Christian Scholars' Conference

Christian Scholars' Conference is in the past.

John Dean, former White House counsel to President Richard Nixon and one of the major players in the historic Watergate scandal, will be one of three preeminent speakers at the 33rd annual Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars’ Conference hosted by Lipscomb University on June 6-8.

The conference will host more than 500 theologians and faith leaders from almost 100 different universities engaged in 92 paper, panel or performance sessions exploring the theme “Crisis in Ethics: theology, business, law and the liberal and fine arts.”

Four conference events are free and open to the general public and one ticketed event exploring aspects of ethics and theology will be open to the public during the course of the conference.

Additional highlighted speakers include Charles Mathewes, author of Theology of Public Life and Understanding Religious Ethics, and David Miller, founding director of Princeton’s Faith and Work Initiative and former director of the Ethics and Spirituality in the Workplace Program of the Yale Center for Faith & Culture.

For a full schedule of the conference and information on registration, go to

John Dean
Charles Mathewes
David Miller
As Goes Janesville
David Mamet's Oleanna


Pre-Conference event:
HumanDocs screening of As Goes Janesville      
Wednesday, June 5
7:30 p.m. Ward Hall Auditorium
Free and open to the public

The Lipscomb University College of Arts and Sciences HumanDocs Film Series, in partnership with ITVS Community Cinema, Nashville Public Television and the Nashville Film Festival, will present the documentary As Goes Janesville, a film centered on the human cost of economic change in Janesville, Wis., after the shuttering of the town's century-old General Motors plant.

Film director Brad Lichtenstein will be one of the featured panelists at the free screening of the film, which explores the stories of employees displaced by the plant closure as well as Janeville's attempts to re-invent itself, all against the backdrop of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker's efforts to build a business-friendly state.

Other panelists will include Michael Herron, chairman, United Auto Workers Local 1853, Spring Hill, Tenn., and David McCullough, mayor, Cheatham County, Tenn..


Keynote Speaker:
Charles Mathewes: "The Future of Political Theology”

Thursday, June 6
10:45 a.m., Collins Alumni Auditorium

Charles Mathewes is professor of religious studies and director of the Virginia Center for the Study of Religion at the University of Virginia. Mathewes has authored several books, including Evil and the Augustinian Tradition, A Theology of Public Life, Understanding Religious Ethics and The Republic of Grace.  In 2003 at the age of 34 he was appointed editor of “The Journal of the American Academy of Religion,” the flagship journal in the field of religious studies, and is the youngest editor ever of that journal, where his tenure ended in 2010.

In 2011 he was appointed the chair of the Committee on the Future of Christian Ethics by the Society of Christian Ethics.


Keynote Speaker:
David Miller, "God at Work"

Friday, June 7
4:15 p.m., Acuff Chapel, Lipscomb Academy

During his talk at the Christian Scholars’ Conference, David Miller will explore pressing marketplace topics surrounding faith and work including global competition, ethics, diversity and social responsibility.

Before returning to school and completing his M.Div. and a Ph.D. in ethics from Princeton, David Miller worked for IBM in the USA and various equity firms in London, England, gaining 16 years’ worth of experience in senior executive positions in international business and finance.

He went on to help found the Yale Center for Faith & Culture, where he functioned in the roles of both executive director of the program and director of its Ethics and Spirituality in the Workplace Program.  At the same time, Miller taught in Yale’s School of Management and the divinity school.

Miller currently works in his role as the founding director of Princeton University’s Faith & Work Initiative bringing his “bilingual” experience to the post. His book, God at Work, also reflects his bilingual concerns.

Miller also lectures in the Department of Religion at Princeton University and advises a number of corporate CEOs and senior executives on matters of ethics and faith at work.


Keynote Speaker:
John Dean, "The Ethical Legacy of Watergate"

Saturday, June 8
10:45 a.m., Collins Alumni Auditorium
Book signing at 12:15 p.m.

A short five years after completing his J.D. from Georgetown University, John Dean had served as chief minority counsel to the Judiciary Committee of the United States House of Representatives, associate director of a law reform commission and associate deputy attorney general of the US. In 1970, Dean became the Counsel to President Nixon, and his involvement in the Watergate scandal earned him four months in jail and changed both him and American legal ethics.

Afterwards, he worked for a time as a private investment banker before devoting his time to lecturing and writing, primarily on law, government and ethics. Blind Ambition and Lost Honor deal directly with Watergate while other titles look at legal ethics more broadly. Dean’s latest book, Broken Government, argues that the three branches of government have all failed to function as the Constitution intended. 


The Blackbird Theater presents David Mamet’s Oleanna
June 8-9 and 13-15
Shamblin Theatre, June 8-9
University Theater, June 13-15
Oleanna is presented in collaboration with the Christian Scholars Conference and the Lipscomb University Department of Theatre.

One of the most incendiary plays of contemporary theater, Oleanna is David Mamet’s unflinching exploration of the perils of political correctness as witnessed through the twists and turns of a power struggle between a university professor and his female student. The Blackbird production stars David Compton and Jennifer Richmond.

Tickets cost $15 and $10 and can be accessed through The Blackbird Theater website