Calvin College January Series (Webcast / 15 Talks)

Date(s) - January 19, 2017 - January 24, 2017
9:30 am - 11:30 am

New Westminster Christian Reformed Church

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See the speakers LIVE

On campus: January Series begins daily at 12:30 p.m. EST in the Covenant Fine Arts Center Auditorium on Calvin’s campus. Find out more about parking and seating.

At remote sites: January Series is shown LIVE at 12:30 p.m. EST on a large screen at 50+ remote webcast locations.

2017 Speakers


Karin Maag

500 Years Later: Why the Reformation Still Matters

Wednesday, January 4
Underwritten by: I.C.N. Foundation

Karin Maag is the director of the H. Henry Meeter Center for Calvin Studies at Calvin College, one of the world’s foremost collections of works on or by John Calvin.  She is also a member of Calvin’s History department, having begun her work at Calvin in 1997.  She obtained her PhD from the University of Saint Andrews in Scotland and is the author, editor, or translator of nine books including Seminary or University? The Genevan Academy and Reformed Higher Education, 1560-1620; Worship in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Change and Continuity; and most recently Lifting Hearts to the Lord: Worship with John Calvin in Sixteenth-Century Geneva.  She has obtained five major grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities to direct summer seminars and institutes at Calvin College.  The most recent of these, “Teaching the Reformation after 500 Years,” brought 25 faculty and graduate students from across the US to Calvin College for an intensive three-week institute in July 2016.

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Matthew Desmond

Poverty and Profit in the American City

Thursday, January 5
Underwritten by: Howard Miller Company and Miller Johnson

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Matthew Desmond is John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Science at Harvard University and the co-founder of the Justice and Poverty Project. His writing on poverty in America has appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Chicago Tribune. In 2015, Desmond was awarded a MacArthur “Genius” grant. His newly released book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, draws on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data. The reality in our country is that most poor renting families spend more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. In his book, Desmond provides a ground-level view of one of the most urgent issues facing America today. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

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Mark Charles

Race, Trauma, and the Doctrine of Discovery

Friday, January 6
Underwritten by: TBA

Mark Charles is a speaker, writer, and consultant who works on issues of race, culture, and faith.  He works through the ministry 5 Small Loaves and is a program affiliate with the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in the area of worship and culture. Mark also works with numerous tribes and indigenous cultures in the United States and around the world on how best to hold onto indigenous cultures, languages, world views and educational models while living in highly Western and assimilated environments.  His desire is to build “cross-cultural relationships of forgiveness, repentance, love and hope that result in walking in beauty with one another and God.” He regularly writes on his blog Reflections from the Hogan. He is the son of a Dutch American woman and a Navajo man.

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Reshma Saujani

Closing the Gender Gap in Technology

Monday, January 9
Underwritten by: Jeff & Shirley Hoogstra

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Reshma Saujani is the founder and CEO of Girls Who Code, a national non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and prepare young women for jobs of the future.  In her groundbreaking book, Women Who Don’t Wait in Line, Saujani advocates for a new model of female leadership focused on embracing risk and failure, promoting mentorship and sponsorship and boldly charting your own course – personally and professionally.  Saujani has worked both in the private sector as an attorney and in public service as the deputy public advocate of New York City, most recently running a spirited campaign for public advocate on a platform of creating educational and economic opportunities for women and girls, immigrants and those who have been sidelined in the political process.  A true political entrepreneur, Saujani has been fearless in her efforts to disrupt both politics and technology to create positive change.  Saujani is a graduate of the University of Illinois, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Yale Law School.  She was named to CNBC’s Next List; Crain’s 40 under 40; FORTUNE’s 40 under 40; Forbes’ Most Powerful Women Changing the World; Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People; and a number of other honors.

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Abraham Nussbaum

Tinkering in Today’s Healthcare Factories: Pursuing the Renewal of Medicine

Tuesday, January 10
Underwritten by: John & Mary Loeks and Holland Home 

Abraham Nussbaum is a physician and writer. His memoir, The Finest Traditions of My Calling: One Physician’s Search for the Renewal of Medicine, explores how healthcare reform is transforming the practice of medicine, turning physicians into technicians, and hospitals into factories. Dr. Nussbaum practices at Denver Health, an academic safety-net hospital in downtown Denver. He previously directed its adult inpatient psychiatry units, which care for adults throughout Colorado experiencing mental health crises. He currently serves as Chief Education Officer, providing strategic vision, daily direction, and administrative oversight for Denver Health’s clinical education programs. Dr. Nussbaum grew up in Colorado, studied literature and religion at Swarthmore, and completed medical school and psychiatry residency at the University of North Carolina. In his practice, he strives to inhabit the roles described in his book, asking how he and his fellow practitioners can restore patients to health through person-centered care.

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Gary Haugen

Until All Are Free: A Look at Slavery Today and the Church’s Invitation to End It

Wednesday, January 11
Underwritten by: Barnes & Thornburg, LLC and The Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics

Gary Haugen is CEO and founder of International Justice Mission. Before founding IJM in 1997, Gary was a human rights attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, where he focused on crimes of police misconduct. In 1994, he served as the Director of the United Nations’ investigation in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide. In this role, he led an international team of lawyers, criminal prosecutors, law enforcement officers, and forensic experts to gather evidence that would eventually be used to bring the perpetrators of the genocide to justice. Gary received a B.A. in Social Studies from Harvard University and a J.D. from the University of Chicago. Gary has been recognized by the U.S. State Department as a Trafficking in Persons “Hero” – the highest honor given by the U.S. government for anti-slavery leadership. His work to protect the poor from violence has been featured by Foreign Affairs, The New York Times, the New Yorker, The Times of India, Forbes, U.S. News & World Report, the Guardian and National Public Radio, among many other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Good News About Injustice; Just Courage; and, most recently, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence.

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Justin Skeesuck & Patrick Gray

I’ll Push You: A Story of Radical Friendship, Overcoming Challenges and the Power of Community

Thursday, January 12
Underwritten by: the Richard & Helen De Vos Foundation and GMB Architects + Engineers 

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

In the spring of 2012, Justin Skeesuck asked his best friend of nearly 40 years, Patrick Gray, to tackle the epic 500-mile pilgrimage across northern Spain called the Camino de Santiago. The challenge? Justin lives life in a wheelchair. When asked, Patrick’s response was simple and direct, he said, “I’ll push you.” Two years later, they started their journey and had absolutely no idea how they would make the 500 miles from France to the Cathedral in Santiago, they just knew they had to get there. Justin and Patrick had to rely on the help and strength of friends, acquaintances and even complete strangers in order to navigate the many challenges they faced on their 34-day journey. Since returning from Spain, they have used their heartfelt storytelling to share the comical details of their journey… the joys, the struggles, the beautiful relationships and the lessons they learned in faith, hope, love and friendship. Their goal in sharing their story is that others will walk away recognizing that each life is not defined by its limitations, but is defined by what is accomplished in spite of those limitations.

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Todd Huizinga

The EU and Global Governance

Friday, January 13
Underwritten by: Calvin Academy for Lifelong Learning

Todd Huizinga is a senior research fellow at the Paul B. Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity and Politics at Calvin College. As a U.S. diplomat from 1992-2012, Huizinga served as deputy chief of mission at the U.S. embassy in Luxembourg, political counselor at the U.S. mission to the European Union in Brussels, consul for political and economic affairs at the U.S. consulates in Hamburg and Munich, and consul for public affairs at the U.S. consulate in Monterrey, Mexico. He has also served in Dublin, Frankfort, and Costa Rica, as well as on the European Union Desk at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Todd is the co-founder of the Transatlantic Christian Council, a public policy network dedicated to strengthening the transatlantic alliance. From 2014-2016 he was director of International Outreach for the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty. He is the author of The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe. He holds a B.A. in Music and German from Calvin College and an M.A. in German Language and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He speaks German, Dutch, Spanish and French.

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Lisa Sharon Harper

The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can Be Made Right

Monday, January 16
Underwritten by: TBA

From Ferguson to New York to Germany, Lisa has been leading trainings and helping mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good as Sojourners Chief Church Engagement Officer. Prior to joining Sojourners, Lisa was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice – an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. She also organized faith leaders to speak out for immigration reform and organized the South Bronx Conversations for Change, a dialogue-to-change project between police and the community. Harper’s faith-rooted approach to advocacy and organizing has activated people across the U.S. and around the world to address structural and political injustice as an outward demonstration of their personal faith. Harper was recognized in 2015 as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day” by Huffington Post. She earned her master’s in human rights from Columbia University and is currently in the process of ordination in the Evangelical Covenant Church.

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Doris Kearns Goodwin

How Did We Get Here? A Historical Perspective on Our Wild 2016 Election

Tuesday, January 17
Underwritten by: Meijer, Inc., Peter C. & Emajean Cook Foundation and the Center for Excellence in Preaching

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

World-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin shines a spotlight on the changes in our political system over the past 150 years that brings us to today: the most exhausting, electrifying and acrimonious presidential campaign cycle in recent history, punctuated by nonstop television and relentless social media coverage. After five decades of studying the presidency, Goodwin finds hope in the knowledge that however fractured our modern political culture seems, our democracy has survived – even thrived –  through troubling times in the past. And however the 2016 U.S. election turns out, it will continue to do so in the future. Goodwin is the author of six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, the winner of many awards and honors, and frequently appears on television networks NBC, MSNBC, CBS,ABC,FOX, CNN, PBS, the Charlie Rose Show, Meet the Press, and many more. She has served as a historical consultant for Ken Burns and Steven Spielberg.

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Eugene Cho

Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World than Actually Changing the World?

Wednesday, January 18
Underwritten by: World Renew

Eugene Cho is the founder and lead pastor of Quest Church – an urban, multi-cultural and multi-generational church in Seattle, Washington. He is also the founder and visionary of One Day’s Wages, “a grassroots movement of people, stories, and actions to alleviate extreme global poverty” which has been featured in the New York Times, The Seattle Times, NPR and numerous other media outlets. For his entrepreneurial work and spirit, Eugene was honored as one of “50 Everyday American Heroes”. Eugene recently released his first book, Overrated: Are We More in Love with the Idea of Changing the World Than Actually Changing the World?

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Taylor Davis

American Violinist in Concert

Thursday, January 19
Underwritten by: Holland Litho Printing Services

Due to contractual restrictions, this presentation will not be recorded or archived.

Taylor Davis is a classically trained American violinist, arranger and composer, whose passion for video game and film music led her to launch her widely popular YouTube channel “ViolinTay” in 2010. Five years, over 150 videos, 1 million subscribers and 140-million views later, she has become one of the fastest rising stars in the digital world. Taylor has released 5 full-length game, anime and film-themed albums, a full-length Christmas album, and most recently a self-titled original album that debuted at #10 on the Billboard Classical Charts. In addition to maintaining a schedule of consistent, high-quality content on YouTube, Taylor has also recorded violin solos on video game scores, including “The Banner Saga” composed by Grammy-nominated Austin Wintory. A regular at VidCons and E3 Expos, Davis has performed live on many stages and events throughout the United States and Europe. Taylor began studying the violin at age 8 and continued her classical training through college where she graduated magna cum laude from Gonzaga University with a degree in Public Relations and a minor in Violin Performance.

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Bryan Dik

How to Find and Live Your Calling: Lessons from the Psychology of Vocation

Friday, January 20
Underwritten by: Bruce & Mary Okkema and the Calvin Center for Innovation in Business

Bryan Dik is Associate Professor of Psychology at Colorado State University and Co-founder and Chief Science Officer of jobZology. Bryan has published extensively on topics related to meaningful work and perceptions of work as a calling. He is co-author of Make Your Job Your Calling: How the Psychology of Vocation Can Change Your Life at Work, and co-editor of two other books: Psychology of Religion and Workplace Spirituality and Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace.  Bryan earned his B.A. in psychology from Calvin College and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

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Jeremy Courtney

The World is a Scary Place, Love Anyway

Monday, January 23
Underwritten by: Howard Miller Company, Garry & Pat Ringnalda, and Samaritas

In the heart of conflict, there is only one kind of love big enough to change a nation: a love that strikes first. Jeremy Courtney is the founder of Preemptive Love Coalition, a development organization that works across Iraq providing lifesaving surgeries for children and more recently responds to the daily needs of those living in the shadow of ISIS. He is also the author of Preemptive Love, a book that invites you to walk along the front lines of the struggle for peace with Jeremy in a firsthand account of his team’s quest to mend hearts and save lives in the world’s most notorious war-torn country. Jeremy hosts conversations about peacemaking and Muslim-Christian relations and shares stories of love and hope from the front lines of Syria and Iraq, where he has lived for over a decade with his wife and two children.

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N.T. (Tom) Wright

The Royal Revolution: Fresh Perspectives on the Cross

Tuesday, January 24
Underwritten by: The Stob Lecture Series

Nicholas Thomas Wright taught New Testament studies for 20 years at Cambridge, McGill, and Oxford Universities and served as the Bishop of Durham from 2003 until his retirement in 2010. He now serves as chair of New Testament and Early Christianity at the School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews. Considered one of the world’s leading Bible scholars, he has been featured on ABC News, The Colbert Report, Dateline, and Fresh Air.  Wright is the award-winning author of Simply Good News, Simply Jesus, Simply Christian, Surprised by Hope, How God Became King, Scripture and the Authority of God, Surprised by Scripture, and The Case for the Psalms, as well as the recent translation of the New Testament The Kingdom New Testament and the much heralded series Christian Origins and the Question of God. He has authored nearly 50 books including his most recent The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus’s Crucifixion.

Note: Tom Wright will also be a presenter at the Worship Symposium taking place at Calvin College January 25-28, 2017.  Details and registration information available online.

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