William E. Conger, Jr.

Lectures on Biblical Preaching


February 23-25, 2016

The Reverend Doctor Laura A. Smit                                    
Professor of Theology
Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan


B.A., Calvin College                                                                        
M.Div., Calvin Theological Seminary
Ph.D., Boston University

Tuesday, February 23, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Worship Service - "The Path of Life" - Psalm 16
Hodges Chapel

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Lecture - "Proclaiming the Truth: The Appeal to Reason"
Hodges Chapel

Thursday, February 25, 2016                                      

11:00 a.m.
Lecture - "Moving to Meaning: The Appeal to Imagination"
Hodges Chapel

The Reverend Doctor Laura A. Smit is Professor of Theology at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI, where she has been teaching since 1999.  She was ordained in the PC(USA) in 1989 and served as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Clayton, New Jersey for six years before going to Boston University for a Ph.D. in medieval philosophy and theological aesthetics.  Her dissertation was on aesthetic epistemology in the theology of Bonaventure.She is the author of Loves Me, Loves Me Not: The Ethics of Unrequited Love, a book that features interviews with many college students about their experiences of romantic rejection.  This book has led to many speaking engagements on college campuses.  Other books to which she has contributed chapters can be found on the “Books” page.From 2003 to 2008, Smit served as Dean of the Chapel at Calvin College, and in connection with that position she was ordained as a minister in the Christian Reformed Church, while retaining her PC(USA) ordination.  In the summer of 2012, Rev. Smit was dismissed from the PC(USA) to ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians.  She has been a member of the theology team for both the Fellowship of Presbyterians and ECO since August 2011.  She is a member of ECO’s Great Lakes Presbytery and serves on the Ministry Assimilation Team.Her current research interests are focused on the thought of C. S. Lewis.  She will be on sabbatical during the 2014-2015 school year, writing a book on the idea of magnanimity in Lewis and his sources.  


 Audio and video recordings of previous Conger Preaching Lectures can be purchased through our Media Store.

Second in a series of three lectureships, the William E. Conger Lectures on Biblical Preaching are made possible through the generosity of the late Colonel William E. Conger, Jr. After distinguished military career, Colonel Conger served for many years as a close personal advisor to Ralph Waldo Beeson, the founding benefactor of Beeson Divinity School. Colonel Conger long shared Mr. Beeson's deep commitment to the pastoral ministry of preaching. In 1991, that commitment was expressed through the endowment of a lectureship to recapture the vision of preaching ministry, furthering the cause of Christ in today's world. Preaching is the central task of Christian ministry and mission. In the Conger lectures, we affirm our commitment to this biblical reformation mandate. These lectures are presented in the fervent prayer and hope that they shall enlighten the preacher's skill, but above all, stir the preacher's soul, so God Himself may shine "in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ" (1 Corinthians4:6).

2011's lecturer was Earl Palmer, Pastor Emeritus University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, WA. Past guests include James Earl Massey, William Willimon, Bryan Chapell, Richard Bewes, and John Piper. Recordings of past lectures are available in the Beeson Media Center or may be purchased from the Beeson Bookshop