The 100th anniversary of Brite Divinity School kicks off ‘Ministers Week’


    In 1915, as the Rev. Carey Morgan dedicated Brite Divinity School, he urged ministers to understand the age in which they lived.

    “The preacher must know the age in which he [or she] lives, because while the gospel is always the same, the church is a part of the age and is profoundly influenced by it,” Morgan said.

    His words are the framework for this year’s Ministers’ Week as Brite reaches the century mark. Brite has invited 12 speakers from various backgrounds to preach and discuss how churches can be shaped to correlate with today’s culture.

    Ministers’ Week begins Monday night and runs through Thursday.

    Brite president Dr. Newell Williams said about 500 people are expected to attend throughout the week.

    Speakers include:

    Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, the founding and Senior Pastor of the Ray of Hope Christian Church in Decatur, Georgia, will preside the opening worship service Monday through Wednesday at 7 p.m. She has been inducted into the African American Biographies Hall of Fame and the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers of Morehouse College. She was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

    Rev. Dr. Phil Snider, an author, pastor and teacher, will be conducting a lecture at 9 a.m. Tuesday. He is known for his speech on equal rights for LGBTQ people, which was viewed by more than four million people on YouTube. Since 2003, he has served as a senior minister at Brentwood Christian Church in Springfield, Missouri.

    Dr. Elizabeth Drescher, who studies spirituality in everyday life today and in the past, will be hosting a lectureship Tuesday at 10:45 a.m. She teaches religious studies and pastoral ministry at Santa Clara University. She is the author of two books and has contributed to various newspapers with her commentary.

    Rev. Dr. Craig Van Gelder, Emeritus Professor of Congregational Mission, Luther Seminary and a Consultant with The Missional Network, will be hosting a ‘Davis Workshop in Ministry’ at 9 a.m. Wednesday. He is known for using a missional approach to help congregations adapt and change with the use of biblical and theological perspectives. Van Gelder is also the author of various books.

    Bishop John Shelby Spong, a well known speaker and author, will be hosting lecture on Thursday at 9 a.m. Spong retired in 2001 after working at the Episcopal Diocese of Newark. He is now a visiting lecturer and delivers more than 200 public lectures a year. His books have been sold to over a million readers. He has had extensive media appearances on 60 minutes, Good Morning America, Fox News and many others.

    The events are free for anyone, but pre-registration is advised.