Krista Tippett

Einstein’s God: Conversations about Science and the Human Spirit

Wednesday, January 5
Underwritten by: The Center for Excellence in Preaching

Ms. Tippett is host and producer of On Being (formerly Speaking of Faith), which airs on more than 200 public radio stations in the U.S. and internationally via the Web.  A Peabody award-winning broadcaster, she is known as one of the most intelligent and insightful commentators on religion, ethics, and the human spirit.  Through the show and her writing she has endeavored to enliven public discussion about the intersections of spirituality, faith and everyday life.  She is the author of two books Speaking of Faith and Einstein's God.

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Kelly Clark

Faith and Freedom in Contemporary China

Thursday, January 6
Underwritten by: The I.C.N. Foundation

Professor of philosophy at Calvin and program director of the “Values & Virtues in Contemporary  China” global initiative 2010-2013.  Author of numerous books including Philosophers Who Believe  and The Story of Ethics.  With the number of Christians in China possibly outnumbering the members of the Communist Party, the Party senses an increasing political threat posed by religion, yet China’s constitution guarantees freedom of religion. Professor Clark will help us understand China’s religious contradictions.

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Theary Seng

Daughter of the Killing Fields

Friday, January 7
Underwritten by: Barnes & Thornburg

Ms. Seng was born in Phnom Penh in January 1971.  Under the Khmer Rouge, she lived in Svay Rieng province bordering Vietnam, where the killings were most intense and where she spent five months in prison. The Khmer Rouge killed both her parents. In November 1979, at the age of eight, she and her surviving family trekked across the border for Thailand and emigrated to the U.S. one year later (first settling in Grand Rapids, MI with the support of a local CRC church). Theary graduated from Georgetown University’s school of Foreign Service with a BS in International Politics and received a Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School.  Theary returned to Cambodia in 2004 and is the founder and board president of the Center for Justice & Reconciliation. She wrote a book about her life entitled Daughter of the Killing Fields and is currently working on a second book.

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Temple Grandin

All Kinds of Minds: The Importance of Developing Each Person's Unique Strengths

Monday, January 10
Underwritten by: William & Elaine Stoub

Ms. Grandin is the most accomplished and well-known adult with autism in the world.   An expert on animal behavior, she has designed humane handling systems for half the cattle-processing facilities in the US and consults with the meat industry to develop animal welfare guidelines.  She is an Associate Professor of Animal Science at Colorado State University, a prominent author and speaker and was recently named as one of the 25 "Heroes" in this years' Time 100annual list of the world's most influential people.  Her books about her interior life as an autistic person have increased the world’s understanding of the condition with personal immediacy – and with import, as rates of autism diagnosis rise.  An HBO movie was recently made about her life starring actress Clare Danes.  She is revered by animal rights groups and members of the autistic community, perhaps because in both regards she is a voice for those who are sometimes challenged to make themselves heard.

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Andy Crouch

Playing God: Creativity and Cultural Power

Tuesday, January 11
Underwritten by: The Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Christian Perspectives on Political, Social, and Economic Thought

Andy Crouch is partner for theology and culture at Praxis, an organization that works as a creative  engine for redemptive entrepreneurship. His two most recent books—2017's The Tech-Wise Family:  Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place and 2016's Strong and Weak: Embracing a  Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing—build on the vision of faith, culture, and the image of God laid  out in his previous books Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power and Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling. Join us for Crouch's discussion on the limits of technology and the hope he has for a more personal world.  


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Greg Boyle

Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Wednesday, January 12
Underwritten by: Holland Litho Printing Services

Father Greg is a Jesuit priest and the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, the largest, most successful gang intervention program in Los Angeles.  Homeboy, whose motto is “Nothing Stops a Bullet Like a Job”, takes gang members (homeboys and homegirls) fresh out of detention centers and offers everything from job training and placement to tattoo removal.  Reflecting on over 20 years of experience with the gangs, Father Greg has recently published Tattoos on the Heart which has been on the Los Angeles Times best seller list all summer. He has received numerous humanitarian awards, among them the California Peace Prize. He lives in Los Angeles.

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Glenn Geelhoed

Mission to Heal

Thursday, January 13
Underwritten by: Spectrum Health

Dr. Geelhoed serves as a surgeon and faculty member at the George Washington University Medical Center in Washington DC, although he spends most of his year living in remote areas of the world.  For nearly 40 years he has led teams of medical students and professionals to some of the poorest and most medically needy areas on earth.  They have traveled to places such as Haiti, the Philippines, Somaliland, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Congo, Sudan, and Rwanda.  In recognition of his work Dr. Geelhoed was named one of George Magazine’s Humanitarians of the Year in 2000 and was recently inducted into the Medical Mission Hall of Fame, affiliated with The University of Toledo’s College of Medicine, which honors those who have improved the human condition through better public health care.  Dr. Geelhoed is a Calvin alum who will return to his alma mater to share his experiences on the medical mission field and the lessons he has learned in human resilience, lessons he calls “gifts from the poor”.

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Ensemble Galilei

First Person: Seeing America

Friday, January 14
Underwritten by: The Richard & Helen DeVos Foundation

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this lecture is not recorded or archived.

From its inception in 1990, Ensemble Galilei has redefined the boundaries of chamber music, created new work, seized opportunities for collaborative relationships and consistently pushed the envelope in a series of innovative projects that explore combinations of images, words, and music.  In “First Person: Seeing America” one experiences a combination of iconic photographs from the Metropolitan Museum of Art – searing pictures of the Civil War and haunting portraits from the Great Depression – with the beautiful string music of Ensemble Galilei and narration by NPR’s Neal Conan and actress Lily Knight to  create a powerful multi-media performance.

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Nikki Toyama-Szeto

Beyond Multi-Culturalism to True Community

Monday, January 17
Underwritten by: The Christian Reformed Church in North America

Nikki is on staff at InterVarsity Christian Fellowship and serves as the Program Director for Urbana, a student missions conference that gathers 20,000 students from 120 different countries.  She consults and speaks for a variety of campuses, churches and organizations and currently sits on the board of Mission Year, serving as their chairperson of the multi-ethnicity committee.   Much of her insights stem from experiences living among the poor people in the slums of Nairobi, Cairo, and Bangkok. Prior to entering ministry, Nikki spent several years working as an engineer in Silicon Valley.  She is the co- editor of More Than Serving Tea, a collection of essays, stories and poems looking at the intersection of race, gender and faith for Asian American women.

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Twesigye Jackson Kaguri

The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village

Tuesday, January 18
Underwritten by: Celebration Education Fund - Schools for Sierra Leone

Jackson Kaguri was raised in Uganda, graduated from Makerere University, attended graduate school in the U.S. and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University. He is the founder and director of the Nyaka and Kutamba AIDS Orphans Schools in Uganda and the author of the recently released The Price of Stones, the stirring story behind the founding of his schools.  In the book he weaves together inspiring accounts of building the first school stone by stone against tremendous odds to meet the needs of the growing number of children in his town left orphaned by AIDS.  Kaguri shows how one person with a modest idea is capable of achieving monumental results.  He was recently featured in the June 14 issue of TIME Magazine in an article entitled “Power of One”. As the article states, “he had an American job, an American wife and the beginnings of a down payment to buy a house.  Then in April 2001, he took his wife to visit his home village and the grannies flooded in, seeking help raising their grandchildren left orphaned by AIDS.” His life has not been the same since.

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Donald Worster

John Muir and the Religion of Nature

Wednesday, January 19
Underwritten by: Meijer, Inc.

Dr. Worster is the Hall Professor of U.S. History and Environmental Studies at the University of Kansas. He has taught at Yale University and the University of Hawaii and has held fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Australian National University, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, and the American Council of Learned Societies.  He is the author of many highly acclaimed books including biographies on John Muir and John Wesley Powell.  He is primarily interested in the emerging field of environmental history – the changing perception of nature, the rise of conservation and environmentalism, but especially the ways that the natural world has impinged on human society and provided the context for human life over time.

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Cal Ripken

The Keys to Perseverance

Thursday, January 20
Underwritten by: Peter C. Cook & GMB Architects + Engineers

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Retired from baseball in October 2001 after 21 seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, Cal Ripken, Jr. was entered in the record books as one of only seven players in history to achieve 400 home runs and 3,000 hits.  Cherished by fans around the globe as baseball’s “Iron Man,” in 1995 he broke Lou Gehrig’s record for consecutive games played, and voluntarily ended his streak in 1998 after playing 2,632 consecutive games. His remarkable accomplishment is regarded as one of the single greatest moments in sports history. Ripken’s name has become synonymous with strength, character, endurance, and integrity. His philosophy of working hard, playing with passion, and enjoying the game has made a tremendous impact on the sport, and on fans everywhere.

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Jessica Jackley

Harnessing the Power of Perspective: the Kiva Story

Friday, January 21
Underwritten by: Van Wyk Risk & Financial Management

Due to contractual restrictions, this lecture is not recorded or archived.

Ms. Jackley is the co-founder of Kiva, the world’s first peer-to-peer microloan website.  At Kiva.org users can make microloans directly to specific developing world entrepreneurs - who then use the money to start or grow a small business - and lift themselves out of poverty.  Loans start at $25.  Named one of the top ideas of 2006 by The New York Times Magazine, and praised by Oprah, Bill Clinton and countless others, Kiva is one of the fastest-growing social benefit websites in history.  Since its founding, in 2005, it has loaned over $100 million from lenders to entrepreneurs across 182 countries. For all its success, Kiva remains animated by a simple message – to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty – and by the idea that relationships are a powerful force for positive change.

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Sajan George

The Future of Education

Monday, January 24
Underwritten by: Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning

As a turnaround specialist, Mr. George has uniquely applied his turnaround skills to our nation’s struggling public education system. Sajan’s particular focus and passion has been to realize the dream that all students, regardless of background, can learn and succeed in American society.  He works alongside the nation’s governors, state superintendents, mayors, chancellors and school superintendents as well as two of the largest education philanthropic investors, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Eli & Edythe Broad Foundation.  Dissatisfied by the status quo in public education in this country, he has worked at restructuring some of the largest K-12 and higher education institutions in the country including two of the nation’s most complex urban school systems in New York City and Washington, DC as well as the New Orleans Parish Schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and most recently the State Departments of Education in Indiana, New Mexico and Arkansas. He is currently leading a team in Detroit to manage the city’s K-12 special education department.

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Jean M. Twenge

The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement

Tuesday, January 25
Underwritten by: Sam & Corinne Aardema-Bosch of Portland, Oregon

Note: Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation is not recorded or archived.

Jean Twenge is a widely published professor of psychology at San Diego State University, the author of Generation Me, and the co-author of The Narcissism Epidemic. Her research has been featured or quoted in Time, USA Today, New York Times, The Washington Post, and other major media. She has appeared on Today, Good Morning America, Dateline, and National Public Radio.  Her talks are geared towards a general audience and mix easily comprehensible scientific research with examples from popular culture and plenty of humor. In 2010, she founded iGen Consulting to advise companies and organizations on generational differences based on her expertise and research on the topic.

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