Christian Life & Witness Conference to Explore Influence of Christian Higher Education in Church Life

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GC Philosophy chair Roger Ward, director of The Center for Christian Discernment & Academic Leadership

The inaugural event of The Center for Christian Discernment & Academic Leadership at Georgetown College – Christian Life & Witness: From the Academy to the Church – will focus on the influence of Christian higher education in church life. On Jan. 23-24, educators, ministers and students are invited to join in exploring the richness of the Christian tradition (Baptist, Lutheran, Mennonite, and Reformed) in pursuit of academic resources for encouraging students in creative and faithful living.

Speakers from 15 different colleges and universities, from across the country and representing these traditions, will participate. Featured are:

Dr. Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Professor of Philosophical Theology Emeritus, Yale University; and author of Educating for Shalom; in the keynote address of Monday’s banquet at the College’s Thomas & King Conference Center, and,

Rev. Dr. Paul S. Fiddes, Professor of Systematic Theology, University of Oxford; Director of Research, Regent’s Park College; author of Tracks and Traces: Baptist Identity in Church and Theology;  and Trustee Fellow of Georgetown College, at the 11 a.m. Tuesday colloquium in John L. Hill Chapel.

Registration is at 3:30 p.m., Jan. 23, Thomas & King Conference Center on East Campus. The $75 fee (students $25) includes Monday banquet and Tuesday luncheon. The general public is invited to drop-in on individual sessions and lectures at no cost. Register online and view the schedule under the Conferences link.

For a longer preview of the conference, read the commentary by GC sophomore Jonathan Balmer, a Christian Leadership Scholar from Mason, OH.

GC Philosophy professor Roger Ward, chair of the department and director of the Center, will kick-off Monday’s 7 p.m. banquet with an introduction of The Center for Christian Discernment & Academic Leadership at Georgetown College.

His short answer to Why a Center? 

“The formation of the Center for Christian Discernment is an organic development of the work we began with the Lilly Endowment grant 2000-2010.  The college has historically been a center of Baptist and Christian thought, primarily through educating college students and training men and women for ministry and missions. With the focus of the Center in Academic Programs, the college is emphasizing the connection between Christian fidelity and its academic mission. Addressing issues of importance to the larger Christian community is one way the college through the Center will engage in this work.”

How will this Center be important for the future of GC?

“The Center is important for the future of GC as a witness to its ongoing commitment to be an active force in expanding the Kingdom of God through education and leadership. The Center is also important for the future of the college as a vehicle for attracting support, both people and financial resources and organizing the activities connected to our Christian mission.”

Dr. Ward said the idea of a conference was attractive because of a desire “to expand the profile of Georgetown in the conversation on Christian higher education. Schools like Notre Dame, Baylor, Calvin and others use conferences like this to bring leading intellectuals to campus and also to signal their investment in the project.”

Ward said financial contributions to the Center from alumni and interested persons would be most welcome and would help offset the cost of the conference. Contact him at roger_ward@georgetowncollege.edu or 502-863-8080. Again, please visit the website at www.georgetowncollege.edu/cdal to get involved.



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