Panel discussion focuses on faith’s role at Maryville College

Dr. Andrew Morriss will moderate a panel discussion on the role of faith in learning.

Dr. Andrew Morriss will moderate a panel discussion on the role of faith in learning.

Maryville College’s connection to the Presbyterian Church began with its founding in 1819 by the Rev. Isaac Anderson, a Presbyterian minister of Ulster-Scot heritage. From the beginning, the church-related liberal arts college has emphasized the practice of faith and learning, which connects scholarship, worship and community.

In an effort to continue the conversation about what a church-related liberal arts education means, a panel discussion, “Faith’s Role in Learning and the Maryville College Experience,” has been planned for Thursday, April 14, from 1:30 until 3 p.m. in the Clayton Center for the Arts’ Harold and Jean Lambert Recital Hall.

The panel discussion, which is free and open to the public, is part of the Inaugural events for Maryville College’s 11th president, Dr. William T. “Tom” Bogart, who will be inaugurated during a ceremony scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Sat., April 16 in the Ronald and Lynda Nutt Theatre of the Clayton Center.

Maryville College developed a new Faith and Learning Statement in 2003. Dr. Bill Meyer, professor of philosophy and religion, and chair of the College’s Faith and Learning Committee, said the Faith and Learning Statement provides a valuable vision for the College.

“Dr. Bogart believes in that vision, and this is an opportunity for us to reaffirm and recommit to that vision now that we’re under Dr. Bogart’s leadership,” Meyer said.

Panelists include Meyer; the Rev. Anne D. McKee, campus minister and member of the Faith and Learning Committee; Dr. Peggy Cowan, professor of religion and member of the Faith and Learning Committee; and Dr. Gary Luhr, executive director of Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities.

“The panel will be an opportunity to bring together various perspectives from both on campus off campus to reflect on what a church-related liberal arts education means both in contemporary American society and specifically here at Maryville College,” Meyer said. “My hope is that each panelist will be able to give from his or her own experience and observation some insight about the larger cultural American educational context and also what our role is within that context.”

The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Andrew Morriss, a colleague and close friend of Dr. Bogart.

Morriss, who is a D. Paul Jones Jr. and Charlene A. Jones Chairholder in Law and professor of business at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Ala., is the author or coauthor of more than 50 book chapters, scholarly articles, and books.

He serves as a research fellow at the New York University Center for Labor and Employment Law; a research scholar, Regulatory Studies Center, George Washington University; a senior fellow at the Property & Environment Research Center in Bozeman, Mont.; a senior scholar at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University; and a senior fellow for the Houston-based Institute for Energy Research.

“Andy is a person of faith and scholarship who brings both to bear on important questions,” Bogart said. “His expertise and devotion to the environment make him a natural fit for the interests of our community.”

Luhr, who has worked with more than 60 Presbyterian-related colleges, said he looks forward to being on the panel and “can’t express too strongly how almost unique Maryville College is in making its church-relatedness part of the ethos of the institution.”

“Nowhere is this more clearly or forthrightly expressed than in the Maryville College Faith and Learning Statement,” Luhr said. “The Faith and Learning Statement does a wonderful job of expressing how a school can be a true liberal arts college and also make faith a meaningful part of the educational experience without relegating itself to either end of the evangelical-secular spectrum.”

A community celebration of worship will be held at New Providence Presbyterian Church in Maryville from 5:30 until 6:30 p.m.

Titled “With Heart and Hands and Voices,” the service will be led by the Rev. Dr. Emily Anderson, pastor of New Providence Presbyterian and a member of the College’s Board of Directors.

“Almost two hundred years ago, Maryville College grew out of the rich soil of East Tennessee,” Anderson said. “The College would not be what it is without this community, and the community would certainly not be what it is without the College. So it makes all the sense in the world that we - college and community - would gather to give thanks to the One who has blessed our ministries and called us together in service to the world.”

Worship music will be performed by Maryville College’s Voices of Praise Choir, the choirs of New Providence Presbyterian and Highland Presbyterian, the Maryville First United Methodist Church Evensong Hand bell Choir, piper Sam Newton and organist Peggy Rogers.

Participants in the service include:

• Rev. Vivian Hill, pastor of Clouds of Faith Baptist Center and office manager in the college’s Residence Life Office;

• Rev. Jerry Mantooth, pastor of Monte Vista Baptist Church and a member of the college’s Board of Church Visitors;

• Rev. G. David Campbell, parish associate with Highland Presbyterian Church and a 1949 Maryville College alumnus;

• Allison Little, Maryville College junior and Isaac Anderson Fellow;

• Rev. Anne McKee, campus minister;

• Dr. Andrew Irvine, assistant professor of philosophy at Maryville College;

• Ellison Berryhill, Maryville College junior and Church and College Scholar;

• Rev. Amy Probst, pastor of Broadway United Methodist Church.

For more information, contact Maryville College’s Office of Church Relations at 865-981-8217.

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