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.
2019 Shurden Lectures
The Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins delivered the 2019 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on March 26-27, 2019, in the greater Kansas City area. The lectures were hosted by Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas, and one was held on the William Jewell campus in nearby Liberty, Missouri.
Click here to watch “Race, Resistance, Religion and Rage” on the BJC’s YouTube channel.
And, while he was in the Kansas City area, the Rev. Dr. Wright-Riggins appeared on “Up To Date,” a program produced by KCUR, the local NPR affiliate. You can listen to his interview on their podcast (his conversation begins about 27:41 in the podcast).
About the lecturer:
An ordained American Baptist minister with more than 40 years of community and congregational service, the Rev. Dr. Aidsand Wright-Riggins was recently elected the mayor of Collegeville, Pennsylvania. Before running for office, he served as CEO of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies and Judson Press. Wright-Riggins also served as a pastor in California for almost 20 years and as the Director of Peace with Justice with the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
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 Walter and Kay Shurden?
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
Previous Shurden Lectures
March 20-21, 2018
Lecturer: Charles C. Haynes, founding director of the Religious Freedom Center of the Freedom Forum Institute
Location: Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta
Story Video of Lecture #1 Video of Lecture #2 Video of Lecture #3 Podcast preview
Watch a video of the presentation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary: