Eight students delivered lectures during Lectureship last week, and Dr. Jesse Robertson, member of the Lectureship leadership team, said he is looking to have more student engagement in future Lectureships.
Robertson, who is also the assistant dean for church connections, said Bible faculty are asked to nominate potential student speakers for Lectureship every year with the goal of selecting those who have demonstrated good speaking abilities, shown learning abilities, and participated in internships or mission trips. Once students receive an invitation via email, they only need to complete an application and accept.
“It’s a bit of an honor to be selected to make a presentation because the faculty are nominating people for those roles,” Robertson said. “They are, in a sense, our all-stars.”
Senior Emma Howell said she received her invitation last fall. She chose to talk about unity under the title “How the Body of Christ Unites Together in Times of Trials and the Power of Community” on Sept. 28 in the McInteer Bible and World Missions Center. She selected Daniel 1 for her text, drawing from the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.
“I kind of used that to talk about how when we experience trials as Christians how the body of Christ unites together, and we surround each other,” Howell said. “And I talked a little bit about where that had been true in my story.”
Senior Blake Stout also delivered a lecture on Sept. 28 under the title “A Life On Mission: Daniel’s Faith and Ministry in the Midst of Babylonian Captivity.”
“I talked to some missionaries, I interviewed some missionaries and I started building this case for viewing Daniel as a missionary and then in turn what can we learn about missions through the life of Daniel,” Stout said. “And that was what I talked about.”
Robertson said the primary goal of Lectureship is to inform, encourage and inspire students to participate in God’s mission, offering them a chance to view people practicing what Harding preaches. Others who attend Lectureship benefit as well, Robertson added.
“Our purpose is to serve students,” Robertson said. “We also wound up serving a much larger set of people if we do that well because we open our doors for them to come and participate also.”
Robertson said he wants to feature Lectureship’s purpose more in subsequent years and increase student engagement by asking three questions of every lecture and session: Is this something that will be helpful to students, is this a speaker who will connect to students, and will the topic address the needs of the students?
For Harding’s 99th Lectureship in 2022, Robertson said the theme is “Culture and the Crucified Christ in 1st and 2nd Corinthians.” The event is scheduled for Sept. 25-28.
Howell said she is planning to attend graduate school next year and will probably be at Harding next fall when Lectureship 2022 occurs.
“I think my future involvement might just look like attending sessions in the future if I’m available, and I always love to go hear what people have to share and appreciate their hard work too,” Howell said.