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ENGAGE Program

Together students will explore the contemporary call to racial justice and healing, the histories of both the church and the U.S. Civil Rights movement, and what it means to live a life of Christian leadership and service.

Students will spend seven days on Lipscomb’s campus, studying theology, Scripture, and history with Lipscomb professors and immersing themselves in the spiritual, cultural, historic, and entertainment opportunities available in the great city of Nashville. 

Students will spend another three days traveling outside of Nashville on the “Bus Ride to Justice,” a historical and interactive tour of various sites and memorials of the U.S. Civil Rights movement, including:

  • The Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum
  • The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL
  • The Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma
  • A walking tour of Montgomery and the State Capitol
  • The Equal Justice Initiative's Legacy Museum and National Memorial for Peace and Justice
  • The Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center
  • Students will also have the chance to meet Dr. Fred D. Gray, legendary civil rights leader and attorney. He represented clients in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the 1965 Selma March, the desegregation of Alabama public schools, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Bus Ride To Justice

The “Bus Ride to Justice” travel course adds a unique element of experiential learning to the ENGAGE initiative.  Students will spend three days touring significant sites of the U.S. Civil Rights movement throughout Alabama.  Each stop immerses students, counselors, and faculty in intergenerational conversations rooted in that past struggle and challenges learners to think about the work that remains in our society.  One former graduate student who experienced the trip writes: “I was unprepared for the depth of emotional response, personal soul-searching and corporate reflection which this field trip invited [us] to enter into.”  

    ENGAGE Youth Theology Initiative

    This particular model of learning moves participants to consider their own responses to racial injustice as they stand in the physical spaces of past events and allow the voices and faces of history to inform and frame their actions for the future. The journey intends to prompt students to ask thoughtful, theological questions concerning the mistreatment of all oppressed peoples, using cross-cultural dialogue and intergenerational, non-violent engagement.


    Faculty and Staff

    Meet some of the key people in the ENGAGE Youth Theology Initiative.

    Raymond Carr

    Raymond Carr

    Raymond Carr, assistant professor of theology and ethics at Pepperdine University, will serve as visiting faculty during ENGAGE. Dr. Carr is a compelling classroom educator who has worked extensively at the intersection of Christian theology, vocation and the task of racial reconciliation. The course he teaches will be based in the Bible and in the theology of James Cone’s groundbreaking work The Cross and The Lynching Tree. Carr holds an M.Div. from Pepperdine University and a Ph.D. in systematic and philosophical theology from Graduate Theological Union. Carr is the author of Theology in the Mode of Monk: Barth and Cone in Revelation and Freedom and “Fired in the Crucible of Oppression: Toward a Theology of Spiritual Freedom,” a forthcoming chapter in a festschrift honoring Charles Long. A USAF veteran who hails from Petersburg, Virginia, he is married to Joi Carr who is also a professor at Pepperdine and a gospel singer/songwriter.

    Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet

    Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet

    Tabatha L. Jones Jolivet teaches doctoral-level higher education courses on diversity and social justice, critical issues, and the nature of research inquiry at Azusa Pacific University. As a community-engaged scholar, she applies intersectional Womanist lenses to the study of critical and sociocultural issues in higher education. Her research focuses on activism and social movements, faith and spirituality, and socially-just organizational change. She is co-author of White Jesus: The Architecture of Racism in Religion and Education (Peter Lang, 2018). She is an organizer in Black Lives Matter, Los Angeles and serves as the research team lead. She grew up in Churches of Christ as the daughter of a preschool teacher and preacher. Together with her parents, she co-leads a house church ministry. She holds a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California, and a M.S. degree in Ministry and Theology from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. She will serve as visiting
    faculty and facilitate the “Bus Ride to Justice” travel course during the ENGAGE initiative.

    Richard T. Hughes

    Richard T. Hughes

    Richard T. Hughes has worked at the intersection of religion and American culture over the course of a 45-year career, specializing in religion and American identity, religion and race in America, religion and American higher education, and the role of Christian primitivism in American life. His 17 published books include Myths America Lives By (University of Illinois Press), Christian America and the Kingdom of God (University of Illinois Press), Reviving the Ancient Faith: the Story of Churches of Christ in America (ACU Press), and How Christian Faith can Sustain the Life of the Mind (Eerdmans). Having taught at Pepperdine University, Southwest Missouri State University, Abilene Christian University and Messiah College, Dr. Hughes currently serves as scholar-in-residence in the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Claire Davidson Frederick

    Claire Davidson Frederick

    Claire Davidson Frederick is an affiliate faculty member in the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb University, and she serves as program director for the ENGAGE initiative. She oversees elements of planning and recruitment; coordinates course curriculum, service activities, and field trips; and provides input regarding theological and academic content for the program. Frederick is a Nashville native who spent 12 years in the country music industry as a published songwriter before going into ministry full time. She earned her B.A. from Rutgers University, graduated from the Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University with a Master of Divinity, and is currently pursuing her Doctor or Ministry at McCormick Theological Seminary. She teaches freshman Bible courses and children’s ministry at Lipscomb and facilitated two songwriting workshops at the Tennessee Prison for Women as part of the Lipscomb LIFE Program. She has over 15 years of experience leading summer Bible schools, youth camps, women’s retreats, and worship.

    Jacquelynn Day White

    Jacquelynn Day White

    Jacquelynn Day White serves as adjunct faculty in both the College of Professional Studies and in the College of Bible and Ministry at Lipscomb University. She earned
    her B.S. in Nursing from the University of South Alabama; her Master of Divinity degree in 2008 and her Doctor of Ministry degree in 2018 from the Hazelip School of
    Theology. White teaches undergraduate courses such as Luke/Acts, Spiritual Disciplines, The Story of Israel, and The Story of Jesus. She also serves as teaching faculty and Camp Nurse for the ENGAGE Youth Theology Initiative. She is a native of Tennessee and currently works as a Registered Nurse in various Psychiatric settings and in Community Health Nursing. She and her husband Robert have three
    children and reside in Spring Hill, Tennessee.  They are members of the Maury Hills Church family.

    Brittany T. Paschall

    Brittany T. Paschall

    Brittany T. Paschall is a community organizer, preacher, and truth-teller. She serves as Program Coordinator for the ENGAGE Youth Theology Initiative. A native of Nashville, Paschall is a 2017 graduate of Grand Canyon University, where she studied sociology. She is currently pursuing her Master of Divinity.

    Paschall was named a 2017-2018 National ELLA Fellow with the Sadie Nash Leadership Development Project. Her fellowship project: Nashville’s Daughters engages Young Women of Color through mentoring (femtoring), historical exploration, social-emotional learning and social action. She is also an alumnus of the 2018 Millennial Leaders Project of Union Theological Seminary and Faith Matters Network’s Public Theology and Racial Justice Cohort. Paschall is most proud to be the daughter of Glenn and Delta Paschall: her fearless Black educator parents, and granddaughter to Sarah E. Tolbert, who taught her how to love.

    Robert A. Jackson Jr.

    Robert A. Jackson Jr.

    Robert A. Jackson Jr. will serve the ENGAGE initiative as program consultant and teaching faculty. A gifted speaker and teacher with a heart for social issues, Jackson spent nine years doing youth ministry for the Taylor Street Church of Christ in Pulaski, Tennessee. He currently co-teaches an adult Bible class at Otter Creek Church of Christ called “The Arc is Long,” which focuses on the church’s response to racial justice and reconciliation. Jackson graduated with honors from Alabama A&M University in 2005 and presently is pursuing his Master of Divinity degree from the Hazelip School of Theology at Lipscomb University. Jackson works as an information technology specialist at Maury Regional Medical Center in Columbia, Tennessee. He and his wife Tiffany are the proud parents of a five-year-old daughter.

    Corey Rhoades

    Corey Rhoades

    Corey Rhoades serves as program assistant for the ENGAGE Youth Theology Initiative. Originally from Southern California, Corey completed his undergraduate degree at Pepperdine University, studying Religion and Spanish. He is currently pursuing a M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University, Peabody College. Prior to moving to Nashville, Corey worked for three years in Pepperdine’s Office of Church Relations, serving as the first program coordinator for the Youth Leadership Initiative, which included projects such as the Next Gen Preacher Search, CrossWays, the Youth Ministry Network, and the a cappella group Won By One. He is now a graduate assistant in the Office of Multicultural Learning & Experience at Belmont University, working with the Bridges to Belmont scholarship program. He is interested in diversity, spiritual development, and the intersection of religion and higher education.


    ENGAGE participants will arrive on the campus of Lipscomb University on Friday, July 5, 2019. After moving into the residence halls, we will begin our cultural, theological, and historical explorations. While some events and activities are subject to change, our tentative schedule for the 2019 ENGAGE initiative is given below.

    Schedule for July 5-14


    Friday, July 5

    • 1-3 p.m. - Registration: students arrive and move into the dorms
    • 3 p.m. - Welcome / Orientation / Ice Breakers (snacks provided)
    • 4:30 p.m. - Conversation Covenant / Students begin sharing their personal and spiritual narratives
    • 6 p.m. - Catered dinner on campus
    • 7 p.m. - Opening worship and small group discussions
    • 10 p.m. - Lights out

    Saturday-Sunday, July 6-8 (Bus Ride to Justice Tour through Montgomery, Birmingham, Tuskegee, and Selma, Alabama)

    Day One:

    • 5:45 a.m. Breakfast in the lobby of the Ezell Center. Load bus.
    • 6:30 a.m. Depart for Birmingham
      • Watch the film: Eyes on the Prize, vol. 1 (60 minutes)
        • Reading: WEB DuBois, “Souls of Black Folk”
        • Watch the opening scene of “Selma.”
    • 10 a.m. Tour 16th Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL.
      • Reading: King’s “Eulogy for the Martyred Children”
    • 11:15 a.m. Tour Kelly Ingram Park
    • 12:30 p.m. Lunch on the bus
    • 12:30 p.m. Bus travels from Birmingham to Selma, AL
    • 3 p.m. Tour Brown Chapel AME Church in Selma, Alabama
      • Reading: Malcolm X speech
    • 4 p.m. Walk the Edmund Pettus Bridge
    • 5 p.m. Travel to Montgomery … Check into the Hampton Inn on Commerce St.
    • 6:30 p.m. Dinner and Debriefing at a local restaurant
    • 7:30 p.m. Fun activity—Baseball game feat. Montgomery Biscuits

    Or an outdoor concert on the river.

    Day Two:

    • 7 a.m. Breakfast served in the hotel.
    • 8:30 a.m. Load the bus
    • 9 a.m. Bible class at Dexter Ave. King Memorial Church
    • 10:30 a.m. Worship at Dexter Ave. King Memorial Church
    • Noon: Lunch in Montgomery followed by a walking tour of the downtown area, State Capitol, and the Maya Lin Memorial - “Faces in the Water”
    • 2 – 4:30 Tour the Equal Justice Initiative’s Legacy Museum
    • 4:30 p.m. Visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice
    • 6:30 p.m. Dinner in downtown Montgomery
    • 8 p.m. Drive to the Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center in Tuskegee and check in for the night.

    Day Three:

    • 7 a.m. Check-out. Breakfast provided by hotel.
    • 8 a.m. Students view “Lifting the Veil of Ignorance” statue, chapel, and cemetery at Tuskegee University.
    • 9 a.m. Tour ‘The Oaks’ (home of Booker T. Washington) and/or George Washington Carver Museum.
    • 10:30 a.m. Visit the Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center and meet with Dr. Fred D. Gray
    • 12:15 p.m. Boxed lunches delivered by Tiger Paws. Eat on the bus.
    • 1 p.m. Tour the Tuskegee Airmen Museum National Historic Site
    • 2 p.m. Return to Nashville
    • 5 p.m. Stop for dinner on the way
    • 6 p.m. Continue travels back to Nashville
    • 8 p.m. Arrive at Lipscomb University
    • 9:30 p.m. Covenant groups meet
    • 10:30 p.m. Lights out

     Tuesday, July 9

    • 7:15-9:15 a.m.   Breakfast is open in Bison Café and is optional
    • 9 to 10 a.m. Students sleep in today if they wish.
    • 10 a.m. to noon:  Recount and process the trip to Alabama. Time to journal and reflect individually and in groups.  Draw, work with clay, make a photo collage, or other multi-media expressions of the trip.
    • Noon: Lunch in Bison Café
    • 1 p.m. Theology Class with Raymond Carr, Ph.D.
    • 2:30 p.m. “Culturally Attentive Communications,” with Aerial Ellis, Ed.D.
    • 4 p.m. Free time. Games and other activities / scavenger hunt with counselors.
    • 6 p.m. Dinner
    • 7 p.m. “Telling Our Stories” class.  Students begin to share their personal narratives related to race and faith with Brittany Paschall, workshop facilitator.
    • 9:30 p.m. Covenant groups meet, led by counselors.
    • 10 p.m. Lights out

    Wednesday, July 10

    • 7:15 a.m. Breakfast is open in Bison Café
    • 9:15 a.m. Morning devotional in Ezell Chapel
    • 10 a.m. Narrative Class – “Telling Our Stories”
    • 11 a.m. Theology Class with Raymond Carr, Ph.D.
    • Noon Lunch in Bison Café
    • 1 p.m. Rest Time in Dorm
    • 2 p.m. “Business as Mission” with Rob Touchstone, M.Div.
    • 3:15 p.m. “Vocational Discernment” with Shantell Hinton, M.Div.
    • 4:30 p.m. Free Time
    • 6:30 p.m. College of Bible and Ministry Dinner in Shamblin Theatre. Music of the Civil Rights Movement provided by Odessa and Calvin Settles.
    • 8:30-10:00 p.m. “Fish Bowl” discussion / Racial justice workshop (Brittany Paschall)
    • 11 p.m. Lights out

    Thursday, July 11

    • 7:15-8:30 a.m. Breakfast is open in Bison Café
    • 8:45 a.m. Load bus in front of Allen Arena
    • 9 a.m.   Depart for Fisk University
    • 9:30 a.m.   View the Special Collections in the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library
    • 10-11:30 a.m. Tour the Carl Van Vechten Gallery, Fisk Chapel, and Jubilee Hall.
    • Noon: Lunch in downtown Nashville
    • 1:30 p.m. Frist Art Museum. View the photography exhibit, "We Shall Overcome: Civil Rights and the Nashville Press." Hear Mrs. Frankie Henry tell her story about being a 19-year old participant in the 1960 Sit-In Movement.
    • 3:30 – 5:45 p.m. Civil Rights Reading Room at the Downtown Public Library and free time to explore Nashville.
    • 6 p.m. Dinner in downtown Nashville
    • 7:30 p.m.   Return to campus.
    • 8 p.m.   Narrative Class – “Telling Our Stories”
    • 9 p.m. Snacks
    • 9:30 p.m. Covenant group time with counselors in dorms.
    • 11 p.m. Lights out
    Fri. - Sat.

    Friday-Saturday, July 12-13

    • 7:15 a.m. Breakfast is open in Bison Café
    • 9:15 a.m. Morning devotional in Ezell Chapel
    • 10 a.m. Narrative Class – “Telling Our Stories”
    • 11 a.m.  Theology Class with Raymond Carr, Ph.D.
    • Noon    Lunch in Bison Café
    • 1 p.m.  Rest Time in Dorm
    • 2 p.m.  “Conversations of Significance” – Ministers, Teachers, and Non-profit leaders from a variety of settings.
    • 3:45 p.m. Affinity Groups  (give students a choice each day):
    • College of Leadership and Public Service
    • Theology and Sports – hosted by Fellowship of Christian Athletes
    • Criminal Justice Reform Panel
    • 5:45 p.m. Free Time
    • 6:30 p.m. Dinner
    • 7 p.m. Evening Activities (varies each evening)
      • Visit the College of Contemporary Music and Recording Studio – See a performance at the Well Coffeehouse on Granny White Pike.
      • Swimming and Pizza Party at the home of one of our local sponsors
    • 10 p.m. Late night activities – An additional community-building workshop
    • 11 p.m. Lights out

    Sunday, July 14

    • 9:30 a.m. Closing brunch and student reflections. Parents and families are invited.
    • 10:30 a.m.   Closing Worship, ENGAGE slideshow, and Commissioning Ceremony.
    • 11:45 a.m.   Check out of rooms and depart for home.