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McLaren to Present Self Preaching Lectures at McAfee

February 1, 2012

Media Contact: Mark Vanderhoek, (478) 301-4037 or

ATLANTA — Noted author, speaker, activist and public theologian Dr. Brian McLaren will deliver the 2012 William L. Self Preaching Lectures, Feb. 27-28, at Mercer University’s James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology in Atlanta. He will deliver three lectures built around the theme of “Preaching Peace in a Crumbling Empire.”

“Dr. McLaren is a scintillating speaker, a keen observer of religious life in America and a prophetic voice we need to hear,” said Dr. R. Alan Culpepper, dean of the McAfee School of Theology. “Perhaps best known as the leading figure of the emerging church movement, Dr. McLaren is someone to whom all church leaders need to pay attention. The theme of his lectures, ‘Preaching Peace in a Declining Empire,’ signals the conscience-probing challenge of these lectures. “
A former college English teacher and pastor, Dr. McLaren is an ecumenical global networker among innovative Christian leaders. Originally a college English professor, he helped form Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington region in 1982. He left higher education in 1986 to become the founding pastor of Cedar Ridge. Dr. McLaren has been active in networking and mentoring church planters and pastors since the mid-1980s and has assisted in the development of several new churches.
Well known as an author and thinker, among his many books are The Church on the Other Side: Ministry in a Postmodern Matrix (1998, rev. 2000) and Adventures in Missing the Point (co-authored with Tony Campolo in 2003), which explores theological reform in a postmodern context. His more recent publications include: A New Kind of Christianity (2010), which articulated 10 questions that are central to the emergence of a postmodern, post-colonial Christian faith and his 2011 release, Naked Spirituality, which offers “simple, doable and durable” practices to help people deepen their life with God.
For registration and program information, contact Diane Frazier at or (678) 547-6470. Registration for the event is $65 per person and $25 for spouses and students. The registration deadline is Feb. 17. The conference schedule is as follows:

Monday, Feb. 27
Atlanta Administration and Conference Center on Mercer’s Atlanta Campus, 2930 Flowers Road

4 p.m., Lecture, titled “What is the Gospel in the Age of Empire,” Dr. McLaren
5:30 p.m., Dinner
7 p.m., Lecture, “Preaching and Eucharist in a Declining Empire,” Dr. McLaren

Tuesday, Feb. 28
Day Hall, 3001 Mercer University Drive, also on Mercer’s Atlanta Campus 

9 a.m., Panel Discussion, titled “Preaching Peace in a Divided Culture,” featuring  Ben Barnett, Dr. Julie Pennington-Russell, Dr. Peter Rhea Jones, Dr. David Sapp and Dr. Brett Younger
10:45 a.m., Lecture, titled “Preaching and Politics in a Crumbling Empire,” Dr. McLaren

About the William L. Self Lectures
The William L. Self Lectureship at Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology was established to promote the practice of faithful and effective preaching of the gospel. The series is named in honor of Dr. William L. Self, who has a national reputation as a gifted preacher, pastor, author, lecturer, motivational speaker and innovator in church growth. Dr. Self achieved considerable acclaim by leading Atlanta’s Wieuca Road Baptist Church to a place of prominence in Georgia and the nation. As pastor of Johns Creek Baptist Church in Alpharetta, his leadership and substantial influence have brought this church to the vanguard of fast-growing churches.

About the James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology
The McAfee School of Theology was established in 1996. Located in Atlanta on Mercer’s Cecil B. Day Graduate and Professional Campus, the School of Theology offers programs leading to the degrees Master of Arts in Christian Ministry, Master of Divinity, and Doctor of Ministry. The School of Theology also offers several joint programs: an M.Div.-Master of Business Administration, an M.Div.-Master of Science in Counseling and an M.Div.-Master of Arts in Church Music through the Townsend-McAfee Institute for Graduate Church Music Studies, a collaborative program between the School of Theology and the Townsend School of Music in Macon. For more information, visit

About Mercer University
Founded in 1833, Mercer University is a dynamic and comprehensive center of undergraduate, graduate and professional education. The University enrolls more than 8,300 students in 11 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing and continuing and professional studies – on major campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah and at three regional academic centers across the state. Mercer is affiliated with two teaching hospitals — Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah and the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. The University operates an academic press and a performing arts center in Macon and an engineering research center in Warner Robins. Mercer is the only private university in Georgia to field an NCAA Division I athletic program. For more information, visit
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