Lake Institute on Faith & Giving offers two annual public programs: the Thomas H. Lake Lecture and the Lake Distinguished Visitor Program. Noteworthy scholars and practitioners are invited to share their research, professional expertise, and personal giving stories.
Thomas H. Lake Lecture
A noted scholar is invited each year to give a public address on a topic related to faith and giving. The lecture includes a question and answer session and an opportunity to interact with the speaker.
Revival or Decline? American Faith and Philanthropy Face the Future
From one perspective, American society might seem to be falling apart. However, from another vantage point, we can see a more complex, nuanced picture. At our 17th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture, David Brooks and Anne Snyder shared stories from the frontlines of community rebuilding and civic creativity, and talked about the sacred re-weaving of institutions of all forms.
Past Lake Lectures
- 2019—Lynne Twist
Title: "The Soul of Money: Shifting from Scarcity to Abundance:
Speaker: Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money
Date: April 11, 2019
- 2018—Scott Harrison
Title: "Reinventing Charity"
Speaker: Scott Harrison is the founder and CEO of charity:water.
Date: March 8, 2018
- 2017—Eboo Patel
Title: "Building a Diverse Democracy: Exploring the Theologies and Practice of Interfaith Cooperation."
Speaker: Eboo Patel, Ph.D., is the Founder & President of Interfaith Youth Core.
Date: March 30, 2017
- 2016—Jonathan Walton
Title: “Jesus, Chief Executive: The Gospel of Health & Wealth at the Core of American Religion.”
Speaker: Jonathan Walton, Ph.D., is the Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Professor of Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School.
Date: March 31, 2016Watch video
- 2015—Christian Smith
Title: “The Generosity Equation: Donors, Faith, & Avenues to Giving”
Speaker: Christian Smith, Ph.D., is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame.
Date: March 12, 2015Watch video
- 2014—Craig Dykstra
Title: “Cultivating Thriving Communities of Faith: The Promise of Strategic Religious Philanthropy”
Speaker: Craig Dykstra, Ph.D., is the Research Professor of Practical Theology and Senior Fellow in Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School.
Date: March 27, 2014Watch video Read lecture
- 2013—Ann Braude
Title: “Walking the Second Mile: Women, Religion, and Philanthropy”
Speaker: Ann Braude, Ph.D., is the director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program and the Senior Lecturer on American Religious History at Harvard Divinity School.
Date: April 11, 2013Watch video Read lecture
- 2012—James Hodge
Title: “If Philanthropy Is All About Relationships, Then Why Do Metrics Only Measure Money?”
Speaker: James M. Hodge, III is the Vice Chair and Director of Principal Gifts at the Mayo Clinic.
Date: March 22, 2012Watch video Read lecture
Title: “The Undiminished Flame: Education, Giving and the Quest for Faith”
Speaker: Richard Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D., is Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy at Indiana University.
Date: March 24, 2011Watch video Read lecture
Title: “Zakat in America: The Evolving Role of Islamic Charity in Community Cohesion”
Speaker: Ingrid Mattson, Ph.D., is professor of Islamic Studies and founder of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program and director of the Macdonald Center for the Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations.
Date: March 25, 2010Watch video Read lecture
Title: “Donations of Ill-Gotten Gain: A Jewish Legal Perspective”
Speaker: Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, Ph.D., is Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles.
Date: March 26, 2009Read lecture
Title: “Receiving & Giving as Spiritual Exercise: The Spirituality of Care in Soul, Relationship, and Community”
Speaker: Paul Schervish, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) at Boston College, and national Research Fellow at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy.
Date: April 10, 2008Read lecture
Title: “The Logic of Evangelicalism & The Challenges of Philanthropy”
Speaker: Mark Noll, Ph.D., the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and co-founder of The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicalism.
Date: March 29, 2007Read lecture
2006—Luke Timothy Johnson
Title: “The Life of Faith & the Faithful Use of Possessions”
Speaker: Luke Timothy Johnson, Ph.D., the R.W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.
Date: April 6, 2006Read lecture
Title: “The Market & the Donor: Creative Destruction and Creative Construction”
Speaker: Martin Marty, Ph.D., the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago.
Date: March 10, 2005Read lecture
Title: “Faith & Giving: From Christian Charity to Spiritual Practice”
Speaker: Robert Wuthnow, Ph.D., the director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University.
Date: September 25, 2003Read lecture
Lake Institute is a rare place because people are invited to reflect on stewardship, faith, and giving in a rich environment where both a scientific and theological component are valued.David D. Daniels III, Ph.D., Professor of Church History, McCormick Theological Seminary
Lake Distinguished Visitor Program
In partnership with local community groups, every year we design an innovative program to:
- Spark transformational giving
- Foster the imagination of local civic leaders
- Give birth to the next generation of visionary donors
We host distinguished scholars and practitioners within the field of faith and philanthropy. These visitors offer public lectures and share their philanthropic stories. The goal of this program is to build bridges of cooperation and learning with the IU campus, scholars and the greater Indianapolis community.
Distinguished Visitors Dialogue
Philanthropy, Nonprofits, and Faith: Strength at the Intersections
A Distinguished Visitors Dialogie featuring Dan Cardinali and Kerry Robinson
Presented by Lake Institute on Faith & Giving in partnership with
The Consortium of Endowed Episcopal Parishes (CEEP) Network
Dan Cardinali is president and CEO of Independent Sector, the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse set of nonprofits, foundations, and corporations to advance the common good. As the president and CEO of IS, he believes strongly in the power of nonprofits, foundations, and other organizations to work collaboratively to improve life and the environment for individuals and communities around the world. Dan is known for his commitment to performance management to drive evidence-based programs and high impact organizations. Dan serves on the board of Child Trends and the advisory boards of Harvard Business Schools’ Social Enterprise Initiative, the Conference Board’s Center on Corporate Citizenship and Philanthropy, and Project Evident. He is also a trustee of The Fetzer Institute. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and a master’s degree in philosophy from Fordham University.
Kerry Alys Robinson is the founding executive director and partner for global and national initiatives at Leadership Roundtable. Kerry has been a lifelong member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities and FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities.) She has been an advisor to and trustee of numerous national and international grantmaking foundations and charitable nonprofits. Prior to Leadership Roundtable, Kerry served as the director of development for Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel and Center at Yale University where she led a successful $75 million capital campaign to expand Catholic life on campus. A frequent writer and international speaker, Kerry is the prize-winning author of Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and a Spiritual Call to Service. She is a graduate of Georgetown and Yale.
Past Lake Distinguished Visitors
- 2021—Faith and Philanthropy: Blueprints for the Common Good?
Our Distinguished Visitor Dialogue included:
- Bishop Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis
- David Dodson, senior fellow of MDC
- and moderator, Elizabeth Lynn, Project Director, Shifting Ground
- 2018—Faith & Philanthropy Panel
Our 2018 Distinguished Visitor Panel included:
- Dr. Brad Braxton, Director of the Center for the Study of African American Religious Life at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Aimée Laramore, Philanthropic Strategist for the first PhD program in African American Preaching and Sacred Rhetoric at Christian Theological Seminary
- Rev. Starsky Wilson, President and CEO of Deaconess Foundation and Chair of the National Committee of Responsive Philanthropy
- and moderator, Dr. Leah Gunning Francis, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty, and Associate Professor of Christian Education and Practical Theology at Christian Theological Seminary
- 2016—Alan Cooperman
Alan Cooperman, Director of Religion Research at Pew Research Center
October 4-6, 2016
- 2015—Henry Timms
Henry Timms, Executive Director of 92nd Street Y in New York and founder of #GivingTuesday
October 14–15, 2015
- 2014—Valaida Fullwood
Valaida Fullwood, award-winning author of Giving Back, a 400-page hardcover book profiling of stories of philanthropy among African Americans
October 16–17, 2014
- 2013—Kerry Robinson
Kerry Robinson, executive director of the National Leadership Roundtable on Church Management, which is dedicated to promoting excellence and best practices in the management, finances, and human resource development of the Catholic Church in the United States.
October 17–18, 2013
- 2012—Bill Hudnut
Bill Hudnut, Executive Director of the Real Estate program at Georgetown University’s School of Continuing Studies
January 20, 2012
- 2010—Ron Blue
Ron Blue, founder of Ronald Blue & Co., LLC.
September 21–22, 2010
2009—Janet W. Prindle
Janet W. Prindle, funded the construction of the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics at Depauw University in 2007. Prindle was the first woman to be named partner at Neuberger Berman. She retired from the firm as managing partner in 2004.
April 27, 2009
Eboo Patel, Ph.D., founder of Chicago's Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), an international organization that enables young people to bridge religious traditions to serve humanity
October 21–22, 2008
Ruth Messinger, President of the American Jewish World Service
May 18–20, 2008
2007—Tom Cousins & Charles Knapp
Tom Cousins, developer and philanthropist from Atlanta, Georgia, and Charles B. Knapp, President Emeritus of the University of Georgia and Chairman of the East Lake Foundation
June 20, 2007
2006—Talat Othman & Scott Alexander
Talat Othman is a Muslim Philanthropist. Scott Alexander directs the Catholic-Muslim Studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago
November 6, 2006
2006—Theodore Malloch & Scott Massey
Dr. Theodore Roosevelt Malloch, Chairman and CEO of The Roosevelt Group in Washington, D.C. and Dr. Scott Massey, President and CEO of the Indiana Humanities Council, an educational leader, innovator, and community development consultant with nearly 20 years of experience as a non-profit CEO
October 26–27, 2006
Joseph C. Cook, founder and CEO of Mountain Group Capital, LLC and a veteran of 28 years of management experience at Eli Lilly and Company
October 19–20, 2005
Mark Alan Chaves, Ph.D. is Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Arizona.
February 16–17, 2005