Racial reconciliation and the church will be the subject of three talks at Fresno Pacific University September 24, 2018.

“Bridging the Racial Divide” is part of the Believers Church Lecture Series at FPU. All events will be in Butler Church, 4884 E. Butler Ave., Fresno, adjacent to the main FPU campus, and all are free, though one requires tickets. More information and registration at christena-cleveland.eventbrite.com.

Speaker Christena Cleveland, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, public theologian, author and professor. She is an associate professor of the practice of organizational studies at Duke University’s Divinity School and the author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep us Apart. Cleveland has also been on the faculty at Wheaton College and Bethel College (Minnesota). See and hear Cleveland at youtube.com/watch?v=FU04XrtHCT8

As a child growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Christena was exposed to the richness of cultural difference, according to her website biography. The kids on her neighborhood block represented nine different nationalities, where she quickly discovered that, “Be there in five minutes,” means different things depending on who’s saying it. At the multi-ethnic church that her parents planted, she learned that different cultures experience and perceive God differently—and that is a good thing. More at christenacleveland.com/

Her presentations will be:

  • “Spirituality & Racial Reconciliation,” 10:00-11:00 a.m. In this community forum, Cleveland will explore how the spirit empowers peacemaking. A free ticket is required, and lunch is available for $12 by advance reservation. See christena-cleveland.eventbrite.com
  • “Pathways for a Healed and Healing Church: Reaching Across the Racial Divide,” 1:00-3:00 p.m. Cleveland offers church leaders tools to reach across the racial divide to promote church vitality and social justice.
  • “The Church’s Mission: Faith, Justice and Reconciliation,” 6:30-8:30 p.m. This will be a missiology forum in which Cleveland will proclaim God’s call to reconciliation and peace in the church and the world.

The Believers Church Lecture Series is an ongoing exploration of the relevance of the Believers Church tradition for the shape of contemporary Christian thought and life. It is supported by an endowment established by the late Dr. Herbert and Jessica Penner of Bakersfield, CA.



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations