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A PUBLICATION OF THE CENTER FOR CHRISTIAN STUDY

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SPRING 2012

HAS SCIENCE BURIED GOD? A RE C E N T LE C T URE WI TH OXFOR D MAT H E MAT IC I AN JOH N LENNOX


THIS ISSUE: Has Science Buried God? by Fitz Green, page 3

God is at Work by Lane Cowin, page 4

STUDY CENTER STAFF BILL WILDER

My Year as the Director of Graduate Ministries by Sharon Decker, page 6

Executive Director bill@studycenter.net

LANE COWIN

Director of Undergraduate Ministries for Women lane@studycenter.net

On the cover: About 1200 students and friends of the Study Center enjoyed hearing John Lennox speak on the hotly debated topic of faith and science at the University of Virginia’s Old Cabell Hall. Cover photo by Cramer Photo.

SHARON DECKER

Director of Graduate Ministries sharon@studycenter.net

FITZ GREEN

Director of Educational Ministries fitz@studycenter.net

JAY MCCABE

ANNOUNCING THE UPDATED LIBRARY COLLECTION an d ONLINE CATALOG!

Director of Undergraduate Ministries for Men jay@studycenter.net

SHELLY PELLISH

Director of Development, Alumni + Parent Relations shelly@studycenter.net

DEBBIE RODRIGUEZ

Director of Finance + Administration debbie@studycenter.net

ASHLEY WOOTEN

Director of Communications ashleyw@studycenter.net

AMY ZELL

Director of Counseling Resources amy@studycenter.net

WHO WE ARE We are a non-profit education and outreach ministry serving the University of Virginia and Charlottesville since 1968. We seek to serve Jesus Christ by fostering the serious consideration in the university environment of a Biblical worldview, and by encouraging and

Over the past three years we have been hard at work transforming the Study Center library into a prominent resource for Christian study. Facilitated by private donations, we’ve added 4,000 new books to our collection and have launched an online catalog. This will allow our patrons to search our collection and check out books from virtually any location. We’ve also enhanced the look of the library with beautiful glass doors, new lighting and more. We hope you’ll come enjoy this wonderful resource, upstairs at the Study Center (and perhaps check out a book, too)! STUDYCENTER.NET/LIBRARY | CATALOG.STUDYCENTER.NET

facilitating wise discussion of the Truth in light of the challenges of contemporary culture.

CONTACT US Phone: (434) 817-1050 Email: info@studycenter.net Website: www.studycenter.net Twitter: studycenteruva Facebook: studycenteruva The Study Center Newsletter is published for our friends and supporters. University Christian Ministries, Inc. (dba Center for Christian Study) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit

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corporation EIN 51-0192618.


HAS SCIENCE BURIED GOD? This spring the Study Center hosted its largest event ever. On February 20, 2012, John Lennox gave a lecture at U.Va.’s Old Cabell Hall entitled, “God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?” The lecture was attended by almost 1,200 people; both Cabell Hall and a simulcast overflow room in nearby Wilson Hall were filled to capacity! We sponsored this event in partnership with the Veritas Forum, with whom we have had a long relationship (we were the fifth campus to ever put on a Veritas Forum lecture back in 1992). Many local churches and Grounds ministries—including Chi Alpha, our evening’s co-host—were also involved, working together to bring their students, friends and families. We were delighted to host Dr. Lennox, an Oxford mathematician and expert in the Philosophy of Science. Lennox received worldwide notice when he began debating popular atheists Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens. He has since traveled and spoken extensively on New Atheism and the proper relation between faith and science. A leader at the forefront of today’s intellectual discourse on science, Dr. Lennox attracted a lot of attention, with visitors traveling from

all over Virginia to hear him. It didn’t hurt that the lecture took place in Old Cabell Hall, second only to the Rotunda as the key public space on Grounds. Students understood that this was a unique opportunity and the University publicized the lecture to many alumni as one the “Top 5 Things to do in Charlottesville.” We were delighted most of all, because such opportunities lie at the heart of our ministry. Our vision is to help students integrate their learning at the University with their Christian faith. These kinds of discussions happen all the time at the Study Center with both Christians and atheists, particularly in our faith and science discussion group. Lennox’s lecture reinforced the idea that Christians have every reason to study science, because as he put it, “God is not a God of the gaps. He’s the God who created the whole show! The more Newton understood about how gravity works, the more he could admire the genius of the God who did it that way.”

WATCH THE VIDEO + DOWNLOAD AUDIO Use the links on our website to watch the video of Lennox’s talk and download the audio. studycenter.net/veritas2012

-by Fitz Green

Pictured top, then clockwise: Old Cabell Hall provided a wonderful setting for John Lennox’s lecture on faith & science; Students listen in; Lansdale Henderson, third-year neuroscience student, introduces Dr. Lennox. Photos by Cramer Photo.

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GOD IS AT WORK

AND WE’RE GLAD TO BE PART OF THE PROCESS by Lane Cowin, lane@studycenter.net Director of Undergraduate Ministries for Women

Our spring semester here at the Study Center started off with a rush— quite literally—with over nine hundred first- and second-year women arriving before classes began, to participate in Sorority Rush at U.Va. In years past, the Study Center has served unofficially as a “warming house” for Rush participants, offering drinks and snacks in front of a crackling fire and inviting women to Sorority Rush brought over 900 first-year girls rest for the few minutes through the Study Center in January. Read more about our role in Rush in this blog article. they have between their scheduled visits to sorority houses. This semester the Study Center agreed to be listed as an official warming house. For a full week I witnessed our staff and a number of volunteers from the community care for the hundreds of women that streamed into the building each day. One first-year student who has been very active in Study Center programs this spring had rarely entered our building before going through Rush. She recalls that during the exciting but difficult week of Rush she was so grateful for a safe and welcoming place to rest and process. She thanked us for providing not only food and drinks, but also the caring presence of staff and volunteers that asked her how she was handling the week. I am so glad

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to see her now fully engaged in Study Center life, studying on our balcony with friends and attending several of our spring programs. I’ve also had the privilege of spending time with her and hearing more about how she sees God at work in her life at U.Va. This first-year’s experience is just one illustration of the many ways that a student might be drawn into the life of the Center. There are so many different ways to encounter the ministry here, so many different levels of involvement and comfort. I think of the first-time visitors who walk in with necks craned and eyes roving, taking in the layout of our building. There are those students who have decided to try us out for a study spot, and are willing to nudge a table neighbor in the library to ask what the wireless password is. Then there are the “regulars” who arrange to meet friends here and stash their bags and laptops while they run out to lunch, calling out greetings to the staff while they come and go.


And there are those students who come to our programs, wrestling with what God’s word has to say to them at their particular place in life. Our first programs of the semester, for instance, challenged students to explore how the gospel has something to say about their bodies and how they use them. In early February we welcomed author and speaker Frederica Mathewes-Green for her lecture, “The Real Meaning of Sex,” given to over 120 men and women. A week later we brought in Dr. Dena Cabrera, a clinical psychologist from Remuda Ranch Treatment Programs in Arizona, for our biennial “Beauty and the Body Seminar.” She spoke to over 70 women about body image and eating disorders. Both women asked students to examine how their understanding of these topics was shaped by cultural norms that are destructive and demeaning to the body. They offered a biblical understanding of the body,

pointing to God’s design for its use and being. I am continually humbled and gratified to see how God is working in students toward ever more mature and faithful living: when I’m walking past students praying in the hallway outside my office; or waving to students hunkered down in “The Nook” for an afternoon of class reading; or grabbing a quick conversation with students in the kitchen; or listening to and praying with a student who is hurt and confused. He is moving them towards himself, and we in the Study Center community have the privilege of going with them, to equip these young saints “…for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ…” (Eph 4:11-14). Thank you for your support, encouragement and for your prayers as you join us in this good work! AUDIO + VIDEO RESOURCES Audio for “Beauty and the Body” studycenter.net/beauty Audio + video for “The Real Meaning of Sex” studycenter.net/meaningofsex

Pictured left: Dena Cabrera presents the Beauty and the Body seminar to Study Center women; Pictured above: (L) Students listening to Cabrera and (R) Shelby Sutton, Ashley Parsley and Kelly O’Connell before the seminar.

SAV E TH E DAT E!

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MOVE-IN DAY 2012

IS COMING SOON! August 24, 2012, 1-3 pm August 25, 2012, 12-2 pm Please let us know of any incoming undergraduate first-years and transfer students so we can be sure they’re invited by signing up on this form: http://bit.ly/classof2016

Photos by Elisa Bricker.

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A WORTHY INVESTMENT MY YEAR AS THE DIRECTOR OF GRADUATE MINISTRIES by Sharon Decker, sharon@studycenter.net Director of Graduate Ministries

This year Study Center Board and Parents Council member Sharon Decker has served as the Director of Graduate Ministries for the Study Center, focusing on ministry at the Darden School of Business and the U.Va. School of Law. Following a successful career in business, Sharon has been ministering here while completing her Master of Divinity degree.

As I look back on the past year of ministry at the Darden School of Business and the U.Va. School of Law, perhaps the greatest joy I have experienced has simply been making myself available to listen to students. Whether in casual hallway and lunchroom conversations or in planned sessions for spiritual guidance, it has been a pure gift to be present to each person and to listen with ears of love and openness to where they are and what they are each experiencing. I think of my meetings with a law student who was starting the interview process for an internship and was faced with what she felt were her “shortcomings.” By listening and reminding her that God has a plan for her life and that she is wonderfully made, I helped her to get back to a place of trusting God to take the next step forward.

I have also had the joy of meeting with spouses of students. Being the wife of a law or Darden student is taxing and challenging. Couple time is hard to find. I have gotten to know one woman who is struggling as a new mother through the confusion and lowering self-esteem that follows a whole host of life changes. Our COMING TO REUNIONS times of prayer and quiet conversation helped ease WEEKEND? the pain and soften the transition. EncouragJOIN US AT THE ing her connection with Christian Fellowships other young mothers was a big help, too. Reception June 2, 4-6 pm Pavilion VI Lower Garden

UVA REUNIONS WEEKEND 2012

STUDYCENTER.NET/REUNIONS

And, of course, I have had many conversations helping students discern their career path. Choosing that first career step after finishing at Darden or law is a difficult decision. For one Darden student, all his job opportunities were good options, so some time in prayer, while listening and discerning, proved to be very helpful to both the student and his fiancé. Decision making as a couple was a new experience—and as the soon-to-be groom suggested—“very puzzling!” Prayer and a safe place to talk it all through certainly helped. These are just a few of the stories that have shaped my experience this year. As the Director of Graduate Ministries, I have been responsible for providing encouragement, support and resources to the Darden Christian Fellowship and the Law Christian Fellowship. I serve as pastor and mentor to graduate students, either one-on-one or in small groups. I have hoped to bring these students to the Christian faith, to nurture them in the faith and to help them to think and act in accordance with that faith. That means listening, praying, teaching, encouraging, and challenging students to faithfulness in the midst of temptation and trial. Much of my role includes offering opportunities for these students to learn from Christian leaders in business, law and the academy. We have been blessed this year at Darden to host a speakers’ series that has really caused us to think about what it means to live what we believe in no uncertain terms. The challenges came from many high ranking executives of top-tier companies who continued to emphasize that no matter the company we work for, we can choose to live by the Truth. And


when we do, God can and will do work through us for the sake of His Kingdom in amazing ways. The Law Christian Fellowship has had an equally impressive line-up of weekly speakers. Judges, lawyers, pastors, business professionals, advocates, nonprofit leadership: the voices have been diverse yet a single message rings loudly, “Choose to live your life, personally and professionally, in Christ!” Bible studies for men and women have been held throughout the year. The student-led weekly Bible Study Lite at Darden has included a study of The Lord’s Prayer and conversations on discerning God’s will for our lives. In the spring semester I have been leading a women’s study on “Rest,”exploring how we might create a Biblical rhythm for our lives that includes work and rest and not just work. I am hopeful that planting these seeds at this age will help these young professionals learn about the intended rhythm of our lives much earlier than most of us have! Fellowship luncheons, dinners together, coffee conversations and lunches off Grounds have all been forums for discussion about our faith, our lives and how the Truth of Jesus Christ can be applied to our everyday living. The discussions range from the challenges of being a Christian woman in a leadership role in business and law to the angst of plan-

Pictured this page: Sharon Decker speaks to the Law Christian Fellowship group; Opposite: A large part of Sharon’s ministry involves meeting with students, including second-year Darden student, Scott Williams. Photos by Elisa Bricker.

ning for a wedding while trying to finish school. From marriage counseling to grief support, from the stress of job interviewing to the realities of trying to understand a stressed-out wife DCF SPRING SPEAKER SERIES or husband, our Check out the quality lineup of speakers for this times have been spring’s speaker series. filled with the realities of our Maybank Hagood humanity and the CEO and President of Southern Diversified Distributors constant reminder of God’s William B. Timmerman amazing grace.

Retired CEO and Chairman of SCANA Corporation

I am confident Hank Flint (U.Va. ‘76, J.D./M.B.A. ‘80) Vice Chairman of Coca Cola Bottling that when I look back on this Chuck Bengochea experience, I President and CEO of The Original Honeybaked will recall time Ham spent with young people who will Jim Morgan be leaders of President and CEO of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts business, government and the legal industry. And I think we will see them leading and influencing from a place of Truth and commitment to Christ. My prayer is that their time at Darden and U.Va. Law has impacted them in a positive way for the Kingdom’s purposes.


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The Annual Fund of the Center for Christian Study is an ongoing effort to seek support from our family of U.Va. alumni, parents and friends through gifts made on a monthly, yearly, or single-gift basis. Our current Annual Fund runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012, with a yearly goal of $712,000. Because most of our services are free and we do not receive funding from the University, 77% of our annual income comes from individual contributions. LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR GIVING OPTIONS:

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Study Center Newsletter Spring 2012  
Study Center Newsletter Spring 2012  

The Study Center Newsletter is published three times a year by the Center for Christian Study at the University of Virginia.

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