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Blandy Lectures 2016


Sep 27, 2016 - Sep 28, 2016
Campus of Seminary of the Southwest

Seminary of the Southwest and the Alumni Association are excited to partner with the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement and the William Wayne Justice Center for Public Interest Law at The University of Texas at Austin for  a free, public lecture by Bryan Stevenson at the LBJ Auditorium
on September 27, 2016, at 7 PM.

Bryan Stevenson is founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy. Mr. Stevenson’s highly praised work on fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination is particularly relevant during these trying times.

Parking will be available in the lot adjacent to the LBJ Auditorium. Registration will not be required for the event, so please make sure to arrive early to secure a seat. If you have specific questions about the free lecture, please email Seminary of the Southwest’s Institutional Advancement team at advancement@ssw.edu.

A bible study guide, We Need to Talk about an Injustice,
is offered here for your use in preparation for Bryan Stevenson’s lecture.

Stevenson Bible Study – We Need To Talk About Injustice (pdf)


Special invitation from the Southwest Alumni Steering Committee

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Your Alumni Steering Committee has designed an amazing Convocation around Bryan Stevenson’s work. We invite you to register for our annual two-day Alumni Convocation, September 27-28, for fellowship, reflection, and renewal.

We are especially blessed to have Bryan Stevenson, founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative and author of Just Mercy, as our featured lecturer for Blandy 2016.

For housing, the seminary is fully booked for Blandy. However, you are welcome to stay at a nearby hotel or contact Mikala McFerren, Hospitality Coordinator, at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary who will help book you a room reservation.


About our Lecturer: Mr. Bryan Stevenson

Bryan-Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson is the founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative in Montgomery, Alabama. Mr. Stevenson is a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer who has dedicated his career to helping the poor, the incarcerated and the condemned. Under his leadership, EJI has won major legal challenges eliminating excessive and unfair sentencing, exonerating innocent death row prisoners, confronting abuse of the incarcerated and the mentally ill and aiding children prosecuted as adults. EJI recently won an historic ruling in the U.S. Supreme Court holding that mandatory life-without-parole sentences for all children 17 or younger are unconstitutional. Mr. Stevenson’s work fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system has won him numerous awards. He is a graduate of the Harvard Law School and the Harvard School of Government, and has been awarded 26 honorary doctorate degrees. He is the author of award winning and New York Times bestseller, Just Mercy. In 2015, he was named to the Time 100 recognizing the world’s most influential people. Recently, he was named in Fortune’s 2016 World’s Greatest Leaders list.


2016 Alumni Convocation Schedule

Hosted by the Southwest Alumni Association

Monday, September 26

7:00 PM – “Welcome Home to Southwest” informal supper and social at Posse East

Tuesday, September 27

8:30 AM – Registration Opens in Weeks Center Rotunda
9:30 AM – Morning Prayer in Christ Chapel
10:30 AM – Continuing Education session, “Rules for Living: How to Use Small Experiments to Make Big Changes” led by the Rev. Micah Jackson, PhD (Session 1)
Micah Jackson is the Bishop John Hines Associate Professor of Preaching and he serves as Director of Comprehensive Wellness. Professor Jackson joined the faculty in June 2008. His academic interests include the spiritual discipline of preaching, homiletic form, and postmodern construction of the relationship between preacher and congregation. His previous courses have ranged from “New Media in Worship and Preaching” to “Political Preaching” and “The Preacher’s Self.” Professor Jackson is a frequent instructor at the Episcopal Preaching Foundation’s Preaching Excellence Program and other workshops, having served since 2008. He is also the Chair of EPF’s Program Committee. He is a popular guest preacher and teacher at congregations and clergy gatherings throughout the diocese and country. Micah will be a featured lecturer for the 25th Festival of Homiletics “Preaching on the Borders,” in May 2017, in San Antonio. The Festival brings speakers and musicians from across the country to present inspiration for preachers thinking about the church and culture.

11:45 AM – Holy Eucharist in Christ Chapel – Celebrated in the Spanish Language
12: 30 PM – Lunch in Howell Dining Hall
2:00 PM – Talk by Mr. Bryan Stevenson with Questions by Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
in Knapp Auditorium (Session 2)
Scott Bader-Saye serves as academic dean and holds the Helen and Everett H. Jones Chair in Christian Ethics and Moral Theology at Seminary of the Southwest. He joined the faculty in 2009 after teaching for twelve years at the University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Scranton, Pennsylvania. His academic interests include political theology, sexual ethics, ecology/economy, and Jewish/Christian/Muslim dialogue. His publications include two books, Following Jesus in a Culture of Fear and Church and Israel After Christendom.

3:30 PM – Just Mercy Book Signing in Weeks Center Rotunda
4:00 PM – Dean’s Reception in Howell Dining Hall
5:00 PM – Evensong in Christ Chapel
5:30 PM – Break
7:00 PM – Blandy Lecture “Just Mercy” by Mr. Bryan Stevenson at the LBJ Auditorium (Session 3)

Wednesday, September 28

8:00 AM – Breakfast with the Dean & Southwest Faculty in Howell Dining Hall
8:30 AM – Annual Alumni Association Report in Howell Dining Hall
9:30 AM – Morning Prayer in Christ Chapel
10:00 AM – Continuing Education session, “For a time such as this: Embracing Difficult Conversations in the Parish” led by the Rev. Kathryn M. Ryan (Session 4)
The Rev. Kathryn “Kai” M. Ryan serves as Canon to the Ordinary and Chief Operating Officer for the Diocese of Texas. She received her master of divinity from Seminary of the Southwest in 1992. Kai served at All Saints, Austin, and in Mobile, Alabama, before being called as rector of Ascension, Dallas, a culturally diverse parish, in 1999.   Kai has breadth of experience in four dioceses, Provincial Synod and General Convention and has participated in the national Gathering of Leaders for young clergy. Kai is a former member of the seminary’s board of trustees and served as chair of the governance committee. She leads the ministry staff of the Diocese of Texas to support and implement the vision of the diocese. She mentors rectors, clergy new to the diocese, bi-vocational priests, transitional deacons, pastoral leaders and interim clergy.

11:45 AM – Alumni Eucharist in Christ Chapel
12:30 PM – Durstan R McDonald Teaching Award and Hal Brook Perry Award presentations and luncheon in Howell Dining Hall
The McDonald Teaching Award is named after the seminary’s sixth Dean and President, Dusty McDonald. Dusty was dean of Seminary of the Southwest from 1984 to 2002. For all the successes of his Deanship—the successful completion of two major capital campaigns, the building of much needed facilities, continuing increases in enrollment, the establishment of new degree and certificate programs for laity and clergy, and significant growth in the endowment—we remember him especially for his dedication to teaching. This award is presented each year to an educator selected by the faculty of the seminary, who has exhibited pedagogical excellence in his or her field.

The Rev. Hal Brook Perry joined the Seminary of the Southwest faculty in 1972 – two years after graduating from this seminary. He served the seminary community as assistant dean, registrar and instructor in church history and liturgics until his death in 1991. In a sermon he gave in Christ Chapel, he noted that a seminary was a special place where “we could be at once a questioning and unifying force. We should be able to stand apart from government, business and all the rest and bring the judgment of our tradition on society – but at the same time be in the world, and suffering with it.” The Hal Brook Perry Distinguished Alumni Award, conferred by the Alumni Association, is offered in recognition of the exceptional ministries rendered to churches, communities, and the Church worldwide by the alumni of Seminary of the Southwest.

2:00 PM – Closing Lecture, “Toward the Stewardship of Incarnation” by the Rev. Dr. Margaret Aymer (Session 5)
Margaret Aymer joined the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in 2015 from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia, where she had been associate professor of New Testament since 2004. She teaches core courses on the Introduction to the New Testament, Exegesis, and Greek and elective courses in numerous disciplines including African Americans and the Bible, and feminist and womanist biblical interpretation. Professor Aymer wrote Confessing the Beatitudes, the 2011 Horizons Bible Study (the annual Bible study resource for Presbyterian women), for which she won the Award of Excellence by the Associated Church Press. Dr. Aymer has published James: Diaspora Rhetoric of a Friend of God (Sheffield Publishing, 2014). She edited Fortress Commentary on the Bible: The New Testament with Cynthia Kittredge and David Sánchez, and she published First Pure, then Peaceable: Frederick Douglass Reads James (T&T Clark, 2008).

3:30 PM – Closing Reception in the Howell Dining Hall

2016 Blandy Lectures Alumni Convocation Participation Certificates (PDF)


Stay connected! Don’t forget to update your contact information so that you will receive detailed information on the Alumni Convocation and more. Contact the Institutional Advancement team at
advancement@ssw.edu to update your email address.