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. Join us at the next annual program to engage in reflection and conversation on ways in which faith inspires and informs giving.
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. Join us for this engaging and thought-provoking annual event.
2018 Lake Lecture
How effective is our charitable giving? Is it efficient? Does it even make a difference anymore? The key to charitable giving today is connecting people to their passions. The days of passive giving are gone – donors want to know where their money is going and how it is used. Younger philanthropists, in particular, want a personal connection with the charities they support. In light of these changes, it’s important to ask: what is the future of faith, charity and philanthropy?
Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity: water, will help us explore the 21st century face of charity. Scott will share his unique story of rediscovering his lost faith that brought him face-to-face with the global water crisis. He leveraged technology and innovation to reinvent charity and build America’s largest private funder of international water programming, and along the way, transformed the traditional form of charity.
Past Lake Lectures
- 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.
2016 Lake Distinguished Visitor
Past Lake Distinguished Visitors
- 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