Valparaiso University’s Christ College — The Honors College presents its annual symposium, featuring internationally distinguished speakers to stimulate dynamic discussions on this year’s theme: “What is Faith?”

The speaker series presents lectures by acclaimed scholars, artists and public figures.

This year’s speakers include:

  • Mark W. Roche, “The Arc of Faith: The Mind’s Journey Away from God and the Possibility of Return,” Sept. 8, 6:30 p.m., Duesenberg Recital Hall, Center for the Arts. Joyce Professor of German, Concurrent Professor of Philosophy, and former Dean of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, Mark W. Roche is distinguished for his publication of nine books, which have received several awards, as well as personal awards for excellence in undergraduate teaching.
  • Marie Howe, “Eros, Affliction and Joy,” Oct. 27, 6:30 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Poet Marie Howe has authored three volumes of poetry, served as the Poet Laureate of New York State, has poems in several esteemed publications, and recently received the Academy of American Poets Poetry Fellowship in 2015 in acknowledgement of her poetic accomplishments. Her mentor, poet Stanley Kunitz, describes her as “a religious poet, that rarity among writers of her generation.” This event is co-sponsored by Valparaiso University’s Wordfest and the Lilly Fellows Program.
  • Leymah Gbowee, “Mighty Be Our Powers,” Nov. 2, 6:30 p.m., Chapel of the Resurrection. Leymah Roberta Gbowee received the Nobel Peace Prize after her work in leading the Christian and Muslim women’s peace movement that helped to bring an end to the Second Liberian Civil War in 2003. Gbowee is also the founder and president of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa and author of “Mighty Be Our Powers.” This event is co-sponsored by the Valparaiso University Institute for Leadership and Service and the Office of the Assistant Provost for Inclusion.
  • Tal Howard, “The Past and the Good: Reflections on History and the Moral Life,” Feb. 1, 6:30 p.m., Harre Union Ballrooms B & C. Valparaiso University’s own Thomas Albert (Tal) Howard is a professor of humanities and history and holds the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Chair in Christian Ethics. He has authored or edited eight books, is a leading scholar of the Reformation, and is presently working on two projects: “Modern Theology: An Intellectual History” and “The Riddle of the Religious Other: On the Past, Present and Purpose of Interfaith Dialogue.”
  • Kaethe Schwehn, “Navigating the In-Between: A Journey of Grace,” Feb. 23, 6:30 p.m., Brauer Museum of Art, Center for the Arts. As a creative nonfiction writer and poet, Kaethe Schwehn has been published in journals such as Crazyhorse, Jubilat, Pleiades and the anthology Fiction on a Stick. Recently she released a memoir entitled “A Year in the Village” about her experiences as a young woman in a Lutheran Retreat Center in the Cascade Mountains. Schwen will read from “Tailings: A Memoir,” for which she is a recipient of the 2015 Minnesota Book Award and will speak on struggling with faith in contemporary society.

All events are free and open to the public.

In addition to the symposium speakers, fireside symposia will offer more intimate and interactive gatherings led by Valpo faculty and staff. Visit for additional information.

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