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Tracy K. Smith

Center for Christianity and Scholarship

Explore the paradox of Christian faith and academic inquiry.

If you are a Christian in the world of academia, you have likely pondered the questions and answers that lie between faith and intellect. How does academic calling align with Christian vocation? It is a continual conversation that can feel, at times, paradoxical. The Lipscomb University Center for Christianity and Scholarship embraces that paradox and offers a home base for faculty who are exploring how to teach the Gospel while leaving space for ambiguity, curiosity and imagination.

Contribute to scholarly dialogue and collaboration through involvement with the Center’s four unique components: a digital academic journal, Randolph Mentoring Program for PhD students, a faculty program centered on vocation and the annual Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars’ Conference.

Center Components

Francis Collins

Christian Scholars’ Conference

The annual Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars' Conference creates and nurtures an intellectual and Christian community that joins individuals and institutions to stimulate networks of scholarly dialogue and collaboration.

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James Cone

Randolph Mentoring Program

The Robert M. and Jan Randolph Mentoring Program connects doctoral students with senior scholars, seeking to form the next generation of ministers and academics in the tradition of the Churches of Christ.

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l to r: Richard T. Hughes, Catherine Meeks, Angela D. Sims, Stanley Talbert

Academic Digital Journal

The journal publishes double-blind reviewed articles, timely forum discussions and other scholarly works that focus on religion as it intersects with other disciplines to serve as a resource for scholars.

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Faith, Learning, and Vocation Initiative

Faith, Learning and Vocation Initiative

This initiative sponsors work with Lipscomb’s faculty to explore the connections between Christian faith, learning and vocation and, in turn, equips faculty and staff to help students reflect on their own vocations.

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Faculty & Staff

David Fleer

David Fleer has served as the executive director of the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars’ Conference since 2006. Alongside his scholarly work in teaching and publishing, he has led several pilgrimages focused on racial healing through key southern cities.

Richard T. Hughes

Richard Hughes serves as the center’s Scholar in Residence. His interests include the relationships between religion and race, American self-understanding, higher education, restorationist traditions in the US and the use of narrative teaching.

Joshua Fleer

Joshua Fleer serves as the center’s associate director. He had held leadership positions with numerous academic conferences, worked on several academic journals and taught at three universities before coming to Lipscomb in 2019.

Lori Ligon

Lori Ligon serves as the coordinator for the Christian Scholars’ Conference. Her background in organizational leadership and experience in diverse positions at Lipscomb provide essential facilitation and administrative skills for the center.

In the News

Called by a Book (October 27, 2020)

Richard T. Hughes

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The Grace of Troubling Questions (May 12, 2020)

Richard T. Hughes

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Finding Vocation in Loss, Suffering, and Death (March 19, 2020)

Richard T. Hughes

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