Law, Justice and Culture Institute Culminates with the Center’s 10th Anniversary Banquet

Posted on Jun 3, 2011 in LJC Institute | 0 comments

As the Center for Law and Culture entered its tenth year, 18 students representing eight schools participated in the Law, Justice and Culture Institute at Trinity Christian College, May 16-27, to gain worldview education in the Judeo-Christian tradition. Sponsored by the Center, the Institute prepares students for virtuous public service in law, government, and politics. During the last decade, the Center, through its Institute, has educated 115 students from 25 colleges and universities, awarding more than $51,000 in financial assistance.

“The Institute helped to open my eyes to the desperate need for Christians to fill the void of immorality creeping into law, government, and politics,” said J.R. Wydra (Trinity Christian College). “I left with a renewed perspective on justice, and a deep passion to stand up for God’s truth in a world that works to silence it. As I head off to law school in the fall, the Institute reminded me of how important it is to be walking with the Lord when tackling the great tasks asked of us as leaders.”
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The Institute awards three academic credits to students who successfully complete the requirements of the two-week session, during which students attend classes, hear guest speakers, and complete assignments and exams. The sessions, led by Charlie Emmerich, professor of political science at Trinity Christian College and executive director of the Center, along with various guest lecturers, explored the themes of law and the administration of justice among ancient Hebrews, the “higher law” foundation of the American constitutional order, as well as Nazism, the Nuremberg trials, and the resurgence of natural law.

Just prior to the beginning of the Institute, 20 people, including four of the Institute enrollees, attended the first-ever Creation Care Concentration on Saturday, May 14. Led by Dr. Susan Emmerich, consultant to the Creation Care Program at the Center, participants in this one-day practicum explored biblical principles of stewardship and conflict management based on Emmerich’s faith-based stewardship work on Tangier Island, shown in her newest film, When Heaven Meets Earth.

“The one-day Creation Care Concentration was a phenomenal start to the Institute because it put my preconceived knowledge of creation care into the context of community life and policy,” said Sarah McCormack (Wheaton College). “We talked about how best to facilitate reconciliation between humans and God, humans and the earth, and humans and other humans. We wrestled with many of the problems that come when we face these issues, and we learned how to be true agents of justice on behalf of others and of the earth, as God calls us to do.”

At the conclusion of the two-week Institute, the Center hosted a 10th anniversary banquet attended by more than 100 people. Former Rep. Dan Severson (Minn.), who is running for the U.S. Senate, was the keynote speaker; he gave a stirring call to restore fully our heritage of liberty as spelled out in the Declaration of Independence and to promote public virtue. Students also received certificates during the evening program, and Charlie Emmerich was honored by the Center’s board, colleagues, and former students for his work over the past decade.

“The 2011 Institute and the Center’s 10th anniversary banquet testify once again to the Lord’s faithfulness and sustaining grace,” said Charlie Emmerich. “For over a decade, the Center has been privileged to educate and encourage talented students from all over the nation, inspiring them to be virtuous public leaders in the Judeo-Christian tradition. They will join many others, as Rep. Dan Severson said in his banquet address, to restore America’s moral heritage as outlined in the Declaration of Independence.”

Photo albums are available for public viewing on facebook (no account necessary): Creation Care ConcentrationLaw, Justice and Culture Institute, and the 10th Anniversary Banquet.

The following students participated in this year’s Institute:

Biola University—Madysn L. Hanley, *Sarah J. Hormozi-Jurkiewicz
Judson University—Lukasz T. Kierys, Kirsten Kohlstedt, Ivan Villalobos
North Park University—Jeanetta Obah
Southeastern University—*Matthew R. Nilsen
Shanxi Normal University of China­—Xiaodong Chen, Yanhong Chen
Trinity Christian College—Clayton Bailye, Eric Eugene Armand Tucker, Jr., Timothy C. Turner, Scott R. Vermeer, Joni Weidenaar, Joseph R. Wydra
Trinity International University—Nicole Scanlon
Wheaton College—*Sarah McCormack, *McNair Nichols

*denotes Creation Care Scholars; Creation Care Scholarships are funded by the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation and the Hoghton Family Charitable Trust (through Karen Acker and Richard Acker’s parents)

Guest lecturers included:
Dr. Susan D. Emmerich, Ph.D.
CEO, Emmerich Environmental Consulting

L.B. Graham, M.Div.
Author, “The Binding of the Blade” fantasy series
Teacher at Westminster Christian Academy

George N. Pierson, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Philosophy, Trinity Christian College

Bruce D. Strom, J.D.
Executive Director, Administer Justice

Former Rep. Dan Severson (Minn.)
Served as the Republican Minority Whip in the MN House of Representatives from November 2008 to 2010 and is a former Navy fighter pilot.

A special thank you is extended to the following event sponsors who helped to fund Institute scholarships: the Bradshaw-Knight Foundation; the Hoghton Family Charitable Trust; Hoogendoorn & Talbot, LLP; Bruce and Mary Leep; Ozinga Bros.; Providence Bank; and, Ruff, Weidenaar & Reidy, Ltd.

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