Close Menu

“Renewing Mind & Heart: Questions for the Next Generation in Christian Higher Education” to Feature Top Christian Scholars Oct. 17-19

June 26, 2024

A three-day conference sponsored by Whitworth University’s Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith & Learning, in partnership with the Lilly Network, titled “Renewing Mind & Heart: Questions for the Next Generation in Higher Education” will bring together some of today’s leading Christian thinkers to discuss what the future of Christian higher education looks like and what makes a Christian university education worthwhile.

From Oct. 17-19, featured speakers Beth Allison Barr, Malcolm Foley, Eric Gregory, Jessica Hooten Wilson,  K.A. Smith and Jonathan Tran will be asked to identify what they consider the most pressing question facing the future of Christian higher education. Through plenary talks, breakout sessions and deep, intentional conversation, the goal of this gathering will be to act as a catalyst for new collaborations and new friendships among educators who share a similar passion for distinctively Christian education.

Weyerhaeuser Center Director Davey Henreckson says higher education is at a crossroads as many academic communities have been forced to question what really matters most in the college experience.

“As Christians, we have even more reason to think carefully about how we might cultivate an education not just of the mind, but also of the heart and soul. We’re beyond thrilled to be hosting a wonderful group of scholars, practitioners and artists at Whitworth this fall for a lively conversation about these questions and what the future of Christian higher education might hold.”

Among the questions being asked during the conference: 

Amid all these pressures, how can faculty and administrators cultivate robustly Christian habits of mind and body on their campuses?  

How might we recover theological and spiritual formation as a crucial task of these communities? 

Is it possible for church-related universities to chart a new way – drawing upon the deep resources of the Christian theological tradition while also providing trenchant critique of systemic injustice in society and our own communities? 

And what sorts of structural or pedagogical innovations might be required as we evaluate the changing landscape of higher education? 

Henreckson says Whitworth is uniquely positioned to help facilitate an ecumenical conversation about these questions, drawing on Catholic, reformed, mainline, evangelical and radical Protestant traditions already represented on campus. 

Dozens of scholars, administrators, students, pastors and interested laypersons from across the country will take part in the discussions. Music and morning prayer will be provided by The Porter’s Gate Worship Project. 

To register, or for more information about the conference, click here.   

About Whitworth University:

Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private Christian liberal arts university affiliated with the Presbyterian church. The university, which has an enrollment of about 2,500 students, offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate degree programs. 


David Henreckson, director, Weyerhaeuser Center for Christian Faith & Learning, Whitworth University, (509) 777-3298 or

Trisha Coder, associate director of media relations, Whitworth University, (509) 777-4703 or