Published on August 23, 2017 by Kristen Padilla  

Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School will commemorate the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation this fall during its weekly community worship services. 

The fall chapel series, “Reformation: 1517–2017,” begins Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. in Andrew Gerow Hodges Chapel with Andrew Pearson of Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham delivering the sermon.

The chapel series will feature great themes of the Reformation, such as its five foundational principles: scripture alone, Christ alone, faith alone, grace alone, and to God be glory alone. These five “solas” are displayed in the anchor of hope symbol, designed by Samford Senior Graphic Designer Scott Camp for this special commemoration.

The series also includes Annemarie S. Kidder, First Presbyterian Church, Monroe, Michigan; divinity school alumnus Jason Cook, Fellowship Memphis (Tennessee); Chris Morgan, California Baptist University’s dean of the School of Christian Ministries; Buddy Gray, Hunter Street Baptist Church, Birmingham; and Trevin Wax, LifeWay Christian Resources, Nashville, Tennessee.

Other special guests include Sasan Tavassoli of Outreach Foundation, who will preach during Beeson Divinity School’s annual fall missions emphasis, Go Global; and Thomas Guarino, a Catholic priest and professor of systematic theology at Seton Hall University, who will preach on “The Reformation: An Ecumenical Remembrance.”

Carl Beckwith, professor of history and doctrine; Piotr Malysz, associate professor of history and doctrine; and Tom Fuller, director of ministry leadership development, placement and assessment, also will preach during this semester.

The annual Reformation Heritage Lectures, titled this year as “The Reformation as a Sensory Event,” will be given by Timothy George, founding dean of the divinity school. He will preach a sermon entitled “Something to Hear and See: The Audible Word and the Printed Word” in Hodges Chapel Oct. 31 at 11 a.m. George also will lecture Nov. 1 at 11 a.m. on “Something to Taste: Eucharistic Presence and Power,” and Nov. 2 at 11 a.m. on “Something to Touch and Smell: Pastoral Care and Martyrdom” in Hodges Chapel. 

George is one of the leading evangelical Reformation scholars in the United States. His book, Theology of the Reformers, is the standard textbook on Reformation theology in many universities and seminaries.

Also on Oct. 31, Beeson Divinity School will celebrate its third annual Finkenwalde Day, which is a day of prayer, meditation, worship, lectures, singing, recreation, fellowship at table and other activities modeled on the daily routine of 20th-century German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his students. Amy Schifrin, noted Lutheran scholar and president of the North American Lutheran Seminary, will lecture at 8:45 a.m. on “Singing the Reformation.” Finkenwalde Day is open to the wider community. Reservations are required by Oct. 15.

The fall Reformation chapel series concludes Dec. 8 with a service of commencement and consecration with guest speaker David S. Dockery, president of Trinity International University, Deerfield, Illinois. 

Community worship takes place each Tuesday during fall and spring semesters at 11 a.m. in Hodges Chapel. Worship and lectures are free and open to the public.

To request a fall chapel devotional booklet, email Kristen Padilla at

Kristen Padilla is coordinator of marketing and communication for Beeson Divinity School.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.