Thomas H. Lake Lecture

This annual lecture invites a noted scholar or practitioner to speak on a topic related to faith and giving


Named in honor of philanthropic leader Thomas H. Lake, this annual lecture invites a noted scholar or practitioner to speak on a topic related to faith and giving, and includes opportunities for audience conversation and interaction with speakers.

Lake Lecture 2022

From one perspective, American society might seem to be falling apart. However, from another vantage point, we can see a more complex, nuanced picture. At our 17th Annual Thomas H. Lake Lecture, David Brooks and Anne Snyder shared stories from the frontlines of community rebuilding and civic creativity, and talked about the sacred re-weaving of institutions of all forms.

Past Lake Lectures

2019 – Lynne Twist

Title: “The Soul of Money: Shifting from Scarcity to Abundance”
Speaker: Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money
Date: April 11, 2019
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2018 – Scott Harrison

Title: “Reinventing Charity”
Speaker: Scott Harrison, founder and CEO of charity:water
Date: March 8, 2018
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2017 – Eboo Patel

Title: “Building a Diverse Democracy: Exploring the Theologies and Practice of Interfaith Cooperation.”
Speaker: Eboo Patel, Ph.D., Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core
Date: March 30, 2017
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2016 – Jonathan Walton

Title: “Jesus, Chief Executive: The Gospel of Health and Wealth at the Core of American Religion.”
Speaker: Jonathan Walton, Ph.D., Plummer Professor of Christian Morals, the Pusey Minister in the Memorial Church and Professor of Religion and Society at Harvard Divinity School
Date: March 31, 2016
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2015 – Christian Smith

Title: “The Generosity Equation: Donors, Faith, & Avenues to Giving”
Speaker: Christian Smith, Ph.D., William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame
Date: March 12, 2015
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2014 – Craig Dykstra

Title: “Cultivating Thriving Communities of Faith: The Promise of Strategic Religious Philanthropy”
Speaker: Craig Dykstra, Ph.D., Research Professor of Practical Theology and Senior Fellow in Leadership Education at Duke Divinity School
Date: March 27, 2014
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2013 – Ann Braude

Title: “Walking the Second Mile: Women, Religion, and Philanthropy”
Speaker: Ann Braude, Ph.D., director of the Women’s Studies in Religion Program and Senior Lecturer on American Religious History at Harvard Divinity School
Date: April 11, 2013
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2012 – James Hodge

Title: “If Philanthropy Is All About Relationships, Then Why Do Metrics Only Measure Money?”
Speaker: James M. Hodge III, Vice Chair and Director of Principal Gifts at the Mayo Clinic
Date: March 22, 2012
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2011 – Richard Gunderman

Title: “The Undiminished Flame: Education, Giving and the Quest for Faith”
Speaker: Richard Gunderman, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Radiology, Pediatrics, Medical Education, Philosophy, Liberal Arts, and Philanthropy at Indiana University
Date: March 24, 2011
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David D. Daniels III, Ph.D., Professor of Church History, McCormick Theological Seminary

“Lake Institute is a rare place because people are invited to reflect on stewardship, faith, and giving in a rich environment where both a scientific and theological component are valued.”

David D. Daniels III, Ph.D., Professor of Church History, McCormick Theological Seminary
2010 – Ingrid Mattson

Title: “Zakat in America: The Evolving Role of Islamic Charity in Community Cohesion”
Speaker: Ingrid Mattson, Ph.D., Professor of Islamic Studies and founder of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program and director of the Macdonald Center for the Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations
Date: March 25, 2010
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2009 – Elliot Dorff

Title: “Donations of Ill-Gotten Gain: A Jewish Legal Perspective”
Speaker: Rabbi Elliot N. Dorff, Ph.D., Rector and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles
Date: March 26, 2009
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2008 – Paul Schervish

Title: “Receiving & Giving as Spiritual Exercise: The Spirituality of Care in Soul, Relationship, and Community”
Speaker: Paul Schervish, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy (CWP) at Boston College, and National Research Fellow at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy
Date: April 10, 2008
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2007 – Mark Noll

Title: “The Logic of Evangelicalism & The Challenges of Philanthropy”
Speaker: Mark Noll, Ph.D., the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame and co-founder of The Institute for the Study of American Evangelicalism
Date: March 29, 2007
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2006 – Luke Timothy Johnson

Title: “The Life of Faith & the Faithful Use of Possessions”
Speaker: Luke Timothy Johnson, Ph.D., the R.W. Woodruff Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University
Date: April 6, 2006
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2005 – Martin Marty

Title: “The Market & the Donor: Creative Destruction and Creative Construction”
Speaker: Martin Marty, Ph.D., the Fairfax M. Cone Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago
Date: March 10, 2005
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2003 – Robert Wuthnow

Title: “Faith & Giving: From Christian Charity to Spiritual Practice”
Speaker: Robert Wuthnow, Ph.D., Director of the Center for the Study of Religion at Princeton University
Date: September 25, 2003
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