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Our student body is not only ethnically diverse, it is also boasts a variety of faith backgrounds.

John Bell To Deliver 2010 Allen Lectures

"Sweet Honey and Hard Places" will focus on the interplay between text and song in the life and ministry of the church

Noted Hymnologist and worship leader,  John Bell will deliver the 15th Paul Allen Lecture Series on February 15, 2010 at McCormick Theological Seminary, 5460 South University Avenue, Chicago, IL.

Sweet Honey and Hard Places will focus on the interplay between text and song in the life and ministry of the church. Bell’s first lecture will invite the church to reclaim often forgotten pastoral significance of the Psalms, not so much in offering consolation as in taking us to the places we would rather avoid. The second lecture will focus on the intentional formation and shaping of faith through what we sing. Expect both lectures to be an interactive mix of word and song in Bell’s truly unique and engaging style.

The two lectures are scheduled for 12.00-1.30pm and 4.30-5.45pm.  A reception will follow the second lecture. This event is free and open to the public.

A hymn-writer, a Church of Scotland minister, and member of the Iona Community, Bell lives in Glasgow where he studied Arts and Theology.  He lectures, preaches and conducts seminars across the denominations in Europe, North America, Australasia, and more recently, in Southern Africa.  He is an author and occasional broadcaster on national radio and television, but retains a primary passion for congregational song.  He and the work he shares with his colleagues have been honoured by the Royal School of Church Music, the Hymn Society in the US & Canada, and the University of Glasgow.

Bell is a resource worker at the Iona Community which is an association of men and women, lay and ordained, fully ecumenical in membership, committed to the renewal of the Church and Society.  The members, around 270 in number, keep a rule of faith which concerns their prayer life, time, money, engagement in promotion of social and international justice, and which requires them to meet regularly in regional or plenary gatherings throughout Britain.  Begun in 1938 by George MacLeod, a Presbyterian minister, the Community has had a catalyst effect within Britain in the areas of peacemaking, ecumenism, social exclusion, and liturgy.

John Bell was one of the founders of The Wild Goose Resource Group. The Group has produced a large range of music books, CD’s and resources for worship which are published throughout the English speaking world, with some materials available in several European and Asian languages.

Parking is available in the McCormick lot, on local streets or at the University of Chicago Ellis Street Parking Garage at 55th and Ellis. See For more information on this event and McCormick's Continuing Education program, contact Jeff Japinga at


The Paul Allen Lecture Series at McCormick Theological Seminary


The Paul Allen Lecture Series was made possible by an endowed fund established by the Winnetka Congregational Church in 1992, commemorating the retirement of their pastor, Paul Allen, a student, practitioner and teacher of pastoral care in McCormick’s doctor of ministry program. The purpose of the lectureship is to stimulate intellectual discussion of strategies for and applications of effective pastoral care. Dr. Allen delivered the inaugural series of lectures in 1994.

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