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MidWinter Lectures

February 3-5, 2020

Welcome to MidWinters, our annual lecture series, worship festival, and homecoming celebration! Each year (for more than 75) we've gathered to engage with luminaries in the fields of theology, the Bible, and other aspects of the Christian experience and to enjoy the camaraderie of fellow learners, old and new. Whether your clergy or a layperson, there's always food for thought. Your first MidWinters is rarely your last—join us!

All events take place on the Austin Seminary campus, and all are free, except the the Austin Seminary Association Banquet (free for senior students) and reunion receptions (open to all and free to honored classes). Registration begins Monday afternoon along with a special screening of the film Emanuel; opening worship is at 7 p.m. Monday evening in Shelton Chapel. 

Register Here


The Reverend Dr. Luke A Powery

Dean, Duke University Chapel
Associate Professor of Homiletics, Duke Divinity School

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"Searching for Common Ground"

Throughout the history of the church and world, there have been divisions across racial and ethnic lines and of course, other forms of human difference. These lectures will attempt to provide a constructive theological perspective on human racial and ethnic difference as a pathway toward proclaiming the mosaic future of God for all of human creation.

The Reverend Robert Schnase

Bishop of the Rio Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church

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"Border Crossing:
The Power of Narrative to Open Hearts and Change Conversations"

Robert Schnase was born, grew up, and served congregations along the US-Mexico border. His collection of stories, Border Crossing, provides the personal, intimate perspective of a pastor working in the intermingling, sometimes clashing, cultures of the border. After each story, Bishop Schnase will reflect on the power of narrative to create the liminal space for transformation and social change within communities, especially in contentious times.

The Reverend Dana Hughes

Transitional Presbytery Pastor, Denver Presbytery

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"A Net of Words:
Pursuing the Sacred by Human Means"

In this conversation, we will explore the human attempt to capture the depth and breadth of yearning for the divine through words woven into poems.  Verbs, nouns, tea strainers, cast nets, purse seines, and trawls will be applied.


The Reverend Keatan King

Associate Pastor, St. Philip Presbyterian Church, Houston

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Reunion Events

Remember the Library!

Reading Room Reunion Reception

Monday, 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.
Reunion for classes of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, and 2010. All are welcome to join us for food, drinks, music, and sharing library stories. No cost for those in reunion groups, $10 overdue fee for all others.

Make Some Noise In the Library Soiree 

Monday, 8:00 to 10:00 p.m.
Free for classes of 2010-19; $10 late book fee; $15 gets you into both the reception and soiree.

You must RSVP so we’re not “overbooked.”

Register Here


Monday, February 3, 2019
3:00 p.m.

Austin Seminary's Commission on Diversity invites all to a free screening of Emanuel, followed by a discussion with Distinguished Alumna Sharon Risher (MDiv’07). The new documentary, from executive producers Stephen Curry and Viola Davis, examines the aftermath of the shooting that took the lives of nine members of the Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston. Sharon's mother, Ethel Lance, as well as two of cousins, were among the victims of Dylan Roof's violence visited upon their Bible study. Sharon will also be available to sign copies of her new book, For Such a Time as This: Hope and Forgiveness after the Charleston Massacre.

Watch the Trailer


What are MidWinter Lectures?

Midwinter Lectures (established in 1945) is an annual lecture series that offers an opportunity for educational and spiritual sustenance for alumni, students, pastors, friends of the Seminary, and the public.

When is MidWinters this year?

Monday, February 3, 2020, through Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Registration begins at 4:00 p.m. on Monday. MidWinters concludes with the Austin Seminary Association Banquet on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m.

 What is the cost to attend?

There is no charge to attend the lectures, worship services, and luncheon. However, pre-registration is encouraged for the lectures and required for the Tuesday and Wednesday lunches. The Tuesday lunch is free and the price for the Austin Seminary Alumni Banquet on Wednesday is $20 for guests, $10 for students, faculty, and staff, and free for graduating seniors.

Will there be parking available?

Parking is available on the upper and lower campus. Signs and parking attendants will be available to help direct guests to available parking lots. Additional street parking may be available around the campus.

 Will meals be available?

Breakfast will be available to purchase for all guests through the Barth & Grill (Stotts Hall) in the McCord Center. Reservations for the Tuesday (free lunch) and Wednesday ($20) lunches are required. Late Tuesday afternoon we will have two food trucks on campus offering dinner. Free coffee service will available during the fellowship coffee breaks.

What else happens during MidWinters?

1)   MidWinters also serves as Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary’s Homecoming for alumni. The Classes of 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, and 2000-2019 will be honored. 

2) We're kicking off the lecture series with a special showing of Emanuel, a new documentary about the 2017 shootings at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Distinguished Alumna Sharon Risher (MDiv’07), whose family was impacted by the terrible event, will be with us to speak and sign copies of her new book.

3)  A special luncheon and discussion will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 4. This luncheon is free but reservations are required. (Stott’s Dining Hall)

4)   At the ASA Banquet on Wednesday, February 5, two alumni will receive the Austin Seminary Association Distinguished Service Award, graduating seniors will be recognized, and up to five senior fellowships will be announced. President Theodore J. Wardlaw will present a State of the Seminary address. (Stott’s Dining Hall)

5)    The Alumni board (ASA) holds its semi-annual meeting prior to the opening of lectures.

Will audio recordings of the lectures be made available?

Yes, audio recordings of the worship services will be available on our web site 2-3 weeks after the Lectures.

Will the lectures be live-streamed online?

No, the lectures will not be live-streamed this year, but the moderated conversation, Tuesday from 3-4, will be livestreamed from our Facebook page.

Will the lectures be live-tweeted?

Yes, attendees are encouraged to tweet throughout the lectures using the hashtag #midwin20 and #MidWinters. 


We have arranged a hotel block at the Hampton Inn Austin-North at IH35 & HWY 183, 7619 N. Interstate HWY 35 North, Austin, TX 78752.


All reservations must be made by January 13, 2020, to receive the group rate. 


ASA Banquet & Distinguished Alumni

We will close out our festivities with the Austin Seminary Association (ASA) Annual Meeting and Banquet at 12:30 on Wednesday. During our meal, the ASA Board will present the slate for new members; President Wardlaw will deliver a State of the Seminary talk; we will honor our 2020 Distinguished Alumni and the Class of 2020 and  those who will be receiving graduation fellowships. Tickets to the banquet are $20 and reservations must be made (see register button below).

The ASA Board is pleased to announce that the 2020 Distinguished Alumni

Carol Howard Merritt (MDiv’98) has served churches in Louisiana, Rhode Island, Washington, D.C., and Tennessee; she has just began a call as bridge pastor for First Presbyterian Church, New Canaan, Conneticut. She has also served as adjunct faculty member at Dubuque Theological Seminary. An award-winning author, Carol's books, blog posts, and articles offer deep insight on ministry in the twenty-first century and make a prophetic challenge to the church in our time. She demonstrates a courageous spirit, deep commitment to justice, and compassion for the marginalized.

Dick Powell (MDiv’07) currently serves as president of Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly in Hunt, Texas. Previously he was pastor of Forest Hills Presbyterian Church, Helotes, Texas. In addition to his able service at the helm of Mo-Ranch, Dick has been instrumental in starting and growing “Mo-Ranch In The Valley,” a camp program for youth in the Rio Grande Valley. This camp experience is reserved for young people in the Rio Grande Valley that may not have the opportunity to go to a Mo-Ranch Summer Camp in Hunt, Texas. The unique camp program was featured in the New York Times.

Register Here