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Alumnus and Former Professor speaks at Showers Lecture.

Posted on 03.27.2013

Alumnus and Former Professor of Religion at the University of Indianapolis Steven O’Malley spoke at the Showers Lecture on March 19 about the pedigree of the University motto: Education for Service.

O’Malley has written and edited seven books, including “Touched by Godliness,” “The Legacy of The Otterbein’s” and “Early German American Evangelicalism.” He also knew President I. Lynd Esch and had the opportunity to talk to him about his life’s work.

O’Malley was ordained in 1957 in Ransburg Auditorium when the university was known as Indiana Central. O’Malley first gave the lecture in 2008 and is the only person who has given the Showers Lecture twice.

“I feel highly honored to be able to speak to the faculty and students of this institution again,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley began the lecture by thanking the faculty, students, friends of UIndy, his wife of 24 years and his father-in-law.

During the lecture, O’Malley talked about the ideological core convictions of UIndy and its incredible potential for informing and reshaping its educational enterprise in strategically important and compelling ways. He explained the university’s motto as being connected to the service and guidance of God.

“I am eager to see the university realize its potential as a God-given institution of higher education in the 21st century,” O’Malley said. “The vision of this university was originated from the mission of God.”

O’Malley stated that our service is not just to ourselves but to others as well. He said that the theological approach to service defines service as baptism, and baptism in that sense is our commission to a life of service.

“Baptism incorporates one eternally in the body of Christ. The gift of the spirit in confirmation makes one a living member of that body in Christ,” O’Malley said.

O’Malley also said that one’s eternal destiny is connected to his or her life and service on earth. He advised that everyone must strive to be what is declared to us in our baptism and receive what he or she truly is, a true Christian being.

“There are two types of service,” O’Malley said. “The service that is God-serving and the service that is self-serving.”

O’Malley explained that we make choices regarding the type of service we want to partake in, but in every choice, it is more beneficial to serve God and our neighbor rather than just ourselves.

Senior business major Yaa Opoku appreciated the message of the lecture.

“I learned that through the UIndy motto, we are all connected by service to our neighbor or by service to God,” Opoku said. “I understand our motto way better now, and I feel empowered to go out and make the world better.”

O’Malley said he wishes UIndy the best and hopes the institution grows in the light, love and service of God. He also encouraged faculty and students not to relent in the completion of God’s mission.

“It’s not that churches and schools have missions on behalf of God, but God is the one who has a mission,” O’Malley said. “And sometimes God uses schools as vehicles of that mission.”


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