Symposium Details

Symposium Details

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Join us for the sixth annual Ratio Christi Banquet and Symposium

This event is for

  • For Ratio Christi staff and Chapter Directors
  • For Faculty, Professors, Teachers
  • For Other Campus Ministries
  • For Churches, Pastors, Youth Pastors
  • For Ministry Partners and Leaders
  • For Families and Individuals

*Students: see simultaneous Student Retreat


Hosted by Ratio Christi in conjunction with the National Conference on Christian Apologetics, this will be two intense days of fellowship, learning from experts and each other, and collaboration with other campus ministries and Christian worldview partners. 

Symposium on Cultural Engagement: Moving Forward in a Backward World

This year's focus will be our duty to engage the culture as did the Apostle Paul in Acts 17. Everything seems to be pointing backward from reality in our society. What are we to do? Go with the flow? Disengage altogether? No. Christ would have us move forward even in this backward world. We must bring the light of the Gospel to the controversial spheres of politics, economics, the arts and media, Islam, sexual identity, and race relations. Join us as we explore the Christian response to difficult dilemmas.

Ministry sessions will include vital campus ministry practices, discussion panels, helpful hints, and details on how to collaborate with other campus ministries.  

A FACULTY TRACK will focus on the challenges and opportunities that university professors have to be "missional" in their spheres.

This yearly event is also intended to gather, network, and collaborate with other Christian groups--particularly those in the campus and apologetics/worldview/evangelism sphere. We can accomplish more by working together than we can in isolation. Representatives from many other ministries, churches, and campus organizations are invited. There will be an emphasis on collaborating in order to more effectively advance the Gospel through apologetics. For non-campus related attendees, there will be various apologetics topics to select from as well as instruction and work groups on how to integrate apologetics into their specific spheres of influence. Sessions will focus on practical implementation, collaboration, and building the apologetics movement.

Click on the arrows below for more details.

Banquet KeyNote Speaker

Join the Ratio Christi staff and many other guests to hear an engaging talk from Dr. Carol Swain on Cultural Marxism and the Progressive University. Enjoy a great meal, mix with apologists and students from around the country, and hear testimonies by students as we recall what God has done with Ratio Christi and catch a vision for the future of the movement.

Dr. Carol Swain (B.A., Roanoke College; M.A., Virginia Polytechnic & State Univ.; Ph.D., UNC at Chapel Hill; M.S.L, Yale, 2000; member of Phi Beta Kappa) is a Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law at Vanderbilt University. Rising from a high school dropout and teenage mother to a highly accomplished university professor and public intellectual, Dr. Swain is a dedicated Christian and conservative voice speaking out against identity politics, for uniting under the Judeo-Christian principles of our Founding Fathers, and advocating for a public voice for conservatives who are intimidated to champion an often-unpopular message in today's political and social climate. She is a widely recognized expert on political campaigns, elections, racial politics, immigration reform, and religious liberty. She has served on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities Council and is the founder of the Carol Swain Foundation. Her opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times and USA Today and she is a regular contributor on CNN, BBC, NPR, Fox News, PBS, and ABC among other media. She is the creator and host of “Be the People” television show. She has written seven books including the highly acclaimed book, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress (Harvard University Press) which received many awards including the 1994 Woodrow Wilson prize for the best book published in the U.S. on government, politics or international aairs and which has been cited in U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Her latest co-authored book, is titled: Who’s Stealing our Kids?: The Hidden Agenda to Secularize Our Children

Watch video about Carol Swain's Life

Topics and Speakers

Download Detailed Sunday Schedule of Speakers and Topics

Banquet Keynote Address: Cultural Marxism and the Progressive University - Dr. Carol Swain 

Plenary Speaker: Facing the Giants: A Conservative Christian Faculty's Journey Through Academia - Dr. Carol Swain

Campus Leader Sessions

  • Evangelism on Campus - Tony Feiger
  • Tools for Evangelism on Campus  - Joe Whitchurch
  • How to Build Community In and With Your Students - Joshua & Nita Erlien (RC Directors at UNC Charlotte)
  • Serving Other Student Organizations: Helping THEIR Cause - Blake Anderson & Round Table Panel
  • Building a Network for Your Local RC: Churches, Businesses, Parents, Grandparents, & more - Julie Loos
  • Youth Exodus Project: Introducing Church to Causes and Solutions to Youth Leaving the Church - Ryan Huxley
  • Connecting with Your Audience: Honing Your Presentation Skills (Includes Using Humor and Satire to Engage Students) - Julie Miller
  • Art and Beauty as a Path to Engage with University Students - Mark Allen
  • Fishers of Men: Student Recruitment for Your Chapter (Includes Marketing Tools for Your Chapter)- Jane Pantig, Kaylene Feiger, Caleb Nelson 
  • How to Host a Symposia Mega-Event on Your Campus - Corey Miller 
  • Organizing a Regional Retreat for Your Students and Staff - Joe Whitchurch, Glenn Smith
  • Artifact Apologetics: Using History to Connect with Your Community - Michael Bossman, Brian Rickett, Todd Hillard
  • Patterns of Evidence: Planning a Feature Film Event on Campus - Tim MaHoney (Film Producer)
  • Race, Riots, and the Redeemer: A Dialog on Racial Tension - Melissa Pellew (Ratio Christi)
  • Watch for updates

Faculty/Professor/Teacher Sessions

  • From Secularism to Christianity:  A Conservative Christian Faculty Member's Journey through Academia - Carol Swain (Vanderbilt)
  • How to Host a Symposia Mega-Event on Your Campus - Corey Miller (Ratio Christi)
  • An Invitation to Christian Philosophy - Paul Gould
  • Free Speech, Religious Freedom, and the Campus - Corey Miller and ADF
  • Understanding the Pressure of Being a Prof in a Secular Environment (Open Discussion on Obstacles Professors Face) - Larry Baxter (Ratio Christi)
  • What It Looks Like for a Professor & Spouse to be a Missional Team in Campus Ministry - Tom & Cindy Simpson (UNCW)
  • How Do I Engage Safely Yet Boldly in the Classroom (Legal Issues Briefing) - ADF
  • Becoming a Kingdom Professor - Erica Carlson (Purdue U)
  • Art and Beauty as a Path to Engage with University Students - Mark Allen (U Texas)
  • Using RC's Torah Scroll to Connect with Your Community - Michael Bossman (Ratio Christi)
  • Miracles in the University (a Physicist's perspective on the supernatural) - Erica Carlson (Purdue U)
  • A Physician's Thoughts on the Supernatural - Joe Bergeron, MD
  • Race, Riots, and the Redeemer: A Dialog on Racial Tension - Melissa Pellew (Ratio Christi)
  • Prayer Breakfast for Faculty

Ministry, Parent, Leader, General Sessions (Also open to faculty and campus leaders)

  • Marx, Mohammad, or Messiah: Whose Worldview Will America Choose? - Mark Hanna (Ratio Christi)
  • The Muslim Brotherhood: Origin, Identity, and Agenda - Tony Gurule (Ratio Christi)
  • Cultural Apologetics: Re-establishing the Christian Voice, Conscience, and Imagination - Paul Gould (SWBTS) 
  • An Invitation to Christian Philosophy - Paul Gould (SWBTS)
  • Artifact Apologetics: Using History to Connect with Your Community - Michael Bossman, Brian Rickett, Todd Hillard
  • Art and Beauty as a Path to Engage with University Students - Mark Allen
  • Is Gay OK in the NT? -  Leo Percer (Liberty U)
  • A Textual Analysis of Humanity’s Blueprint: Responding Biblically (OT) to the Gay Christian Movement? - Brian Rickett (BMATS)
  • Philosophy of Sexuality - Adam Tucker (SES)
  • Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism: What Would Jesus Do? - Tom Simpson (UNCW)
  • The Rise and Fall of Christianity's Influence on the West (Gov) - John Stewart (Ratio Christi)
  • The Death of Humanity - Richard Weikart (Discovery Institute)
  • Miracles at the University (A Physicists Perspective on the Supernatural - Erica Carlson (Purdue U) 
  • A Physicians Thoughts on the Supernatural - Joe Bergeron, MD
  • Race, Riots, and the Redeemer: A Dialog on Racial Tension - Melissa Pellew (Ratio Christi)
  • Watch for updates

Hear from an amazing line-up of faculty who are striving to integrate their Christian worldview with their academic disciplines.

  • Carol Swain - Professor, Vanderbilt University. See bio above. [Bio Page
  • Erica Carlson - [Bio Page]  Professor of Physics at Purdue University. She is variously published in physics journals. She is the faculty adviser for Ratio Christi Purdue and a volunteer apologist speaking across the country and beyond with Reasons to Believe.
  • Paul Gould - [Bio Page]   Assistant professor of philosophy and Christian apologetics at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Paul’s research and writing focuses primarily in the areas of Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophical Theology and the relationship between Faith and Scholarship.
  • Corey Miller - [Bio Page]  President/CEO of Ratio Christi and has a PhD in philosophy and theology from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.
  • Tom Simpson - [Bio Page] Executive, Department of Economics & Finance at UNC Wilmington, former senior officer of Board of Governors of Federal Reserve System, Washington, D.C.
  • Mark Hanna - [Bio Page] CEO and entrepreneur, involved in several technology, education, and consumer products related startups, and currently serves as Managing Director of a real estate & investment firm. He holds an M.A. in International Studies from the University of Utah where he focused on worldview studies, specializing in international economics, politics and Islam. A board member for Ratio Christi.
  • Mark Allen - [Bio Page] Lecturer in Art, Design, Creativity at Southern Methodist U, Ph.D. Philosophy of Art & Aesthetics (candidate) at University of Dallas
  • Ryan Huxley - [Bio Page] President of the Intelligent Design and Evolutiuon Awareness (IDEA) Center, Licensed Professional Engineer.
  • Michael Sherrard - [Bio Page] Director of RC College Prep (high school) and a pastor at Crosspoint Community Church in Peachtree City, GA, the author of Relational Apologetics: Defending the Christian Faith with Holiness, Respect, and Truth, and an indie electronic musician who has released two albums. He has a B.A. in Religion and a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Apologetics from Luther Rice University, and is a PhD Cand. at Radboud Universtiy Nimjen under Prof. Jan Van Der Watt.
  • Joe Bergeron (M.D.) - [Bio Page] Specialist in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. He has authored a peer-reviewed analysis of medical hypotheses for Jesus’ cause of death published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine.  
  • Leo Percer - [Bio Page] Program Director of PhD in Theology and Apologetics (LIberty Baptist Theological Seminary). Doctor of Philosophy from Baylor University.
  • Larry Baxter - [Bio Page] Director of RC Prof, Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University
  • Brian Rickett - [Bio Page] Founding Pastor-Teacher of The Bible Church of Beebe (Beebe, Arkansas) and Campus Administrator and Professor of Biblical Studies for the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary’s (BMATS) Arkansas campus.

Please note: Specific topics and faculty/mentors subject to change. Check back often for additions to the roster.


Download Detailed Sunday Schedule with Speakers and Topics

Download General Information and Logistics Details for the various events from Fri. through Sunday. Includes transportation information, locations, contacts, accommodations details, and many more important details.

Ratio Christi leaders have the option (highly recommended) of attending the National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA) hosted by Southern Evangelical Seminary. Included in registration price of NCCA & Symposium if purchased here

Saturday, October 15

Location: Heritage International Ministries Conference Retreat Center.

4:00 pm - Check-in Begins

6:30 pm - 9:00 pm Banquet in Grand Ball Room; Dinner, Keynote Address, student testimonies, and more!

9:15 pm until you drop -  Board Game Night. Hang out with students, apologists, and top scholars. Snacks and games, games, games...

Rooms at Retreat Center: Please expect to stay in a room with one other person (two double beds).

Sunday, October 16

Location: Heritage International Ministries Conference Retreat Center. 

7:30 - 8:45 Buffet Breakfast

8:45 am  Devotional and Instructions

9:00 am - 12 noon Session Block

Includes Coffee Break

12 noon - 1:15 pm Lunch in Grand Ball Room. Good food, fellowship, worship, and encouragement.

1:30 am - 4:00 pm  Session Block

Includes Coffee Break

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Closing Session in Grand Ball Room

See you next year!


Options below are for non-students only. Student Retreat information here

$150 - Entire RC Symposium Only

Entire Ratio Christi Symposium (Sat. evening thru Sun.) - All non-students. Price includes: Sat. evening banquet, Sat. night accommodations, Sun. breakfast & lunch, and all Sun. conference sessions. 

$250 - Entire RC Symposium PLUS National Conference on Christian Apologetics (NCCA)

In addition to previous Symposium items this price Includes two day NCCA conference (all day Fri., Sat. until 4 pm), Fri. lunch, hotel accommodations on Fri. night, and Sat. lunch. Conference details can be found here

What if I don't have that much money?  

We realize that the cost of attending plus travel may be more than some Ratio Christi staff and/or students can afford "out of pocket." We are encouraging Chapter Directors to start planning right away in order to be able to attend and to bring as many students with you as possible. For many campus ministries, it is typical for students attending retreats to raise financial support to attend. This can also be a great learning opportunity in fundraising, teamwork, and prayer. We hope your club will plan together on how to get as many Ratio Christi students as possible to the retreat. The student organizing committee for the retreat has put together several Fundraising Tools that can be downloaded here including a guide, sample fundraising letter, and more. 

Our goal is to help every student and staff member that desires to attend to this event to do so! Please contact us if you need additional suggestions or information on how to go about the funding process.

Scholarships may also be available on a limited basis if and when we receive donations toward student scholarships. If a Chapter Director does not have the full financial means to attend even after pursuing fundraising options please contact us with your specific need.

Also, some staff and students who are local to the Charlotte, NC area may wish to save money by not staying at the retreat center on Saturday evening, or by not attending some part of the retreat. However, we want to encourage attendees to participate in everything. If someone wants to opt out of a particular event they can, but the price would not change. We really desire a “community feel” for this weekend which is the primary reason we want to have everyone stay at the same location. It allows for interaction and discussions other than during the formal meeting times. So, even those within commuting distance will stay in the same lodging. The Ratio Christi staff and faculty mentors will also be staying in the same location.


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