Charisma Caucus

12 Traits the Next President Must Exhibit

President Obama Press Conference Eyes Closed
The president of the Southern Evangelical Seminary has a wish list of traits the next commander in chief (not President Obama, above) must exhibit. (Reuters photo)

The next president of the United States certainly has his work cut out for him—or her. Many will be making voting decisions based on policies or positions on the many pressing issues our country faces.

But along with those important considerations, as voters, we must look at the convictions, characteristics and values of the man, or woman, in the hunt for office.

This Christmas season, evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, and a scholar who has been studying presidential leadership for decades, has created a holiday "wish list" of 12 characteristics the next commander in chief must exhibit. Among them:

  1. A person of deep and consistent faith
  2. A person of character
  3. A truth-teller
  4. A faithful husband or wife
  5. A devoted father or mother
  6. A leader who exemplifies to the nation a healthy and admirable marriage and home
  7. A patriot who understands the uniqueness of this "indispensable nation"
  8. A good listener who takes the needs of America to heart rather than furthering his or her own agenda
  9. A communicator who possesses a keen and disciplined mind and the ability to articulate America's timeless values both to America and the world
  10. A lifelong learner who is knowledgeable about the issues facing the nation, is eager to know more and does not assume that he or she knows more about everything than everyone else
  11. A person of courage who pursues the role of statesman rather than politician, as Winston Churchill said, "The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about next elections, while the statesman thinks about the next generations."
  12. A person with a sense of healthy humor—a wise man said never to trust anyone who takes himself too seriously or doesn't have a sense of humor

Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (, has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books.  He was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council and previously served as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention's official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC's Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax's "Top 100 Christian Leaders in America." Dr. Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, "Bringing Every Thought Captive," which airs on approximately 335 stations across the country.

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