Divinity School delivers first ThED Talks in downtown Raleigh

What do the history of the Jezreel valley, Paul’s writings on maternity and the difficulty in finding God’s calling all have in common? They were the three subjects, covered in rapid fire succession, presented by Divinity School professors at Sunday’s ThED Talks, held at the law school building in Raleigh.

The “ThED” in ThED Talks, a play on the popular TED Talks (“ideas worth spreading”), stands for “theological education,” and Sunday’s three lectures were designed to help attendees understand the nature of Divinity School classes. The talks are a new initiative pushed by Campbell Divinity to cross the boundaries between the school and the outside North Carolina community.

“We are thrilled with the number of people interested — there’s a good variety,” said Dean Andy Wakefield. “We have current students, alumni, folks from the community, people we’ve not met and people we have met. The goal is to give people a chance to experience the range of things you would expect and encounter trying to study theology at a deep level.

“The enthusiasm seems to be good. We’re excited.”

The first of the three lectures, presented by Tony Cartledge, professor of Old Testament studies, was titled “Can you dig it? Join CUDS in Jezreel.” Cartledge discussed future study abroad opportunities to Jezreel for Divinity School students, as well as invited the community to participate in the upcoming trip to the Middle East.

“You can be a part of this,” Cartledge told the audience. “You can join us on a dig, or you can contribute to a scholarship fund to assist students who otherwise would not be able to go but would love to have this amazing experience.”

Alicia Myers, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, presented on the portrayal of motherhood in the Bible with “You are Who You Eat: Milk and Character Formation in the New Testament.”

The third presenter, Mike Cogdill, professor of pastoral ministries and church leadership, used his presentation, “Hearing and Responding to God’s Call,” as both a sample of a Divinity School lecture and encouragement for potential students who may be uncertain if they belong in divinity school.

“Is God messing with your life? At Campbell Divinity School, we talk about God’s calling. We want you to know that Divinity School is a wonderful place to come and let us mentor you,” said Cogdill, allowing his background as a professor and his background as a preacher coincide with his invitation.  

Not only were potential new students invited to the ThED Talks, but Campbell faculty and staff, current students and alumni were encouraged to attend. Wakefield stressed the importance of Christian fellowship within the school, saying, “This is a chance for alumni to reconnect with each other, but also for them to bring someone with them, to say, ‘Here are some of the things that I experienced in the classroom.’”  

“Divinity school is a wonderful thing for seekers,” Cogdill said. “We have some Elis in our divinity school, and we welcome the young Samuels. Come and allow us to be people who can help you.”  

The Divinity School currently plans on hosting ThED Talks once a semester, held in different parts of the state to bring the CUDS experience to the most people possible. For more information on upcoming ThED talks, contact Campbell University Divinity School at (800) 334-4111, ext. 1830, or email divinityadmissions@campbell.edu.

— by Rachel Davis

(Pictured: Alicia Myers, assistant professor of New Testament and Greek, who presented “You are Who You Eat: Milk and Character Formation in the New Testament” at Sunday’s ThED Talks)