at Yellowstone Baptist College in Billings, where he also was a campus minister.
Nationally known as the online editor and columnist for Baptists Today, he is also the webmaster for the Baptist History and Heritage Society Web site and owner of the Web site baptistlife.com.
A native of Douglas, Ga., Gourley was ordained to the ministry by Fifth Avenue Baptist Church in Rome, Ga. He is married to the former Debra Hawk of Newnan, Ga.