Symposium Events

FALL 2023 / SPRING 2024:

Jennifer Prough, Ph.D.
Dean and Professor of Humanities and East Asian Studies, Christ College, Valparaiso University

Mueller Hall Refectory, 6:30 – 7:30 pm


Dean’s Annual Address –
“I’m Listening”

Dean Jennifer Prough’s Annual Address to the CC Community.



Nicholas Denysenko, Ph.D.
Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair/Associate Professor of Theology, Valparaiso University

Chapel of the Resurrection, Helge Center, 4:00

Book Launch Event

The Church’s Unholy War
(Colloquium on Religion and the Healing Arts)

Nicholas Denysenko, Ph.D., Emil & Elfriede Jochum Chair and Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University has recently published “The Church’s Unholy War: Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine and Orthodoxy.” The book covers the complex religious history of the region and the role of Orthodoxy in the current conflict, including the recognition of an Orthodox Church of Ukraine separate from the Russian Orthodox Church in 2018.

Join Professor Denysenko Tuesday, September 26 at 4 p.m. in person at the Helge Center, via Zoom, or live on Youtube to commemorate the launch of the book and join the discussion on Orthodoxy and the invasion of Ukraine. 

This event will be moderated by Tal Howard, Ph.D., professor of and Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics. For more information, please contact nicholas.denysenko@valpo.edu

In Conversation with Invited Panelists: Professor M. Therese Lysaught, Ph.D., Loyola University Chicago and Professor Julien Smith, Ph.D., Christ College, Valparaiso University

This event will take place in person with a hybrid option.
Please email susan.holman@valpo.edu if you wish to attend by Zoom.

(Co-Sponsored by John R. Eckrich Chair in Religion and the Healing Arts)



Mark Spencer, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota 

Mueller Hall, Refectory, 4:00 – 6:00 pm

What is a Person? 
The Promise of Personalist Philosophy for Rehabilitating Moral Discourse

Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard, Ph.D., professor of humanities and Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics will host a conference on the philosophy of personalism titled “What is a Person? The Promise of Personalist Philosophy for Rehabilitating Moral Discourse. The event will take place on October 2, 2023 at 4 p.m. at Valparaiso University’s Mueller Hall. 

Personalism is a philosophical movement prominent in the 20th century that has seen a steep decline in attention in more recent times. During its prominence, however, the movement had a major impact on global figures such as Pope John Paul II and Martin Luther King Jr. Some philosophers today argue that bringing attention to personalism once again could help us think well and wisely about human personhood and human solidarity, despite the cynicism and polarization running rampant in today’s world. 

Speakers include Mark Spencer, Ph.D., associate professor of philosophy at the University of Saint Thomas in Minnesota and Aaron Preston, Ph.D., professor of philosophy at Valparaiso University. Both professors have written several publications, including Professor Preston’s “The Disappearance of Moral Knowledge” (Routledge, 2018) and Professor Spencer’s “The Irreducibility of the Human Person: A Catholic Synthesis” (Catholic University of America Press, 2022). Professor Howard will act as moderator for the event.  

The conference is sponsored by Christ College — the Honors College, the Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics, the Theology and Philosophy Department, and sodalitas christiana. If you have questions, please contact christ.college@valpo.edu.

Carrie Frederick, Ph.D., Western Washington University
Orthodox Christian Theologian

Agnes Howard, Valparaiso University
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Humanities

Helge Center All-Purpose Room, 4:00 pm

Orthodox Christianity has long nurtured its own contemplative tradition of hesychasm; of seeking quiet and stillness in order to deepen one’s relationship to God. Hesychasm was birthed by monastics who responded to Saint Paul’s admonition to “pray without ceasing.” Though never circumscribed as a strictly monastic tradition, values of hesychasm—such as watchfulness, quiet, and stillness—and the practices of hesychasm—such as the Jesus Prayer—have largely remained the domain of monks. In an era of unprecedented noisiness (both literal and figurative), contemplative wisdom and practices are sorely needed by all the faithful. 
Join us for a presentation by Dr. Carrie Frederick Frost on the potential and possibility, as well as the pitfalls, of incorporating hesychasm into not just life of the laity, but the life of the contemporary Christian family. The presentation is titled “Watchfulness, Quiet, and Stillness as Family Values: Hesychasm in Contemporary Christian Family Life.” Dr. Agnes Howard, Adjunct Professor of Humanities, will offer a response to Dr. Frost’s lecture. 
This event is sponsored by the Emil and Elfriede Jochum University Professor and Chair. 

Tim Shah and Becky Samuel Shah

Mueller Hall Refectory, 4:00-5:30 p.m.

Description coming soon…