Summit attendees will be “On the Mountain With God” at the 103rd annual Summit, previously known as Lectureship, on Sept. 20-23. Students, faculty, staff and alumni will be brought together “in the name of Jesus,” according to the event’s brochure.
The complete Summit theme is “On the Mountain With God: Exodus Expedition,” and it is directed by Brady Bryce, director of ministry events. He also directed Summit last year.
Bryce said attendees will hear messages from one of the most challenging books in the Bible.
“It’s not a safe look at Exodus,” he said.
Scheduling changes are intended to make it easier for students to attend every lecture they want during the four-day event.
“In previous years, the timing of each daily schedule didn’t line up with the student or university schedule,” Bryce said. This year, there are three class options available Monday and Wednesday: 9 a.m., 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Tuesday’s classes will take place at 8:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Bryce said he is confident incoming guests will adjust to the changes, and students will have the opportunity to attend more lectures than in previous years.
Dr. Glenn Pemberton, theme speaker and associate professor and chair of the Department of Bible, Missions and Ministry, said student participation is better now than it has ever been, and the scheduling changes will be positive. He hopes students realize the opportunities Summit provides.
“The lineup of speakers and sessions is at such a high quality that it would be too bad if students did not recognize and take advantage of it,” he said. “It would be a shame to have such speakers come to campus and students not see this as an opportunity to be engaged in these conversations and hear these folks speak.”
In addition to renowned speakers, Bryce said Summit will feature five musical groups, including the Rocketboys; Christian comedian Bob Smiley; an art exhibit featuring two contemporary Jewish artists, Ben Zion and Marc Chagal, in the Shore Art Gallery; and “Entra La Plaza” to honor the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15.
“Music, comedy and art communicates that this is more than just listening to people talk,” Bryce said. “This is an experience that involves a lot.”
The diversity of this year’s featured speakers – Carlos Sepulveda, president and CEO of Interstate Battery System International Inc.; Kathleen Norris, award-winning poet, writer and speaker; and Donald Miller, bestselling author of Blue Like Jazz and well-known speaker – will reflect as a “mark of excellence on the program,” Bryce said.
Topics for the event were largely chosen based on students’ feedback from Summit last year, he said, and he hopes they will appeal to all students. Topics and speakers suggested by students are identified by a yellow dot to the left of the session title in the Summit brochure.
“I think what’s different is when you look through the brochure and say, ‘What am I interested in?’ you can find things from all different disciplines,” Bryce said.
As one of seven Theme Speakers, Pemberton will lecture on “God’s Words of Pointing,” with a focus on Exodus 20.
“I speak for a lot of folks who are honored to be on the program and have been thinking, praying and working on presentations for a long time,” Pemberton said. “I am looking forward to it.”
Students can earn 23 Chapel credits during Summit, but Bryce said he has encouraged faculty to use Summit classes as something more – a teaching tool.
“Don’t see Summit as a hindrance to classes,” he said. “Use it as a bridge toward learning.”