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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Fall 2015 Chapel Speakers


Aug. 28 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Belmont 125: Belief in Something Greater

Shane Claiborne spent time in Calcutta serving with Mother Teresa and in Chicago serving at a megachurch before founding a Christian community with the poor of Philadelphia. His books include Ordinary Radicals, Jesus for President and Irresistible Revolution. Co-sponsored by the Social Entrepreneurship Program

Aug. 31 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
The Emanuel 9 Martyrs

Bishop John Bryant is the Senior Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and has pastored and preached around the world with an emphasis on church growth, community development and political empowerment. His books include God Can and Healing for Wounded Vows.


Sept. 2 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Music and Faith

ricky skaggs and gordon kennedy

Ricky has garnered 14 GRAMMY® Awards, 12 No. 1 hits, eight CMA awards, eight ACM awards and Belmont’s Applause music award. Gordon is a Belmont alumnus and world-renowned guitarist, teaches in the Songwriting Program, and is a multiple GRAMMY® Award-winner whose work includes the No. 1 international hit by Eric Clapton, “Change the World.” Co-sponsored by the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Sept. 9 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Music as Ministry

Michael W. Smith has to his credit three GRAMMY® Awards, 44 Dove Awards, 33 No. 1 radio hits, 16 Gold, seven Platinum and two double-platinum albums. He is also the founder of Rocketown, a ministry in downtown Nashville serving 800 teens each week. Co-sponsored by the College of Visual & Performing Arts & Office of Career Services and Professional Development

Sept. 14 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Changing Faith

Michael Hidalgo is the Lead Pastor of Denver Community Church, writes frequently for Relevant Magazine and is the author of Unlost: Being Found by the One We Are Looking For and Changing Faith: Questions, Doubts and Choices About the Unchanging God.

Sept. 16 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Conversations that Matter

Rachael Crabb is the author of Listen In: Building Faith and Friendship Through Conversations That Matter and The Personal Touch: Encouraging Others Through Hospitality. She speaks throughout the U.S. and serves on the board of Greater Europe Mission.

Sept. 18 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Spiritual Direction

Susan S. Phillips, who earned her Ph.D. at U.C., Berkeley, is Executive Director and Professor of Sociology and Christianity at New College, Berkeley. A leader in training spiritual directors, her books include Candlelight: Illuminating the Art of Spiritual Direction, The Cultivated Life: From Ceaseless Striving to Receiving Joy, and The Crisis of Care: Affirming and Restoring Caring Practices in the Helping Professions.

Sept. 21 | 10 a.m. | MPAC

David Platt is President of the International Mission Board and author of The New York Times bestseller Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream and Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live. He earned two MAs and a Ph.D. in theology and served as a professor of preaching, and as senior pastor of a megachurch in Birmingham, Ala.

Sept. 23 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Dead Man Walking

Sister Helen Prejean wrote Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States, a No. 1 New York Times and international best seller which became an Academy Award-winning movie. Her latest book is The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful ExecutionsCo-sponsored by the College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences

Sept. 28 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Food for Trafficked Souls

Becca Stevens is an Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene House, a community of women recovering from prostitution and addiction. Thistle Farms and Thistle Stop Café are the businesses they have created. Becca’s many books include The Way of Tea & Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History and Letters from the Farm: A Simple Path for a Deeper Spiritual Life. A University Theme “Living in a Global Community” Event

Sept. 30 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Larry the Cucumber

Mike Nawrocki is co-founder of Big Idea Productions which created “Veggie Tales,” for which Mike is the voice of Larry the Cucumber, as well as a writer and director working on 121 new Netflix episodes of “Veggie Tales.” Co-sponsored by the Motion Pictures Program


Oct. 2 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
How Chick-fil-A Leads

Mark A. Conklin, Senior Manager of Leadership Development at Chick-fil-A, spent eight years working in Christian higher education. He is a graduate of Nyack College and the Harvard Business School General Management Program with an M.Div. from Alliance Theological Seminary in New York. A University Theme “Living in a Global Community” Event & Co-Sponsored by the Jack C. Massey College of Business

Oct. 5 | 10 a.m. | MPAC
Breath of Heaven

Amy Grant has sold more than 30 million albums, won six GRAMMY® Awards and 25 Dove Awards, and had 17 Top 40 songs as well as a string of Contemporary Christian hits. She has been awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Oct. 7 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Activist Faith

Marla Frederick studied at Spelman, Duke and Princeton and is Professor of African and African American Studies and the Study of Religion at Harvard University. Her books include Between Sundays: Black Women and Everyday Struggles of Faith and Local Democracy Under Siege: Activism, Public Interests and Private Politics. Her next book is Colored Television: Religion, Media and Racial Uplift in the Black Atlantic World.

Oct. 14 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
From The Beatles to Jesus

Ken Mansfield was the U.S. Manager of The Beatles Apple Records and is a GRAMMY® and Dove award-winning producer. At Capitol Records, along with the Beatles, he worked with artists like Judy Garland, Lou Rawls, Glen Campbell and the Beach Boys. After coming to faith in Christ, he has written several books, including The White Book—The Beatles, the Bands, the Biz: An Insider’s Look at an Era. Co-sponsored by the Curb College of Entertainment & Music Business

Oct. 19 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Healthcare as Christ's Love

Morgan Wills is a physician and President and CEO of Siloam Family Health Center in Nashville, whose motto is “Sharing the love of Christ by serving those in need through healthcare.” They partner with Belmont’s College of Pharmacy and College of Health Sciences to provide healthcare in 80 languages. A University Theme “Living in a Global Community” Event

Oct. 21 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Africa Rising 

Tom Hart is the U.S. Executive Director of ONE, co-founded by Bono as an international advocacy organization focusing on extreme poverty and preventable disease in Africa. ONE and its seven million supporters have helped get historic funding increases for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB. Before joining ONE, Tom was the Director of Government Relations for the Episcopal Church.

Oct. 23 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
African Christianity

Jeff and Lynne Holder are Belmont’s newest Missionary-in-Residence couple. They have served in Africa for 25 years, most recently in student ministry in South Africa.

Oct. 28 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Faith & Science

Cymbeline Culiat, a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences, is President and Chief Scientific Officer of NellOne Therapeutics. She served as a senior scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and holds patents for skeletal muscle wound healing and treatment of cardiovascular disorders. She has degrees in cell biology and genetics and taught at the University of the Philippines and at the Graduate School of Genome Sciences and Technology (UTK). Co-sponsored by the College of Sciences & Mathematics


Nov. 4 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
The Gospel in Music

The McCrary Sisters have spent a lifetime in the world of Americana and gospel music, recording with Stevie Wonder, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Elvis and Patty Griffin. Their newest album, released in 2015, is "Let’s Go."

Nov. 11 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Sex & the Soul

Byron and Carla Weathersbee are the authors of Before Forever: How do you know that you know? They co-founded Legacy Family Ministries in 1995 and have developed a marriage preparation curriculum that has helped thousands of couples.

Nov. 18 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Stopping Sexual Abuse

Boz Tchividjian worked in Florida for seven years as a Sexual Crimes Division Chief Prosecutor. He went on to found GRACE, an organization dedicated to helping Christian organizations deal with the sexual abuse of children. He is a professor of law at Liberty University, where he pioneered one of the first courses in the nation focusing on child abuse. Co-sponsored by the College of Law


Dec. 2 | 10 a.m. | WAC Chapel
Helping Haiti

Frank Verdi is the executive director of Heartline Ministries Foundation in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, which operates a maternity clinic and women’s center, plus entrepreneurship and discipleship programs. The goal is to empower Haitians to take control of their lives emotionally, spiritually and financially. Co-sponsored by the College of Health Sciences & School of Nursing and the College of Pharmacy