Windows on the World

Windows on the World is intended to stimulate personal involvement in and knowledge of some of the crucial and controversial issues facing Christians today. Through these forums, the campus community is exposed to Christian thinkers and activists who model our motto of “the whole gospel for the whole world.”

Presentations are Fridays, 10 a.m. in McInnis Auditorium (St. Davids campus) unless otherwise indicated.
Sponsored by the Office of the Provost and open to the public.
Click here to download PDF of the schedule

Spring 2017

* An asterisk after dates below indicates that following that particular presentation, the Provost’s Office will host an informal luncheon in Baird Library (Walton Hall, 2nd floor) from 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. to extend the conversation over a meal. Participants should go through the Dining Commons line and bring their lunches back to Baird Library.  Guests without a meal plan should give their names to the Sodexo cashier outside the Dining Commons and mention that they are attending the Windows luncheon.

Rev. Marshall Paul Hughes Mitchell, Pastor, Salem Baptist Church of Jenkintown
2016: What Happened? And What Happened to Us?

2016's presidential election reflected a fracture in the political and social order not seen in 40 years. In fact, this fracture might be the greatest and most pronounced since the end of Reconstruction. In May of 2016, in an off-the-record conversation with the New York Times' Hollywood beat reporter, Rev. Marshall Mitchell predicted this fissure and its manipulation would elect Donald Trump the nation's 45th president. He sensed this reality against the polls, pundits and professional political class because of his on-the-ground contact with the "people." The people and states have spoken; now what do we do in a media-obsessed, uber-connected world to repair the nation, restore trust, build communities, and get back to the work that really matters?

Click here for a link to the online article: "Long Before Donald Trump Surprised, Hollywood Values Consultant Marshall Mitchell Saw It Coming"

Fr. David A. Ousley, PhD, Priest (St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Bridgeport, PA) and Author of Pilgrimage: A Newsletter of Christian Spirituality and The Way of Holiness
John H. Armstrong, DMin, President (Act 3 Network) and Author/editor of thirteen books, including Your Church is Too Small and Costly Love
The Protestant Reformation at 500: A Conversation
Five centuries ago Western Christianity began to face one of its most significant and consequential disruptions: a movement of protest against many elements of late-medieval Roman Catholicism. Protestantism was born as an attempt to reform the Roman Church, but it has become much more than that. Five centuries later Christians all over the world have an occasion to reflect on the history and legacy of this movement. This event will present a Protestant and a Catholic in dialogue, discussing how both branches of Christianity are faring at the five-hundredth anniversary of the Protestant Reformation. The session will be moderated by Dr. Jonathan Yonan, Dean of the Templeton Honors College.

Christian History Institute (CHI) is a non-profit Pennsylvania Corporation founded in 1982 that provides church history resources and self-study material. CHI publishes a quarterly Christian History magazine and recently produced a documentary entitled "This Changed Everything: 500 Years of Reformation," which will air on PBS. More can be found at

Friday, JANUARY 27*
Rev. Luis Cortes, Founder, President, and CEO of Esperanza, Inc.
Being Christian in a "Post-Orwellian" Era
In light of the recent national elections and the polarization of our nation, what is the role of a Christian? How should we comport ourselves? How do we begin to understand what God wants of us in this "Post-Orwellian" era? Rev. Luis Cortes explores these questions through a discussion that draws upon three key Bible verses: Philippians 4:11-13, Matthew 23:11-12, and Matthew 25:40.

Rev. Dr. Leslie Callahan, Pastor, St. Paul's Baptist Church, Philadelphia
Join us as Rev. Dr. Callahan helps extend our understanding of the facts and implications of black history, as part of Black History Month.

Black History Month is an annual celebration of rich contributions to our country's history by black Americans and is a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. The event grew out of "Negro History Week," the brainchild of noted historian Carter G. Woodson and other prominent African Americans. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month. Other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom, also devote a month to celebrating black history.

Mark Charles, Speaker, Writer, Consultant
A Native Perspective on American History and the Church
Most people are unaware that the Declaration of Independence, 30 lines below the statement "all men are created equal" refers to the Native Americans as "merciless Indian savages." Join us as Mark Charles helps us think through, from a Native's perspective, how a 15th century "Doctrine of Discovery" has influenced the very foundations of the United States of America.

Panel Discussion: Can a Person Recover from an Eating Disorder?
National Eating Disorder Awareness Week 2017 is the week of Feb. 26-March 4. We are confronted with the reality that an estimated 30 million Americans suffer from eating disorders and tens of millions more experience problems in their relationships with food, exercise, and body image. This morning we have a wonderful panel of entrepreneurial movers and shakers in both American culture and in the eating disorder recovery community. All three have unique stories of suffering from an eating disorder and experiencing recovery. Panelists will reflect on eating disorder myths as well as factors that helped them recover including family, friends, religious-spiritual experiences, professional treatment providers, and light bulb moments where truth connected with affect in a life changing way. There will be time for questions from the audience. Panelists:

Joan Barnes - Founder and former CEO of Gymboree, founder of Yoga Works, overcame a debilitating eating disorder
Brian Cuban - Author of the book Shattered Image, attorney, speaker, eating disorder survivor, Dallas Mavericks fan
Kristina Saffran
- Co-founder and Chief Development Officer of Project HEAL, recovered from anorexia nervosa

Panelists will participate in today's session using Zoom web conferencing software. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Michael Thomas, Director, Chalk & Table Learning Collaborative.

Megan D. Acedo, MDiv, MSW, Coordinator of Student Ministries & Service Learning
Spring Recess Commissioning Service
This will be a formal commissioning of Eastern University students, faculty, coaches and staff who will spend their Spring Recess on Eastern-sponsored service trips (academic, athletic, missions).

Friday, MARCH 10
Dr. Mary Anne Peters, Professor of Nursing, College of Health and Social Sciences, Eastern University
Health Care Providers as Guests? Re-envisioning the Concept of Hospitality Within a Fragmented System
Patients expect to receive hospitable care when they enter the health care setting. They anticipate being welcomed and treated with respect and kindness. In turn, health care providers are expected to act as hosts providing quality care and promoting satisfaction with the health care experience. However, should care providers act as hosts for a system that is increasingly fragmented, complex, and costly? Or, should the role of health care providers be re-envisioned as that of a guest who accompanies patients on their journey? What innovations in the health care system might be possible if the image of health care providers as guests informed the dialogue? Perhaps, the result would be a health care system that is person centered and encourages providers to engage and be present to those being served promoting peace and healing.

Dr. Phillip Cary, Professor of Philosophy, Eastern University
Scripture Alone
The Reformation, which began 500 years ago, insisted on basing faith on Scripture alone. This does not mean Christians can read Scripture well without the tradition of the church. It does mean that the church has no authority to make up new doctrines and practices, apart from Scripture, that people have to believe in order to be saved or know God. This principle of "Scripture alone," which was originally meant to free believers from the tyrannies of the Pope, can free us today from the anxieties that come from replacing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with "practical" ideas that you're supposed to apply to your life.

Friday, MARCH 24
Kristyn Komarnicki, Director of Oriented to Love, Evangelicals for Social Action/Sider Center
Jessieh Ruth Averitt, Writer, Actor, Social Researcher
Porn: An Intergenerational Dialogue

Kristyn Komarnikci is director of dialogue at the Sider Center and founder of Oriented to Love, a program that convenes intimate conversations around the often divisive topic of sexual/gender diversity in the faith community. She is 54, has been married to her husband for 27 years, and has raised 3 sons. In her experience, learning and growth happen best in dialogue and community, which is why this Windows presentation isn't a lecture but an interactive exchange. Jessieh Ruth Averitt is a 25-year-old writer, actor, and social researcher. A graduate of Bennington College, she studied Sexual Trauma, Recovery and the Practice of Drama. Her work focused on the unsayable nature of the traumatic experience and non-conscious representations of pain. She continues her study of "the unsayable" as the co-artistic director of Other Case Notes Ensemble in Philadelphia.

Kristyn and Jessieh Ruth are close friends who enjoy diving into and hashing out difficult topics - together, in passionate conversation. The grapple, they endeavor to articulate their beliefs to themselves and each other, they ask hard questions and push each other to discover the whats, hows and whys that lie behind it all. Committed to mutual vulnerability, they invite you to observe - and eventually join - them in an intergenerational conversation about pornography, sex, agency, and sexual freedom.

Invitation/challenge: If you'd like to hear the speakers address anything in particular, they invite you to submit questions on the above topics by emailing or, if you'd like to remain anonymous, by dropping a note in campus mail addressed to Kristyn Komarnicki, Sider Center, ELC 3rd floor. Please submit questions by March 1, 2017.

Dr. Paul K. Wason, Vice President, Life Sciences & Genetics, John Templeton Foundation
The Difference Culture Makes
The dawn of culture and its subsequent elaboration is one of the most important developments in the history of life. It is now recognized that culture, at least in a minimalist sense of behavioral traditions shaped by social learning, is found widely throughout the animal kingdom. And this fact, perhaps ironically for those of a reductionist bent, has made possible new understandings of just how distinctive humans are, especially in terms of symbolic thought, cooperativity far beyond genetic relatedness, the cumulative nature of our cultures, and our pervasive sense of transcendence. Yet, nearly 150 years after Tylor's Primitive Culture, we are still coming to appreciate in sometimes surprising new ways how the phenomenon of culture is transforming this planet. Similarly, I suggest that despite the apparent pervasiveness of the concept, or at least the word, in both scholarly and everyday discourse, we have yet to appreciate the full potential of the concept of culture as an intellectual tool. Through six primary examples I hope to illustrate the importance of the phenomenon and show the untapped potential of the concept.

Dr. Drew Hart, Author of Trouble I've Seen: Confronting White Supremacy in the 21st Century, and Assistant Professor of Theology, Messiah College
Hungry for More: Addressing the Root Causes of Hunger and Homelessness
In a timely conversation, Drew G.I. Hart will guide us beyond thin definitions of racism and towards a thicker conception that recognizes its individual and societal dimensions. Hart is known for weaving together accessible and everyday personal stories with antiracism theory and Christian theology. In doing so he unveils how sentiments of white exceptionalism and racialized ideology creep into our lives and unconsciously distort God's desire for both the church and society. While there is no quick fix for tackling racism, Hart will provide concrete practices for churches committed to the journey of struggling for justice in the Way of Jesus.

Friday, APRIL 21
Leadership Fellows Program Senior Capstone Project Presentations
Select seniors within the Leadership Fellows Program will share their experiences, results and leadership lessons learned from participating in their program's semester-long culmination service project. This capstone experience requires students to find a specific need outside of the university community and establish strategic ways to serve that organizations needs through coaching, consulting, or entrepreneurship. These presentations will be moderated by Dr. Nathaniel J. Stutzman, Director, Leadership Fellows Program, and Eastern graduate student Brittany Sedlak, Leadership Fellows Assistant.

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