Lecture Series to Focus on Faith and Learning

A new professor-led lecture series will focus on how faith influences teaching and learning.

According to its Campus Ministry organizers, the Professors' Best Lecture Series is "designed to give students and faculty an opportunity to engage professors of various disciplines in faith-based conversations about how faith influences their practice."

Each professor will give his/her best lecture that integrates faith and learning, leaving room for discussion and questions after.

Each lecture is free and open to the public. Faculty, staff and students are strongly encouraged to attend.

  • Monday, March 24: Dr. Ann Pederson (Religion) on "Why I Listen to and Work with Scientists in Order to Be a Faithful Christian"
    • Time and Location: 3 p.m., Gilbert Science Center Room 101
    • Dr. Ann PedersonDescription: "I believe that what the world needs is a fresh spiritual roadmap that can shape and inform a new and powerful way of helping us to navigate and interpret our place within the universe, from both cosmic and local perspectives. And this spiritual vision must be told as a story, so we can find ourselves within it. The Epic of Evolution is a place to start. That's one reason that I listen to scientists. Christians are called not only to interpret the Word of God within the book they call scripture (Bible), but also to interpret the Word (Logos) of God within the book of nature (Creation)."
  • Dr. David O'HaraMonday, March 31: Dr. David O'Hara (Philosophy) on "Atheism for Lent: Varieties of Modern Atheism, and Why Christians Should Care"
    • Time and Location: 3 p.m., 3-in-1 Room, Morrison Commons
    • Description: "Sometimes we talk about atheism as though it were one thing, but really there are a number of atheisms, each with its own aims and justifications. This talk will give an overview of several forms of modern atheism and why Christians ought to care about the differences."
  • Dr. Jennifer GubbelsDr. Peg PrestonMonday, April 7: Dr. Peg Preston (History) and Dr. Jennifer Gubbels (Biology) on "Technology and Reproduction: Where is the Ethical Line?"
    • Time and Location: 3 p.m., 3-in-1 Room, Morrison Commons
    • Description: This presentation comes from the Capstone Course: "Life's Cycles: Birth, Death and the History of Medicine." Gubbels and Preston will, using "clickers," ask challenging questions of the audience regarding the impact of technology on reproduction. Technology continues to make many advances with regards to reproduction, but with each step comes challenging ethical questions.
  • Dr. Corey ConoverMonday, April 14: Dr. Corey Conover (History) on "How Best to Love God: A Guide From History."
    • Time and Location: 3 p.m., 3-in-1 Room, Morrison Commons
    • Description: "People in the past have wondered exactly how they should best show their love and devotion to God. The answers they came up with have ranged from the enthusiastic to the orthodox to the odd. Some of these might help shed light on the sometimes conflicting narratives of how to be a good Christian today."
  • Dr. John PenningtonWednesday, April 30: Dr. John Pennington (Music) on "A Universal Call to Contemplation."
    • Time and Location: 3 p.m., 3-in-1 Room, Morrison Commons
    • Description: "Everyone is called to share in the grace of the contemplative life. The source and summit of all authentic spiritual traditions is the experience of union with God. This invites people to rediscover and renew their own religious practice through immersing themselves in other traditions. An openness to these other traditions might be able to help us rediscover or re-articulate our own truths in a way that might never have occurred to us."
  • Dr. Craig SpencerMonday, May 5: Dr. Craig Spencer (Biology) on "What Are We Teaching in Sunday School, College, and the Media About the Relationship Between Science and Religion, Evolution and Creation?"
    • Time and Location: 3 p.m., Siverson Lounge
    • Description: "I’ll share some experiences from my years of teaching at Augustana as well as kindergarten Sunday school at my church. Then we’ll open things up for discussion about your experiences, and where to go from here."