Phipps Lectureship

The Phipps Lectureship was established at Davis & Elkins College in 1995 in honor of Dr. William E. Phipps, the late Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy at Davis & Elkins College.

Each year, the Phipps Lectureship brings accomplished scholars from a wide range of backgrounds to campus to provide opportunities for sharing ideas and experiences in religion, philosophy and related disciplines. Dedicated to continuing Dr. Phipps's legacy of scholarship, inquiry, and the candid discussion of ideas, the lectureship connects students and the public with leading scholars through classroom visits, small group meetings, and an annual free public lecture.


2018 Public Lecture

“Why Don’t Muslims Condemn Terrorism? Racist Scapegoating and Western Violence in an Age of Islamophobia” by Dr. Todd Green

Todd Green is an associate professor of religion at Luther College, a public scholar and an author. He served as a Franklin Fellow at the U.S. State Department in 2016-17, where he analyzed and assessed the impact of anti-Muslim prejudice in Europe on countering violent extremism initiatives, refugee and migrant policies, and human rights. He has also given lectures on Islamophobia to other federal agencies, including the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. His most recent book is “Presumed Guilty: Why We Shouldn’t Ask Muslims to Condemn Terrorism,” (Fortress Press, 2018). The book argues that asking Muslims to condemn terrorist attacks is a distraction that prevents majority populations in the U.S. and Europe both from facing their own violent histories and from asking critical questions about how their countries’ national security initiatives and foreign policies contribute to a violent world order. The book proposes healthier ways for majority populations to engage Muslim communities other than through the prisms of violence and counterterrorism.


2017 Public Lecture

"Does Religion Promote Violence?" by Dr. William T. Cavanaugh

Dr. William T. Cavanaugh is the director of Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology (CWCIT) and a professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University in Chicago. He received a B.A. in theology from Notre Dame in 1984, and an M.A. from Cambridge University in 1987. After working as a lay associate with the Holy Cross order in a poor area of Santiago, Chile, he worked at the Center for Civil and Human Rights at the Notre Dame Law School. He then studied at Duke University, where he received a Ph.D. in religion in 1996. He has taught at the University of St. Thomas since 1995 and at DePaul University since 2010. His areas of specialization are in political theology, economic ethics and ecclesiology.


Miguel De La Torre2016 Public Lecture

"Why They Come: Understanding the U.S. Immigration Crises" by Rev. Dr. Miguel De La Torre

Miguel De La Torre is the Iliff School of Theology professor of social ethics and Latinx studies. The recipient of several national book awards, De La Torre is a frequent speaker at national and international scholarly religious events and meetings. He also speaks at churches and nonprofit organizations on topics concerning the intersection of race, class and gender with religion. De La Torre has been an expert commentator concerning ethical issues, mainly Hispanic religiosity, LGBT civil rights and immigrations rights, on several local, national and international media outlets. A scholar-activist, De La Torre has written numerous articles in popular media including a monthly column for the Associated Baptist Press. De La Torre also is a recognized international Fulbright Scholar who has taught at the Cuernavaca Center for Intercultural Dialogue on Development in Mexico, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies in Yogyakarta, University of Johannesburg in South Africa and Johannes Gutenberg University in Germany. De La Torre serves as the executive officer for the Society of Race, Ethnicity and Religion and in 2012 was president of the Society of Christian. Presented by Davis & Elkins College.

Click here to watch Rev. Dr. De La Torre's lecture. 


Rev. Dr. Serene Jones2015 Public Lecture

"Practicing Progressive Faith" by Rev. Dr. Serene Jones

The Rev. Dr. Serene Jones is the 16th President of the historic Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. The first woman to head the 179-year-old interdenominational seminary, Jones occupies the Johnston Family Chair for Religion and Democracy and has formed Union’s Institute for Women, Religion and Globalization as well as the Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice. Jones came to Union after seventeen years at Yale University, where she was the Titus Street Professor of Theology at the Divinity School, and chair of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. In 2016, she will be the president of the American Academy of Religion. She holds degrees from the University of Oklahoma, Yale Divinity School and Yale University. Jones is ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. The author of several books including Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety and Trauma and Grace, Jones is a leading theologian who regularly contributes to scholarly and public discussions on matters of faith, social justice and public life. Presented by Davis & Elkins College.

Click here to listen to Rev. Dr. Jones' lecture. Click here to watch Rev. Dr. Jones' lecture.


Rev. Robert Jones2014 Public Lecture

Rev. Robert Jones

Rev. Robert Jones Sr. is a singer, storyteller and self-taught multi-instrumentalist. He uses folk, blues, spirituals and other American Roots music to champion the beauty and power of our shared culture. Rev. Jones has been performing professionally for nearly 30 years for festivals, schools, civil rights organizations and churches. Jones has more than twenty-five years of experience as a performer, musician, storyteller, radio producer/host and music educator. He has opened for and played with some of the finest musicians in the world. Still, Jones considers his greatest honor to be his call to the gospel of ministry. Presented by Davis & Elkins College. For more information, call the D&E Box Office at 304-637-1255. FREE


2013 Public Lecture

“Lessons Learned From My Life as a Psychotherapist” by Dr. Andrew Johanson

Dr. Andrew Johanson, an Adjunct Professor at Moravian Theological Seminary, delivered the lecture titled “Lessons Learned From My Life as a Psychotherapist.” He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, a psychotherapist practicing in Pennsylvania and a clinical member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. A 1963 graduate of Davis & Elkins College, Johanson launched a fund raising campaign to endow a lectureship in honor of Dr. William E. Phipps, the late Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy at D&E. Each year, The Phipps Lectureship brings accomplished scholars from a wide range of backgrounds to campus to provide opportunities for sharing ideas and experiences in religion, philosophy and related disciplines.

Click here to listen to Dr. Johanson's lecture.