Barrett Duke, Ph.D.

Barrett Duke is Vice President for Public Policy and Research and Director of the Research Institute of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), the Southern Baptist Convention’s agency for “applied Christianity” (social and moral concerns). He has been with the agency since 1997.

Barrett Duke, Ph.D.
Vice President for Public Policy and Research, and Director of the Research Institute
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention
505 Second Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
(202)547-8105 /

As Vice President for Public Policy and Research, Barrett directs the work of the ERLC’s advocacy arm in Washington, DC. In this capacity he communicates Southern Baptist convictions to elected and public officials in order to influence the development of sound public policy. As Director of the Commission’s Research Institute, Barrett oversees the Commission’s research and the collection of information on the pressing moral and religious liberty issues of the day. Barrett is a Founding Fellow of the Research Institute and works with a group of distinguished Fellows who gather twice a year to share research on today’s crucial moral and religious liberty issues.

Barrett has worked with legislators and various government agencies on many legislative and public policy issues, including abortion, euthanasia, gambling, homosexuality, judicial nominations, pornography, public education, religious liberty, same-sex marriage, sex trafficking, stem cell research, and substance abuse. He provided testimony during hearings of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms on alcohol beverage labeling and health claims. He speaks regularly on Christian worldview, sanctity of human life, gambling, homosexuality, capital punishment, public education, religious freedom, separation of church and state, and other issues in many religious and civic settings.

He also has an active writing ministry. His writings include: “The Christian Doctrine of Religious Liberty,” in First Freedom: The Baptist Perspective on Religious Liberty, 2007; and “Being Salt and Light in a Post Christian Culture” in The Mission of Today’s Church, 2007. He coauthored with Dr. Richard Land: “Being Salt and Light in an Unsavory and Dark Age: The Christian and Politics,” in the Winter 2007 issue of the Southern Baptist Journal of Theology; “The Christian and Alcohol” in the Spring 2008 issue of the Criswell Theological Review; and “Fatherhood in the Evangelical Tradition” in The Faith Factor in Fatherhood, 1999. His pamphlets on casino and lottery gambling have sold over 100,000 copies. His articles on gambling and the environment have appeared in the Commission’s publication, Light. He is the author of the article “Capital Punishment” in the Holman Bible Dictionary. His article “The Prolife High Ground: Effective Responses to Prochoice Arguments,” appeared in the Fall 2002 edition of the Single Adult Learner Guide published by Lifeway Christian Resources. He also translated portions of the Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the Old Testament for the Holman Christian Standard Bible and is a contributor to the Broadman and Holman Apologetics Study Bible.

Barrett has participated in church denominational life in numerous capacities. He was President of the Denver Association Pastor’s Conference from 1992 to 1993. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in San Francisco from 1991 to 1996. Barrett also served on the Seminary Extension Task Force for Colorado, which established a permanent satellite school of the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Denver, Colorado. He was an adjunct professor of Old Testament for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s extension school in Nashville. He also taught Old Testament and Hebrew at the Denver Conservative Baptist Theological Seminary for four years, and he has been a guest lecturer in ethics and related fields at all six seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Barrett received the BA degree, with a major in Bible (summa cum laude), in 1982 from the Criswell College in Dallas, Texas. During his years at the Criswell College, he served as Student Body Vice President and President. He received the MA degree, with honors, in Old Testament Studies in 1985 from Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary in Denver, Colorado. While at Denver Seminary, he participated in a 3 week study tour of Israel at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem, Israel. In 1999, he received the Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from the joint doctoral program of the Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver.

Prior to his current position, Barrett was the founding pastor of the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Denver, Colorado, from 1984 to 1996. During this time, he led a small home Bible study group of 13 people to organize as a church of nearly 200. In addition, he led the congregation to purchase 8 acres of land and build a first phase church building in a growing suburb of Denver.

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