Tag Archives: Whitworth University

BRIEF: Panel to examine gender studies and Christian universities

By Tracy Simmons

On April 3 Whitworth University will host a panel discussion titled, “The Future of Women’s and Gender Studies at Christian Universities.”

In this discussion Whitworth professor of political science Julia Stronks will lead Linda Beail,  director of women’s studies at Point Loma Nazarene University, Beth Martin Birky, director of women’s studies at Goshen College, and Kristina LaCelle Peterson, department chair of theology at Houghton College.

It will be at 3:15 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth. Admission is free. For information call 777-4937.

Brief: Discussing sex and the soul

By Tracy Simmons

On April 1 Donna Freitas, assistant professor at Boston University, will present “Sex and the Soul” at Whitworth University.

Freitas is the author of “This Gorgeous Game,” “The Possibilities of Sainthood” and “Sex and the Soul.” Her academic focus has been on the struggle of belonging and alienation with regard to faith.

Her lecture will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall. Admission is free. For information call (509) 777-4535.

BRIEF: Professor to discuss U.S. policy and Christianity

By Tracy Simmons

On March 29 Whitworth University Professor of Modern Languages Lindy Scott will discuss the war in Iraq from the point of view of Just War Theory, Latin American governments, and Latin American churches and organizations.

It’s the third lecture in the university’s 55th annual Great Decisions Lecture Series.

“I trust that the information presented will help the audience to rethink the relationship of Christianity and U.S. foreign policy today in a more interrelated world community,” Scott says.

The series features five speakers who focus on current political, cultural and economic subjects of interest to the international community. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge. Scott’s lecture will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth.

For information call (509) 777-4937.

Whitworth professor to discuss challenges in contemporary Africa

Tracy Simmons

Megan Hershey/Whitworth University photo

The HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, religious violence in Nigeria and the indictment of four high – profile Kenyans for post – election violence will be the topic of the second lecture at Whitworth University’s 55th annual Great Decisions Lecture Series on March 8.

Whitworth Assistant Professor of Political Science Megan Hershey will be the speaker. She specializes in African studies and won the Fulbright Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad fellowship, as well as the Carlton T. Hodge Prize in African Studies, for her work on Non-governmental organization addressing HIV/AIDS in Kenya. She is proficient in Swahili, completed her field research in Kenya and has spent time in Tanzania and Sierra Leone.

“I’m excited for Megan’s first public presentation of her materials at Whitworth,” said Patrick Van Inwegen, Whitworth associate professor of political science and chair of the department. “Since she has lived and studied in Africa, Megan has an excellent perspective on the future of democracy on the continent.”

Hershey  joined the Whitworth faculty in 2011. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University and her bachelor’s degree from Ursinus College. Her areas of academic expertise include comparative politics, African politics, international development, politics of HIV/AIDS, NGOs and foreign aid.

The Great Decisions Lecture Series features five speakers who focus on current political, cultural and economic subjects of interest to the international community. The public is invited to attend the lectures free of charge. Hershey’s lecture, “Democratic Challenges and Change in Contemporary Africa,” will take place at  7:30 p.m., Thursday, March 8, at in the Robinson Teaching Theatre in Weyerhaeuser Hall at Whitworth University.

Great Decisions 2012 is sponsored by the Whitworth Political Science Department.

Additional lectures will take place on March 29, April 12 and April 26. For information on upcoming lectures call (509) 777-4937.

Whitworth celebrates 122nd anniversary with music, lectures and film festival

In February Whitworth University will celebrate its 122nd anniversary.
Heritage Month 2012 will kick off Feb. 2 with the university’s annual Founder’s Day Convocation, when students, faculty and staff gather to remember Whitworth’s past and dedicate themselves to building upon that legacy in the coming year, according to a press release. Other focal points of Heritage Month 2012, which is themed, “Whitworth in the ’70s,” will include the fourth annual Leonard A. Oakland Film Festival from Feb. 16-18, a gospel explosion performance on Feb. 10 and a Feb. 22 lecture, “Expo ’74 and the Transformation of Spokane.”
Other February events include:

“The Real Israel: What You Haven’t Heard and Don’t Know,” 7 p.m., Feb. 7,  Weyerhaeuser Hall

Guest lecture by Jonathan Adelman. He is a professor in the Josef Korbel Graduate School of International Studies at the University of Denver and author of “The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State .” He served as the doctoral dissertation advisor to National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice and is a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, in Washington, D.C.

“The Lindaman Era: Whitworth in the ’70s,” 7 p.m., Feb. 9, Weyerhaeuser Hall

Whitworth in the ’70s was challenged to look back at its heritage and forward to a very exciting future. During that era Whitworth was led by its 14th president, Christian futurist Edward B. Lindaman, whose previous professional experience was in the aerospace industry. Join two 1970s Whitworth alumni whose diverging professional and spiritual paths — and enduring friendship — capture the essence of this fascinating decade on campus. Glen Hiemstra, ’71, founder and owner of Futurist.com, is dedicated to disseminating information about the future to assist individuals, organizations and industries in effective strategic planning. The Rev. Dave Brown, ’76, is the pastor of Immanuel Presbyterian Church, in Tacoma. A graduate of Princeton Seminary, he has served three congregations prior to Immanuel. In the 1990s, he left parish ministry and was a staff member for the National Council of Churches Committee on Public Education.

Valentine’s Day concert,  7 p.m. Feb. 12, Whitworth Community Presbyterian Church

The Whitworth Choir, Whitworth Women’s Choir and Whitworth Men’s Chorus will perform a special Valentine’s Day concert.

“Christianity and the Death of the Idol,”  7 p.m., Feb. 15,  Weyerhaeuser Hall

Guest lecturer will be Peter Rollins, who is a writer and public speaker and founder of ikon, a faith group that creates “transformance art” with live music, imagery, theatre, ritual and reflection.

Survey names Whitworth as a top Christian workplace

Contributed Article

Whitworth University photo

Making a difference, using their gifts, authentic leaders, fun colleagues and changing the world are all reasons employees like working with these dream workplaces. Meet the organizations that have most recently qualified as Best Christian Workplaces by obtaining a high score in the anonymous BCW employee engagement survey.

The BCW survey has been conducted in the United States and Canada for the past 10 years and made its debut in Australia last year — surveying over 100,000 employees to date. Each participating organization has a stated Christian mission and/or values.

The 2012 Best Christian Workplaces in the United States include:

American Bible Society — New York, NY

Apartment Life — Hurst, TX

Ben Lippen — Columbia, SC

Briarcrest Christian School — Nashville, TN

CCO (Coalition for Christian Outreach) — Pittsburgh, PA

Church Web Works — Renton, WA

English Language Institute/China — Ft. Collins, CO

Free Will Baptist Bible College — Nashville, TN

Heritage Christian Academy — Overland Park, KS

Joni & Friends — Agoura Hills, CA

KSBJ — Humble, TX

Lake Ann Camp — Lake Ann, MI

MOPS International — Colorado Springs, CO

Olivet Nazarene University — Bourbonnais, IL

Phoenix Seminary — Phoenix, AZ

Samaritan Ministries — Peoria, IL

Santa Fe Christian Schools — Solana Beach, CA

SpringHill Camps — Evart, MI

Upward Sports — Spartanburg, SC

Wheaton Academy — West Chicago, IL

Whitworth University — Spokane, WA

World Harvest Mission — Jenkintown,PA

Al Lopus, President of BCWI notes, “We salute this year’s Best Christian Workplaces for doing far more than just surviving despite the challenging economy. These organizations set the bar in terms of employee engagement and serve as an inspiration for all. While overall survey trends indicate employee engagement is struggling to recover from the shock of the financial recession, these leaders recognize the importance of nurturing healthy organizational cultures to better achieve their vision. They understand that healthy organizations are fruitful.”

To earn the distinction as a Best Christian Workplace, organizations participate in the Best Christian Workplace Institute’s employee engagement survey and meet predetermined standards of excellence. The survey covers issues such as: job satisfaction, commitment, Christian witness, supervisory effectiveness, work satisfaction, personal growth and development, management effectiveness, customer/supporter satisfaction, teamwork, communications and pay and benefits. Employees confidentially respond to more than 50 questions addressing these topics.

Can Children Become Idols?

By Blogger Dr. Karin Heller


I was really struck by one of the things you said in class Friday night and I have been going over it in my mind ever since.  I won’t be able to quote you exactly, but you made reference that to put the love of your husband, and even children before the love of Christ is considered idolatry. To me,  it feels wrong to put the love of anyone, thing, entity, God, Christ, before the love of my children.  My children were given to me by God, and as such it seems that he would want me to love them completely.  I’m feeling tremendously guilty for feeling that way as I never thought of the love I have for my children as idolatry.  Did I misunderstand the meaning in the lecture?  Am I committing one of the worst possible sins by loving my children in this way?  That seems wrong to me.

Kindest Regards,

– Amanda

Dr. Karin Heller

Dear Amanda,

No, you didn’t misunderstand me! But here is more about it. The event of Jesus of Nazareth consistently challenges family values, including Jewish values, which were very high. The gospels, in particular, convey to us some hard issues to ponder. These issues are the following ones. Jesus says, “Who prefers father or mother, son or daughter to me, is not worthy of me” (Matt. 10:37-38) and, “Who comes to me without hating his father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters, and his own life, too, he cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:25-26). The only person NOT mentioned in these lists is the “husband”, because in a patriarchal society where Jesus lived, it was simply NOT conceivable for a woman to leave her husband and follow Jesus, although a husband could!!! No gender equality at this time … But the text makes it clear that parents cannot put their children above Jesus.

In the Catholic tradition we have the case of Saint Joan of Chantal, widow and mother of four children. She founded a religious community, the Order of the Visitation, together with St. Francis of Sales in the 17th century. When she left her home to enter the convent, her youngest son who was 14 years old, is said to have thrown himself over the threshold. His mother stepped over his body. Well, there are situations like these … I had to love God and Christ more than my parents and had to choose between my parents and Jesus! It was very heart breaking, just as heart breaking, I  guess, would be the choice between one’s love for his/her children and Christ. Things may not always turn out as radical as these, especially in a Christian family, where parents and children are united by the same faith and where love is not the effort to transform the other in what “I” want him/her to be, but where love is to set the other free so that he/she can truly become whom God wants him/her to be.

However, marriage and a family always run the risk to end up in mutual idolatry, that’s what the gospels underline! So, if one wants to avoid this temptation, then it’s better to follow Paul’s advice in 1 Corinthians 7 and remain single for the sake of Christ! Only 20 years later, in 1 Timothy 5:14 Paul changes mind and becomes more in favor of marriage. Marriage lived out as a way to follow Jesus is a tough thing! I walked on a spiritual journey with a French countess for four years until her death. She struggled a lot over the love her already deceased husband and son. She all put them BEFORE Jesus. Only a dream in which Jesus appeared to her, delivered her from this idolatry and she was 90 at that time! She passed away very peacefully … I was with her eight hours before her death … she had learned to find her beloved ones IN Jesus alone!  Jesus had to be reached first, and then in him she had found her beloved ones, too!

– Karin

Dr. Karin Heller is a professor on the theology faculty at Whitworth University. Her blog, Table Talk with Dr. Karin Heller, features her responses to questions that students have asked her over the years.  Check back each week to see new posts, and if you have a question leave it in the comment section below!