ranklin College’s annual lecture series this year will focus on an aspect of campus life that is at a critical growth stage in students’ social development, one of the organizers said.
Faith, the theme of the 2015-16 series, is one of the college’s five core values. Every year, the college picks a theme from the values — respect, honesty, responsibility, faith and lifelong pursuit of learning — for the lecture series. Led by campus minister Leah Rumsey, a committee chooses a diverse group of speakers from recommendations by instructors and others on campus.
“We know that in terms of (spiritual growth) these four years are a critical time for faith development. This is the first time they’ve had that responsibility on their own, so part of we want to do is teach them responsibility for their faith life,” she said.
To that end, the college has chosen a roster of speakers who will challenge students’ and other attendees’ thoughts on topics related to spirituality. Lectures will cover many areas related to spirituality, including but not limited to law, ethics, history, genocide, slavery and civil rights.
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The events are open to the public for free. The lectures are brought to campus through a combination of grants and community support.
“I hope that they learn a lot different ways of thinking faith and spirituality,” she said.
“I’m excited about the lectures concerning life sciences and religion. My hope as campus minister is always that they’re hearing something more academic about religion and internalizing that and using it to grow in their own faith journeys.”