A native of West Virginia, Matthew Hawkins previously served as a Policy Director for the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC) in Washington, D.C. The ERLC is the public policy arm of The Southern Baptist Convention, America’s largest organization of Protestant Christian churches with over 46,000 congregations nationwide. Through broadcasting and government relations, a 17 year career with the ERLC provided Matt with a front seat to the nation’s debates involving religion and politics (2001-2018).
Matt is available as a speaker, consultant, writer/editor, while in development of a couple podcast projects. Contact him here.
After 8 years in Washington, Matt relocated to the Nashville, TN area where he is pursuing a Ph.D. in public theology via Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, NC). Alongside, he writes and consults at the intersection of religion and the public square. Matt holds an M.A. in Ethics and Public Affairs from George Mason University and a B.A. in Business & Administration from Belmont University.
Matt’s experience includes participation with the International Religious Freedom (IRF) Roundtable, as co-chair of the Congressional Working Group and later on the Steering Committee. The IRF Roundtable is perhaps the most politically and religiously diverse gathering in DC, uniting across deeply held divisions to advance a most basic human right—religious freedom—around the globe.
Matt was also the founding host & producer of the ERLC’s Capitol Conversations podcast for 4 years, interviewing other advocates and policy makers including members of Congress and ambassadors. Matt has been published at The Wall Street Journal, ERLC.com and in a collaborative contribution to a chapter in the academic title, The Rhetoric of Religious Freedom in the United States (2017), “Persuasive Ambassadors: The Southern Baptist Commitment to Religious Freedom for All”.
Matt and his wife, Crystal (a nurse practitioner), currently live with their daughter in the greater Nashville, TN area (Lebanon, TN). When not hanging out with family or thinking about religion and politics, he enjoys restaurants and cooking with his wife, serving his local church as an audio nerd, and occasionally bangs on his vintage drums kit from the 1960’s.