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Willimon to speak at Milligan on March 16

MILLIGAN COLLEGE, Tenn. (March 5, 2015) – Milligan College welcomes the Rev. Dr. Will Willimon, a noted pastor and author, to speak on Monday, March 16, at 7 p.m. in the McGlothlin-Street Theatre located inside the Gregory Center. The event is in association with King University and the Buechner Institute Lecture Series as part of its 2014-2015 season.

Willimon will start his day by speaking on “Jesus: A Wider Rationality, John 2:1-11” at King University’s Memorial Chapel at 9:15 a.m. in Bristol, Tennessee. At Milligan, he will speak on “What’s Next for Christians?” Both lectures are free and open to the public.

The events are cosponsored by the Bristol Herald Courier.

Willimon is professor of the practice of Christian ministry at the Duke University Divinity School and former bishop of the North American Conference of the United Methodist Church. He is a graduate of Wofford College, Yale Divinity School and Emory University. In 1992, he was named the first “Distinguished Alumnus” of Yale Divinity School. To read articles, sermons and lectures by Willimon, visit his blog at willwillimon.wordpress.com.

“The Rev. Dr. Will Willimon writes and preaches with clarity, depth and insight,” said Shannon Harris, coordinator of the Buechner Institute. “We are sure that Willimon’s pastoral presence, strong speaking ability and excellent content will be a profound experience for those who attend his lectures. We are honored to have him as a speaker for the 2014-2015 Buechner Lecture Series.”

“Dr. Willimon’s ministry, teaching and writing have made a profound impact on the church and on how Christians challenge and connect to the world,” said Jim Dahlman, associate professor of communications at Milligan and a member of the Buechner Institute Governing Board. “He has a great ability to bring solid scholarship and insight to address real-world concerns, and he does so with compassion, freshness and humanity. We’re excited to be working with the Buechner Institute to bring him to the Milligan campus.”

Willimon is the author of more than 60 books. His book, “Worship as Pastoral Care,” was selected as one of the 10 most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than 1 million copies of his books have been sold. Cementing his reputation as an outstanding preacher, Willimon was named in a 1996 international survey conducted by Baylor University as one of the “Twelve Most Effective Preachers” in the English-speaking world. A study by the Pulpit and Pew Research Center found that Willimon is one of the most broadly read authors among mainline Protestant pastors.

His articles have appeared in many publications including The Christian Ministry, Quarterly Review, Liturgy, Worship and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. He has served as editor and expositor with his wife, Patricia, for Abingdon’s International Lesson Annual. His “Pulpit Resource” is used each week by more than 8,000 pastors in the USA, Canada and Australia.

Willimon’s latest books include “Thank God It’s Thursday,” which focuses on Jesus’ teaching of his disciples prior to his own death; “Incorporation,” a novel describing the very human congregation of a fictional church and a real God; and “Bishop: The Art of Questioning Authority by an Authority in Question.”

For more information on the Buechner Institute Lecture Series, visit www.buechnerinstitute.org.

For more information on Milligan arts events, visit www.milligan.edu/arts.


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts university in Northeast Tennessee whose vision is to change lives and shape culture through a commitment to servant leadership. The university offers more than 100 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in a variety of fields, along with graduate and adult degree completion programs.  To learn more about Milligan University, visit www.milligan.edu or call 800-262-8337.

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