Ginn Lectures to Address Big History on Mercer’s Atlanta and Macon Campuses


ATLANTA/MACON – Mercer University's James and Carolyn McAfee School of Theology will welcome Dr. David Christian, noted historian and pioneer in the interdisciplinary field of Big History, for the sixth annual D. Perry and Betty Ginn Lectures on Christian Faith and Modern Science from Sept. 24-26 on Mercer's Atlanta and Macon campuses.

“The Ginn Lectures have added a challenging dimension to our programs in both Atlanta and Macon as we grapple with the ultimate questions of the origin and meaning of life, our place within the cosmos, and how our evolutionary history influences human religious experience,” said Dr. Alan Culpepper, dean of the McAfee School of Theology. “This year, David Christian will again stretch our thinking as we engage these questions across school and disciplinary lines.”

Dr. Christian is author of “Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History,” president of the International Big History Association and director of the Big History Institute at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. Big History incorporates multiple disciplines from science and the humanities to study history scientifically from the Big Bang until the present. Dr. Christian partnered with Bill Gates on the Big History Project to enable the global teaching of Big History in high schools. His TED Talk on “The History of Our World in 18 Minutes” can be viewed

“Dr. Christian is an important, provocative and engaging speaker. Growing out of his broad expertise across the sciences and humanities, he explains what he calls 'Big History,' 13.7 billion years' worth, and then explores what this history may have to do with the future of humanity,” said Dr. Craig McMahan, University minister and dean of Chapel. “Big History raises big questions and calls for even bigger responses. This will be a conversation not to be missed.”

Dr. Christian will speak in Cecil B. Day Hall on the Atlanta campus on Sept. 24 and 26 at 10:45 a.m. on “Big History and Its Implications for Religion.” He will speak in Newton Chapel on the Macon campus on Sept. 25 at 10 a.m. on “Big History: Where We Began (13.7 Billion Years Ago), Where We Are Heading and Why It Matters.”

Dr. Christian is a professor at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. He earned his Ph.D. from Oxford University in 1974.

The D. Perry and Betty H. Ginn Lectures in Christian Faith and Modern Science were endowed by the Rev. Dr. D. Perry Ginn to encourage a deeper understanding of science by clergy and students and how it relates to the Biblical revelation.

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 12 schools and colleges – liberal arts, law, pharmacy, medicine, business, engineering, education, theology, music, nursing, health professions, and continuing and professional studies – on campuses in Macon, Atlanta and Savannah – and four regional academic centers across the state. The Mercer Health Sciences Center, launched July 1, 2012, includes the University's medical, nursing, health sciences and pharmacy schools. Mercer is affiliated with four teaching hospitals – Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah, the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon, and The Medical Center and St. Francis Hospital in Columbus. The University also has educational partnerships with Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Warner Robins and Piedmont Healthcare in Atlanta. It 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.

Kyle Sears
Kyle is the director of media relations at Mercer. In addition to being the primary media contact for most academic and administrative units of the university, he coordinates hometown and university news releases and serves as editor of the News@Mercer e-newsletter and Reach magazine.​