The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies Activities
The Guild Institute represents the future for the family…at HCU, in our city and throughout the world. It will be a place where preaching and research will reinforce strong scholarship on campus and in the community. Through The Guild Institute Houston Christian University will be truly “salt” and “light” to the world.
2022-2023 Speakers Lisa Morris Simon, Stewart Morris, Jr., Dr. Robert Sloan, and Dr. Chris Hammons
On Thursday, September 29, 2022, The Guild Institute of Christian Family Studies celebrated the opening of the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty, the newest building on the Houston Christian University campus, with a program that delineated the development, construction, and ongoing mission of this stately building. Under a brilliant blue sky, the classic colonial building, which was constructed in a style reminiscent of the historic Independence Hall in Philadelphia, the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, welcomed Guild members to an informative, inspirational program.
The event took place in the Center’s second-floor meeting room where attendees first enjoyed light refreshments and a video of the construction of the building accompanied by patriotic music. The program began with members of Schola Cantorum singing an inspiring a cappella version of “God Bless America.” Guild President, Jeanne Walker, welcomed Guild members and guests followed by the Guild Chaplain, Debra Perich, leading a prayer. Jeanne Walker introduced the program speakers, Lisa Morris Simon, President of the Joella and Stewart Morris Family Foundation; Stewart Morris, Jr., President of Stewart Security Capital LLC; Dr. Sloan, HCU President and Dr. Chris Hammons, Director of the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty. Lisa Morris Simon, Stewart Morris, Jr. and Dr. Sloan shared information about the historical development of the project, biblical passages that support its purposes, and the motivation and inspiration for its creation. A highlight of the day was the presentation of special blankets with a picture of the beautiful Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty by Dr. Sloan to Founding Father, Dr. Stewart Morris, and our two speakers.
Dr. Chris Hammons spoke next. It was his idea to build a center 10 years ago. The Center’s purpose is to teach the next generation of leaders the importance of our nation’s history, founding documents, and Constitutional principles. He used a multimedia presentation to share how the building complex will be used to house classes relating to the Center’s mission and other academic programs, such as faculty lectures, guest speakers, and teacher workshops. He also shared that the building would become a field trip destination for area schools, a conference center for civic groups and the business community, and a place for HCU to host educational events for the community.
The co-chairs of the event, Dr. Kaye Busiek and Dr. Carol McGaughey, who are both retired professors from the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences at HCU, closed the program thanking members of the HCU Guild family that assisted with the event: Sharon Saunders, Patti Bailey, Candace Desrosiers, Jeanne Walker, Debra Perich, Susan Harris, Cookie Peeler, Anne Roper, Dr. Klotz and the members of the Schola Cantorum choir, HCU Student Foundation volunteers, and the HCU photographers and caterers.
The Guild members and guests were invited to view the two first floor rooms set-up to replicate the actual Signing Room of the Declaration of Independence and the Courtroom, which was directly across the main entrance hall. The historical detail which has gone into both the outside of the building and the inside is impressive right down to quills and personal items laid out where delegates sat in the antique chairs of the Signing Room. This Guild event holds the distinction of being the first function held in the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty after the Ribbon Cutting event held on September 15, 2022. Consequently, the Guild now holds a place in history with this significant addition to the HCU campus.
2021-2022 Honoring HCU's Founding Father, Dr. Stewart Morris
On Wednesday, October 27, 2021, during Convocation, The Guild joined the Houston Christian University student body, faculty and staff in honoring HCU’s Founding Father, Dr. Stewart Morris, and celebration of his 102nd birthday. As honored guests, The Guild members were seated in a special section of the Dunham Theater to hear the musical presentations of trumpeter, George Chase, and pianist, Dr. Dan Kramlich. We also enjoyed the unique perspectives into the life of Dr. Morris from the Director of the Morris Family Center for Law and Liberty, Dr. Christopher Hammons; Professor of Law and Jurisprudence, Dr. John Tyler; and HCU President, Dr. Robert Sloan. Dr. Morris’ dedication to the Lord, his service to our community, and his dedication to Houston Christian University is truly inspirational.
After Convocation, the Guild members were treated to a luncheon in the Morris Cultural Arts Center. Our Guild President, Judy Craig, welcomed everyone and asked for God’s blessings over our afternoon, the life of Dr. Morris and mission of HCU. On behave of the Guild, she presented Dr. Morris with a gift.
During the luncheon, photographs of Dr. Morris’ life were projected. Lisa Simon and Stewart Morris, Jr. both spoke about their life with and appreciation of their father. Sue Sloan and Sharon Saunders finished with their kind reflections of Dr. Morris and opened the microphone for any other comments.
We ended the day by singing Happy Birthday to Dr. Morris.
- 2019-2020 Celebrates Dr. Stewart Morris' 100th Birthday
2018-2019 Dr. Stewart Morris Honored
On October 24, 2018, Dr. Stewart Morris, HCU’s Founding Father, was honored at Convocation and a special luncheon with family, friends and faculty in the Morris Cultural Arts Center to celebrate his 99th birthday. Following the luncheon, the group was joined by HCU staff and students outside the Morris Cultural Arts Center for the dedication of a bronze statue in honor of Dr. Morris.
2016-2017 HCU Founding Father, Dr. Stewart Morris
On October 26, 2016, The Guild Institute in Christian Family Studies honored HCU Founding Father Dr. Stewart Morris, who continues to be instrumental in helping the University evolve into the dynamic Christian University we see today. Convocation speakers and longtime friends of the Morris family, Edd & Nina Hendee, shared rich moments about Texas history with students, faculty and friends. The Hendees then participated in an informative Q&A discussion with the audience. Following Convocation, the celebration continued with a luncheon in McNair Hall welcoming HCU faculty as guest of The Guild, highlighted by a dialogue with Dr. Sloan and the Morris family.
2017-2018 Speaker, Lynne Jorden Martin
On October 18, 2017, Lynne Jordal Martin spoke at Convocation in the Morris Cultural Arts Center on the HCU Campus. Martin, who is Senior Opinion Editor for Fox News, is passionate about faith, family, news, food, travel and music. A lifelong Episcopalian, she is an Education for Ministry mentor and serves on the board of Forward Movement Publications. A graduate of Wellesley College, she was the recipient of a Rotary International Scholarship and studied Political Science and International Relations at the Free University of Berlin. Following Convocation, The Guild hosted a luncheon for HCU Faculty.
2015-2016 Speaker, Dr. Hunter Baker
On October 14, 2015, The Institute welcomed Dr. Hunter Baker as guest speaker at HCU’s Convocation where he inspired students with his talk on “A Graduation Speech Before Graduation.” Following Convocation, The Guild honored HCU faculty with a luncheon in McNair Hall featuring Dr. Baker and President Robert Sloan in a discussion on the importance of family for human flourishing, the relationship of the family to politics and freedom, and raising children in the church. Dr. Baker, an academic dean and associate professor of political science at Union University in Jackson, Tn., serves as associate editor for the Journal of Markets and Morality and is a contributing editor for Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. Dr. Baker is also a research fellow of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and is the author of three books: The End of Secularism; Political Thought: A Student’s Guide; and The System Has a Soul. Prior to his tenure at Union, Dr. Baker served as director of Strategic Planning and as a member of the Faculty at HCU, where he co-founded The City, the University journal.
2014-2015 Speakers, Lee Strobel and Dr. William Lane Craig
On October 15, 2014, Lee Strobel and Dr. William Lane Craig were featured speakers at HCU’s Convocation, followed by a luncheon in McNair hall with HCU faculty as special guests. The Institute welcomed Lee Strobel as guest speaker for a second year and was pleased to introduced Dr. Craig to the HCU campus. Professor Strobel, in his second year at HCU, is an award-winning legal editor of The Chicago Tribune and New York Times best-selling author. Dr. Craig, an internationally known philosopher and theologian, is teaching his first class at HCU this fall. He is the author of more than 40 books and 150 journal articles, including his signature book Reasonable Faith. A dialogue with President Robert Sloan was an added feature.
2013-2014 Speaker, Lee Strobel
On February 19, 2014, Lee Strobel, one of the evangelical community’s most popular apologists and author of many books, including The Case for Christ, was The Institute’s guest lecturer at HCU’s Convocation. The Guild hosted a special luncheon honoring HCU faculty where Lee Strobel and President Robert Sloan discussed issues facing the Christian family.
2012-2013 Speaker, Trudy Cathy White
On October 23 and 24, 2012, Trudy Cathy White, was The Institute’s guest lecturer at a community event and HCU Convocation. Mrs. White is the daughter of Truett Catty, founder and CEO of Chick-Fil-A. Her life goal is to obey God’s leadership, nurture family relationships and promote godly character in the next generation. She and her husband, John, have spent the last 33 years investing in the lives of others with programs such as IMPACT 360 and WinShape Camps designed to encourage young adults to be Christ-centered servant leaders.
2011-2012 Speaker, Gary Thomas
On October 26, 2011, Gary Thomas, an international speaker and best-selling author, whose desire is to bring people closer to Christ and closer to others, delivered The Guild lecture and spoke at HCU Convocation.
- Don’t Get Married … Until You Hear This Talk – Convocation
- Pleasure: Why Do Christians Feel So Bad About Feeling Good? – Guild Lecture
2010-2011 Speaker, Dr. Voddie Baucham
On September 29, 2010, Dr. Voddie Baucham, Pastor of Preaching at Grace Family Baptist Church, Spring, Texas, presented a series of lectures to audiences including Convocation and Freshman Year Seminar, Homeschool networks and community outreach.
2009-2010 Speaker, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse
- What happened to the culture of marriage in the west?
- How can the Christian university restore a culture of marriage?