CCU Symposium

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. — Matthew 22:37, Deuteronomy 6:5 (ESV)

CCU is intentional about positively impacting our culture and encouraging "seekers of truth." Our annual Symposium event is an invitation for students, faculty, and the community to gather and focus on current cultural issues and to facilitate dialogue exploring how Christians can respond to these issues with biblical truth.

This year, CCU's twelfth annual Symposium will focus on a true biblical understanding of the human heart. When Jesus Christ was challenged about the first and greatest commandment, he confidently began quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart..." and contended that all other actions flow from the deepest desires of the human heart. Further, the wisdom of Proverbs warns, "Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it" (4:23 NIV). However, the prophet Jeremiah warns us that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick" and then asks, "Who can understand it?" (Jeremiah 17:9 ESV).

The goal of CCU's 2021 Symposium is to help students, faculty and staff, and local Christians to gain a biblical understanding of the human heart along with the habits and liturgies that train our hearts to focus on God. Daily habits, or liturgies, either direct our hearts toward God or lead us away into all manner of idols and substitutes. Training the desires of the heart is much more powerful than learning more and more rules of morality.

Culture through the ages has recognized the importance of the human heart. Taylor Swift recently sang, "I just think you are what you love," but Augustine of Hippo cried out to God over 1500 years ago, "Our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee." 

On Monday night the Symposium will start out with a focus on the writings of Augustine regarding the God-shaped hole in the human heart while Tuesday morning will provide a biblical theology of the heart and practical steps to implement habits to steer our hearts toward God. Finally, workshops on Tuesday afternoon will provide many different avenues for further exploration and application.

Watch Recordings

Monday, September 20, 2021

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Event Overview

Monday, September 20, 2021

6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

  • Dr. Donald W. Sweeting — Welcome and Overview of the Symposium
  • Dr. Ian Clary — Truth and Grace: The Balance of Head and Heart in Augustine of Hippo
  • Dr. Bradley Green — Augustine, Love, and Thriving in Babylon
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

  • Dr. Jeremy Pierre — Designed to Love: A Biblical Theology of the Heart
  • Shanda Anderson — Recognizing Habits of the Heart: Examining Our Hearts to Engage New Liturgies

1:15 - 3:30 p.m.

  • Workshops — A variety of opportunities for further exploration and application


Dr. Donald W. Sweeting

Dr. Sweeting portrait photo Dr. Donald W. Sweeting is a pastor and educator. He received his B.A. in history from Lawrence University. At Oxford University in England he read theology and studied church history, receiving a B.A. and M.A. degree. He later earned his Ph.D. in historical theology at Trinity International University. For more than 20 years Sweeting served as a pastor, first as a church planter in northern Illinois and then as a senior pastor in Colorado. In 2016, Sweeting was named the president of Colorado Christian University.

Sweeting speaks and preaches around the country and has published numerous articles for well-known magazines and scholarly journals. He also coauthored two books and is working on several others.

Dr. Ian Clary

Dr. Ian Clary Dr. Ian Hugh Clary (Ph.D., University of the Free State) is Assistant Professor of Historical Theology at Colorado Christian University and a co-host of the "Into Theology" podcast for The Gospel Coalition Canada. He also lectures part time for Munster Bible College in Cork, Ireland. Dr. Clary is the author of the recently published God Crowns His Own Gifts: Augustine, Grace, and the Monks of Hadrumetum as well as Reformed Evangelicalism and the Search for a Usable Past in addition to several articles, book chapters, and edited books. He serves as a fellow for the Center for Baptist Renewal and the Andrew Fuller Center for Baptist Studies and is a review editor for Evangelical Quarterly. Dr. Clary and his family are members of Calvary Redeeming Grace Church in Lakewood.

Dr. Bradley Green

Dr. Bradley Green Dr. Bradley Green (Ph.D., Baylor University) is Professor of Theological Studies at Union University (Jackson, Tennessee). He is the author of several books, including Augustine of Hippo: His Life and Impact as well as The Gospel and the Mind: Recovering and Shaping the Intellectual Life. He is also Senior Contributor for The Imaginative Conservative and has served as Writer-In-Residence at Tyndale House Cambridge. He and his wife were co-founders of Augustine School, a Christian liberal arts school in Jackson, and they have three children: Caleb, Daniel, and Victoria.

Dr. Jeremy Pierre

Dr. Jeremy Pierre Dr. Jeremy Pierre (Ph.D., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary), is the Lawrence & Charlotte Hoover Professor of Biblical Counseling & Department Chair at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of The Dynamic Heart in Daily Life and God With Us: A Journey Home and coauthored both When Home Hurts: Responding Wisely to Domestic Abuse in Your Church and The Pastor and Counseling. He has contributed to various books, including Christ-Centered Biblical Counseling and Scripture and Counseling. His writing has been featured in Tabletalk Magazine, Baptist Press, and the Gospel Coalition. He serves on the board of directors for the Biblical Counseling Coalition and is a certified member of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors. He also currently serves as a staff pastor at Clifton Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky.

Shanda Anderson

Shanda Anderson Shanda Anderson (M.Ed. Counseling, University of North Texas) has been a Licensed Professional Counselor since 2006. She is currently the Director of Clinical Care at the Austin Stone Counseling Center in Austin, Texas, where she also serves as a supervisor to develop young therapists pursuing a biblical worldview. Her training includes several years of teaching the Equipped to Counsel curriculum to professional and lay people, and she has presented at the Association of Biblical Counselors National Conference. Discipleship is her deepest passion, and her goal is to utilize her clinical training to offer support to those suffering while staying biblically faithful.