Emmy-Nominated Priest and Professor Will Lead 2015 Norwich Baccalaureate Service

Randall Balmer, PhD, a long-time friend of NU Chaplain William Wick and chair of the Department of Religion at Dartmouth University, will lead the 2015 Norwich Commencement weekend worship service on May 8, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. in White Chapel.
Norwich University Office of Communications

Updated May 6, 2015
Norwich University is proud to announce that this year’s Baccalaureate speaker will be Randall Balmer, PhD, the Mandel Family Professor in the Arts and Sciences and Chair, Department of Religion at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H.

A prolific writer, teacher and speaker, Balmer has taught at Columbia, Yale and Princeton and is the author of over 15 books. He has also served as an Emmy-nominated writer and host of several PBS documentaries, including a three-part series based on his book, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America.

Balmer has been a personal friend of NU Chaplain William Wick since 1974. Born in 1954, Balmer earned a BA in history from Trinity College in Deerfield, Ill., an MA in church History from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, also in Deerfield, Ill., an AM and PhD in religion from Princeton University, and a MDiv in divinity from Union Theological Seminary.

Balmer taught previously at Barnard College of Columbia University, where he served as chair of the Department of Religion and the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Union Theological Seminary, Yale University Divinity School, Hartford Seminary, Northwestern University, Drew University, Princeton University and Rutgers University.

He is both an ordained Episcopal priest and a widely published author, serving as a weekly columnist for Religious News Service in the early 1990s and as a contributing writer and editor for Christianity Today from 1999 to 2013.

His numerous awards over his academic and religious career include the Gabriel Award from the National Catholic Association of Broadcasters and Communicators, the Distinguished Book Award from the Society of Colonial Wars, and the Sidney E. Mead Prize from the American Society of Church History. He was also nominated for a Emmy Award in 1993 in the category of Outstanding Individual Achievement: Informational Programming by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Balmer has delivered numerous national named lectures at a variety of institutions, including American University, Emory University, Lehigh University, Luther Seminary, Mercer University, Miami University (Ohio), Muskinghum University, North Park University, Pepperdine University, Samford University, University of Oklahoma, Vanderbilt University Divinity School, and Wheaton College. He has also presented academic lectures at over 60 colleges and universities.

Balmer is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the American Society of Church History, and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has authored over 15 books, most notably, God in the White House: How Faith Shaped the Presidency from John F. Kennedy to George W. Bush, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Journey into the Evangelical Subculture in America, Grant Us Courage: Travels Along the Mainline of American Protestantism, and Redeemer: The Life of Jimmy Carter. He is a prolific writer who has written op-ed pieces and extensive articles and chapters for encyclopedias.

On television, for PBS, he has been writer and host for three different programs/six episodes including the highly acclaimed three-part documentary, Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory. For ABC News, at least eight times he has been interviewed on World News Tonight, twice on 20/20, once on Nightline, and twice on Good Morning America. Other media opportunities span across such venues as Air America, Bloomberg, the BBC, CBC, CBS News, NBC News, CNN, and NPR.