Workshop, “Teaching Diversity and Social Justice in Christian Higher Education”

Registration Available on April 1, 2022

Title: Teaching Diversity and Social Justice in Christian Higher Education

Presenter/Facilitator: John Hatch, PhD, Chair and Professor of Communication, Eastern University

Date and Time: Friday, July 29, 2022 | 11:30 am – 3:00 pm EDT

Description: How can instructors disarm the defensiveness felt by some students when a class broaches matters of diversity and social justice? When Christian faith is viewed as a bulwark against critical examination of race, class, or gender-based social stratification, what is the Christian professor to do? Are there ways to turn resistance into willingness to take a closer look? Having studied racial reconciliation and taught Intercultural Communication for nearly two decades, John will share some theological and rhetorical handles he’s found for meeting this challenge.

A diverse group of professors including Kesha Morant-Williams (Penn State-Berks), Theon Hill (Wheaton College), Hyeri Jung (Eastern University), and Naaman Wood (St. Paul College) will then widen the discussion by sharing their experiences and perspectives. All participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and engage in small-group discussion.

John Hatch (PhD, Regent University) is Chair and Professor of Communication Studies at Eastern University. He grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs but has spent most of his adult life in other parts of the US as well as overseas. As a young adult, he became fascinated with cross-cultural communication through involvement in Youth With A Mission (YWAM), joining short-term outreaches in Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. After getting his master’s degree in Teaching English as a Second/Foreign Language, he lived in Kazakstan (Central Asia) for nearly three years as a visiting lecturer at Ahmed Yasawi University. During his doctoral studies at Regent University, he focused on intercultural communication, race relations, and public reconciliation initiatives. His ongoing research in these areas has resulted in the publication of journal articles and an award-winning book entitled Race and Reconciliation: Redressing Wounds of Injustice (Lexington). He came to Eastern University after teaching for eight years at the University of Dubuque in Iowa. In 2015, Dr. Hatch received the Article of the Year award from the Religious Communication Association for his study of a ground-breaking album by the David Crowder Band. His article analyzed the unique manner in which the band constructed and communicated its vision of Christian faith and worship. He continues to study how music can persuade listeners about faith, race relations, and other topics. Dr. Hatch’s latest book is Speaking to Reconciliation: Voices of Faith Addressing Racial and Cultural Divides (Peter Lang).

John Hatch lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, Christie, who also works as an educator. They enjoy leading worship at the Church of the Good Samaritan; he also composes and plays acoustic guitar music. When they get the chance, they travel to historic sites and scenic locations. A lot of the sparkle in their lives owes to their lovable beagle, Beau.

Registration Fee: $50.00

Registration Available on April 1, 2022