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2024 Speakers

Meet the Speakers

The 2024 CSC will feature 5 diverse and stimulating plenary events, all under the theme which will be announced soon.

Plenary Events

Frank and Della Pack Plenary Speaker

Dr. David French, New York Times columnist and distinguished visiting professor of public policy at Lipscomb University, will deliver the 2024 Frank and Della Pack Plenary Lecture. Prior to beginning his work as an opinion columnist with the New York Times in January, Dr. French was a senior editor at The Dispatch, which he helped launch, and a contributing writer at The Atlantic. He also served as a senior writer for National Review and as a senior fellow at the National Review Institute. The majority of his career was devoted to practicing law, working in both commercial and constitutional litigation. In 2006, he joined the United States Army Reserve as a judge advocate general. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 and served in Diyala Province, where he was awarded a Bronze Star. During his legal career, he litigated in federal courts and served as a lecturer at Cornell Law School. Dr. French is also a New York Times bestselling author. One of his most recent books is Divided We Fall: America’s Secession Threat and How to Restore Our Nation. Dr. French is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Lipscomb University.

Fred D. Gray Plenary in Human and Civil Rights Speaker

Dr. Esau McCaulley, author and associate professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, will deliver the eighth annual Fred D. Gray Plenary in Human and Civil Rights

Dr. McCaulley’s research and writing focus on New Testament theology. He completed his doctoral studies at the University of St. Andrews where he studied under the direction of scholar N.T. Wright. His doctoral dissertation, entitled Sharing in the Son’s Inheritance, looks at the role Jewish messianism played in Paul’s argument in Galatians that Jesus has made believers heirs in the Messiah to the Abrahamic promises. 

In 2019 he published the award-winning book Reading While Black, the timing of which happened to coincide with a widespread national conversation on race. Since then, his work has continued to expand into more public theology, including a children’s book entitled Josey Johnson’s Hair and the Holy Spirit. He is a contributing opinion writer for the New York Times. His writings have also appeared in places such as The Atlantic, Washington Post and Christianity Today. 

Plenary Speaker

Prof. N.T. (Tom) Wright is Senior Research Fellow at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford University. He is one of the world's leading Bible scholars, with expertise in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, the New Testament, and Biblical Studies. He is also Emeritus Professor at the University of St. Andrews and the former Bishop of Durham. He has published over 85 books including: The Case for the Psalms; How God Became King; Simply Jesus; After You Believe; Surprised by Hope; Simply Christian; The New Testament and the People of God; Jesus and the Victory of God; The Resurrection of the Son of God; and most recently, Paul and the Faithfulness of God. He is co-founder of N.T. Wright Online which features over 40 online courses.

Click here to read more about Wright on our news page.

John T. Willis Plenary Speaker

Jonathan Brant, dean for research and culture at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford will deliver this year’s John T. Willis Plenary on Wednesday, June 5 at 2:45 p.m. At Oxford, he leads a new initiative, The Renaissance Project. He served as the founding director of the Oxford Character Project from 2014 to 2023 and is currently involved as an associate fellow. He holds a DPhil in Theology at Trinity College, Oxford, focusing on culture and the arts, particularly cinema. He is the author of many popular and academic books and articles and his research and teaching interests lie in the fields of systematic theology, theology of arts and culture, virtue ethics, and the theory and practice of contemporary mission.


Robert E. and Bonnie Cone Hooper Plenary Event

Dr. Mark Lanier, founder of the Lanier Law Firm and one of the top civil trial lawyers in America, will deliver the Robert E. and Bonnie Cone Hooper Distinguished Lecture at this year’s conference. Attorney, author, teacher, minister and expert storyteller, Dr. Lanier has earned international recognition for his skill in the courtroom. He founded the Lanier Law firm in 1990 that today has offices in Houston, New York and Los Angeles supporting his work for clients across the country. Known for his intense trial preparation and engaging style with juries, Mark has garnered more than $20 billion in cumulative verdicts during his highly acclaimed career as well as successfully litigating several landmark cases. He founded the Lanier Theological Library and Learning Center, one of the nation’s largest private theological collections and the location for this year’s conference; established the Lanier Center for Archeology, at Lipscomb University, where he also serves on the Board of Trustees; launched the Christian Trial Lawyers Association, a nonprofit organization whose goal is to create a network of principled attorneys to minister to others through civic-minded endeavors; and has published three books, including his most recent, Minor Prophets for Living, released this month. 


Landon Saunders' Lecturer on the Human Being: the Nexus of World and Faith

Information about the 2024 Landon Saunders Lecture will be announced soon.


Gailyn Van Rheenen Lecturer in Mission and World Christianity

Dr. Mark Love, professor of theology and ministry and director of the Master of Religious Education in missional leadership program at Rochester University, will deliver the Gailyn Van Rheneen Lecture on Missions. He will examine the topic “The Missional Necessity of Discernment.” He holds a Ph.D. from Luther Seminary and a D.Min. from Abilene Christian University. Love served congregations in Texas and Oregon in full-time ministry for 17 years before moving into the world of academia. He consults with congregations across the United States who are interested in cultivating a missional identity. His most recent book is It Seemed Good to the Holy Spirit and to Us: Acts, Discernment, and the Mission of God (2023 Wipf and Stock).


J.J.M. Roberts Lecture in Old Testament Studies

Dr. John Walton, professor of Old Testament emeritus Wheaton College and Graduate School, will present the J.J.M. Roberts' Lecture in Old Testament Studies. Previously he was professor of Old Testament at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago for 20 years. Dr. Walton has authored numerous books including The Lost World of Adam and Eve, The Lost World of Scripture, The Lost World of Genesis One, Wisdom for Faithful Reading, Ancient Near Eastern Thought and the Old Testament, The Essential Bible Companion, The NIV Application Commentary: Genesis and The IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament (with Victor Matthews and Mark Chavalas). His ministry experience includes church classes for all age groups, high school Bible studies, and adult Sunday school classes, as well as serving as a teacher for "The Bible in 90 Days." 


Everett Ferguson Lecturer in Early Christian Studies

Dr. Lynn H. Cohick will present the Everett Ferguson Endowed Lecture on Early Christian Studies. She is the distinguished professor of New Testament and director of the Houston Theological Seminary at Houston Christian University, where she also leads the Doctor of Ministry program. Dr. Cohick has a vast array of publications focusing on the New Testament. Most recently, she is the author of The Letter to the Ephesians in the New International Commentary on the New Testament and the associate editor of the second edition of IVP’s Dictionary of Paul and His Letters, a leading reference work for global evangelical scholarship. Cohick has also published Christian Women in the Patristic World (co-authored with Amy B. Hughes), Philippians in The Story of God Commentary, and Ephesians in the New Covenant Commentary, among other books, essays, book chapters, and reviews in New Testament scholarship. Prior to her appointment at HCU, Dr. Cohick was provost and dean of academic affairs of Northern Seminary, which is part of the Northern Baptist Convention (now the American Baptists Churches, USA). At Northern, she helped to develop the DMin program and led the Center for Women in Leadership. In addition, she is a former department chair and dean at Wheaton College, as well as provost and dean at Denver Seminary. Dr. Cohick has also taught ministers and leaders at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Kenya.


Featured Speakers

Charlie Styles

Charlie Styles, CEO of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics, is also a featured speaker at the 2024 conference. With over 15 years of experience in the field of theology and pastoral studies, Styles is passionate about helping people discover and defend the truth and relevance of Christianity. Through the OCCA, he leads a global team of speakers, trainers and researchers who engage with various audiences and contexts on the questions and challenges of faith and culture. Before joining OCCA in 2022, he served as the rector of the Wycliffe Fellowship at the Church of England for nine years. He holds an undergraduate degree from Durham University and a postgraduate diploma in theology and pastoral studies from Oak Hill Theological College. 

Join us in 2024!

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James Cone with conferee at the CSC in 2017

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Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson delivering the CSC plenary address

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Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), delivering the CSC plenary address.

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US Poet Laureate Tracy K. Smith delivering the CSC plenary address

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David Brooks engaging conferees during breakfast at the CSC

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