Annual Programs

Engaging faith leaders, scholars, students, and the local community on topics of faith and giving

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.

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Read Anne Snyder's Remarks

Read David Brook's Remarks

Past Lake Lectures

Title: "The Soul of Money: Shifting from Scarcity to Abundance:

Speaker: Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money

Date: April 11, 2019

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Title: "Reinventing Charity"

Speaker: Scott Harrison is the founder and CEO of charity:water. 

Date: March 8, 2018

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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

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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, 2016

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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, 2015

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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, 2014

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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, 2013

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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, 2012

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2011—Richard Gunderman

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, 2011

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2010—Ingrid Mattson

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, 2010

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2009—Elliot Dorff

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, 2009

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2008—Paul Schervish

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, 2008

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2007—Mark Noll

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, 2007

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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, 2006

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2005—Martin Marty

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, 2005

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2003—Robert Wuthnow

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, 2003

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Printed lectures are no longer being sold, however, a PDF can be requested. 

Request PDF of Lake Lecture