The idea of The Maryville Symposium arises from the daily discourse and experience of two essential qualities embedded in Maryville College’s identity: the spirit of the liberal arts and church-relatedness.

The liberal arts ideal invites critical inquiry into all aspects of life, and it puts no conditions on that pursuit of truth. At the same time, the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition of Christianity insists that all reality be held in relation to God, thus finding all academic subject matters worthy of study.

The Maryville Symposium, an annual gathering at Maryville College, will bring together the inquisitive minds and hearts of leading scholars to address the vitally important moral and ethical questions of our day.

Faith & Learning at Maryville College

“Founded by leaders of the Presbyterian/Reformed tradition, Maryville College is related to the Presbyterian Church (USA) in a voluntary covenant. In an atmosphere of freedom and sensitivity, Maryville College bears witness to God’s revelation in Jesus Christ who challenges all human beings to search for truth, to work for justice, to develop wisdom and to become loving persons. Continuing in this vital faith, the College believes that it must listen attentively and humbly to all human voices so that it may hear the call of God no matter how God may speak.”

— from the College’s Statement of Purpose

Dr. Ron Wells

Ronald A. Wells

Director of The Maryville Symposium

Ronald A. Wells is a historian whose work has focused on peace and justice issues and on bringing “faith and learning” discourse into professional historical scholarship. He is author or editor of fourteen books, including People Behind the Peace: Community and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland, History and the Christian Historian, and History Through the Eyes of Faith. He taught for many years at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. He is on the editorial board of two magazines and was for fourteen years editor of Fides et Historia, the professional journal of The Conference on Faith and History, an affiliated society of the American Historical Association.