Passion Talks Goes International

On January 20th, an e-mail went out, titled, “What makes a good Passion Talk.” Such conferences are popping up around the world. So, in a effort to build the Passion Talks Community there is a page on this website to collect information about Passion Talk events.

See the message that went out to “a list for IFES-related movements worldwide.”

“Passion talks” are being tried in various parts of the world. They are
moments when students (usually grad or doctoral students) talk about their
own reading and research and writing and seek to engage it theologically,
and vice versa.

I had the good fortune on Friday night to hear several “Passion Talks” from graduate students at Midwest US universities. It got me thinking about what I particularly appreciate in such a talk. Here’s my short list.

  • The student is passionate about a topic and has read and thought a lot about it
  • The talk inspires
  • The presentation exemplifies a student’s faithful development of the gift of an inquiring mind in search of truth and understanding
  • The presenter does what Jesus, the “Word become flesh” did for us–takes topics often too profound or complex or mysterious for most of us, and finds ways to reach us and give us some understanding of the topic and God’s presence it and around it
  • The talk reveals something about God (his grandeur, creativity, love, compassion) and how he is working in the world, on the campus, in us

Ross (U of Queensland) and Wendy (Stanford U), others – it would be great to
hear your thoughts. By the way, what are the “specs” you give students when
you invite them to participate? What do you ask them to do?


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