Shurden Lectures to feature Eboo Patel

DALLAS (SMU) – Eboo Patel is the featured speaker for the 2020 Walter B. and Kay W. Shurden Lectures on Religious Liberty and Separation of Church and State, which take place March 5 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. on the campus of SMU. The event is hosted by the Baptist House of Studies at Perkins School of Theology at SMU and co-sponsored by BJC (Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty), a national organization dedicated to preserving faith freedom for all.

Patel is the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC) and a national leader in efforts to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. Patel has authored four books and dozens of articles, spoken on more than 150 campuses, and served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. U.S. News & World Report in 2009 named him one of America’s Best Leaders for his work on issues of religious diversity and democracy.

The 2020 Shurden Lectures will place on the SMU campus.  The program kicks off at 11:30 a.m. with Patel speaking on “Religious Freedom and a Theology of Interfaith Cooperation” in Perkins Chapel, 6001 Bishop Blvd, Dallas, TX 75205.  A lunch will follow at 12:15 p.m. with a conversation between Patel and George Mason, pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church, in the Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Great Hall, 5901 Bishop Boulevard. (Tickets for lunch are $10 and are only payable at the door. You must RSVP to receive a parking pass.) At 2 p.m., Patel will conclude the program with a talk on “Religious Freedom and Interfaith Leadership” in Harold Clark Simmons Hall, 6401 Airline Road, Rooms 101A and 101D.

The program is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Dr. Walter B. and Dr. Kay W. Shurden made a gift to BJC in 2004 to establish this annual lectureship. Each lecturer is as leader who can inspire and call others to an ardent commitment to religious freedom and the separation of church and state. The lectures are held at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, every three years and at another seminary, college or university the other years.