Mercer University’s McAfee School of Theology and Center for Baptist Studies Offer Lecture on Baptists and Calvinism


ATLANTA – Two noted Baptist theologians will lecture on the influence of Calvinism on contemporary Baptists on Tuesday, Jan. 15, in Cecil B. Day Hall on Mercer’s Atlanta campus, 3001 Mercer University Drive.

Fisher Humphreys, Th.D., professor of divinity at the Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in Birmingham, will speak on “Traditional Baptists and the Theology of Calvinism.” Walter “Buddy” Shurden, Th.D., the Callaway Professor of Christianity at Mercer and executive director of Mercer’s Center for Baptist Studies, will present “Calvinism and Baptists in America” following Humphreys’ presentation.

The day-long lecture, cosponsored by the McAfee School of Theology at Mercer University and Mercer’s Center for Baptist Studies, is free and open to the public, but registration is required. For more information or to register, call Greg Thompson at the Center for Baptist Studies at (478) 301-5467. The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. and conclude at 3 p.m.

“This Center is committed to hosting these kinds of events to put issues such as Calvinism and its increasing influence on Baptists under the microscope of both history and theology,” said Shurden, executive director of the Center, which is located on the Macon campus. “The Center is designed to foster better understanding of Baptist identity, promote scholarly study of Baptist history and provide a resource for interpreting contemporary Baptist issues,” said Shurden.

The author of such notable works as “The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms” and “Not a Silent People: Controversies That Have Shaped Southern Baptists,” Shurden is a leading Baptist historian and scholar. Shurden, who earned his bachelor’s degree from Mississippi College and his master of divinity and doctor of theology degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, has pastored four churches and served as an interim pastor for more than 20 others.

Prior to coming to Mercer, Shurden was dean of the School of Theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as a professor of church history. He has taught at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; and Carson-Newman College where he was chair of Southern Baptist Studies.

Humphreys, who holds degrees from Mississippi College, Loyola University, Oxford University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, specializes in the area of systematic theology. He is the author of more than 10 books and numerous journal articles. His book “Thinking About God” is used widely as an introduction to Christian theology in seminary and college classes.

Prior to coming to Beeson in 1990, Humphreys was professor of theology at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary where he served as editor of a journal of theology and ministry, The Theological Educator. His main research interest is the doctrine of the Trinity. He is a frequent guest lecturer at colleges and seminaries and has served as pastor of churches in Mississippi, Alabama and Illinois.

Mercer’s McAfee School of Theology was founded in 1996 with the mission of preparing students for parish ministry. Founded in 1833 in Penfield, Ga., Mercer is the only independent university of its size in the country to offer programs in liberal arts, business, engineering, education, medicine, pharmacy, law, theology and nursing. With more than 7,300 students and 400 faculty members on campuses in Macon and Atlanta, Mercer is one of the largest Baptist-affiliated institutions in the world. Led by President R. Kirby Godsey, Mercer has been ranked among the leading colleges and universities in the South by U.S. News & World Report for 12 consecutive years.