posted October 14, 2008

Richard Mouw to Open World Christian Lecture Series

Dr. Richard Mouw, president of Fuller Theological Seminary of Pasadena, Calif., will deliver the inaugural address in the new "World Christian Lecture Series" at Hope College.

Mouw will present "Intellectual Hospitality: Why Christians Should Make Room for New, and even Strange, Ideas" on Monday, Oct. 27, at 4 p.m. in the Maas Center auditorium.  While on campus he will also preach during the college's "The Gathering" worship service on Sunday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

The public is invited to both events.  Admission is free.

The World Christian Lecture Series has been established to invite recognized Christian thinkers and practitioners who are leaders in their respective disciplines and areas of expertise to join with the Hope and Holland communities in exploring issues, themes and ideas that face Christians in the world.  The annual fall series has been developed with the intention to feature a mix of speakers that can include Christian scholars, artists, preachers, politicians, and industry and church leaders.

Trygve Johnson, who is the Hinga-Boersma Dean of the Chapel at Hope, whose office is coordinating the series, noted that Mouw is the ideal speaker with whom to inaugurate the lectureship.

"Richard Mouw is a deep thinker whose theologically informed scholarship mirrors the rich tradition of intellectual rigor and vibrant faith that are pillars of the Hope experience," he said.  "He is engaged with Christians from around the world, and will add meaningfully to our conversations at Hope as we prepare students to live their Christian faith in the world."

The World Christian Lecture Series is funded through an endowment at the college established an anonymous donor who supports Hope College's continued mission to educate students for global leadership in the context of the historic Christian faith. 

West Michigan is a familiar locale for Mouw.  He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Western Theological Seminary, which is adjacent to the Hope campus, and was a member of the philosophy faculty at Calvin College in Grand Rapids for 17 years.

Mouw has been president of Fuller Theological Seminary since 1993, after having previously served for four years as provost and senior vice president.  He joined the Fuller faculty in September 1985 as professor of Christian philosophy and ethics following his tenure at Calvin.  He has also served as a visiting professor at the Free University in Amsterdam.

Mouw has a broad record of publication.  He is the author of 17 books, including "Consulting the Faithful: What Christian Intellectuals Can Learn from Popular Religion," "The Smell of Sawdust: What Evangelicals Can Learn from Their Fundamentalist Heritage," "He Shines in All That's Fair: Culture and Common Grace," "Wonderful Words of Life: Hymns in American Protestant History and Theology," "Calvinism in the Las Vegas Airport: Making Connections in Today's World" and, with co-editor Eric Jacobsen, "Traditions in Leadership: How Faith Traditions Shape the Way We Lead."  His most recent book, "Praying at Burger King" (2007), offers a collection of warm, conversational reflections on faith and everyday life.

He has been an editor of the "Reformed Journal" and has served on many editorial boards, including currently "Books and Culture."  He is a regular columnist on beliefnet.com, serves as a panelist in the online forum "On Faith" offered by "Newsweek" and the "Washington Post," and maintains a personal blog.

Mouw has also participated on many councils and boards, including the Commission on Accreditation for the Association of Theological Schools (as chair) and the Council on Civil Society.  He currently serves on advisory boards for "Religion and Ethics Newsweekly," the International Justice Mission, and the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.

He is a graduate of Houghton College.  In addition to his Master of Divinity from Western Theological Seminary, his graduate degrees include a Master of Arts from the University of Alberta and a doctorate from the University of Chicago.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located at 277 College Ave., on College Avenue at 12th Street.  The Maas Center is located at 264 Columbia Ave., on Columbia Avenue at 11th Street.