Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on
Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State
Designed to enhance the ministry and programs of the Baptist Joint Committee, the lectures are held at Mercer University every three years and at another seminary, college or university the other years.
The 2018 Shurden Lectures were held March 20-21 on the campuses of Mercer Univeristy.
Charles C. Haynes is founding director of the Religious Freedom Center. Haynes is best known for his work on First Amendment issues in American public life. Over the past two decades, he has been the principal organizer and drafter of consensus guidelines on religious liberty in schools, endorsed by a broad range of religious, civil liberties, and educational organizations. He is author or co-author of six books, including First Freedoms: A Documentary History of First Amendment Rights in America and Finding Common Ground: A First Amendment Guide to Religion and Public Schools.
Widely quoted in news magazines and major newspapers, Haynes is also a frequent guest on television and radio. Haynes holds a B.A. from Emory University, a master’s degree from Harvard Divinity School and a doctorate from Emory University.
History of the Shurden Lectures:
In 2004, Dr. Walter B. Shurden and Dr. Kay W. Shurden of Macon, Georgia, made a gift to the BJC to establish an annual lectureship on the issues of religious liberty and the separation of church and state.
The lecturers, selected by the executive director of the BJC, may be academics, politicians, ministers, church historians, ethicists or activists. Above all, the Shurden Lecturer is someone who can inspire and call others to an ardent commitment to religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
Click here to read more about the genesis of the lectures or scroll down for more information about previous lectures.
Who are the Shurdens?
A nationally noted church historian, Dr. Walter B. Shurden is the founding executive director of the Center for Baptist Studies and a minister at large for Mercer University. Shurden served at Mercer for almost 25 years as Callaway Professor of Christianity in the Roberts Department of Christianity in the College of Liberal Arts. During 18 of those years, he served as Chair of the Roberts Department of Christianity. Dr. Kay W. Shurden retired after serving for 17 years as a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Mercer University School of Medicine. An admired teacher, conference leader, mentor and church leader, she is an author and was a marriage and family therapist in Middle Georgia.
The origins of the Shurden Lectures with Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden
Save the date!
The 2019 Shurden Lectures will be March 26-27 on the campus of Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.
More details to come!
Watch the 2018 Lectures:
BJC Podcast: Amanda Tyler talks to Charles Haynes about the lectures and why he has dedicated his career to the intersection of religion and public life.