About Us


Religion is and always has been a fundamentally important aspect of the human experience. Even in modern pluralistic democracies such as the United States, in which there is no official religion, religious beliefs and their related moral commitments remain fundamentally important in shaping the culture and values of citizens.

For many religious folks, an issue like abortion (or poverty, or war, or health care, or immigration, or euthanasia) is not just a policy matter requiring negotiation and compromise, but also a moral and even religious issue. Many believe that it is therefore inappropriate for religion to enter the public square at all. This claim is worthy of discussion, but the fact remains that religion simply does enter the public square whenever people of faith enter that square.

The Center for Theology and Public Life recognizes and accepts these facts, and seeks to offer programs that show how theological and ethical commitments can and should relate constructively to public life, in the United States and beyond.

We hope to show, through all of our events and activities, that religion, and in particular the Christian ethical values so central to the history of the United States and the historic vision of Mercer University, can make an indispensable contribution to a better country and better world.

The common good – moral passion – love of neighbor – service to the marginalized – human dignity – these are the themes taken up by Center events. We hope you will find ways to participate!


The Center for Theology and Public Life was founded in 2010 by Dr. David Gushee at Mercer University. Though it is located at McAfee School of Theology on the Atlanta campus, the CTPL serves the wider Mercer University community, often co-sponsoring events on the Macon campus.