Noted Christian leader visits campus April 1 and 2

Brian D. McLaren, an innovative Christian leader
Brian D. McLaren

Brian D. McLaren, an innovative Christian leader, thinker and activist, will present the annual Augsburger Lecture Series Wednesday and Thursday, (Apr. 1-2).

McLaren will speak in several undergraduate and seminary settings on the relevance of the Church in applying the core message of Jesus to today’s global problems.

McLaren’s schedule on campus

He will open the series 10 a.m. Wednesday with a university chapel address on “Everything Must Change: Jesus’ Gospel and Today’s Global Crises.”

McLaren will give a public lecture 7 p.m. that evening in Lehman Auditorium on “Finding the Seventh Story,” contrasting violence with Christ’s gospel as a peace narrative. A talk-back session with the speaker will follow at 8:15 p.m. in the Campus Center Greeting Hall.

McLaren will take part in an early morning pastor’s breakfast before speaking in seminary chapel 9:30 a.m. Thursday in Martin Chapel on “The Gospel in Full-Spectrum Light,” a focus on different ways of viewing Christian theology and practice.

McLaren’s evangelical innovation

McLaren is a frequent guest on television, radio, and news media programs. He has appeared on many broadcasts including Larry King Live, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly and Nightline. His work has also been covered in “Time” (where he was listed as “one of American’s 25 most influential evangelicals”), Christianity Today, Christian Century, the Washington Post, and many other print media.

From 1978 to 1986, McLaren taught college English, and in 1982, he helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church, an innovative, nondenominational church in the Baltimore-Washington region ( He left higher education in 1986 to serve as the church’s founding pastor and served in that capacity until 2006.

He serves as a board chair for Sojourners/Call to Renewal (, and is a founding member of Red Letter Christians, a group of communicators seeking to broaden and deepen the dialogue about faith and public life.

Born in 1956, he graduated from the University of Maryland with degrees in English (BA, summa cum laude, 1978, and MA, 1981). His academic interests include Medieval drama, Romantic poets, modern philosophical literature and the novels of Dr. Walker Percy. In 2004, he was awarded a doctor of divinity degree (honoris causa) from Carey Theological Seminary in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Augsburger lecture series

The Augsburger Lectureship was established by EMU president emeritus Myron S. Augsburger and his wife Esther to bring noted speakers to campus to address topics in the areas of Christian mission and evangelism.

Admission to all presentations is free.

For more information, call the campus ministries office at 540-432-4115.