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The Dotson McGinnis Nelson Junior Lectureship in Religion and Life was established in 1984 by Martha Holley and Howard Lamar Holley to honor Nelson and help Samford students grow in their intellectual and spiritual understanding of Christianity and its application to society. Nelson, a former Samford professor and pastor at Mountain Brook Baptist Church, had a long and significant ministry throughout the Southern Baptist Convention.

The lectureship, sponsored by Samford’s Department of Biblical and Religious Studies, has brought to campus many prominent Christian thought leaders, including Timothy O’Connor, Rachel Held Evans, Scot McKnight, J. Randall O’Brien,  William D. Romanowski and Randall Balmer.

 As the heart of Samford University, Howard College of Arts and Sciences inspires students to a lifetime of inquiry and service through engaged learning, faculty research and vocational discovery within the liberal arts and the Christian ethical and intellectual traditions.