Lipscomb University

Christian Scholars' Conference


Christian Scholars' Conference 2017

Memory, Tradition & the Future of Faith

June 7-9, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Shaun Casey will be our second plenary speaker for 2017.

Shaun is U.S. special representative for religion and global affairs and head of the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Religion and Global Affairs. He is on leave of absence from his position as associate professor of Christian ethics at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. He has previously held positions at the Center for American Progress and Center for Strategic and International Studies. Shaun has written on the ethics of the war in Iraq, as well the role of religion in American presidential politics. He is the author of The Making of a Catholic President: Kennedy vs. Nixon 1960 (2009); his in-progress works include co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Political Theology with Michael Kessler and writing a book on ethics and international politics tentatively titled Niebuhr’s Children.

The CSC is pleased to announce that Greg Sterling will deliver the fourth annual Abraham J. Malherbe plenary lecture at The Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars’ Conference in June, 2017.

Read more about Greg here.

About the Christian Scholars’ Conference

The mission of the Christian Scholars' Conference is to create and nurture an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration.

The conference was created in 1981 under the direction of Dr. Thomas H. Olbricht, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Pepperdine University, and has since been hosted by several universities associated with Churches of Christ. The conference calls together scholars from a wide variety of disciplines in the liberal arts, sciences, business, law, education and medicine to develop their own academic research and to reflect on the integration of scholarship and faith. 

In service to its mission, the CSC has adopted a model wherein the conference is hosted at Lipscomb University and every fourth year rotates to  a supporting university. Our recent history and future plans:

Lipscomb University (2008-10)

Pepperdine University (2011)

Lipscomb University (2012-2014)

Abilene Christian University (2015)

Lipscomb University (2016; June 7-9, 2017; June 6-8, 2018)

Lubbock Christian University (June 5-7, 2019)

Lipscomb University (2020-2022)

The conference is funded by registration fees and the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference Endowment Fund.  If you would like to contribute to the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference Endowment Fund, please click here.*

Reflections on 2016 CSC

The 2016 CSC was a wonderful event with many exceptional sessions and plenaries. I’d judge the conference one of the best in our history and attendance broke all previous records. We’ll soon post videos of the plenaries and selected sessions. The conference was enhanced by overlapping events, with Advancing the National Conversation on Race bringing 330 folk from across the country who engaged Wednesday’s paper sessions, the inaugural Fred Gray plenary lecture and the John T. Willis Plenary theatrical performance, “To Kill A Mockingbird.” 

Landon Saunders Plenary in 2016 and Lecture in 2017

Watch 2016 plenary speaker Landon Saunders discuss four ways "to get to what really matters" here. Read more about Landon Saunder's plenary address from 2016 here

The CSC mourns the passing of Dwayne Van Rheenen

?He was the former Provost at Abilene Christian University and Dean of Faculty at Pepperdine University. Dwayne was an essential CSC board member during important transition years, providing the conference critical wisdom and insight. We send our deepest condolences to his wife Joan, their children and grandchildren.

Update on Tom Olbricht

Tom and Dorothy recently celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with family, friends and the church in Nashua, NH. Tom keeps abreast of scholarship and has recently written a timely essay, “What Makes America Great.” (Read the essay on the CSC Facebook page here.)

Update on CSC friend and 2014 plenary speaker, Phyllis Tickle

Phyllis Tickle, who delivered one of the more memorable and impactful plenary addresses in CSC history (2014), passed away on September 22, 2015. Her vibrancy, quick wit, and keen intellect impacted the spiritual lives of many people through her poetry, lectures, essays, and books. Read more here.