Dr. Richard Land

What (Not Who?) is on Your Presidential Wish List?

December 7, 2015

Dr. Richard Land, President of Southern Evangelical Seminary, Shares 12 Qualities of America’s Next Leader

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—With headlines still swirling about the attacks in Paris, the debate over Syrian refugees, and the tragic and deadly shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.—along with economic and moral concerns, terrorism and a multitude of other serious issues—the next President of the United States certainly has his work cut out for him—or her.

But what are the qualities that must be at the top of every American’s list when considering a candidate?

Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) and a scholar who has been studying presidential leadership for decades, has created his holiday “wish list” of 12 characteristics the next Commander-in-Chief must exhibit.

“First and foremost, our next President should be accountable to a higher power other than himself or herself,” Land said. “The promise and pledge must be to the country and her people, with an unwavering commitment to the safety to our people. We have witnessed over the past several weeks the need for our leaders to truly stand for America rather than their own needs or the wants and demands of special interest groups. Americans should be confident that their government will protect them and stand for their safety, rather than be afraid that our leaders will compromise everything on which our nation was built. And if that person is a Christian, so much the better.”

Land said the 12 qualities that the next President should have include:

  1. A person of deep and consistent faith
  2. A person of character
  3. A truth-teller
  4. A faithful husband or wife
  5. A devoted father or mother
  6. A leader who exemplifies to the nation a healthy and admirable marriage and home
  7. A patriot who understands the uniqueness of this “indispensable nation”
  8. A good listener who takes the needs of America to heart rather than furthering his or her own agenda
  9. A communicator who possesses a keen and disciplined mind and the ability to articulate America’s timeless values both to America and the world
  10. A lifelong learner who is knowledgeable about the issues facing the nation, is eager to know more and does not assume that he or she knows more about everything than everyone else
  11. A person of courage who pursues the role of statesman rather than politician, as Winston Churchill said, “The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about next elections, while the statesman thinks about the next generations.”
  12. A person with a sense of healthy humor—a wise man said never to trust anyone who takes himself too seriously or doesn’t have a sense of humor

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on 235 stations on the American Family Radio Network and 100 stations on the Bott Radio Network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, debuted in January on the NRB Network, and airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For more information about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.

Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”

Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.

Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”

For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu.


For information on SES or to set up an interview, contact Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102, or Beth Harrison, 610-584-1096, ext. 104Media@HamiltonStrategies.com


Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. The accredited Christian college and seminary offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. Programs can be completed through residence in the Charlotte area or online. The award-winning education at SES is distinctively Christian and focused on evangelism and world-engaging defense of the Christian faith—Christian Apologetics.