Bastian School of Theology, Philosophy, and Ministry - The James F. and Leona N. Andrews Endowed Chair for Christian Unity (John 17:21)

Sixth Andrews Lecture 

On March 7th, 2023, Rev. Dr. Helen Rhee, Professor of History of Christianity and Chair of the Religious Studies department at Westmont College, delivered the sixth annual Andrews Lecture for Christian Unity. Her address was titled “No Pain, No Gain: Early Christians on Pain and Suffering in Imitation of Christ.” In her lecture, Dr. Rhee helped her audience see the role of suffering in the Christian life in becoming imitators of Christ.

GU Associate Professor of Theology and Andrews Chair for Christian Unity Dr. Ben Wayman celebrated Dr. Rhee’s joint vocation as a professor of Christian history and an associate pastor at the Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara. Dr. Rhee’s pastoral sensibilities were on display when she spoke in Dr. Wayman’s Early Christianity class earlier in the day. In her guest lecture, Dr. Rhee analyzed the Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas, two young women in the early church, as she helped students see how following Jesus can overcome barriers of race, class, and gender. Such justice is the shape of God’s kingdom.  

2022 Andrews Lecturer, Rev. Sam Wells with Andrews Chair for Christian Unity, Dr. Ben Wayman

Fifth Andrews Lecture 

On February 28th, 2022, Rev. Sam Wells, British theologian, author, and current vicar of St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church in Trafalgar Square in London, delivered the fifth annual Andrews Lecture on Christian Unity. In his address, Rev. Wells spoke on the topic "Act Justly" and laid out framework in a 12-point address, a process through which his audience was encouraged to recognize that injustices do exist in our society and then to consider if they have – intentionally or unintentionally – contributed to those injustices. He explained that “a system of justice can’t be created overnight, and the goal is that there should be no difference between legal justice and social justice. However, Wells said that true justice can be realized only through a relationship with Jesus Christ.  “If justice is defined as giving each person their due, then we can only do that by understanding what is due to the Lord Jesus Christ because of the grace he has given us. Thus, it is worship that ultimately re-sets the scales of justice.”

GU Associate Professor of Theology and Andrews Chair in Christian Unity Dr. Ben Wayman studied under Rev. Wells when he served as dean of the Duke University Chapel.

Later in the week, Rev. Wells spoke in The Wednesday Experience (TWE). TWE is an all-campus worship service where students, faculty, and staff come together. In his Chapel address, Rev. Wells highlighted various scriptures such as Ephesians 3:14-16, Matthew 11:28-30, and Philippians 4:19. He recognized that people may feel weary but encouraged his audience to trust in God's promises in their lives. We must find the strength to ask, the endurance to seek Him, and the diligence to knock.  

2022 Andrews Lecturer, Rev. Sam Wells with Andrews Chair for Christian Unity, Dr. Ben Wayman

Fourth Andrews Lecture

On October 21, 2019 Rev. Dr. Willie Jennings, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School, delivered the Fourth Annual Andrews Lecture in Christian Unity. In his address, Dr. Jennings spoke on "Being Christian in a World of Possessions" as he helped our community see the difference Christ makes for how we live in a world "formed between praise and possession." He explained how "the Christianity we have inherited has been shaped in a sick vision of possession and diseased by whiteness." This distortion, Jennings clarified, "drives our current dilemmas with race, racism, and white supremacy." He encouraged us instead to "think possession through the Spirit" by envisioning "life joined to others and other places as listeners and learners of new ways of life to be lived together." Such life together empowers the community of faith to find our sense of self not in what we own, but by "being claimed by a people and a place being formed through love."
Earlier in the day, Dr. Jennings gave a Chapel address on Mark 8, where he unpacked how Jesus's feeding of the four thousand exposed the lie of scarcity and displayed how "God wants everyone fed." Christians, Jennings insisted, "see need." We see what others ignore: "what's missing, what's marginalized, what's absent, what's damaged, what is and who is being harmed." By seeing need we exercise a holy way of seeing. God sees need and seeks to form us to see need.

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2019 Andrews Lecturer, Rev. Dr. Willie Jennings, with Andrews Chair for Christian Unity, Dr. Ben Wayman

Third Andrews Lecture

"On September 26, Lisa Sharon Harper preached on the very good gospel to the Greenville University campus community. In Chapel she shared with us that when we deface the image of God in another human being, we are waging war against God. She met with student leaders over lunch and guided their exploration of how they might be courageous witnesses and actors of the gospel in public spaces.
Lisa capped off our full day together with the 3rd Andrews Lecture in Christian Unity as she unpacked the good news that Jesus makes possible a kind of community wherein all people exercise agency and their divine calling to exercise dominion on land - to care for, serve, and protect God's very good creation. Lisa is a prophet. She is courageous enough to tell us the truth about the gospel, the ways in which the church has fallen short of our divine calling and mission, and embody the hope we have to become all God created us to be." - Dr. Ben Wayman, Andrews Chair in Christian Unity
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2018 Andrews Lecturer, Lisa Sharon Harper, with Andrews Chair for Christian Unity, Dr. Ben Wayman

Second Andrews Lecture

On November 13, 2017, Dr. Christena Cleveland delivered the 2nd Annual Andrews Lecture "Give Me Unity or Give Me Death: A Practical Theology of the Trinity and Human Identity." Dr. Cleveland is  an Associate Professor of the Practice of Organizational Studies at Duke University's Divinity School and author of  Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart

Cleveland also gave a chapel address the morning of November 13, titled "An Experiment in Love" and in the afternoon, led a Building Bridges conversation addressing the question What does it mean to be an intercultural leader?

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2017 Andrews Lecturer, Dr. Christena Cleveland, with Andrews Chair for Christian Unity, Dr. Ben Wayman

James F. and Leona N. Andrews Endowed Chair for Christian Unity (John 17:21)

In the fall of 2016, Greenville University received a $1.3 million gift from the Full Salvation Union to establish The James F. and Leona N. Andrews Endowed Chair for Christian Unity (John 17:21). The chair honors the legacy of the Andrews by coordinating a program of study that is interdenominational in effort and nonsectarian in spirit, and that leads to greater understanding and unity of spirit among all of God's children.

Visit the Facebook page for Christian Unity at Greenville University.

Greenville University continues to seek financial support to deepen and expand this programming in Christian Unity. Your gift today helps support Christian education now and into the future. Thank you for partnering with us in this Christ-centered endeavor.

First Andrews Lecture A Success on February 15, 2017

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Greenville University was pleased to host the First Annual Andrews Lecture in Christian Unity on February 15, 2017.

The lecture, entitled That They May All be One: New Testament Images of Christian Unity," was given by Dr. Michael J. Gorman, who holds the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Gorman also gave a chapel address the same day, entitled "The Year of Mercy."

Gorman is the author of a dozen books and numerous articles in New Testament studies, biblical interpretation, and Christian ethics. His books include Apostle of the Crucified Lord and Reading Paul.

Appointment to Fill Andrews Chair


Building Bridges

Last spring we held our first Building Bridges Conversation, which was a collaborative effort of the Greenville College Student Association, the Mac Scholars Program, and the Andrews Chair for Christian Unity. The purpose of the Building Bridges Series is to have conversations that matter. The goal is to foster an environment where we listen well, share well, understand each other better, and discover the unity we have in Christ. Christian conversation is not defensive, but rather is driven by our desire to know and love one another better. For our first conversation, we welcomed Fr. David Meconi, Associate Professor of Historical Theology at Saint Louis University. Fr. Meconi is a scholar, but he’s more fundamentally a disciple of Jesus Christ. Fr. Meconi loves the church and so I’m delighted he joined us for a conversation to help us understand better the kind of unity Christ makes possible through the church.



At the 125th Anniversary Celebration of Greenville University on September 20, 2017, Andrews Chair Ben Wayman moderated a discussion on “Diversity Matters for Christian Unity.” This panel discussion included Shirley Hoogstra (President of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities), Dr. Edwin Estévez (Senior Vice President and Chief Operations Officer at Greenville University), Dr. Karen Longman (PhD Program Director and Professor of Doctoral Higher Education at Azusa Pacific University), Dr. Venessa Brown (Professor and Associate Chancellor for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville), and Dr. Gene Dunkley Dean of Diversity and Associate Professor of Biology at Greenville University). President Hoogstra, Edwin Estévez, and Karen Longman were all contributors to the recently released Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, and the Future of Higher Education.

On October 9, 2017, Andrews Chair Ben Wayman spoke in Chapel on "Parables, Kingdom, and Christian Unity." In his talk, Dr. Wayman set the stage for a chapel series on parables, and shared how they give us imaginative pictures of the Kingdom of God. Suggesting Chance the Rapper is a public example of a "living parable," Dr. Wayman explored how a clearer picture of the Kingdom of God can help us identify fake unity and embrace the true unity Christ makes possible.


To see updates on Christian Unity lectures, events, articles, and activities here on Greenville University's campus, check out our Facebook page.