Christians from 35 nations around the world will teach classes at Pepperdine's beloved annual Bible Lectures tradition. A robust schedule of lectures, classes, presentations, hymns and worship, performances, and conversations are in store at the 69th annual, four-day event from Tuesday to Friday, May 1 to 4, when thousands of devoted Christians will gather on the Malibu campus to participate in the event themed "Living Between the Times: Lifted Up by Romans 5-8."
Visit the Bible Lectures website for a full schedule of events.
Events will begin Tuesday, May 1, with an opening dinner at 4:15 p.m., featuring remarks by Mike Cope, respected Churches of Christ minister, author, lecturer, and incoming Bible Lectures director as of May 5, 2012. The dinner will be followed by Songfest, a spirited tradition of music, in Firestone Fieldhouse. This year's performance, like last year's, features Ken Young and The Hallal Singers from Franklin, Tennessee.
This year marks Church Relations director Jerry Rushford's final Bible Lectures, as he prepares to depart his post at the close of the events. On Friday evening, May 4, he will deliver the final keynote address entitled, "The Wondrous Story." Following the Bible Lectures, Rushford will begin a new ministry at Pepperdine. Honoring his leadership and scholarship as a church historian, Pepperdine is preparing to establish The Jerry Rushford Center for Research on Churches of Christ and the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement. Within it, Rushford will oversee the work of the Churches of Christ Heritage Center he founded in 2009. He will also plan and host lecture programs and produce publications related to the history of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement.
During the Bible Lectures, Pepperdine Libraries will host two special events in Payson Library, Malibu. The Churches of Christ Heritage Center Open House will take place in room 312 and will showcase the center's repository of books, documents, photographs, religious periodicals, congregational histories, biographical studies, archival materials, and artifacts of the Stone-Campbell Restoration Movement and the Churches of Christ.
The Libraries will also host an exhibit in room 326 titled, "A Window Into Our Past: The Lives of Remarkable Church Leaders," featuring artifacts from the Special Collections and University Archives that highlight the lives of several influential members of the Churches of Christ, including: Norvel (1915-1998) and Helen (b. 1918) Young, George (1886-1962) and Helen (1903-1990) Pepperdine, and J.M. McCaleb (1861-1953). Through letters, diaries, photographs, scrapbooks, and memorabilia, the materials on display will give exhibit attendees a window into the lives of these notable individuals. Rare biographies of other historic church leaders will also be included. Learn more about these two library events here.
Another favorite tradition of the Bible Lectures is the pie and coffee served by the Associated Women for Pepperdine (AWP) from 9 to 11 p.m. each evening in the Tyler Campus Center (TCC). This gathering provides time for participants to converse and reflect on the day's events over some homemade dessert, and the proceeds go directly to AWP student scholarships.
The Pepperdine University Bible Lectures began in January 1943 and have undergone several evolutions over the past 67 years. Initially, they were modeled after similar programs at Abilene Christian, David Lipscomb, and Harding universities. The early 1950s saw a decline in attendance, and no program was scheduled in 1957.
During the years following, with the help of new president M. Norvel Young and dean J. P. Sanders, the Bible Lectures experienced a resurgence that required they be moved to the Shrine Auditorium to accommodate the large numbers of attendees. In the following years, the huge Los Angeles Sports Arena became the scene for the largest evening lectures.
The University added a special program of summer Bible Lectures for 10 years beginning in 1958. However, the programs were again declining in attendance by the late 1960s and the summer lectures ended in 1967. When Pepperdine moved to its new campus in Malibu in 1972, there was a renewal of interest in the Bible Lectures. Since that time, the lectures have grown in interest and attendance every year.
For more information, contact Church Relations at (310) 506-42670, or visit the Bible Lectures website.