Featured Speakers Confirmed to Date
Howard K. Batson has served since 1995 as pastor of First Baptist Church of Amarillo, Texas, a vibrant downtown congregation of more than 11,000 people that holds services in five different languages every Sunday. The author of Common Sense Church Growth, he has written for both scholarly journals and church-related publications. He holds a PhD in biblical studies from Baylor University and is a former chair of Baylor University’s Board of Regents.
Jasmine Bellamy is the vice president of planning and allocation at Reebok. She earned her BS in marketing management from Syracuse University and MBA from Fordham University. In June 2022, she received a master of arts in theology from Fuller Seminary, where she is an Emerging Black Scholar of the William E. Pannell Center for Black Church Studies. With more than 25 years of experience, she is both a business and culture transformer. She has driven the merchandising strategies of numerous well known retailers, including Lord & Taylor, Bloomingdale’s, LOFT, Kmart, and Gap, and she is an expert in celebrity brands, having directed the collections of Sarah Jessica Parker, Venus Williams, Adam Levine, and Nicki Minaj. In 2021, she earned the distinction of being named one of Sports Illustrated’s 100 Influential Black Women in Sports.
Patricia Lynn Brown is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, teaching the Art and Craft of Writing, Studies in Literature, American Literature, African American Literature, American Ethnic Literature, and the African American Experience. She previously taught English courses at the University of Illinois for 10 years, and she taught language arts classes at Amelia Earhart Middle School in Riverside, California for three years. Brown’s research and teaching interests include African American literature, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature, and religious studies and literature. Her publications and conference presentations explore the historical implications of the African American experience in relation to the broader study of American literature. Brown’s current scholarship consists of a detailed study of Toni Morrison’s novels and a study of African American women’s responses to oppression.
Uli Chi has spent his life practicing leadership in the intersection of nonprofits and for profit businesses, the theological academy, and the local church. He is an award-winning technological entrepreneur who founded a software company that develops 3-D virtual reality software that simplifies complex decision making for consumers and businesses. He is a sought-after advisor to senior executives and serves in board governance at multiple non-profits. For the last forty years, he has served leaders in a wide variety of roles in his local Presbyterian congregation. He is currently a Senior Fellow at the De Pree Center for Leadership and regularly contributes to its Life for Leaders daily devotional blog. He is also part of the teaching faculty for Regent College’s Master of Arts in Leadership, Theology and Society.
David Corey is professor of political science at Baylor University and focuses on political philosophy in the Honors Program at Baylor University. He is also an affiliated member of the departments of Philosophy and Political Science. He studied law and jurisprudence at Old College, Edinburgh before taking up graduate work in political philosophy at Louisiana State University. He is the author of two books, The Just War Tradition (with J. Daryl Charles) (2012) and The Sophists in Plato’s Dialogues (2015). He has written more than two dozen articles and book chapters in such venues as the Review of Politics, History of Political Thought, Modern Age, Interpretation: A Journal of Political Philosophy, and the Cambridge Dictionary of Political Thought. His current projects, Rethinking American Politics and Liberalism & The Modern Quest for Freedom, examine the loss of healthy political association in the United States and offer strategies for reform. Baylor’s Student Government has twice named him Faculty Member of the Year.
Elizabeth Corey joined the Baylor University Honors Program’s faculty in 2007 and has served as director since 2015. She earned a B.A. in Classics from Oberlin College, an M.A. in art history from Louisiana State University (LSU), and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from LSU. She has taught courses at Baylor on political science, great texts, and in the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core. She has earned several awards for research and teaching and was a 2016-2017 Robert Novak Journalism Fellow. Her book, Michael Oakeshott on Religion, Aesthetics, and Politics, was published by the University of Missouri Press in 2006. She writes for First Things and serves on the board of the Institute on Religion and Public Life. She has also published in The Atlantic, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, and in a variety of scholarly journals. During the 2018-19 academic year, she was the American Enterprise Institute’s Values and Capitalism Visiting Professor.
Jimmy Dorrell is co-founder and president emeritus of Mission Waco Mission World. After graduating from seminary in 1978, he and his wife Janet traveled the world to work among the poor. They then planted roots in North Waco, where they began their call to incarnational ministry: to live among the poor and help bring “good news” through relationships and empowerment opportunities. Dorrell’s passion for the poor and mobilizing the middle-class to become involved in the lives of the poor became the strategy for Mission Waco Mission World that continues today. Dorrell has served as pastor of Church Under the Bridge since 1992 while also teaching classes at Baylor University and Truett Seminary in Waco. He has served on several boards, including Texas Christian Community Development Network and helped found three other non-profit organizations.
Michael O. Emerson is professor and head in the Department of Sociology, with a courtesy appointment in the College of Urban Planning and Public Policy at University of Illinois Chicago. He has published widely in the areas of race, religion, and urban sociology. He is the author of 15 books and nearly 100 other publications. He has secured over 7 million dollars in research grants, helped secure over 20 million dollars in institutional grants, and has won several national awards for his research. Most recently he and Glenn Bracey of Villanova University have been conducting the most comprehensive study of race and religion ever conducted in the U.S. Funded by the Lilly Endowment. Several books and articles are forthcoming from the project, including The Grand Betrayal: The Agonizing Story of Race, Religion, and Rejection in American Life (forthcoming 2023).
C. Stephen Evans is University Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Baylor University, director of the Baylor Center for Christian Philosophy, and distinguished senior fellow in the Institute for Studies of Religion. He also holds appointments as a professorial fellow at the University of St. Andrews and at Australian Catholic University. His published works have focused on Søren Kierkegaard, philosophy of religion, and the philosophy of psychology. He has written over fifteen single-authored books, the most recent being Living Accountably: Accountability as a Virtue (Oxford University Press, 2023). He has published many professional articles and has received two Fellowships from NEH and a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. He is principal investigator for the Templeton Religion Trust grant on “Accountability as a Relational Virtue,” awarded to the Institute for Studies of Religion. He is a past president of the Society of Christian Philosophers.
Thomas Hibbs is J. Newton Rayzor Sr. Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University, where he is also Dean Emeritus, having served 16 years as dean of the Honors College and distinguished professor of ethics and culture. He has served as full professor and department chair of philosophy at Boston College and as president of the University of Dallas. He works in the areas of medieval philosophy, especially Thomas Aquinas, contemporary virtue ethics, and aesthetics. Hibbs has published more than thirty scholarly articles and seven books, the most recent of which is A Theology of Creation: Ecology, Art, and Laudato Si' (University of Notre Dame Press). He has two books on film and philosophy and is currently working on a book on Catholic aesthetics that is under contract with the University of Notre Dame Press. In addition to these scholarly works, he has published more than 100 reviews and discussion articles in a variety of venues.
James Davison Hunter is LaBrosse-Levinson Distinguished Professor of Religion, Culture and Social Theory at the University of Virginia. Hunter has written nine books, edited four books, and published a wide range of essays, articles, and reviews—all variously concerned with the problem of meaning and moral order in a time of political and cultural change in American life. His newest book is Science and the Good: The Tragic Quest for the Foundations of Morality (Yale University Press, 2018). In 2004, he was appointed by the White House to a six-year term to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Since 1995, Hunter has served as the Executive Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. His current book project examines the changing deep structures of political culture. He also is the Principal Investigator for the research project Character and Citizenship in 21st Century America: Studies in the Moral Ecology of Formation.
Matthew D. Kim is professor of practical theology and holder of the Hubert H. and Gladys S. Raborn Chair of Pastoral Leadership at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary. Before joining the Truett faculty in 2022, he taught at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for ten years as the George F. Bennett Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology and served as the director of the Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching and director of Mentored Ministry. He served as a senior pastor, college minister, and youth pastor in Colorado and Massachusetts for ten years. He is an award-winning author or editor of several books on pastoral ministry and preaching. His most recent co-authored book is Preaching to a Divided Nation: A Steven-Step Model for Promoting Reconciliation and Unity (Baker Academic, 2022).
Lauren Kuykendall is associate professor of industrial-organizational psychology at George Mason University, where she also serves as senior scholar at George Mason’s Center for the Advancement of Well-Being. Her research focuses on employee well-being, burnout, and work-nonwork balance. Her lab explores a variety of elements of work culture, including work-rest rhythms and recovery from work stress; flexible work arrangements and paid leave policies; work-nonwork decision-making, time allocation, and well-being; ideal worker norms; and the meaningfulness of work. She serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Business and Psychology, where she was named a Reviewer of the Year in 2019. She received the University Teaching Excellence Award with special recognition for high impact teaching in 2021.
John Lippitt is professor of philosophy and director of the Institute for Ethics & Society at the University of Notre Dame Australia, based in Sydney. His research interests include virtue ethics and the moral psychology of the virtues; forgiveness; philosophical and theological aspects of love and friendship; and the thought of Søren Kierkegaard. He also has an active interest in the ethics of policing. His latest monograph, Love's Forgiveness, was published by Oxford University Press in 2020. Previous books include the following: The Routledge Guidebook to Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling (second edition, 2016); Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-love (Cambridge University Press, 2013); and The Oxford Handbook of Kierkegaard (co-edited with George Pattison, Oxford University Press, 2013).
G. S. “Mack” McCarter III is the founder and coordinator of Community Renewal International (CRI). He is an Ordained Minister in the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) denomination. Before returning to Shreveport to begin implementing his vision for community renewal, Mack pastored Christian churches in Texas for 18 years. In 1991, Mack moved with his family back to his hometown to establish and to launch his vision of a method for renewing lives and whole cities through restoring the relational foundation upon which all communities rest. The mission of CRI is to partner together with God and one another to make our world a home where every single child, no matter their age, can be safe and loved. Over the span of 25 years of work, there are now more than 50,000 “We Care” team members in all 50 states and 41 nations. Ten cities in the United States are reproducing the model of connecting caring people, changing lives, and transforming communities. CRI has been recognized both nationally and internationally as a model for reconstructing both the foundation as well as the actual infrastructure of society through developing a system of loving relationships.
Mollie Moore is the director of programming and development for Baylor in Washington. Based in Washington, D.C., she oversees Baylor’s Washington Semester Program and seeks to provide an integrative strategy for all of Baylor’s programs and initiatives in the nation’s capital. Prior to joining the Baylor in Washington team, she served as the senior manager of academic programs at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she managed the Institute’s outreach to colleges and universities, with a particular focus on Christian higher education. Before AEI, Mollie served as a legislative correspondent for Senator Mitch McConnell. Mollie is a graduate of Baylor University, where she earned a B.A. in international studies.
Shirley Mullen served 15 years as president of Houghton College, Houghton, N.Y., retiring in May 2021. She has spent four decades in the work of faith based liberal arts education. Prior to becoming Houghton’s president, she served at various times as a classroom professor, chief academic officer, and residence life director. She is an avid life-long learner with earned doctorates in both history and philosophy, focusing in her studies on the Enlightenment period and its complex impact on the Modern World, on liberal learning, and on our understanding of the human condition. As president emerita, she continues to speak, write, and consult, as well as to encourage and develop the next generation of leaders through mentoring and serving on the boards of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, Jericho Road Community Health Center, the National Association of Evangelicals, Fuller Seminary, and the First Amendment Partnership.
Alison Noble is interim provost and professor of Chemistry at Messiah University in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. She holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a B.S. in chemistry from Westmont College, in Santa Barbara, California. Alison has worked as a senior process engineer in microprocessor development for Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, Oregon, and her disciplinary research and publications focus on surface science, materials chemistry, spectroscopy, and chemical education. Previous roles in academic administration include serving at various times as director of faculty development and associate provost. Alison speaks and hosts conversation at the intersection of faith and education, and she currently serves as a member of the National Board of the Lilly Network for church-related colleges and universities.
Michaela O'Donnell is the executive director of the Max Du Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Seminary. Michaela is the author of Make Work Matter: Your Guide to Meaningful Work in a Changing World (Baker, 2021). She is also the primary visionary and content creator behind De Pree Center’s blossoming Road Ahead program, a six-week experience that is designed to help people gain clarity about whatever it is God is calling them to do. In addition to her academic work, Michaela has over ten years of experience as a leader in the marketplace as the owner and managing director of Long Winter Media.
Angel Adams Parham is associate professor of sociology and senior fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture (IASC) at the University of Virginia. She works in the area of historical sociology, engaging in research and writing that examine the past in order to better understand how to live well in the present and envision wisely for the future. She is the author of American Routes: Racial Palimpsests and the Transformation of Race (Oxford, 2017), which was co-winner of the Social Science History Association’s Allan Sharlin Memorial book award (2018) and co-winner of the American Sociological Association’s Barrington Moore award in comparative-historical sociology (2018). In addition to this research, she is active in public-facing teaching and scholarship, where she provides resources and training for K-12 educators who are looking to better integrate Black writers and Black history into their teaching. Parham’s public-facing work has also led her to become the co-founder and executive director of Nyansa Classical Community, an educational organization which provides curricula and programming designed to connect with students from diverse backgrounds, inviting them to take part in the Great Conversation, cultivate the moral imagination, and pursue truth, goodness, and beauty.
The Rev. Dr. Jane Patterson is the project director of the Communities of Calling Initiative. She also serves as associate professor of New Testament and Director of Community Care at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas. In addition to biblical studies, she teaches in the area of Christian formation, where her work focuses on vocation and Christian practice, and she is associate project director for the “Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative” of Lilly Endowment, Inc. She is a contributor to Calling All Years Good: Vocation Across the Lifespan (Eerdmans, 2017) and the author of Keeping the Feast: Metaphors of Sacrifice in 1 Corinthians and Philippians (SBL Press, 2015). With John Lewis, she is a co-director of St. Benedict’s Workshop, a ministry devoted to helping laity live their faith in daily life, and serves the Diocese of West Texas as a member of the Discernment Committee. She is active as a preacher, teacher, and parishioner at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas.
Richard Rankin Russell is professor and graduate program director of the English department at Baylor University. Russell earned his undergraduate degree in English at the University of Memphis, an M.Phil. in English at the University of Glasgow in Scotland as a Rotary Ambassadorial fellow, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in English at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His books include James Joyce and Samaritan Hospitality (Edinburgh University Press; 2023); Modernity, Community, and Place in Brian Friel’s Drama (Syracuse University Press; second edition 2022); Seamus Heaney: A Critical Introduction (2016; Edinburgh University Press); and Seamus Heaney’s Regions (University of Notre Dame Press; 2014). His awards include Baylor Centennial Professor (2012) and 2003–2004 Outstanding Professor at Baylor.
Matt Snowden has been pastor of First Baptist Church of Waco since 2010. Born in Meridian, Mississippi, he went to William Carey University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He received his D.Min from George W. Truett Theological Seminary. With Joshua Hays, Matt co-wrote the book Soul Culture (Smyth & Helwys, 2023). He is married to Meredith, and they have two children.
Anne Snyder writes and speaks extensively about drawing on wisdom and the other virtues to address the major crises of our time, including community fragmentation, political polarization, racism, and inequality. She is the editor-in-chief of Comment Magazine and the host of Breaking Ground, a collaborative web commons created in 2020 to try to inspire a dynamic cross-section of thinkers and practitioners to respond to these pandemic times with ingenuity, wisdom, and courage. The anthology that emerged from that year-long project, Breaking Ground: Charting Our Future in a Pandemic Year (Plough Publishing House), was published in January 2022. She is the host of The Whole Person Revolution podcast and the author of The Fabric of Character: A Wise Giver’s Guide to Renewing our Social and Moral Landscape (The Philanthropy Roundtable), published in 2019. She has also worked with the H.E. Butt Family Foundation, the Urban Reform Institute, and the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
Paul Wadell is professor emeritus of theology and religious studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin. A specialist on the ethics of St. Thomas Aquinas, he lectures and writes on friendship, the role of the virtues in the moral life, theology and literature, and the mission of the church in contemporary society. He serves on the advisory council of the Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE), administered by the Council for Independent Colleges. He is the author of several books, including Friendship and the Moral Life (University of Notre Dame Press, 1989), The Primacy of Love: An Introduction to the Ethics of Thomas Aquinas (Wipf & Stock Publishers, 1992), Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship (Brazos Press, 2002), Happiness and the Christian Moral Life: An Introduction to Christian Ethics (Rowman & Littlefield, 2007), and Living Vocationally: The Journey of the Called Life (with Charles R. Pinches, Cascade, 2021).
William Weaver is professor of literature and director of the Great Texts program at Baylor University. His scholarship concerns the reception of the Great Texts in sixteenth-century Europe, where they were called litterae humaniores, “humane writings,” and imitation was one of the key objects of reading. Much of his work seeks a better understanding of the transformation of the liberal arts, especially rhetoric, by Philip Melanchthon and other Renaissance humanists and evangelicals in this era. In fall 2022, he taught a new course entitled “Principles of the Liberal Arts,” the first in a sequence of courses for the Liberal Arts Concentration in the Great Texts major. His books include Homer in Wittenberg (Oxford University Press; 2022) and Untutored Lines: The Making of the English Epyllion (Edinburgh University Press; 2012). He co-edited (with Stefan Strohm and Volkhard Wels) Philipp Melanchthon’s Collected Writings on Rhetoric. Opera omnia. Opera philosophica 2.2 (De Gruyter; 2017).
Roman R. Williams combines photography and sociology for interfaith dialogue, research, and program evaluation. He holds a Ph.D. in the sociology of religion from Boston University and a Th.M. focused on global religions from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He was a tenured professor of sociology at Calvin University (2012–2020) and served as the executive officer of the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion (2016–2021). During his years in higher education, Roman experienced a shift in his personal and professional interests, one that led to the founding of Interfaith Photovoice. Today, he fancies the idea that he is helping to make the world a better place one photo at a time.
Amos Yong is professor of theology and mission at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. His graduate education includes degrees in theology, history, and religious studies from Western Evangelical Seminary (now Portland Seminary) and Portland State University, both in Portland, Oregon, and Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, and an undergraduate degree from Bethany University of the Assemblies of God. Licensed as a minister with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, he has also authored or edited dozens of scholarly volumes. He and his wife, Alma, have three children and six grandchildren. Amos and Alma reside in Southern California.