I had the excellent opportunity to attend the 2-night Veritas Forum at SMU this week. It was the first time SMU has brought VF to campus, but the intellectual nature and interesting spiritual climate of the school make Veritas a perfect fit. The first night included a multi-faith panel, where each participant presented the key beliefs of each of their traditions. Then last night Os Guinness spoke, urging students to ask the deeper questions of life – and seek answers.
It’s hard to explain how it all worked together, but it honestly did – especially in light of the unique aspects of SMU.
(The SMU “Daily Campus” front-paged their coverage after the first night; see that article here.)
I’m not sure if Veritas Forum ever came to Texas A&M while I was there, but my most recent previous interaction came on the big trip. That cool experience involved seeing Tim Keller speak (with Q&A following) at Berkeley and Stanford on back-to-back nights. (You can read about that here.)
Some of you may be familiar with Veritas, but I would imagine plenty of you may not be. I don’t think they are all that well-known beyond campuses that have held a Forum. But Veritas seems to be growing, and in fact they’ve got 29 scheduled visits for this semester (and one more TBA at UCSF).
I encourage you to take a look at their info; they actually do a really good job of relating who they are and what they’re about here. And you can check out the calendar to see if a Forum is coming to a campus anywhere near you. You can also click on the various campuses to see presenters and other info.
One look at the various campus presenters will give a glimpse of the breadth in the Veritas Forums. Every campus has a different speaker or speakers, presumably chosen based on the campus and/or topic being discussed. Last night was Os Guinness at SMU; now Shane Claiborne and Lauren Winner (with a host of others) are up at Harvard; next week William Lane Craig and friends are at Columbia. And the list goes on.
Tomorrow, thoughts on why I like Veritas Forum as a college ministry, based on very little information (you’ll see).