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Bethel Hosts Shurden Lectures

Bethel University President Jay Barnes (left) with 2016 Shurden Lecture speaker Molly T. Marshall (center) and the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty Executive Director Brent Walker (right) (Photo credit: Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty)

In April, Bethel University hosted the 2016 Shurden Lectures, an annual lecture series on issues of religious liberty and the separation of church and state, sponsored through the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty (BJC). This year’s speaker was Molly T. Marshall, president of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.

Faculty, students, and staff, along with some visitors, attended Marshall’s first address, “Understanding Religious Liberty amidst Religious Pluralism,” in which she outlined four ways to uphold religious liberty: respect and protect the religious liberties of all; as Christians, learn to live out faith with humility and generosity; trust God to determine salvation justly; and learn well another’s religious pathway. “There’s not going to be any peace in the world until there is peace among religions,” she said.

After Marshall’s address, Bethel faculty members Andrew Bramsen, assistant professor of political science, and Dan Ritchie, professor of English, offered responses.

At Bethel Seminary, Marshall gave a lunch address where she spoke on “Preserving Religious Liberty for a Christian Minority,” focusing on the challenge of maintaining religious liberty for Christians specifically in Myanmar.

BJC Executive Director Brent Walker also addressed Bethel students in Chapel during this year’s Shurden Lectures. The annual lectureship is made possible through a gift from Walter B. Shurden and Kay W. Shurden of Macon, Georgia, to the BJC. Designed to enhance the ministry and programs of the BJC, the lectures are held at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, every three years and at another seminary, college, or university the other years.

To see more coverage of this year’s Shurden Lectures, visit the BJC website.

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