The 79th Annual Freed-Hardeman University Lectureship is happening this week in Henderson, TN. This year features the theme “Give Us A King: Faith, Failure, & Forgiveness in Samuel.” The program features around 120 presentations, which feature studies in the text of Samuel as well as practical ministry discussions for everyone from senior saints to children. Special studies for students, young families, ladies, youth workers, church leaders, missionaries, and counselors are also featured in the program.
Every year the lectureship also honors a Christian leader for outstanding service and this year the honorees are Dr. David Lipe and his wife Linda. David has directed the program for 22 years. Next year Dr. Doug Burleson, an Assistant Professor of Bible at FHU, will begin directing the program. When the FHU Lectureship began in 1926 (it took a ten year hiatus before resuming in the late 1930s) the program was intended to provide further education for preachers and church leaders who did not have opportunities to do so otherwise. While this aim has changed over the years there are certain things that continue to characterize the program.
First, the FHU Lectureship is focused on equipping those who attend with a better understanding of the text of Scripture and tools for ministry. For example, this year’s program features 60 lectures on Samuel that range from academic interests like historicity of David or the place of Samuel in the Dead Sea Scrolls to practical interests like how to minister to those who have lost children or how to effectively speak about monogamous marriages in a culture that shows more and more interest in polygamy. Yet these 60 sessions are complemented by over 50 other sessions that focus Christian service and ministry in domestic and international contexts.
Second, the FHU Lectureship provides opportunities for Titus 2, regarding older and younger Christians learning from and encouraging one another, to be put into practice. When guests from throughout the United States (and some from outside the US too) swarm the campus students are given an opportunity to network with the speakers, exhibitors, and guests to learn about service, ministry, and study. Some have suggested that opportunities to fellowship together throughout the week have provided as many blessings as the content of the lessons shared.
Plans are already in the works for next year’s FHU lectureship on the theme “In My Place: The Servant Savior in Mark,” February 7-11. For a full schedule of topics and speakers for this year’s FHU Lectureship visit www.fhu.edu/lectureship. All of the daily sessions in Loyd Auditorium will be video-streamed at this site until the end of the Lectureship on Thursday night as well.