VDS Events: Monday Forum

by Amy E. Steele, Assistant Dean for Student Life

In the common life of the Vanderbilt Divinity School community, there are three standing events that occur each week: the Monday Forum, the Wednesday Community Worship Service, and the Friday Coffee Hour.  Each event begins at 10:10 a.m. and provides opportunities for faculty, staff, students, and friends to engage in community fellowship.

What is Monday Forum?












Monday Forum is an informal dialogue led by a guest speaker, student or student organization, professor, clergy, activist, or professional within and beyond the University.

I like to think of it as a “clearing” where students can gather between classes: to think vocationally; to develop common theological vocabularies and lexicons related to new areas of research in theological education; to hear the personal narratives of colleagues navigating the contours of their beliefs, experiences, and scholarly pursuits; to sharpen their writing and research skills; to learn more about the academic study of religion from the members of our faculty; to learn about global education initiatives, student organizations, field education; and finally, to sit with their ideas in a communally supportive environment.

Monday Forum nurtures cocurricular programming designed to support, sustain, and encourage passionate dialogue between the community and its partners. Past Monday Fora include:

  • Profiles on the Professions: the Church (the Reverend James “Hap” Hewgley), and the Academy (Professors Doug Knight and Kathleen Flake)
  • Real Talk: Dialogues on Race, Gender, Sexuality (hosted by student organizations)
  • Student Government Association and Student Organizations Panel (leaders of each of the student organizations)
  • Imagination Grant Research (annual recipients)
  • Abu Ali: Clemency and Death Penalty Advocacy (Attorneys Brad MacLean and Ed Miller, and the Reverend Joe Ingle)
  • Tennesseans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (the Reverend Stacy Rector)
  • Pillow Talk: Navigating Graduate School with a Spouse (Professors Graham Reside and Barbara McClure)
  • Alive Hospice, Volunteer Services (Coordinator Cheryl Webster)
  • Applying for Graduate School and Getting In (Associate Dean James Byrd, Vanderbilt Graduate Department of Religion)
  • Center for Nonprofit Management (Vice-President Kim Carpenter Drake)

For more VDS events, click here.