Calvin Thielman Lecture Series
The Calvin Thielman Lecture Series seeks to honor Calvin Thielman’s legacy by providing challenging lectures which enrich the intellectual and spiritual life of the community.
Dr. Calvin Thielman
Dr. Calvin Thielman (1930-2002) was born in Paris, Texas, in 1930. Thielman was on a fast track to a career in politics when he experienced a call to the ministry. He held many roles and responsibilities in his life, including serving as an assistant to Billy Graham. He was the pastor of Montreat Presbyterian Church (now Christ Community Church) from 1962 to 1995, as well as the chaplain of Montreat College from 1962 to 1992. He was known by many as a skilled teacher, preacher, counselor, and ambassador for Christ.
Phil Vischer made his first animated film when he was nine years old; by the age of fourteen, he was convinced he would be a filmmaker when he grew up. After a brief stint at a Bible college, Vischer struck out on his own, looking for a way to integrate his faith with his filmmaking. This quest led him to a tomato and a cucumber. The year was 1991, and Phil Vischer was a newly married 25-year-old with no financial backing and no idea how his vegetables would ever see the light of day. Today, almost 50 million VeggieTales videos have been purchased and Vischer’s faith-filled stories can be found in one-third of all American homes with young children. Although his original company, Big Idea Productions, collapsed in bankruptcy in 2003, Vischer continues his creative involvement with VeggieTales through its current owner. He actively develops new ways to integrate faith and storytelling through Jellyfish Labs. Vischer lives in Wheaton, Illinois, with his wife, Lisa (aka Junior Asparagus), and their three kids.
Dr. Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, and in particular young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. He earned a Ph.D. in apologetics and worldview studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2014. McDowell is the author, co-author, or editor of over fifteen books including Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage, with John Stonestreet, Is God Just a Human Invention? with Jonathan Morrow, and Understanding Intelligent Design along with William A. Dembski. He has also written multiple books with his father, Josh McDowell, including The Unshakable Truth and More Than A Carpenter. McDowell is the general editor for Apologetics for a New Generation and The Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He has also written for YouthWorker Journal, Decision Magazine, and the Christian Research Journal.
A Montreat native and Montreat College alum, Rev. Wood is the founder and executive director of Wears Valley Ranch and the former director of mobilization of My Hope America with Billy Graham, the largest evangelistic effort in U.S. history. Wears Valley Ranch is a home and school for children from families in crisis that includes two homes for boys, two homes for girls, a counseling center, a fully accredited K-12 school, a summer camp, a radio ministry, and conference facilities serving hundreds of visitors and volunteers each year. In addition to his work with Wears Valley, Rev. Wood maintains an itinerant preaching ministry and he and his wife have authored fourteen books.
Dr. Tony Campolo
Dr. Campolo, professor emeritus of sociology at Eastern University, is also the founder of of the Evangelical Association for the Promotion of Education. He is known for his forward thinking approach to Christianity.
Os Guinness is a renowned author and social critic. He has vast expertise in the areas of public policy, international relations, and faith. He has worked as a freelance journalist for the BBC, written over 25 books, and served at the Brookings Institute and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Affairs.
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Warden Burl Cain
Warden Cain is the warden of the Louisiana State Penitentiary. He has been featured on ABC’s “20/20” with Barbara Walters, “Stephen Fry Goes to America,” and “Louisiana Lockdown” on Animal Planet.
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Newt Gingrich is known as a politician, political consultant, and author. He was the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from the years of 1995 to 1999, and was also a candidate for the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2012.
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Dr. Teri McCarthy
Dr. McCarthy is a writer, and currently holds the role of English Department Chair at Lithuania University. She has taught at universities in China, Holland, Russia, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.
Andrew J. Young
Andrew Young is a pastor, politician, and activist. He is widely known for his work with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was a close friend and supporter of King during the Civil Rights Movement. In addition he has held roles as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Congressman, Mayor of Atlanta, and more.
General Mastin Robeson (Ret.)
General Mastin Robeson served for 34 years in the Marine Corps and has boundless experience in the areas of intelligence and counterterrorism. He is also on the board of trustees at Montreat College.
William P. Young
William Paul Young is an author, and most notably known for his novel, The Shack.