Second Sunday Theology Forum
11:45 (after the 10:30 Mass)
January 16 Life as a Christian in Syria: A Personal Testimony
Mr. Jihad Makdissi
February 13 Who is My Neighbor?
Rev. Dr. Frank Wade
March 6 Repentance, Forgiveness and Ashes
Rev. James Farwell
May 15 Falling in Love with God: Learning from The Mystics
Dr. Kathy Staudt
June 19 How Can the Holy Spirit Inspire Us?
Dr. Barry Seltser
Rev. Dr. James Farwell (B.A. Catholic University, M.Div. General Theological
Seminary, Ph.D. Emory University) is the Professor of Theology and Liturgy at
Virginia Theological Seminary. He is the author of two books and numerous articles
and essays on liturgy and sacraments, inter-religious engagement, and dual
religious practice. He is co-editor of the forthcoming T&T Clark Companion to
Sacraments and Sacramentality.
Mr. Jihad Makdissi Former Foreign Ministry spokesperson of the Syrian government, Mr. Makdissi is a member of Syria Catholic minority and is fluent in English and French. After graduating from Al-Nour high school in Damascus, he studied at the École Nationale; Administration (ENA) in Paris. He received his master's degree in Diplomacy and
International Relations from the University of Westminster and his doctorate from the
American University of London in Media Studies. Prior to becoming official spokesman,
he had worked for five years in Syria’s embassy in London.
Dr. Kathleen H. Staudt (A.B. Smith, Ph.D. Yale) has taught theology, spirituality,
and literature at the University of Maryland, Virginia Theological Seminary, and
Wesley Theological Seminary and is active as a leader of retreats and education
programs. She is the author of three books of poetry as well as two scholarly
studies of poet and artist David Jones.
Dr. Barry Seltser (B.A., Ph.D. Yale) B.A., Ph.D. Yale, taught religious studies at
two universities and has offered adult education courses at churches for more than
30 years. Dr. Seltser was a researcher of the Senior Executive Service at the U.S.
Government Accountability Office and has been part of Christ Church Forum
programs for nearly 30 years.
Rev. Dr. Francis H. Wade (graduate The Citadel, M. Div. Virginia Theological
Seminary) was ordained in 1966 and served as Rector of St. Alban’s Church and
Interim Dean of Washington National Cathedral. His sermons and meditations have
been widely published, and he is author of The Art of Being Together: Common
Sense about Lifelong Relationships and recently Biblical Fracking: Midrash for the
Modern Christian. He is also an adjunct professor at Virginia Theological Seminary.