The Baptist Joint Committee takes church-state experts to college, university and seminary campuses across the country to engage students and communities with religious liberty issues. Visit the links below to learn more about our annual Shurden Lectures and other BJC lecture events.
Faith-Based Activism and Service in American Public Life:
A Baptist Joint Committee Symposium
Thursday, October 26
McCormick Theological Seminary
Speaker: Melissa Rogers
Rogers is a nonresident senior fellow in Governance Studies at Brookings. She recently served as special assistant to the president and executive director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, during the Obama administration. Melissa previously served as chair of the inaugural Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Prior to that she was director of the Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest University Divinity School. She has also served as executive director of the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty. Her area of expertise includes the First Amendment’s religion clauses, religion in American public life, and the interplay of religion, policy, and politics. Rogers co-authored a case book on religion and law for Baylor University Press, Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court (2008). She holds a J.D. from University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from Baylor University.
More details will be coming soon — return to this page in the future.
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 academicians, 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.
BJC General Counsel Holly Hollman delivered the 2017 Shurden Lectures at Campbell University in Buies Creek, North Carolina, on March 27-28. Read more online.
Religious Liberty and the Black Church: A Baptist Joint Committee Symposium
On Nov. 10, 2016, the Rev. Dr. Raphael G. Warnock headlined a lecture and panel discussion in Washington, D.C., focusing on religious liberty and the black church. The event took place speak on the campus of Howard University Divinity School and Law School.
In the fall of 2015, the Baptist Joint Committee sponsored a new lecture event with a focus on social justice. On Nov. 12-13, Judge Wendell Griffen gave two presentations on the campus of Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.
At the Fuller event, Griffen examined the interplay of religious liberty and equal protection as well as issues of pastoral leadership and congregational discipleship. He is pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock, Arkansas; CEO and owner of Griffen Strategic Consulting, PLLC; and Circuit Judge for the 6th Judicial District of Arkansas, 5th Division.