Shane Claiborne is a simple man who loves Jesus. A well-known activist, speaker and author, Claiborne will speak in chapel at Trevecca on Feb. 7 in the Boone Convocation Center on Trevecca’s campus.
Born in 1975, Claiborne is originally from East Tennessee. He is a graduate of Eastern University in Philadelphia, and the author of the best-selling books The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical and Jesus for President: Politics for Ordinary Radicals (with Chris Haw). Claiborne is also the founder of The Simple Way, a community of people devoted to intentionally living out the Christian lifestyle.
During a 10-week term in Calcutta, Claiborne worked alongside Mother Teresa serving the poor and vulnerable. He also spent time advocating peace and traveling among various troubled regions to offer his help and love, while living in Bagdad as part of the Iraq Peace Team.
After speaking in chapel, Claiborne will also hold an open forum to discuss his latest book, Executing Grace: How the Death Penalty Killed Jesus and Why It’s Killing Us. During the forum, students will be able to ask Claiborne questions about the book. The time and location of this event has yet to be decided.
Jamie Casler, director of Trevecca’s J.V. Morsch Center for Social Justice, is especially excited for Claiborne to speak on campus.
“We are very excited to have him here,” Casler said. “He has been a speaker that I had my eye on for several years to bring to campus.”
Casler said Claiborne was a good fit for Trevecca because the University aims to give students a quality education while making sure students grow spiritually. According to Casler, Claiborne encourages both.
“Trevecca’s mission is to prepare students for the Christian leadership and service no matter what their major is,” Casler said. “I think Shane embodies that mission of the school. He is a Christian leader in his writings, his speaking, and he is a leader in the way he lives his life.”
Students and faculty in Trevecca’s social justice program are looking forward to hearing Shane speak next month. It will be an opportunity for social justice majors to hear from a speaker whose books have been an important part of their studies.
“We have a center for social justice here, and we try to bring in keynote speakers, leaders and writers that our students have been studying about,” Casler said. “The student are reading some of his books, so the social justice students will be familiar with Shane Claiborne and his teachings and writings. It’s good for our student to see people who are articulating the same message that’s in our curriculum.”
Trevecca junior Amber Donat is thrilled Claiborne is coming to campus.
“Shane Claiborne is a revolutionary when it comes to Christianity and social justice, in my opinion,” she said. “His story is incredible and his life is one of integrity, compassion, love, and forgiveness. I am very excited to see what he has to share with those of us who are passionate about forming an inclusiveness and justice in the church today.”
For Shawna Gaines, university chaplain, giving Trevecca students a chance to hear from Claiborne was an opportunity she couldn’t pass up.
“He is a voice that I think is important to introduce students to,” Gaines said. “Shane lives out everything that he teaches, so what he shares comes from life experience.”
Casler hopes that when students leave the chapel service next week they feel encouraged and inspired.
“In the body of Christ, it takes all majors to advance the kingdom of God,” Casler said. “So my hope is that student will be encouraged and inspired to start thinking about the question about how they can advance the kingdom of God.”