Harding University is known throughout Searcy and the U.S. for its emphasis on outreach, which takes many different forms. Whether it is local church potlucks for incoming freshmen, university social clubs or extracurricular activities, Harding provides many ways for students to shape their future selves and connect with their spirituality.
One of the biggest events Harding uses to accomplish this is the Bible Lectureship, where a series of speakers come to Harding in the last week of September to speak about different topics. Organized by Vice President of Church Relations Dr. Dan Williams, Lectureship is considered by many students, faculty, alumni and visitors to be the highlight of the year at Harding.
“We plan a year in advance, get a panel of around 12 people who pick a main topic, then build our guest speakers around that,” Williams said. “We have some great speakers this year who I think would be really good for our young students to hear.”
The 2016 Lectureship theme is “Holy, Holy, Holy: Living In the Presence of God.” Many of the speakers are faculty or alumni, and some have traveled from across the nation and the world to participate. In addition to the main lectures, there will also be a series of student lectures — even several in Spanish and Chinese — over the course of the week.
Teresa Castleman, the lectureship’s events coordinator, said her goal is to make the attendees feel included.
“In addition to the speakers, we also have exhibitors in the student center,” Castleman said. “Most of them are nonprofit organizations looking for support or interns, and some are just vendors selling books and things. We actually have a pretty high demand for vendors this year.”
Devin Swindle, Assistant professor of Bible and Ministry, is one of the faculty members chosen to speak this year. He says some of his greatest sermons and inspirations have come from the lectureship, and he is excited to carry on the tradition.
“I really enjoy how we honor some of the older speakers from Harding’s history,” Swindle said. “It’s like walking down memory lane with some of these great preachers and honoring their legacy.”
Lectureship will have around 80 speakers this year, and will be from Sunday, Sept. 25 to Wednesday, Sept. 28. For more information, visit www.harding.edu/churchrelations.