The annual Paul B. Henry Lecture brings a prominent Christian political practitioner to Calvin to speak about the interplay of religion and politics. The event is intended to inspire the college and the community to actively seek to integrate a Christian worldview with practical politics and public life. Over the past eighteen years, the lecture has featured individuals from both political parties, speakers from liberal and conservative viewpoints, scholars who have examined current political issues and questions, and prominent leaders of non-profit organizations actively working in the public policy arena.

Henry Lecture

The most recent Paul B. Henry Lecture featured a roundtable discussion on Faith, Democracy, and the Media

The 21st annual Paul B. Henry event brought together several prominent national journalists of religion and politics to discuss faith, democracy, and the media. Michael McCurry (Press Secretary in the Clinton administration) will lead the roundtable conversation with Elizabeth Dias (New York Times), Emma Green (The Atlantic), Amy Sullivan (author of The Party Faithful), and Ken Woodward (former Newsweek reporter and author of Getting Religion).

Friday, April 26, 2019 at 7:00 pm
Prince Conference Center Great Hall East
Video Link

Michael McCurry

Best known for having served in Bill Clinton's administration as the nation's 18th White House Press Secretary, McCurry is a Washington-based communications consultant and is associated with the firm Public Strategies Washington, Inc. He is also active within the administration of the United Methodist Church, serving as a lay delegate to the Church General Conference and on various denominational boards. He currently co-chairs the Commission on Presidential Debates. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, he was educated at Princeton University and Georgetown University.

Elizabeth Dias

Elizabeth Dias covers faith and politics for The New York Times from the Washington bureau. She previously covered a similar beat for Time magazine, reporting on both the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. She has an undergraduate degree in theology from Wheaton College and a master’s in divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.

Emma Green

Emma Green is a staff writer at The Atlantic, writing on religion, especially as it overlaps with politics and culture. A 2012 graduate of Georgetown University where she studied government, Green began a fellowship with The Atlantic after graduating and has been there ever since. In 2017, she won first place for the Religion News Association’s Excellence in Religion News Analysis for Multi-Media Coverage and second place in three other categories for her writing for The Atlantic. Growing up in the South, Green had an early appreciation for the role faith plays in people’s lives. On her Twitter bio, she describes herself as a “Writer + troublemaker.”

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan is a journalist who has written about women, politics, and religion as a senior editor for national outlets including TIME, National Journal, Yahoo, and The Washington Monthly. Sullivan’s first book, The Party Faithful, was praised in the New York Times for its coverage of religion and partisan politics as “savvy, genre-bending, unapologetically faith-based.”  A Michigan native, Sullivan is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Harvard Divinity School. She sits on the advisory board for Princeton University’s sociology department, where she spent three years as a doctoral student. After more than two decades in Washington, D.C., she now lives outside Chicago with her husband and young children.

Ken Woodward

Woodward spent nearly four decades as the editor of Newsweek’s Religion section. In his most recent book, Getting Religion: Faith, Culture and Politics, he looks back on the faith landscape of the United States since his childhood in the 1940s with a unique background as a broad-based observer of religious trends and practices across a spectrum of American society for several decades. Woodward spent his undergraduate years at Notre Dame and is also the author of The Book of Miracles: The Meaning of the Miracle Stories in Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam and of Making Saints: How the Catholic Church Determines Who Becomes a Saint and Who Doesn't.


 Past lectures