The January Series is a FREE 15-day award-winning lecture series that takes place each year at Calvin University.  The series aims to cultivate deep thought and conversations about important issues of the day, to inspire cultural renewal and make us better global citizens in God's world. We are thankful to share this special gift with our local, regional, and global community, thanks to our underwriters.


Sara, a white woman with brown hair tied back, poses for a headshot wearing an army green blouse, in front of a fence.

Dr. Sara Hendren

What Can a Body Do?

Monday, January 9

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Monday, January 9

Sara Hendren is an artist, design researcher, and writer who teaches design for disability at Olin College of Engineering. Her work has been exhibited widely and is held in the permanent collections of MoMA and the Cooper Hewitt design museum; her writing and design work have been featured in The New York Times and Fast Company and on NPR. Hendren has been a fellow at New America and the Carey Institute for Global Good. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with her husband and children. 

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Monica, a Latina woman with dark hair, poses for a headshot against a dramatic black background.

Monica Guzman

Reclaiming Curiosity in Divided Times

Tuesday, January 10

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Tuesday, January 10

Mónica Guzmán is a bridge builder, journalist, and entrepreneur who lives for great conversations sparked by curious questions. She’s senior fellow for public practice at Braver Angels, the nation’s largest cross-partisan grassroots organization working to depolarize America; host of live interview series at Crosscut; and cofounder of the award-winning Seattle newsletter The Evergrey

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Nate, a white man with brown hair poses for a headshot wearing a blue button-up shirt, in front of a brick wall.

Nate Mook

The Urgent Pursuit to Nourish the World

Wednesday, January 11

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Wednesday, January 11

Nate Mook is the CEO of World Central Kitchen. Nate began working with Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen in 2012, and together they produced the PBS/National Geographic documentary “Undiscovered Haiti” in 2015. Since then, Nate has led the organization’s dramatic growth and strategic shift to its current work using food as a solution to humanitarian crises around the world.

Note: this speaker will be joining us virtually.

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Kyle, a white man with light brown hair poses for a head shot wearing a black suit coat, white button-up shirt and green tie, in a bright long hallway of offices.

Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap

Following Jesus in a Warming World

Thursday, January 12

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Thursday, January 12

Rev. Kyle Meyaard-Schaap serves as the Vice President of the Evangelical Environmental Network. For the last ten years, he has educated and mobilized Christians around the world to address the climate crisis as an act of discipleship and neighbor-love. His work has been featured in national and international news outlets such as PBS, NPR, CNN, NBC News, New York Times, Reuters, and U.S. News and World Report. His forthcoming book, Following Jesus in a Warming World: A Christian Call to Climate Action, is set to be published by InterVarsity Press on February 21, 2023.

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Amy, a white woman with shoulder-length, straight, blonde hair, sits in a mobility scooter wearing a burgundy blouse and grey jeans, in front of a wall with blue geometric shapes.

Dr. Amy Kenny

My Body Is Not A Prayer Request

Friday, January 13

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Friday, January 13

Amy Kenny is a disabled scholar and a Shakespeare Lecturer who hates Hamlet. Her work on disability has been featured in Teen Vogue, Sojourners, Shondaland, The Mighty, and Huff Post. Her book, My Body Is Not A Prayer Request, published by Brazos in 2022, mixes humor, personal narrative, and theology to invite faith communities to rethink their unintentional ableism and learn from the embodied wisdom of disabled people.  

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Gregory, a white man with a brown beard, bald head and tortoise shell glasses poses for a close-up headshot wearing a blue and white button-up shirt.

Dr. Gregory Thompson

To Stick with Love: King’s Vision for Today’s Movement

Monday, January 16

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Monday, January 16

Gregory Thompson (PhD, University of Virginia) is an artist of diverse creative background who works at the intersection of moral imagination and social change. Focusing on matters of race, religion, public memory, and hospitality, Gregory currently serves as Co-Director of Voices Underground, an organization committed to helping local communities recover and honor their African American histories, as writer at The Welcome Table, a column on Food and Culture at Comment Magazine, and as a line chef at Broadcloth, a restaurant in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

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Kaia, a black woman with long black braided hair sits in front of a green bush wearing a blue and black dress.

Kaia Kater

Song Selections

Tuesday, January 17

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Tuesday, January 17

Kaia draws on her diverse influences in Quebec, the Caribbean, and Appalachia, bringing them together to present an exciting musical direction. What started out as a search to discover the roots of her identity became a physical and emotional exploration of history, in particular her paternal ancestry, and has led to bold new heights of imagination and creative expression. In 2021, Kaia took part in the Slaight Music Residency at the Canadian Film Center, released a new single ("Parallels") in October, and composed original music for the CBC/BET+ TV series entitled 'The Porter'.  She is currently working on a full length album for release in 2023. 

Note: Kaia will perform a FREE concert in the evening. More details coming soon.

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Noah, a white man with brown hair and glasses poses for a head shot in front of a bookcase wearing a blue suit coat, white button-up shirt and red tie.

Dr. Noah Toly

Learning Together, Living Together: What the World Needs from Christian Liberal Arts Education

Wednesday, January 18

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Wednesday, January 18

Noah J. Toly, PhD, is the ninth chief academic officer at Calvin University. A '99 graduate of Wheaton College with a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies and Spanish, Toly earned a master of arts degree in theology from Wheaton College in 2012. He earned both a master of arts degree in urban affairs and public policy in 2005 and a doctor of philosophy degree in urban affairs and public policy in 2006 from the University of Delaware. 

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Kerri, a white woman with brown hair tied back poses for a head shot in a black shirt in front of a dark blue background.

Kerri Arsenault

Family and Environmental Legacies

Thursday, January 19

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Thursday, January 19

Co-founder of The Environmental Storytelling Studio at Brown University (TESS), contributing editor at Orion magazine, book critic, and author of Mill Town: Reckoning with What Remains, an investigative memoir about family and environmental legacies. Mill Town won the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award from the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Maine Literary Award for nonfiction, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize for the best first book in any genre.

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Moo, a black woman with shoulder length black hair poses for a head shot under a bright white square designed ceiling, wearing a white blouse.

Dr. Moo Cooper

Diversity in STEAM from a Real Life Guardian of the Galaxy

Friday, January 20

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Friday, January 20

A real life “Guardian of the Galaxy,” Dr. Moogega “Moo” Cooper holds the awesome responsibility of keeping the red planet safe from any of the Earth’s contaminants.  Moo is the planetary protection lead of the famed NASA 2020 Mars mission—with it’s highly viewed landing on February 18, 2021.  Her work with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory is integral to the ongoing mission to discern whether Mars could be habitable for humans and that we don’t harm what’s already there—a job she has been working up to for most of her life.   

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Ken, a white man with light brown hair leans against a pillar in an industrial looking room, wearing a blue suit coat, white button-up shirt and pink tie.

Ken Jennings

And the Answer Is: Why Is It Better to Be a Generalist?

Monday, January 23

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Monday, January 23

When it comes to quiz shows, no one has done it better than Ken Jennings. The former Utah software engineer rose to fame in 2004 when he spent six months as a contestant on Jeopardy! His 75-game streak and $2.52 million in winnings are still Jeopardy! records today. As a speaker, Jennings appears at college and corporate events nationwide, covering topics ranging from the importance of education to artificial intelligence (specifically his encounter with IBM’s Watson) to his love of geography — always sharing his insider stories from behind the scenes at Jeopardy! 

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Peter, a white man with brown hair and glasses posts for a head shot in front of a grey background wearing a black suit coat, white button-up shirt and light blue tie.

Peter Wehner

How Christianity Can Be a Healing Force in American Society

Tuesday, January 24

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Tuesday, January 24

Peter Wehner is an in-residence Senior Fellow, a contributing opinion writer for The New York Times, and a contributing editor for The Atlantic. He has written for numerous other publications—including Time, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Financial Times, The Weekly Standard, National Review, Commentary, National Affairs, and Christianity Today. He has also appeared frequently as a commentator on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, CBS, PBS, and C-SPAN television. 

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Esau, a black man with glasses poses for a headshot in front of a brown background wearing a blue suit coat and tan crew cut shirt.

Dr. Esau McCaulley

What is African American Biblical Interpretation and Why Does the Whole Church Need It

Wednesday, January 25

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Wednesday, January 25

Esau McCaulley, PhD is an associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Wheaton, IL and theologian in residence at Progressive Baptist Church, a historically black congregation in Chicago.  His first book entitled Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance was published by T & T Clark in 2019. His second book Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope was published by IVP academic in 2020. His writings have also appeared in places such as The Atlantic, Washington Post, and Christianity Today. He is married to Mandy, a pediatrician and navy reservist. Together, they have four wonderful children. 

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Efosa, a black man with a goatee poses for a headshot outside in front of a tree and building wearing a navy suit coat, white button-up shirt and red tie.

Efosa Ojomo

The Prosperity Paradox and the power of market-creating innovation

Thursday, January 26

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Thursday, January 26

Efosa Ojomo was selected as one of 30 thinkers in the 2020 Thinkers50 Radar list, the world’s most reliable resource for identifying, ranking, and sharing the leading management ideas of our age.  

He researches and writes about how innovation can transform organizations and create inclusive prosperity for many. In January, 2019, alongside the late Harvard Business School professor, Clayton Christensen, he published the book, The Prosperity Paradox: How innovation can lift nations out of poverty. Christensen was the world’s foremost thinker on Disruptive Innovation and was a mentor to Efosa Ojomo. 

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Kate, a white woman with long brown hair sits in a chair in front of a bookcase, full of books, wearing a black shirt and blue jeans with holes in the knees.

Dr. Kate Bowler

Life After Perfect

Friday, January 27

Available live starting at 12:30 PM EST, Friday, January 27

Kate Bowler, PhD is a New York Times bestselling author, podcast host, and a professor at Duke University. She studies the cultural stories we tell ourselves about success, suffering, and whether (or not) we’re capable of change.

Note: this speaker will be joining us virtually.

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