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Guest Lecture Series

The Guest Lecture Series is designed to support scholarly work and to expose the Pacifica community to such work. Speakers in various fields are invited for an evening consisting of a talk, question and answer and a short reception. In addition, key Pacifica faculty and guests are able to discuss ideas over a private dinner with the speaker.

DR. Kara powell

Kara Powell hi res official press photo 2013

Dr. Powell addressed the topic of leaving a legacy of faith for our kids.  Approximately 45% of students trade in their faith for a diploma at graduation from high school.  Dr. Powell’s research explores why students move away from their faith in college and provides insights about building a lasting or “sticky” faith.  

Dr. Kara E. Powell is the Executive Director of the Fuller Youth Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary. The mission of FYI is to leverage research into resources that elevate leaders, kids, and families. Named by Christianity Today as one of “50 Women to Watch”, Kara completed her PhD in Practical Theology from Fuller Seminary with a focus on Pastoral Role Expectations in 2000, an MDiv from Bethel Theological Seminary in 1994, and a BA degree with Honors from Stanford University in 1991.  In addition to her roles at Fuller Seminary, Kara currently serves as anAdvisor to Youth Specialties and volunteers in student ministries at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena.  She is the author or co-author of The Sticky Faith Guide for Your FamilySticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Deep Justice Journeys, Essential Leadership, Deep Justice in a Broken WorldDeep Ministry in a Shallow World, and theGood Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum

Dr. MICHAEL WARD – Guest Teacher

Michael Ward

Dr. Michael Ward challenged the senior and freshman classes for eight days with the works of C.S. Lewis and the culture and climate of post World War I Europe. He is a leading expert on the works of C.S. Lewis, is Senior Research Fellow at Blackfriars, Oxford, Professor of Apologetics at HBU, and a writer and speaker. As an Anglican clergyman, he served as Chaplain of St Peter’s College in the University of Oxford from 2009 to 20012 and as Chaplain of Peterhouse in the University of Cambridge from 2004 to 2007. Between 1996 and 1999 he was Warden of The Kilns, Lewis’s Oxford home. He studied English at Oxford, Theology at Cambridge, and has a PhD from St. Andrews. Visit Dr. Ward’s website »

Dr. Rodney Smolla

SmollaDr. Smolla, President of Furman University addressed the student body on the first amendment issue of free speech. He led the students through a complicated supreme court case using the socratic method to engage the group.

Dr. Smolla, is an expert in first amendment issues and has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court. Before taking over at Furman Dr. Smolla was the Dean of the Washington & Lee School of Law. Dr. Smolla graduated from Yale University and Duke School of Law.

He is an author and his book, Free Speech in an Open Society won the William O. Douglas Award as the year’s best monograph on freedom of expression (1992). He is also the author of Jerry Falwell v. Larry Flynt: The First Amendment on Trial and Deliberate Intent. The latter, which was made into a television movie by the FX cable network, describes Smolla’s involvement in a notorious case in which he successfully represented the families of three murder victims in a suit against the publisher of a murder instruction manual. His latest book, The Constitution Goes to College, describes the constitutional principles and ideas that have shaped American higher education.

Smolla is also a frequent media commentator in newspaper, magazine and internet news stories. In addition to writing pieces for the New York Times Book Review, he is a regular contributor to the on-line magazines Slate.com and The Huffington Post.

Dr. Peter Williams

Peter WilliamsDr. Williams, Warden at Tyndale House in Cambridge England, is a biblical scholar, professor, author and speaker. He has spoken around the world. At Pacifica he tackled the difficult topic of violence in the Old Testament.




Larry Greenfield

Larry GreenfieldMr. Greenfied, Vice President of the Claremont Institute, gave a lecture on The American Way: Rediscovering and Applying The First Principles.

Mr. Greenfield is a native Californian, and earned his BA in political science from the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in three years as Class Speaker. He earned his law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C. He is honorably discharged from the U.S. Naval Intelligence (Res.). Mr. Greenfield is also the Claremont Institute’s Fellow in American Studies and a Lincoln Fellow. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Endowment for Middle East Truth, and on the Board of the Israel-Christian Nexus.

A popular speaker, Larry focuses on national security issues, including the West’s response to the rise of radical Islam, and such domestic issues as energy, economy, education, and mass culture.

Dr. Amy-Jill Levine

Amy LevineAmy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences. Holding the B.A. from Smith College, the M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from Christian Theological Seminary, Drury University, the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and the University of South Carolina-Upstate, Professor Levine has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies.

At Pacifica Dr. Levine spoke about her recent work on the Jewish Annotated New Testament.

Dr. Perry A. Jansen, MD

Perry JansenA southern California native, Dr. Perry Jansen was practicing family medicine in Bremerton, Washington when he learned of the need for doctors in the small, African country of Malawi. After a short-term trip in 1999, Dr. Jansen and his wife, Brenda, felt God’s calling to move his family to Malawi to serve as the first and only physician in a small clinic on the grounds of a Bible College. Having received his medical degree from Penn State, his family practice residency training from Santa Monica/UCLA and Tropical Medicine training from Johns Hopkins, Dr. Jansen was prepared for the medical challenges he would face in this poverty stricken country where there is only one physician for every 54,000 people.

With the help of the Malawian government, the southern California-based charity Partners in Malawi, and hundreds of individuals and churches in the U.S., Dr. Jansen founded an HIV/AIDS clinic. The three-year-old Partners in Hope Medical Center now cares for over 2,000 HIV/AIDS patients per month and is one of the fastest-growing centers in the region. PIH also has dynamic programs for supportive counseling, HIV prevention for youth and nutritional and agriculture strengthening.

Dr. Allan Callahan

CallahanDr. Callahan is Professor of New Testament at the Seminario Teologica Batista do Nordeste in Bahia, Brazil, and has taught and lectured throughout the United States, Europe and Latin America. Professor Callahan holds a BA in Religion from Princeton University and MA and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in the Study of Religion specializing in New Testament and the history and literature of early Christianity. He has taught biblical studies and theology at Boston College, Andover-Newton Theological School, Holy Cross College, Macalester College, Harvard Divinity School and the University of Massachusetts. Professor Callahan presently divides his time between Brazil and Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lives with his wife, Dr. Jeanette Prescott Callahan, a pediatrician, and their four adult children. Professor Callahan is an ordained Baptist minister, and is affiliated with the Progressive National Baptist Convention, USA.

Candace Kelsey

Candice KelseyMrs. Kelsey is a current high school English teacher who is passionate about education and teenagers. Through her experiences working with teenagers Mrs. Kelsey became interested in how technology impacted relationships. She authored, Generation MySpace, which is a look at online social networks and there effect on teenage culture. Mrs. Kelsey is also a founding teacher at Pacifica Christian High School.