The Paddock Lectures were founded in 1880 by General Seminary benefactor George A. Jarvis and named in memory of The Rt. Rev. Benjamin Henry Paddock, Bishop of Massachusetts and of the Class of 1852. The Lectures have brought to General's campus a remarkable group of Anglican scholars, including William Temple, Charles Henry Brent, Francis Joseph Hall, Owen Chadwick, John Mbiti, Norman Pittinger, and Sarah Coakley.


The Paddock Lectures 2016


Wednesday and Thursday, November 2 and 3, 2016


The Rt. Rev Robert C. Wright, D.D.


The Leadership of Jesus


 RCW bishop 225


Wednesday, November 2, 2016 2 pm – 3:30 pm


Thursday, November 3, 2016 11 am – 12:30 pm


Tickets: $30 for one lecture or $50 for both


To register go to:


The Right Rev. Robert C. Wright is the 10thbishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, which covers north and central Georgia and embraces 110 worshiping communities. At the time of his election in June 2012, he had served 10 years as rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta. Prior to that, he was a school chaplain and on the staff of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York City.

Since becoming bishop, Wright addressed the Georgia legislature about gun control, spoke up for Medicaid expansion and has been a vocal and active opponent of the death penalty in Georgia.  In commemoration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, he prayed with a City of Atlanta sanitation crew before taking an early morning shift on the back of a city garbage truck. In January 2015, he was named among the 100 Most Influential Georgians by GeorgiaTrend magazine.

Wright, 51, was born in a Roman Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and was adopted at 9 months of age. After graduating high school, he served five years in the U.S. Navy. While attending Howard University in Washington, D.C., he worked as a child advocate for two mayors. He earned an M.Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary, and he has been awarded honorary doctor of divinity degrees by the Virginia seminary, Sewanee: The University of the South, and General Theological Seminary.

He is married to Beth-Sarah Wright, Ph.D., and they have a grown daughter and four school-age children.


To register go to:



The Paddock Lectures 2015


Wednesday and Thursday, November 4 and 5, 2015


The Goodness of Upheaval: Pauline and Apocalyptic Perspectives


Michael Battle web 200x300
The Rev. Michael Battle, Ph.D.

Herbert Thompson Chair of Church and Society, Dir. of the Desmond Tutu Center


Todd Brewer web 225x300


The Rev. Todd H. W. Brewer, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of New Testament


Wednesday, November 4, 2015, 2 - 3:00 pm followed by Q and A

Thursday, November 5, 2 - 3:00 pm, followed by Q and A


These lectures provide both theological and practical conversation for why Christians engage upheaval as a necessary good. More specifically, Paul's experiences of upheaval positively generate his pluralistic vision of the Church. And an apocalyptic vision, spawned by John of Patmos, provides a way for communities in the 21st Century to navigate their way through nightmares to beatific vision.







The Paddock Lectures 2014 were cancelled.


The Paddock Lectures, November 5 and 6, 2014

The How of Theology and Ministry


Hauerwas-22This year's lecturer will be Professor Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School's Gilbert T. Rowe Professor Emeritus of Divinity and Law. Beginning in the Fall of 2014, he will assume a Chair in Theological Ethics at the University of Aberdeen. Professor Hauerwas has sought to recover the significance of the virtues for understanding the nature of the Christian life. This search has led him to emphasize the importance of the church, as well as narrative for understanding Christian existence. His work cuts across disciplinary lines as he is in conversation with systematic theology, philosophical theology and ethics, political theory, as well as the philosophy of social science and medical ethics. He was named "America's Best Theologian" by Time Magazine in 2001. His book A Community of Character: Toward a Constructive Christian Social Ethic (1981), was selected as one of the 100 most important books on religion of the 20th Century. His recent work includes Approaching the End: Eschatological Reflections on Church, Politics, and Life (2013).
The lectures will address the relationship between the work of theology and parish ministry. Hauerwas sees the very question of how the two are related to be a problematic diagnosis showing as it does the operating presumption that theology is not itself a ministerial task. He addresses this by briefly tracing the historical situation that led to theology becoming a scientific discipline in the modern university. Hauerwas then concludes by arguing the task of the contemporary theologian, therefore, is to help ministers and lay people recover the significance of Christian concepts by learning to speak Christian.
Lecture #1: Wednesday, November 5, 2014 2:00 - 3:00 pm $35.00
Lecture #2: Thursday, November 6, 2014 2:00 - 3:00 pm $35.00
Early Bird Discount for Both Lectures available until October 31, 2014 - $60.00




The Paddock Lectures, Nov. 6 and 7, 2013

Media, Meaning, and Ministry in the Digital Reformation

DrescherClr2010This year's lecturer was Dr. Elizabeth Drescher, PH.D. a scholar, researcher, and author of the forthcoming book Choosing Our Religion: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones, as well as Tweet If You ♥ Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation, and, with Keith Anderson. Click 2 Save: The Digital Ministry Bible. Dr. Drescher is a frequent contributor to the online magazine Religion DispatchesHer work has been highlighted by the Atlantic Monthly, the Daily Beast, the Utne Reader, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Australian Radio National, the BBC, CNN, State of Belief Radio,and other national and international news outlets.

Dr. Drescher has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards for the study of spirituality in everyday life and teaching in religion and spirituality including, most recently, a journalism fellowship from the Templeton Foundation for the Social Science Research Council’s “New Directions in the Study of Prayer” initiative.

Elizabeth is a scholar-in-residence in the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Réal and faculty member in religous studies and pastoral ministries at Santa Clara University. She lives with her family in Northern California’s Silicon Valley.Learn more about Elizabeth's research, writing and speaking at and follow her on Twitter @edrescherphd.




Lecture I, Nov. 6, 6:30pm: Believing Between the Lines: The Spiritual Lives of America’s Nones (45 mins.)

At the beginning of 2012, Newsweek marked “the rise of the Nones” as one of the most significant trends defining contemporary American culture, and a fall 2013 study by the Pew Forum on Religion in Public Life verified this assessment with a survey that showed that one in five Americans have no religious affiliation. Importantly, Nones—people who answer “none” when asked with what religion they identify”—are generally not atheists or even agnostics. The majority are so-called “Religious Nones,” believers who do not identify or affiliate with traditional religious institutions. Further, most come from Christian backgrounds. Indeed, twenty percent of people raised in the Episcopal Church will become Nones as adults. Their spiritual lives are, thus, shaped by their background as well as by the diverse religious, antireligious, secular, and media rich culture of the United States. This talk draws upon original survey data and interviews to explore the spiritual lives of Nones as they intersect with and diverge from traditional religions.

Lecture II, Nov 7, 10:00am: The Roots of Digital Reformation: Premodern Traditions in Postmodern Practice (45 mins.)

Over the past decade, new digital media and mobile technologies have change not merely how we communicate; they have reshaped how we relate to one another, how we understand concepts such as authority and community, and how we conceive of ourselves as distinct individuals. While many have described this cultural change as “revolutionary,” it can in fact be seen as more of a “reformation”—a paradoxical return to premodern modes of living and relating that run deeply through Christian traditions. This lecture will explore the premodern “habitus” of Anglican/Episcopal tradition—spiritually integrated life practices that shape much of the enduring character of the church and that have prepared the us to engage in digitally-integrated culture in ways that were rarely possible in the broadcast age that the world is rapidly leaving behind. The lecture considers how the premodern roots of Anglican tradition, transplanted in early modern American soil, support ongoing engagement with the growing population of the religiously unaffiliated.

Lecture III, Nov. 7, 2:00pm: No Center, No Circumference: Faith & Religion in an Expanding Universe (45 mins.)

Over the last two years, NASA scientists identified more and more planets that may be habitable for earthlings. While these findings invite provocative questions on the core biblical and doctrinal claims of Christianity, this lecture will employ them primarily as metaphors for the ways in which digitally-integrated postmodern culture is itself expanding the universe of belief, spirituality, and institutional religion across geographies and generations. How, the lecture asks, can communities of faith minister in a world of dramatically expanded religious, spiritual, and epistemological boundaries? How can our understanding of the changing universe help to prepare us to be the church of the future?


From Tweet If You ♥ Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation:


“The Church is at a critical juncture as it attempts to respond to dramatic cultural changes related to new mobile, digital social media. Some of those changes are wonderfully liberating, inviting creative involvement in the practice of faith and the nurturing of community by believers and seekers of all stripes around the globe. Others, such as the restructuring of concepts of privacy, self-presentation, and relationship that seem to undermine notions of interpersonal, communal, and spiritual intimacy that are at the heart of much Christian practice, feel more troubling. Threatening, even.”

Learn more at here.

440 West 21st Street, New York City, NY 10011   |   tel (212) 243-5150  fax (212) 727-3907

The General Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal Church is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.