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MVNU Lecture Artist Series focuses on disabilities from a Christian worldview

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Mount Vernon Nazarene University’s Lecture Artist Series will draw attention to advancing Christian principles and discipleship with and through those with disabilities, on Thursday, Jan. 23, from 7-8 p.m., with guest speaker Jamia Cinelli, area director of Joni and Friends of Ohio, in the R.R. Hodges Chapel/Auditorium.

Joni and Friends celebrated its 40th anniversary in ministry in 2019 and the Columbus office will mark its 20th anniversary in February 2020. The mission of Joni and Friends is to communicate the Gospel and equip Christ-honoring churches worldwide to evangelize and disciple individuals affected by disabilities.

“There has been a focus of bringing speakers to campus who could present on vocation — how does one live out a Christian worldview such that the culture is impacted,” said Paul Madtes, Lecture Artist Series committee member. “A few years ago, we started exploring the possibility of doing this through examining topics that impact our culture. We started with Human Trafficking (2018) and followed with Drug Use Impact (2019). We thought it would be good to address disabilities in 2020. Since Joni and Friends is one of the leading organizations addressing this issue, we contacted the Columbus office and developed a plan for the evening presentation.”

Cinelli will focus on seeing God’s hand in suffering.

“This conversation is critical on a college campus where preparations for life and career decision are being made,” said Cinelli. “We will take a look at some bio-ethical issues with which some students may be faced, as well as looking at how God leads and can use individuals in more ways and areas than might be imagined initially.”  

The Lecture Artist Series, which is free and open to the public, is an outreach for MVNU to start a community conversation on campus with the goal of extending the dialogue to Chapel, the classrooms, homes and local churches.

Mount Vernon Nazarene University is a private, four-year, intentionally Christian teaching university for traditional age students, graduate students, and working adults. With a 327-acre main campus in Mount Vernon, Ohio, and several convenient Graduate and Professional Studies locations throughout the state, MVNU emphasizes academic excellence, spiritual growth, and service to community and church. MVNU offers an affordable education to more than 2,200 students from 29 states and 14 countries/U.S. territories.