The annual Providence Public Lecture Series has concluded for another year, and by average attendance at each lecture, 2019 proved to be the most successful of the seven consecutive years the Series has been staged to date. It was again hosted flawlessly by McNally Robinson Bookstore in Winnipeg and the Cultural Arts Centre in Steinbach.
This year’s presenters had varying degrees of experience. Four of the seven lectures this year were delivered by first-time Providence faculty participants, including two first-year faculty from Providence Theological Seminary. One lecture was delivered by Dr. Jonathan Bonk, Professor Emeritus of Global Christian Studies and one of the most accomplished and acclaimed professors ever to teach at Providence.
Topics ranged from the political divide between conservatives and liberals, the biographical history of Christians in Africa, domestic violence in churches, re-imagining eschatology, the biology of motherhood, early Christianity in Roman society, and First Nations leading clean energy transformation. As such, the range of scholarship generated by Providence faculty was on full display. Each lecture concluded with a lively question-and-response exchange between attendees and the speaker.
Dr. Dennis Hiebert, Chair of the Providence Public Scholarship Committee and Professor of Sociology, was thrilled with this year’s turnout and the impact of this initiative on the community. “Another measure of this year’s success was that Providence was contacted by another Manitoba community hoping to bring these annual lectures to their locale in the future. There were many personal follow-up queries from individual attendees to the speakers. And as always, the general public was made further aware of scholarship at Providence through promotion of the Series, even if they never attended a lecture.”
The Public Lecture Series is one of three events staged annually by the Providence Public Scholarship Committee. The annual Guest Lectures by an external scholar take place on campus in each fall semester, and the annual Provf Talks by Providence professors also occur on campus in each fall semester and are posted on YouTube. All three events are offered to the general public free of charge as a means of delivering scholarship to the broader Providence community beyond currently registered students. Together, they further the mission of Providence.