Dr. Rick Axtell, Paul L. Cantrell Associate Professor of Religion and College Chaplain at Centre College, will be the first of two speakers in Crescent Hill Baptist's Fall Lecture Series this year. Dr. Axtell will teach during the Sunday School hour that begins at 9:30AM in the sanctuary. Dr. Axtell will also preach during the worship service that begins at 10:45AM in the sanctuary. The theme for this year's lectures is "Christians in a Pluralistic, Partisan Democracy: What Does the Lord Require?" Dr. Gary Dorrien, Reinhold Neibuhr Professor Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary in New York City and Professor of Religion at Columbia University, will be our second speaker in the Series. He will be with us the first weekend in October.
Axtell has traveled and studied hunger, sustainable development and/or liberation theology in Bangladesh, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, India, Mexico and Nicaragua, and he has studied homelessness and homeless shelters in major American cities. He is currently researching employment trends for day laborers in Louisville's homeless population. In addition, he has been working with students on a two-year collaborative research project interviewing public housing residents who have been relocated as a part of Louisville's HOPE VI housing redevelopment projects. Both as Centre's chaplain and in his classroom teaching, Axtell encourages Centre students to come to grips with hunger and homelessness in the region around them. His students have slept in homeless shelters and visited Lexington and Louisville agencies that are attempting to serve people of the area.
Axtell has also studied religion and violence in Latin America, most recently with a human rights delegation to Colombia. His articles on the topic of religion and violence have appeared in the Encyclopedia of Religion and War and The Merton Annual.
He has led Centre students studying abroad in Cuba, England, Mexico, and Nicaragua.
Axtell holds a B.A. degree from Mississippi College. He earned an M.Div. degree and a Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and he has completed other advanced studies at the University of Notre Dame.
While teaching and working in Louisville, Axtell was honored as Teacher of the Year at Bellarmine College and Metro Louisville Hunger Activist of the Year.