A local college is producing an award-winning lecture series this month — featuring a wide range of experts and topics.
Calvin College in Grand Rapids, at 3201 Burton St. SE, will host its 30th-annual January Series of guest lecturers at noon each weekday, starting Wednesday through Jan. 24.
The hour-long talks are hosted live in the Covenant Fine Arts Center on Calvin’s campus and are also simulcast live in 50 cities throughout Michigan, the U.S., Canada and Europe. An audio-only version will also be streamed live online each day of the series.
“It means a lot that we can share this with our community,” said Kristi Potter, director of the January Series. “We are so thrilled it’s been here for 30 years, and we are so grateful to our sponsors who have helped make this possible. Our desire is to keep bringing in these great speakers year after year, so we can continue to have these great conversations.”
For 30 years, the January Series has been one of the leading college lecture series in the country.
The series has been a three-time recipient of the Silver Bowl Award as the Best Campus Lecture Series in the U.S.A. by the International Platform Society.
The diversity of presenters and topics has changed as the world of ideas has changed.
Founded in 1876, Calvin College is a liberal arts school. With about 4,000 students, the college is an educational institution of the Christian Reformed Church and stands in the Reformed tradition of Protestantism.
2017 January Series speakers and topics
Jan. 4: Karin Maag, director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies at Calvin College; “500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters”
Jan. 5: Matthew Desmond, John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Science at Harvard University and co-founder of the Justice and Poverty Project; “Poverty and Profit in the American City”
Jan. 6: Mark Charles, who works with the ministry 5 Small Loaves, is a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and an expert advisor on indigenous matters; “Race, Trauma and the Doctrine of Discovery”
Jan. 9: Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and author of “Women Who Don't Wait in Line”; “Closing the Gender Gap in Technology”
Jan. 10: Abraham Nussbaum, physician and author of the memoir, “The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician's Search for the Renewal of Medicine”; “Tinkering in Today's Healthcare Factories: Pursuing the Renewal of Medicine”
Jan. 11: Gary Haugen, CEO and founder of International Justice Mission; “Until All are Free: A Look at Slavery Today and the Church’s Invitation to End It”
Jan. 12: Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray, best friends who hiked the 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain called the Camino de Santiago; “I’ll Push You: A Story of Radical Friendship, Overcoming Challenges and the Power of Community”
Jan. 13: Todd Huizinga, senior research fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College; “The EU and Global Governance”
Jan. 16: Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners chief church engagement officer and founder and former executive director of New York Faith & Justice; “The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can be Made Right”
Jan. 17: Doris Kearns Goodwin, presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author; “How Did We Get Here? A Historical Perspective on Our Wild 2016 Election”
Jan. 18: Eugene Cho, founder and lead pastor of Quest Church in Seattle; “Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World?”
Jan. 19: Taylor Davis, classically trained American violinist, arranger and composer of YouTube fame; “American Violinist in Concert”
Jan. 20: Bryan Dik, associate professor of psychology at Colorado State University and co-founder and chief science officer of jobZology; “How to Find and Live Your Calling: Lessons from the Psychology of Vocation”
Jan. 23: Jeremy Courtney, founder of Preemptive Love Coalition, a development organization that works across Iraq providing life-saving surgeries for children; “The World is a Scary Place, Love Anyway”
Jan. 24: N.T. Wright, chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews and one of the world’s leading Bible scholars; “The Royal Revolution: Fresh Perspectives on the Cross”