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February 25, 2019

He will explore Augustine and "Sanctified Ambition". 

Registation is live for the CU Cities Conference, taking place June 21-22, 2019. Register today at CU Cities Conference

The conference theme is "Courageous in the Ways of the Lord." New and seasoned professionals, and graduate students, are warmly welcome. Speakers are announced each week. Revealed speakers are...

james k a smithJames K.A. Smith

James K.A. Smith is professor of philosophy at Calvin College where he holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. Smith also serves as editor in chief of Image journal, a quarterly devoted to “art, mystery, and faith.”

The award-winning author of Who’s Afraid of Postmodernism?, Desiring the Kingdom, and How (Not) To Be Secular: Reading Charles Taylor (2014), his recent books include You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit (2016) and Awaiting the King: Reforming Public Theology (2017). His new book, On the Road with Saint Augustine, will be published in October 2019.

His popular writing has appeared in magazines such as Christianity Today, First Things, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. Jamie and his wife, Deanna, have four children, and live in the Heritage Hill neighborhood of Grand Rapids. They attend Sherman Street Christian Reformed Church.

Plenary Session: Sanctified Ambition

Ambition is a strange phenomenon. In the world, ambition is praised, whereas in the church, ambition is sometimes considered a vice. Is ambition the problem? Or what we’re ambitious for? Success, power, and influence can easily become idols. But the way to avoid idolatry is not to give up in the name of false humility. In this talk, I’ll look to the ancient church father Augustine as a model for how to “sanctify” ambition."

James K.A. Smith's Website: jameskasmith.com
Twitter: @james_ka_smith

vitaleVince Vitale

Vince Vitale is Director of the Zacharias Institute. He was educated at Princeton University and the University of Oxford, and he taught philosophy of religion and served as a faculty member at both of these universities. It was during his undergraduate studies in philosophy at Princeton that Vince took an unexpected journey from skeptic to evangelist. He then completed masters and PhD studies at Oxford, receiving a Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Scholarship (which was awarded annually to one graduating Princetonian) and a Clarendon Scholarship (supported by Oxford University Press).

While researching at Oxford, Vince developed a new response to the problem of evil (termed the Non-Identity Defense). In years since, he has co-authored books with Ravi Zacharias (Why Suffering?, and Jesus Among Secular Gods). For his work on Søren Kierkegaard, Inter-Varsity Press and Tyndale House awarded Vince the title IVP Young Philosopher of Religion of the Year 2013.

Vince has commended the Christian faith on the campuses of many universities, including UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Oxford, and Cambridge. This past year he had the privilege of speaking at Google Headquarters and Passion City Church.

Vince is incredibly grateful to be married to Jo, who also works with RZIM as the Dean of Studies for the Zacharias Institute.

Plenary Session: The Questions of Culture, The Invitation of Christ

The answer to every legitimate question is something true, and all truth is grounded in God. What follows is that all questions, even the most vexing questions of today’s culture, are open doors to share something of who Jesus is and what he has done. This session begins by homing in on four fundamental questions—questions of origin, meaning, morality, and destiny—that every person needs to answer in order live well. It ends by commending the power of invitation and the privilege of being able to extend the invitation of Christ.

Breakout Session: The Spiritual Discipline of Conversation

How can we bridge the gap between the questions of culture and the invitation of Christ? By taking seriously the neglected spiritual discipline of conversation. Are you a better conversationalist than you were five years ago? Most people find this a difficult question to answer, but it is a critical question to be able to answer with a confident “Yes.” God finds his way into good conversations; so, practically and concretely, what would it look like to take day-to-day conversation seriously as an essential aspect of Christian discipleship, and to see those conversations consistently leading to others turning to Christ? That’s the question I want to explore together in this session.

mullings smAdrian Mullings '04

Drawing from John 15:1-17, Adrian’s session is designed to encourage working Christians to value themselves and their work from Jesus' value system vs the world's value system.

Adrian emigrated from Jamaica at the age of four with his father and mother, and he grew up in New York with his younger sister, Shereese.

Adrian was the first in his family to attend college, fulfilling his parents’ dream for emigrating a decade earlier. He graduated from Princeton in 2004 with a degree in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering focused on material science and design. He was also a sprinter, a record-setting hurdler and a captain on the Princeton track team.

At Princeton, Adrian met his college sweetheart, Tammy, a Chemical Engineering student of the class of 2007. Adrian and Tammy got married in 2009, have two daughters, Aurora (3 yrs old) and Angel (1.5 yrs old), and now reside in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Adrian runs a venture-backed startup, in stealth-mode, developing a platform to delight users, celebrities and organizations that volunteer. Adrian also works as an executive coach and independent tech consultant, focusing on innovation, design and product management.

Adrian draws strength from his relationships with God, himself, his wife, his children, his family, and his friends to fuel his mission to engineer a better world through servant leadership.

walborn smDr. Ron Walborn

Dr. Ron Walborn is the Vice President and Dean of Alliance Theological Seminary and Nyack College in Nyack, New York, New York City, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Dr. Walborn also serves on the Board of Directors for the Christian and Missionary Alliance. He has a BA in history from Nyack College, an MDiv from Alliance Theological Seminary, and a DMin from Fuller Theological Seminary. Dr. Walborn has pastored churches in Connecticut and California. He has authored one book, and numerous articles and chapters for other publications.

Dr. Walborn was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania in a ministry-focused family. Ron and his wife, Wanda, have four adult children and three beautiful grandchildren.

What does it mean to be "Courageous in the Ways of the Lord"? Come engage on this topic with an array of Christian professionals. This weekend conference will encourage you and equip you to be a part of God's redemptive plan in and beyond your workplace. 

Register today at CU Cities Conference.
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