GROVE CITY – The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College is preparing for its annual conference, which will focus on freedom of conscience.
“It’s a national challenge,” said Jeffrey S. Trimbath, the center’s executive director.
The event is set for April 4 and 5. This year’s theme is “Most Sacred: Freedom of Conscience in America,” and a variety of the country’s leading conservative thinkers will speak on related topics.
Trimbath became the center’s director this past summer, so this is his first Vision & Values conference at the college.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said.
Planning typically starts soon after the previous conference, starting with the selection of the main topic.
“It takes a lot of effort,” he said.
There are many challenges to basic fundamental right of “freedom of conscience,” like businesses that have had legal troubles or negative attention because they’re operating according to their religious beliefs Trimbath said.
The conference includes breakout sessions and meals. The registration fees vary depending on how many sessions participants attend and how many meals they reserve.
GCC students who attend are able to get college credits for the conference class. A number of center members, donors, and area residents also join the conference.
There will also be academic papers presented by GCC faculty members, and students from the center’s student fellowship program will be helping out, Trimbath said.
Vision & Values Conference
Schedule for April 4 includes:
• 10 to 11 a.m. – “Our First Freedoms” by Dr. Colleen Sheehan, co-director of the Matthew J. Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Public Good at Villanova University; Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. – Lunch in the Morledge Great Room of Rathburn Hall, plus “Feelings Over Faith: How Hollywood Shifted the American Imperative From ‘Do Your Duty’ to ‘Follow Your Heart’” by Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show host, best-selling author, and veteran film critic.
• 1 to 2:15 p.m. – “A Cakeshop, Florist, Pharmacy and More: The Court on Freedom of Conscience,” an interview with Kristen Waggoner by Dr. John Sparks in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall. Waggoner serves as senior vice president of U.S. legal division and communications with Alliance Defending Freedom.
• 1 to 2:15 p.m. – “Defending Conscience: A Necessary Condition for Humanity” by Dr. Marvin Folkertsma and Dr. Mark Hendrickson in the Recital Hall of the Pew Fine Arts Center.
• 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. – “Martin Luther and Sir Thomas More: Cases of Conscience” by Dr. Carl Trueman in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. – “What is Liberty? The Role of Family and Community” by Dr. T. David Gordon and Mrs. Cynthia Marsch in the Recital Hall of the Pew Fine Arts Center.
• 3 to 6 p.m. – “The Michael Medved Show” — radio show by Michael Medved in the second floor Great Room at Breen Student Union.
• 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. – Dinner in the Morledge Great Room at Rathburn Hall, plus “Civility Isn’t Surrender: A Defense of Decency in the Modern Age” by Mr. David French, senior writer for National Review and senior fellow at the National Review Institute.
• 7 to 8 p.m. – “Not Every Disagreement is Discrimination: On the Uses – and Abuses – of Anti-Discrimination Policy” featuring Dr. Ryan Anderson, the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at The Heritage Foundation, and the founder and editor-in-chief of “Public Discourse” in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
Schedule for April 5 includes:
• 9 to 9:50 a.m. – “Roger Williams, William Penn and Liberty of Conscience” by Dr. Gary S. Smith in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 9 to 9:50 a.m. – “Conscience: Private or Public” by Dr. Caleb Verbois and Mr. Lewis Waha in the Recital Hall of the Pew Fine Arts Center.
• 10 to 10:50 a.m. – “Evangelicals and Catholics Together on Conscience?” by Dr. Paul Kemeny and Dr. Michael Coulter in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 10 to 10:50 a.m. – “Exercise of Conscience in Science and Socialized Healthcare” by Dr. Glenn Marsch and Mr. Richard Kocur in the Recital Hall of the Pew Fine Arts Center.
• 11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. – Lunch in the Morledge Great Room at Rathburn Hall, plus “The Conscience Call: Sophie Scholl and the White Rose” by Dr. Kimberly Miller.
• 1 to 1:50 p.m. – “A Clear Conscience and the Common Good: Respecting the Rights of Conscience in a Free Society” by the Honorable Paul J. McNulty, president of Grove City College, in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 2 to 2:50 p.m. – “Conscience in Literature” by Dr. David Hogsette and Dr. Joshua Mayo in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 2 to 2:50 p.m. – “Christianity and Conscience: Two Case Studies of Influential Texts” by Dr. Eric Potter and Dr. Kristen Waha in room 116 of the Hall of Arts and Letters.
• 3 to 3:50 p.m. – “Conscience and the Reformation of the Church” by Dr. Michelle McFeaters and Dr. Andrew Harvey in the Hall of Arts and Letters in Sticht Lecture Hall.
• 3 to 3:50 p.m. – “Conscientious Objectors in the 20th Century” by Dr. Andrew Mitchell and Dr. Robert Clemm in room 110 of the Hall of Arts and Letters.
• 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. – Dinner in the Morledge Great Room of Rathburn Hall, plus “Kim Davis and Martin Luther King Jr.: An Appeal to Conscience” by Dr. Paul Kengor.