Published on March 27, 2012  

Dr. Bill J. Leonard, Dunn Professor of Baptist Studies and professor of church history at Wake Forest School of Divinity, will deliver the Ray Frank Robbins Lecture at Samford University Thursday, March 29.  He will speak at 10 a.m. in Reid Chapel in a program open to the public. 

The Robbins Lecture, inaugurated in 2008 by Samford's department of religion, honors the longtime professor of New Testament at New Orleans Baptist Seminary who began his academic career at Samford. The lectureship focuses on the intersection of scholarship and Christian living.
Dr. Leonard will also speak Wednesday, March 28, at 3:30 p.m. in Brock Forum in a program for University Fellows. This program also is open to all.
Leonard was founding dean of the Wake Forest School of Divinity from 1996 until 2010. Prior to that, he was head of the Samford department of religion and philosophy from 1992 until 1996 and professor of church history at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky., from 1975 until 1992.
Leonard is widely recognized for his work in American, Southern and Baptist religious studies, and is the author or editor of 17 books and author of more than 400 journal articles on these subjects. He holds a bachelor degree from Texas Wesleyan University, master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Ph.D from Boston University.
 
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.