NASHVILLE (BP) -- Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, confirmed to Baptist Press Thursday (April 11) that he has been selected as president of Southern Evangelical Seminary.

The seminary, based in Charlotte, N.C., was co-founded in 1992 by Norman Geisler, longtime seminary professor and apologist, and Ross Rhoads, former evangelist and then-pastor of Calvary Church in Charlotte.

According to the seminary's website, the launch of the seminary stemmed from "Geisler's concern to defend the historic Christian faith" and "Rhoads' burden for evangelism."

Geisler was the seminary's first president and dean.

Land's selection was tweeted by Geisler Thursday morning: "I wish to commend the Board of Southern Evangelical Seminary for its excellent choice of a new president Dr. Richard Land."

In a statement, Land said he would begin his new position July 1. He also will teach, he said.

"We share a mutual vision," he said of the seminary. "For most of my ministry, like SES, I have labored to reach the lost, to strengthen the local church, and to defend the faith. Over the years, it has become increasingly clear to me that the way you spell evangelism, discipleship, missions, and Christian education in the 21st century is 'apologetics.'

"For over 20 years, SES has admirably maintained a dual commitment to evangelism and apologetics. I look forward to strengthening that commitment in the years to come and to making SES THE place to go for the apologetics training needed to fulfill God's calling, to equip the saints, to reach the lost, and to edify the saved."

Land, 66, announced his retirement from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission July 31 of last year. At the time, he scheduled his retirement to be effective Oct. 23, 2013 -- 25 years from the date he assumed the ERLC's presidency in 1988.

ERLC trustees, on March 26, elected Russell Moore as the SBC entity's new president, to be effective June 1. Moore, 41, currently is dean of the school of theology and senior vice president for academic administration at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Compiled by Baptist Press assistant editor Erin Roach and editor Art Toalston. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).

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