Series Archive

This lecture series is sponsored by a grant from the Supporting Structures: Innovative Partnerships to Enhance Bench Science at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities member institutions. The grant is supported by Scholarship and Christianity in Oxford, the UK subsidiary of the CCCU, with funding by the John Templeton Foundation and the MJ Murdock Charitable Trust.


Spring Quarter 2023

Telli Davoodi, PhD

Thursday, May 25, 2023

"Acquisition and function of beliefs and the role of culture"

Telli Davoodi, PhD, is a cognitive developmental psychologist by academic training and a senior social science researcher by profession. She uses cross-cultural and developmental research approaches to study social cognition. Her research focuses on the role of the socio-cultural environment in learning, forming beliefs, and reasoning about abstract social constructs, such as gender, nationality, religion, or the idea of ownership.

Winter Quarter 2023

Marqus Cole, JD

On Feb. 28, 2023, Mr. Marqus Cole spoke at an All University Chapel with a message titled, “Can I get a climate witness?”

Watch the Chapel event

Marqus Cole, JD, is a lawyer, civic leader, and ministry worker. A Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed Project in Partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Cole serves nationally as the director of Church and Community Engagement with the Evangelical Environmental Network. He is also on staff as a community engagement coordinator with a suburban Atlanta congregation. He was trained in the inaugural cohort of the Racial Justice Training Institute (2014) created by the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Georgia State University and a juris doctorate from DePaul College of Law.

Autumn Quarter 2022

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley

On Oct. 10, 2022, in honor of honor of Indigenous Peoples Day, Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley presented his lecture, “Indigenous Spirit: Weaving Justice and Peace in a Wounded Land.”

Watch the lecture.  

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley is the distinguished professor of faith and culture at Portland Seminary and recognized as a Cherokee descendent by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians. He is a teacher, poet, activist, former pastor, missiologist, and historian. His books include Mission and the Cultural Other: A Closer Look (Wipf & Stock, 2022), Indigenous Theology and the Western Worldview: A Decolonial Approach to Christian Doctrine (Baker Academic, 2022), and Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision (Eerdmans, 2012).


Autumn Quarter 2021

Julia Wattacheril, MD, MPH

On Oct. 26, 2021, Dr. Wattacheril examined the question, “What does God think about creation?” and explored themes of wholeness and suffering.

Watch the lecture. (SPU credentials required.)

Julia Wattacheril, MD, MPH, is a clinician investigator, transplant hepatologist, and director of the adult nonalcoholic fatty liver disease program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center-New York Presbyterian Hospital.

Winter Quarter 2022

Joseph Graves Jr., PhD

On Jan. 31, 2022, Dr. Graves examined the ideas that “Racism, Not Race: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (About Christianity)”

Watch the lecture.

Joseph Graves Jr., PhD, is an evolutionary biologist and geneticist. His research concerns the evolutionary genetics of postponed aging and biological concepts of race in humans. With over 60 papers and book chapters published, he has appeared in six documentary films and numerous television interviews on these general topics.

Spring Quarter 2022

Jovonia Taylor-Thibert, MBA

On May 4, 2022, Jovonia Taylor-Thibert examined the question, “How Humans Create.”

Watch the lecture (SPU credentials required.)

Jovonia Taylor-Thibert, MBA, is the director in the Amazon Robotics Team, focused ergonomics innovations and designs into the company’s technology. Prior to this, she was the 767 Chief Program Engineer for The Boeing Company in Commercial Airplane (BCA) division. In 2013, she was a recipient of the Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) Modern Technology Leader; in 2014, she received the Women of Color in Technology (WOCT) Award Recipient in Community Service. In 2018, she received the 2019 Science Spectrum Trailblazer award at BEYA. She has BS in Electrical Engineering, a BA in Music, an MS in Electrical Engineering, and an MBA.