ABU hosting mini-conference

Alderson Broaddus University is hosting the mini-conference “Leadership, Religion, and Ethics” on Wednesday.

The event will engage the relationship among ethics, religion, and leadership in contemporary American politics and culture. This event is sponsored by the West Virginia Humanities Council, the Alderson Broaddus religion and philosophy department, and the Alderson Broaddus speech and debate team.

Operating as a mini-conference, the event includes public lectures presented by Alderson Broaddus University faculty Dr. Danny Franke, professor of religion and philosophy, and Jeremy Christensen, professor of communication. The program will also feature a roundtable discussion on ethics and leadership, and will conclude with two keynote addresses by Mr. Jake Morgan and Dr. Donald Simmons. *The complete list of events, with times and locations, appears at the end of this release.*

“While the connection among these disciplines is apparent, recent events, both nationally and internationally, suggest America stands on the precipice of a new crisis of confidence,” said Christensen. “Generations Y and Z are confronted with a political landscape ultimately divided over questions of biology and religion: biometric scanning, human embryotic stem cell research, comparative ethics, etc. This conference will explore the religious, ethical, leadership, and scientific questions that spur this divide in the American experience by giving thoughtful consideration to the assumptions held by both sides of the political aisle.”

The first keynote address, “Comparative Ethics and Medical Intervention” will be presented by Mr. Jake Morgan at 3 P.M. in Kemper-Redd Lecture Hall. Mr. Morgan is a doctoral candidate in Boston University’s Health Services Research program and a research coordinator for Boston University’s Department of Health Policy and Management. Over the past three years, Mr. Morgan has presented at a number of national conferences including the International Society for Environmental Epidemiology Annual Conference (2012) and Society for Epidemiological Research Annual Meeting (2013) and is preparing two articles for publication in national public health journals: “Factors Associated with Physician Prescribing Behavior at Large Urban Hospitals,” and “Spatial Identification of Coal Power Plant Emission Effects on Education Access.”

The second keynote, “Leadership, Religion, and Ethics: A New Crisis of Confidence for America’s Youth” will be presented by Dr. Donald Simmons regarding leadership challenges and ethics for America’s Y and Z generations at 5 P.M. in Funkhouser Auditorium. Dr. Simmons, the Founding Permanent Director of the McGovern Center and Legacy Museum at Dakota Wesleyan, earned his Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Denver in History and International Studies and his Certificate of Ministry from Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University. Widely recognized as a scholar in both leadership studies and religion, Dr. Simmons recent and forthcoming publications include Leadership and Service: An Introduction (Kendall/Hunt 2008), The Calling to Christian Leadership (Intervarsity, 2014), and The Political Mind in American Politics (drafted fall 2013).

The complete list of events for the mini-conference is as follows:

– 10 a.m. in Hawker Lounge: Prof. Jeremy Christensen – “Zealous Politics: Religious Fervor, Uncivil Discourse, and Challenges to a Unifying American Ethic.”

– 11 a.m. in Hawker Lounge: Dr. Danny Franke – “Bioethics and Religion”

– 12 p.m. in Hawker Lounge: Roundtable – Ethics, Religion, and Leadership: An Examination of Current Trends

– 3 p.m. in Kemper-Redd Lecture Hall: Mr. Jake Morgan – “Comparative Ethics and Medical Intervention: Decision-Making from Circumcision to Colonoscopy.”

– 5 p.m. in Funkhouser Auditorium: Dr. Donald Simmons – “Leadership, Religion, and Ethics: A New Crisis of Confidence for America’s Youth.”

For more information, please contact Professor Christensen at