Several speakers part of Brite’s Ministers Week lineup

Speakers and performers from Fort Worth to France will be on campus this week for Brite Divinity School’s annual Ministers Week.

According to the Brite Divinity School Web site, speakers and performers will include the Rev. Sharon Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ); William Paul Young, author of The New York Times best-selling book “The Shack”; and Olivier Latry, a world-renowned organist from the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Eilene Theilig, director of lay and continuing education at Brite, said the four main speakers present from areas such as Bible, ministry and workshops in practical theology.

According to the Web site, three of the speakers will be Brite and university faculty. The week is broken down into four different types of lecture series named after their respective sponsors: the Wells Sermons, the McFadin Lectures, the Davis Workshops in Ministry and the Scott Lectures.

The following is a list of the speakers:

Warren Carter: A professor of New Testament at Brite, Carter will speak as part of the McFadin Lectures during the week.

“(Carter) is well known for his work in understanding the Christian context in the first-century world of the Roman Empire, how that affects how the texts were written and how we can interpret them today,” Theilig said.

According to the site, Carter has worked at Brite since 2007. His work focuses on the biblical gospels of Matthew and John, and he has written 10 books on the subjects.

Paula Lisa Yoder: The director of the Tandy Center for Executive Leadership at the Neeley School of Business will speak Wednesday afternoon. She specializes in leadership and organization in the corporate setting.

“(Yoder) brings that great experience from the business world in to help leaders of churches in growing in their leadership roles,” Theilig said.

Keri Day: An assistant professor of theological and social ethics and director of black church studies at Brite, Day will bring a social justice view to the Wednesday workshops, Theilig said.

J. Lynn White: A senior minister at Trinity Christian Church in Fort Worth, White is also president of the Network of Biblical Storytellers International board of directors and has presented oral representations of Bible stories around the world.

He said he will present the temptation of Jesus on Thursday. He said he chose the story specifically for attending ministers because “it is something that they can apply quickly.”

Yoder, White and Day will present during the afternoon workshops Wednesday, Theilig said. Wednesday workshops will be an opportunity for those attending to practice the ministerial arts, she said.

Guest speakers

Speakers for the week were chosen by Brite faculty, Theilig said.

More publicized speakers include Watkins, Diana Butler Bass, Young and Latry.

Sharon Watkins: The Wells preacher and general minister and president of the Disciples of Christ delivered the Wells Sermon on Monday night. Watkins preached for the prayer service following President Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration and serves in Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, which aims to be a resource for secular and faith-based nonprofits and community organizations.

Diana Butler Bass: An author and church historian specializing in American religious history and history of Christian thought, religion and politics and congregational studies, Bass will speak as part of the Davis Workshops in Ministry.

“(Bass) is very skilled at understanding the church in an American context,” Theilig said.

Bass’ most recent book, “A People’s History of Christianity,” had “very clear insights into the church and century and how we can become vital congregations,” Theilig said.

William Paul Young: As part of the Scott Lectures, Young, the author of the popular Christian novel “The Shack,” will speak about what he calls the question of first importance and the question of second importance. The question of first importance is “Who is God, really?” and the question of second importance is “Who are we to this God?”

Olivier Latry: The organist played his first recital in the United States at 23, thanks to retired university music professor Emmet Smith. Latry’s first performance was at the university, and the organist’s career took off from there, Smith said.

Latry’s recital this afternoon will include improvisation, which is his specialty, Smith said. The organ will be positioned so that all will be able to see the master at work, Smith said.

Students or ministers can register for workshops and lectures at the Brite Web site on the Ministers Week page.

According to the site, most of the events for Ministers Week take place at University Christian Church. A full schedule can be found on the site.

Lunches for the events are all at the Kelly Alumni Center, according to the site.