Posted by Mary Wimberley on 1999-06-28

Mark Elliott, a specialist on evangelical Christians in Russia and Eastern Europe, has been named director of the Global Center at Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, effective July 1. Elliott has served as professor of history and director of the Institute for East-West Christian Studies at Wheaton College, Wheaton, Ill., since 1986.

"We are delighted to welcome Dr. Mark Elliott as the new director of Beeson's Global Center," said Beeson Divinity School Dean Dr. Timothy George. "From his base at Wheaton's Billy Graham Center, he has done groundbreaking research on evangelical Christians in Russia and Eastern Europe. He has a passion for sharing the gospel and will help us build bridges to other Great Commission believers around the world."

Elliott will succeed Dr. William R. O'Brien, who is retiring as Center director. O'Brien, who has served in that position since the Center opened in 1992, was previously with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board.

A unique bridge to the 21st Century, the Global Center supports and assists cross-cultural Christian outreach through the collection and dissemination of reliable information on the church and ministry worldwide. It provides hands-on, interactive experiences for encountering global realities.

The Center includes displays, audio tracks, interactive PCs, a continually advancing population clock, foreign language news programs and work stations housing massive databanks.

Elliott earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1969 from Asbury College. He received a master of arts degree in 1971 and a doctoral degree in 1974 from the University of Kentucky. A prolific author, Elliott has written scores of articles, books and reviews, including the highly esteemed volume, Pawns of Yalta.

Elliott is the founding director of Wheaton's Institute for East-West Christian Studies, and edits the quarterly publication, East-West Church & Ministry Report. The Institute seeks to encourage an understanding in the West of Christianity in the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe, and facilitates Christian ministries in these areas.

The Report serves as a clearinghouse for information concerning the status of Christianity and evangelical ministries in the former Soviet Union and East Central Europe, and encourages cooperation and coordinated efforts among such ministries working in the East. The Report recently received its third award of merit from the Evangelical Press Association.

Elliott is a member of the board of advisors, International Institute for Christian Studies, and is an advisory council member, Peter Deyneka Russian Ministries. He serves on the board of directors of Asbury College Scope Evangelistic Ministries and Russian-American Christian University.

As the director of the Global Center, Elliott will draw upon his knowledge of Christianity in Eastern Europe to develop further the Center's mission as an educational resource and means for world evangelization, according to Dr. George.


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. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 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 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.