Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Emmanuel’s Ross-Smith Lectures welcomes Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall

MILLIGAN, Tenn. (Oct. 7, 2021)—Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan will present the Ross-Smith Lectures in Pastoral Care on Thursday, Oct. 14. The lectures will feature Dr. Ellen Ott Marshall, associate professor of Christian ethics and conflict transformation at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

Marshall’s lecture series, “Contemplating Creativity, Resisting Constraint,” invites attendees to think about ways people exercise power when they have limited freedom and choice. The first lecture considers the creative ways that people maintained or forged relationship during the isolating months of the COVID-19 pandemic and how these stories help us understand an important concept in ethics.

Her presentations include “No-Contact Connections” at 10:30 a.m., “Moral Agency through Metalwork” at 2 p.m., and “Contemplating Creative Power,” 7 p.m. All three events are free and open to the public and will be held in the Mildred Welshimer Phillips Memorial Chapel in Milligan’s B. D. Phillips Building on Emmanuel Hill. A complimentary lunch will be provided at 12 p.m. for attendees of the morning and afternoon lectures. 

“We’re grateful that Dr. Marshall will bring this year’s lectures and share her expertise in Christian ethics with our community,” said Dr. Calvin and Nancy Ross, who established the lectureship to facilitate discussion among ministers, students, educators, laity, medical practitioners, and peace and justice advocates on the topic of faith and medicine.

The Rosses endowed the lecture series in 2013 in memory of Calvin’s parents, Walter and Mardel Ross, and in 2015, for Nancy’s parents, Frank S. and Hylda Smith.

Marshall received her master’s degree from Notre Dame University and a master’s degree and doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Along with her position at Candler School of Theology, she serves on the faculty for the Ethics and Society doctoral program in Emory’s Graduate Division of Religion. 

Marshall focuses on contemporary Christian ethics, with particular attention to violence, peacebuilding, conflict transformation, gender and moral agency. She has edited two volumes and written three books. Her most recent book is “An Introduction to Christian Ethics: Conflict, Faith, and Human Life,” published by Westminster John Knox Press in 2018. 

Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan is a graduate seminary with a relationship to the churches of the Stone-Campbell tradition, including the independent Christian churches and churches of Christ. With over 1,650 alumni serving Christ around the world, Emmanuel offers four degree programs: Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministries and Doctor of Ministry.

Learn more about the seminary at


MILLIGAN UNIVERSITY is a Christian liberal arts institution in Johnson City, 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 , visit or call 423.461.8700.

Posted by Chase McGlamery on October 7, 2021.