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Dean's Invitation

Dean Hudnut-BeumlerAs the summer comes to a close and the start of the semester is upon us, I wanted to pass on a calendar of all the events we have planned for the year ahead. I hope you can make plans to join us for these enriching opportunities. This is just a sampling of what is in store, and you can look forward to receiving additional information throughout the year. We are fortunate to be able to offer diverse forums to engage theological topics and various forms of community, and I hope to see you at some or all of these events throughout the year.

Our community breakfast presentations are designed to engage the wider community in topics of theological and social relevance while highlighting the Divinity School’s talented faculty, staff and students. This year’s lineup will take us on a journey from the experiences of our students at the U.S./Mexico border and in street chaplaincy in Seattle and Nashville to literary interpretation through a lens of faith and onto the future of theological education at Vanderbilt. Additionally we are happy to offer a half-day Saturday experience this fall that will seek to highlight the relevance of religion in our everyday lives. We are also grateful for the programs extended by the Cal Turner Program for Moral Leadership in the Professions and the Religion in the Arts and Contemporary Culture program.

This year’s annual lectures spotlight some of the most thought-provoking scholars of our time. I am especially pleased that alumna Dr. Anthea Butler, MA'00, PhD'01 will be returning to campus to deliver the annual Cole Lectures during Reunion Weekend in October. In this two-part lecture series, Butler plans to expand on her most recent book, which focuses how the tea party influences religion by examining the convergence of religion and politics in America. Later in the spring we will welcome back alumna Dr. Monica Coleman M.Div'98 as this year’s Antoinette Brown Lecturer. These two alumnae are exceptional examples of a Vanderbilt theological education, and I hope you will come and hear their prophetic perspectives and exciting research.

I would also like to highlight this year’s Homecoming/ Reunion. I hope you will make plans to join us on campus Oct. 25–26 as we honor our past and imagine the future. We have many great events planned to reconnect you to Vanderbilt and engage you with our current students and faculty. Be sure to check out the detailed schedule of events for the most up-to-date information.

As always you are also welcome to join us each week at one of our standing community activities at 10:10 a.m. on Monday (Monday Forum), Wednesday (Community Worship), and Friday (Coffee Hour). Thanks for your continued support and active engagement in the life of our school.



James Hudnut-Beumler
Dean and Anne Potter Wilson Distinguished Professor
of American Religious History