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Litfin speaks to campus groups, community about Christian higher ed

October 6, 2005

Dr. Duane Litfin concluded his visit to the Abilene Christian University campus on Wednesday, as part of the Faith and Learning Symposium celebrating ACU's Centennial Celebration. 

His visit included two public lectures and a luncheon for community leaders at the Abilene Country Club.  Throughout his presentations, Litfin emphasized the importance of integrating faith and learning based on the theme "Christian Higher Education: Heritage and Promise" including ideas from his book Conceiving the Christian College

At the community luncheon, Litfin discussed the importance of Christian universities' impact on the community, citing that universities such as ACU, Hardin-Simmons and McMurry bring to the community people of compassion, people of integrity and people committed to the classical understanding of the marketplace of ideas – Christians who take issues seriously and who believe in open and free discussions.

"The academy is the ultimate marketplace of ideas," Litfin said.  "In strong Christian universities, individuals can debate without hindrance, and people are educated for freedom and taught to listen respectfully, reflect critically and respond reasonably.  We believe these are the skills and habits that prepare our students for the democratic society of America."

One writer characterized his book, Conceiving the Christian College, as "a remarkably rich and erudite contribution to the burgeoning literature on Christian higher education." As president of Wheaton, which was founded in 1853, he leads a school considered by many to be the foremost Christian, evangelical, liberal arts undergraduate college in the world.

Litfin is now in his thirteenth year as Wheaton College's seventh president.  He holds an undergraduate degree in biblical studies and a master's degree in theology.  His two doctorates are from Purdue University (Ph.D., Communication) and Oxford University (D.Phil., New Testament).  He is the author of several books, including Recent Homiletical Thought, Public Speaking, St. Paul's Theology of Proclamation, and Conceiving the Christian College. His writings have appeared in numerous journals and periodicals.

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