Family Dinner

(Formally Faith & Leadership Institute)

You are invited to engage community leaders as they tell the story about how their faith undergirds and inspires their leadership, and their work to build a better world. Learn from business leaders, scientists, professors, and community activists as we share a meal, listen, and engage in conversation.

We are a diverse community here at the U, and these conversations are meant to be ecumenical and interfaith in nature. We strive to reflect this in our speakers, and in the conversation partners that we engage with around tables, as we share food and conversation. 



Free Meal // Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. CMU Mississippi Room

Join Austen Hartke, author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians for a conversation about gender diversity in Christian communities. Hear Austen’s story about growing up as a bisexual, transgender person of faith, and bring your questions for a time of compassionate and respectful discussion.

Free and delicious food is provided in the Mississippi Room at Coffman so please RSVP through this Facebook event or by emailing by Monday, February 18.

+ Google Calendar


Wed., April 11; 7pm // Food and Faith with Dan Guenthner & Margaret Pennings
RSVP here!

Join the farmers who own and operate Common Harvest Farm to talk about the connections they experience between food, farming, and faith!


SSF Logo

These events are partially SSF funded.


Wed., Jan. 31; 7pm // Faith, Disability and Making Sense of Scripture

Join Professor Mary Lowe to talk about how our faith intersects with disability and mental illness, and how to “think theologically” about what wholeness and healing look like for every person.

Wed., Oct. 11; 7-8pm // Faith, Politics and our Vocation of Citizenship

In October, we will hear from Senator John Marty (DFL, member of Mt. Olivet Lutheran in Mpls). He will share how his faith informs his vocation as an elected official, and then we’ll have a conversation about what shared values inform their work together.

Wed., Nov. 8; 7-8m // Faith, Science & Healing

In November, we will be joined by Professor and Dean of the School of Nursing, Connie Delaney. She will explore how she’s navigated the intersections of faith, science and healing throughout her life, and how she understands her vocation as the Dean of the School of Nursing.

The Intersection of Spirituality & Identity: A Story of Faith From a Queer Black Lens
In November, join Jason Jackson, Associate Director of the U of M’s Gender and Sexuality Center to discuss the intersection of race, sexuality and spirituality, the challenges of navigating that path, and how this unique identity contributes to his leadership, and playing a part in building a better world.


Faith, Politics and Finding Common Ground 
In October, we will hear from two state legislators: Senator John Marty (DFL, member of Mt. Olivet Lutheran in Mpls), and former Representative Phil Krinkie (Republican, member of Incarnation Lutheran in Shoreview). They’ll share how their faith informs their vocation as an elected official, and then we’ll have a conversation about what shared values inform their work together.


Mental Illness, Leadership and Spirituality
Hear from community leaders about how their own mental illness and spirituality has intersected with their leadership in the community.  Dinner will be served at 7, and we’ll settle in to learn and talk around 7:15.



Matthew 20: 26-28

26 …whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; 28 just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”