What’s the most influential institution in our state?
My answer would be the University of Minnesota. It’s our largest university—there are more than 48,000 students at the Twin Cities campus alone, making it one of the 10 largest universities in the country!
It’s also our most influential university, and not only because of its size. The U trains more than 70% of our medical workforce in the state, so it has an incredible impact on our health and wellbeing. It’s also far and away the greatest center of research and development in the state.
But too often, churches in Minnesota view the U with indifference—or even suspicion. What would it look like to instead embrace this behemoth of a neighbor of ours? To work toward redeeming it, and all the truth, goodness, and beauty there, for the sake of the Gospel?
These are the sorts of questions I work on asking and answering every day in my job at MacLaurinCSF, a Christian study center here at the U of M. Our mission is to strengthen the connection between the U and churches throughout the Twin Cities.
One of the ways we do this is to hold events each semester that engage topics related to faith & reason. The vast majority of these events are free and open to community members. We have people from churches all across the Twin Cities at our events—including more than a few Church of the Redeemer members, most of the time.
Join us for any or all of the events and reading groups we’re hosting this semester. I’d love to see you there!
- 1/23, noon, Dan Sulmasy (University of Chicago), “The Spirituality of Medical Practice: Lessons from Fred,” Phillips-Wangensteen 2–470
- 2/26, 7 pm, Karen Swallow Prior (Liberty University), “Promiscuous Reading,” Hanson Hall 1–108 (west bank)
- 3/10, 8:45 am – 1:00 pm + lunch, Katherine Leary Alsdorf (Redeemer Presbyterian – NYC), Pastors’ Seminar: Toward the Integration of Faith & Work, Bethel University
- 3/12, 4 pm, William Cavanaugh (DePaul University), “What Do I Want? Augustine and Milton Friedman on Freedom of Choice,” location TBD
- 3/26, noon, Gloria Halverson (Christian Medical & Dental Association), “Human Trafficking and Medicine,” location TBD
- 3/30, 4 pm, David Deavel (St. Thomas), “The Tao of Jack: C.S. Lewis on the Foundation of Freedom,” location TBD
- 4/1, 5 pm, David Miller (Princeton University), “Faith and Work: Opposing Forces or Complementary Resources,” location TBD
- 4/18, time TBD, John Walton (Wheaton College) & Keith B. Miller (Kansas State University), Conference on Science & Faith, Constance Evangelical Free Church, Andover
- 4/23, 7 pm, William Hurlbut (Stanford University), second annual Anderson Lecture in Science & Religion, “Freedom, Biotechnology, and the Human Future,” St. Paul Student Center Theater
You can learn more about or register for any of these groups by visiting our reading groups page. Like the lectures, the reading groups are completely free and open to the public.
- Charles Marsh, Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Mondays)
- Marilynne Robinson, Home and Lila (Tuesdays)
- ROFTERS (Readers of First Things; second Wednesday of each month; co-lead by our own Paul Calvin)
- Theology and Economics (Mondays)
- Toward a Christian Environmental Stewardship (TBD)
- Politics After the Fall (Tuesdays; students only)
- Cities & Human Flourishing (every other Thursday)
- Mark Noll, The Civil War as a Theological Crisis (Wednesdays; led by Church of the Cross member David McEachron)
- C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory (TBD; grad students only)
- Dan Sulmasy, The Healer’s Calling (TBD)
Let me know if you’re interested in any of these events or reading groups. And be sure to invite others you think would be interested! Finally, please pray for the U—especially for all the students, staff, and faculty that make up this great institution.