Home > Events > Upcoming Events



2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Prof. Volker Leppin will deliver the XXXVII Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lecture at the University of San Francisco on Monday, February 27nd, 2017, at 7:30pm in the McLaren Conference Center, Room 252.

Leppin is Professor of Church history at Jena and Tübingen Universities in Germany. He serves as Director of the Institute for Late Medieval and Reformation Times, Tübingen and is a member of the Academies of Saxonia (Leipzig) and Heidelberg. He studied German literature and theology at Marburg, Jerusalem and Heidelberg. He earned his doctoral degree at Heidelberg in 1994 and his habilitation in 1997. Author of eleven books on Church History, Martin Luther, German Lutheranism during the Reformation and William of Occam, Prof. Leppin will speak about the challenges that the Reformation has presented to ecumenism, on its 500th anniversary.

The Paul Wattson Christian Unity Lectures honor the memory of the Servant of God Fr. Paul of Graymoor (Reverend Paul James Francis Wattson, SA,1863-1940), founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement and pioneer for the cause of Christian Unity. These annual lectures feature national and international leaders in the fields of ecumenism and interreligious dialogue who speak on current topics of interest. Initiated in 1974 at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, the series was expanded in 1980 to the University of San Francisco; then, in 1995 to the Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax; and in 1996 to the Toronto School of Theology in Toronto. In 1998, it was added to the ministry of the Friars at their Centro Pro Unione in Rome honoring not only Father Paul, but also Mother Lurana White, SA, founder of the Franciscan Sisters of the Atonement. In 2017, the first Paul Wattson Lecture in Chicago will take place in October in conjunction with the Catholic Theological Union, and will feature Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, fourth presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

The University of San Francisco is a Catholic institute of higher education founded by the Jesuits in 1855. USFCA enrolls approximately 11,000 students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate academic degree programs. The University’s Theology faculty has academic expertise in both Catholic and Protestant Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism and in several Social Sciences that explore the human experience of the Divine. The Friars have chosen to share sponsorship of this prestigious annual lecture program with USF because of their innovative and ecumenical reputation.

View Press Release >>