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King Institute for Faith and Culture Seeks to “Come Further Up,Come Further In” During Upcoming 2016-17 Lecture Series

BRISTOL, Tenn., Sept. 1, 2016 – One of the more familiar passages in the Bible is found in Ecclesiastes 3 – “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (KJV). Acknowledging the brokenness life can bring as well as the beauty each moment holds brings us closer to a place of wisdom as we pursue God’s kingdom. King University’s Institute for Faith and Culture invites us to “Come Further Up, Come Further In” to a place of the mind and of the spirit during the upcoming 2016-17 Lecture Series, which is co-sponsored by Bristol Herald Courier.

Faith engaging culture has been the mission of the King Institute for Faith and Culture (KIFC) since its inception in 2008. Institute founder, the late Dr. Dale Brown, once said, “We have too many channels these days, of course. So many distractions dull our sense of inquisitiveness, our capacity for hope, our faith in positive change. [The Institute’s] programs aim at keeping the virtues of wonder and contemplation alive. In a whirl of diversion, we offer these moments of focused consideration, opportunities for reflection.”

Of this season, KIFC director Dr. Shannon Harris says, “We, at the King Institute for Faith and Culture, strive to follow the call of hope and renewal, to cultivate the fruits of the Spirit. Love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; such beautiful virtues, in a world that sometimes seems set to repudiate them, to mock or dismiss them. We offer our earnest hospitality; all are welcome to join us as we will hear from a symphony of voices, each one playing a part in God’s kingdom, and instructing us to come further up, come further in.”

KIFC’s opening convocation featured The College of William and Mary’s President Taylor Reveley on Monday, Aug. 29 at King University. His lecture, entitled “Ecclesiae et Litteris: That’s It,” resonated with the King community. Ecclesiae et Litteris, translated “For the Church and For Learning,” is etched into the heart of King University.

On September 12, KIFC will feature three scholars who focus on Appalachia. “Women and Culture in Appalachia: A Conversation” will include Dr. Emily Satterwhite, associate professor at Virginia Tech, Dr. Jessica Turner, director and head curator for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, and Dr. Theresa Burriss, chair of the Appalachian Studies program and director of the Appalachian Regional & Rural Studies Center at Radford University. September will end with a free concert at the Bristol Train Station by Contemporary Christian artist and seven-time Dove Award nominee Sara Groves.

King University alumnus Charles James Sr. (’71) will be featured in October. James has worked for more than 25 years in public service and government leadership for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Also speaking in October is author Timothy Beal, chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

In November, KIFC will host a two-day Biblical Archaeology Conference with three esteemed archaeologists and co-directors of the Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition in Israel including Dr. Oded Lipschits from Tel Aviv University, director of the Institute of Archeology and professor for Jewish History in the Department of Archeology and Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, Dr. Yuval Gadot, director of the Er-Ras Archeological Project in the Repha’im Valley Jerusalem, and Dr. Manfred Oeming, professor of Old Testament Studies and Ancient Jewish History at Heidelberg Universität. They will share their insights into such biblical archaeological digs as the Valley of Elah where David fought Goliath.

Noted author Diana Butler Bass will serve as the Frederick Buechner Keynote Lecturer in late November. She is the author of nine books including “Grounded: Finding God in the World – A Spiritual Revolution.”

The spring semester will kick off with Julia Robinson, associate professor of African American Religions and Religions of the African Diaspora at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Other spring featured speakers include founding pastor of the House for All Sinners and Saints. Nadia Bolz-Weber and Holocaust survivor Theodora Klayman. Todd Shy, director of educational design at Avenues: The World School in New York City, and noted author and professor of medical humanities at the UC Berkeley UCSF Joint Medical Program Marilyn McEntyre will also present for the King Institute for Faith and Culture.

The final three lectures of KIFC’s season will include Tony Abbott, noted Christian poet and educator, Norman Wirzba, professor of Theology, Ecology, and Rural Life at Duke Divinity School at Duke University, and the Rev. Gregory J. Boyle, S.J., an American Jesuit priest who founded and directs Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, Calif.

Visit for additional information on the King University Institute for Faith and Culture’s 2016-17 Lecture Series, or contact Director Shannon Harris at 423.652.4836 or 423.747.3524.


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.