Faculty in the News – November 2015

Prof. Scott Thumma spoke to more than 1,000 people who registered for this Eventbrite webinar on “New Ways to Accelerate Ministry Growth with Special Events.” You can listen to the entire session by clicking on this link. Prof. Thumma will also give a free webinar on Dec. 2 on Megachurch Trends. Click here to register.

The Rev. Dr. Donna Schaper is involved in an innovative effort to use business models to effect positive change in the world with founders of the craft website Etsy.com. She recently spoke about it on The Laura Flanders Show. Matthew Stinchcomb, the Vice President of Values and Impact for Etsy.com, and the founder of Etsy.org, appeared on the show as well. Watch the show here!


Prof. Yahya Michot was an invited speaker at the Fourth Islamic Fair of Brussels (Belgium) “Islam & Reforms,” from November 6-8. He was part of the panel “The Challenges of Reformist Discourse” and delivered a public lecture on “Reform in Islam, from Yesterday to Today.” He also gave a number of interviews. See:


Yahya in Brussels 2015

Prof. Donna Schaper is blogging for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and her latest post is about “How Investing in Religious Institutions Can Help Create Social Change.” In it, she argues that foundations looking to create social change too often ignore religious institutions as potential grantees. She writes: “Religious institutions serve as an intermediary, providing glue between space and ideas. By intermediary, I mean what sociologist Peter Berger meant – they link the public and private sectors. They are rare sources of genuine and uncontrived interaction with community members, the very kinds foundations often say they are funding. They provide much needed space to gather for an astonishingly interesting array of artists, activists, recovering addicts and more. They mediate populations. They glue people to their values. They embody a community, sometimes of 1400 people, other times of 14. They gather and link. They often have enormous assets in real estate and endowments, about which they rarely know what to do.”

On November 2, Prof. Yahya Michot gave a public lecture at Saint Michael’s College, Colchester (VT), as part of a series of events commemorating the 50th anniversary of Pope Paul VI’s encyclical letter “Nostra Ætate.” Prof. Michot’s presentation was “From Dialogue to Competition in Good Deeds: ‘Nostra Ætate’, Muslims and Justice.”


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