Reinhardt College Chaplain Leigh Sparks Martin said the committee organizing the event seeks to involve the College community, as well as the community at large.
"The Wesley Lecture Series Committee and the Reinhardt College community are excited to welcome someone of Bishop Willimon's stature and renown to our campus," Martin said. "Through his roles as author, theologian, professor and pastor, he has encouraged and challenged preachers, renewed worship, and inspired young adults in their Christian faith. Prior to his consecration as bishop this past summer, he served 20+ years at Duke Divinity School, thus he understands the college campus as a community and a teaching resource. I look forward to hearing his insights on how small colleges can set the norms in the complex world of higher education."
Willimon is a dynamic presenter with interesting theological viewpoints to share. "He truly has something to say to us, to both the College and to the church community, as well," said Reinhardt President Dr. J. Thomas Isherwood. "When I first envisioned this type lecture series, Willimon fulfills all the requirements I had in my mind: he is thought-provoking, inspirational, charismatic, and can speak from the heart about what it means to combine faith and higher education in a way that is much needed in today's world."
Described as one of the nation's top United Methodist theologians, Willimon was named one of the "Twelve Most Effective Preachers" in the English-speaking world in an international survey conducted by Baylor University. After 20 years of service as dean of the Duke University Chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke, he was elected bishop of the North Alabama Conference of the United Methodist Church in July of 2004.
A well-regarded speaker, Willimon has given lectures and taught courses at pastors' schools, colleges and universities in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Asia. He has written more than 50 books, including Worship is Pastoral Care, which was selected in 1979 as one of the ten most useful books for pastors by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. In addition, his articles have appeared in many publications, including The Christian Ministry, Quarterly Review, Liturgy, Worship and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. He serves on the editorial boards of The Christian Century, The Christian Ministry, Pulpit Digest, Preaching, The Wittenburg Door, and Leadership. He has also served as editor and expositor, with his wife, Patricia, for Abingdonï¿½s International Lesson Annual. His Pulpit Resource is used weekly by more than 8000 pastors in the U.S., Canada and Australia. He has also written curriculum materials and video for youth, young adults and adults.
Willimon earned his bachelor's degree from Wofford College and a master of divinity degree from Yale Divinity School. He also holds a doctorate in sacred theology from Emory's Candler School of Theology and has received numerous honorary degrees.
He was named to the Board of Trustees at Emory University in November of 2004, and he has served as vice chairman of the Board of Trustees, Wofford College; chairperson of the University Council Committee for the Institute of Sacred Music at Yale and on the Board of Overseers for Memorial Church, Harvard University, and the Board of Christ School in Arden, NC. In 1992, he was named as the first Distinguished Alumnus of Yale Divinity School.
For more information, please contact Chaplain Martin at 770-720-5634.
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