Not part of this year’s Formation School? That doesn’t mean you have to miss some of our key lectures and special guests. Please join us for these special events.


There are currently no upcoming events. Check back soon for more information on additional 2019 speakers.



Justice + Peace in a Divided World with Lisa Sharon Harper

With a strong focus on racial justice, Lisa leads trainings and mobilizes leaders around shared values. Prior to her current work as Executive Director of Freedom Road, Lisa was Chief Engagement Officer at Sojourners and the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice—an organization working to end poverty in New York City. Lisa’s faith-rooted approach has activated people across the U.S. and around the world. During this event, Ms. Harper highlighted our calling to participate in the bringing of Shalom.

Weren’t able to join us?  WATCH THE EVENT VIDEO ONLINE NOW >


Lisa Sharon Harper
From New York to Germany and South Africa, Ms. Harper leads trainings and helps mobilize clergy and community leaders around shared values for the common good, with a focus on racial justice. A prolific speaker, writer, and activist, Ms. Harper is the founder and president of Freedom Road LLC, a consulting group dedicated to shrinking the narrative gap in our nation by convening forums and experiences that bring common understanding, common commitment, and common action toward a just world. Ms. Harper is the author of several books, including: Evangelical Does Not Equal Republican…or Democrat (The New Press, 2008), Left Right and Christ: Evangelical Faith in Politics (Elevate, 2011), Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014), and the critically acclaimed, The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong can be Made Right (Waterbrook, a division of Penguin Random House, 2016). The Very Good Gospel, recognized as the “2016 Book of the Year” by Englewood Review of Books, explores God’s intent for the wholeness of all relationships in light of today’s headlines.

Having earned her Master’s degree in Human Rights from Columbia University in New York City, Ms. Harper served as Sojourners Chief Church Engagement Officer. In this capacity, she fasted for 22 days as a core faster in 2013 with the immigration reform Fast for Families. She trained and catalyzed evangelicals in St. Louis and Baltimore to engage the 2014 push for justice in Ferguson and the 2015 healing process in Baltimore and trained faith leaders in South Africa to pull the levers of their new democracy toward a more just world.

In 2015 The Huffington Post recognized her as one of “50 Powerful Women Religious Leaders to Celebrate on International Women’s Day”. Most recently, Relevant Magazine recognized The Very Good Gospel as one of “Six Books that Will Change the Way You See the World” and Ms. Harper as one of “Seven Leaders to Follow in 2017″.

Contemplation + Wholeheartedness with Rev. Dr. Chuck DeGroat

During this special lecture, therapist, pastor, professor, and author, Dr. DeGroat will make accessible to us the invitation to contemplative prayer and practices that move us towards wholeheartedness—so that in this way of living and being, we may find transformation from the inside out.

Weren’t able to join us?  WATCH THE EVENT VIDEO ONLINE NOW >



Rev. Dr. Chuck DeGroat
Rev. Dr. Chuck DeGroat is a Professor of Counseling and Christian Spirituality at Western Theological Seminary in Holland MI, and author of 3 books: Leaving Egypt: Finding God in the Wilderness Places, The Toughest People to Love, and Wholeheartedness, as well as the self-published Lenten devotional, Falling Into Goodness.

He has spent the last 20+ years in a fluid combination of pastoral ministry, seminary teaching, and clinical counseling. Prior to coming to Western Theological Seminary, he was a teaching pastor at City Church San Francisco, where he co-founded Newbigin House of Studies, an urban and missional training center with M.Div. and M.A. offerings through Western Theological Seminary, MI. He has started two church counseling centers, a Lay Counseling Program further developed by my City Church colleagues, and a Fellows program. All of this represents his commitment to formation for mission.


Formation in the 21st Century with Dr. James K.A. Smith

During this insightful event, professor of philosophy at Calvin College, and acclaimed author, Dr. Smith offered a compelling lens on what is forming us in this cultural moment and guided our community on how to faithfully journey together in the way of Jesus in light of that.

Weren’t able to join us?  WATCH THE EVENT VIDEO ONLINE NOW >


Dr. James K. A. Smith
James K. A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College, where he holds the Gary and Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology and Worldview. Trained as a philosopher with a focus on contemporary French thought, Smith has expanded on that scholarly platform to become an engaged public intellectual and cultural critic. An award-winning author and widely-traveled speaker, he has emerged as a thought leader with a unique gift of translation, building bridges between the academy, society, and the church.

The author of a number of influential books, Smith also regularly writes for magazines and newspapers such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York TimesSlateFirst ThingsChristianity TodayBooks & Culture, and The Hedgehog Review. He serves as editor-in-chief of Comment magazine.