Shurden Lectures

The annual Shurden Lectures travel to campuses across the country, bringing a speaker to engage with the community and inspire students to stand up for religious freedom for all people.

Designed to enhance the ministry and programs of BJC, the Shurden Lectures are held at Mercer University in Georgia every three years and at another seminary, college or university in the intermediate years.


Eboo Patel delivered the 2020 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State on Thursday, March 5, in Dallas, Texas. The event was hosted by the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins School of Theology at SMU.

Read about the lectures in our Spring 2020 magazine: Are you ready to be an interfaith leader?

Watch videos of all three presentations:

Presentation #1: Religious Freedom and a Theology of Interfaith Cooperation

Presentation #2: Conversation with Eboo Patel and George Mason

Presentation #3: Religious Freedom and Interfaith Leadership

See photos from the lectures on our Facebook page.

Plus, you can hear the lunchtime conversation on Episode 9 of the Respecting Religion podcast series.

You can read Twitter threads for quotes from his morning lecturelunchtime discussion, and afternoon lecture.

“I thought about the meaning of pluralism in a world where the forces that seek to divide us are strong. I came to one conclusion: We have to save each other. It’s the only way to save ourselves.”

About Eboo Patel
Eboo Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a non-profit organization that is working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm in America. He is the author of four books and dozens of articles, has spoken on more than 150 campuses, and served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council.

A key figure on issues of religious diversity and democracy, Eboo was named one of America’s Best Leaders by U.S. News & World Report in 2009. He is the author of Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation;Sacred Ground: Pluralism, Prejudice, and the Promise of America;Interfaith Leadership: A Primer; and Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise. He also publishes a regular blog for Inside Higher Ed, called ‘Conversations on Diversity’.

Patel was a guest on the BJC Podcast series on Christian nationalism, discussing what it means to embrace a civic pluralism. Listen below or wherever you get your podcasts:

Lecture Archives

2019, March 26-27

Lecturer: Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins, mayor of Collegeville, Pennsylvania; prior to that he served as CEO of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies and Judson Press.
Locations: Tuesday, March 26, at William Jewell College in Liberty, Missouri; Wednesday, March 27, at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. The lectures were hosted by Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas.

Race, resistance, religion and rage (Report from the Capital, Summer 2019)
Aidsand Wright-Riggins: Race, resistance, religion and rage (Video)
Race, religious liberty and reconciliation: A conversation with Aidsand Wright-Riggins (Podcast)