Meet the 2022 Writers’ Symposium Speakers

This year, for the Writers’ Symposium by the Sea, three authors have been invited: Nadia Bolz-Weber, David Brooks, and Cornel West. Each writer has incredible talent and credentials, and each brings a unique perspective to the craft of writing.

The Writers’ Symposium by the Sea is an annual event held on Point Loma Nazarene University’s campus, where writers of all backgrounds come to give presentations, host dialogues and participate in interviews about writing.

Nadia Bolz-Weber, an ordained Lutheran minister, is the founder of the House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, CO. She is the author of three books: “Accidental Saints; Finding God in All the Wrong People,” “Pastrix; The Cranky, Beautiful Faith of a Sinner and Saint,” and “Shameless; A Sexual Reformation.” Her ability to speak to people on the margins is a hallmark of her writing and preaching. Dean Nelson, head of the PLNU journalism department, will be conducting her interview on Tuesday, Feb. 22.

David Brooks is an op-ed columnist for The New York Times and a contributing editor for The Atlantic and Newsweek. He is the author of four books: “Bobos in Paradise,” “The Social Animal,” “The Road to Character” and “The Second Mountain.” His commentary on culture and what Americans believe in is insightful and striking. His interview is on Wed, Feb. 23.

Cornel West is a powerful writer, teacher, and speaker who has authored over 20 books and edited 13. He is professor emeritus at Princeton University and the current Dietrich Bonhoeffer Chair at Union Theological Seminary. He is best known for his classic books “Race Matters” and “Democracy Matters.” West’s ability to speak into the hard places makes him an author you don’t want to miss. His interview is on Fri, Feb. 25.

The anticipation for the 27th Symposium is strong, due to the fact that COVID-19 canceled last year’s. The tradition is decades long, and the excitement has only continued to build.

Brennan Ernst, fourth year literature major, said he can’t wait for this year’s events.

“I’ve been to one Writers’ Symposium before and it was great. I saw Dean interview Alice Walker and it was surreal to hear her speak,” Ernst said. “I am excited [for this year]! I’m going to see Nadia Bolz-Weber and Cornel West but I’m not sure who I’m more excited to hear from.”

The events are spread out so guests can attend each one. Tickets are five dollars for students and many professors are giving their students tickets for free!

The excitement isn’t just limited to students. Mark Maddix, dean of the school of theology and Christain ministry, is looking forward to hearing from each speaker and their different perspectives.

“I think this year’s speakers will continue the long tradition of having high quality speakers that are insightful, provocative, and engaging,” Maddix said in an email interview with The Point.

“Each time I attend the event, I am amazed by the high quality of guest speakers and the great job Dr. Nelson does interviewing them.”

The Writer’s Symposium is an event where all kinds of people can come together to learn about writing, storytelling, and life. It’s also an opportunity for students to come and hear from expert writers at little to no cost.

Each speaker has something different to offer. 

“I think it is a good balance of speakers. David Brooks is a well known New York Times journalist. His columns are very balanced and come from a more conservative perspective. On the other side is Cornel West, who is an activist, philosopher and social critic. Nadia Bolz-Weber has an incredible story of redemption. She has served as a Luther pastor and ministers to people on the margins.  She is ministering people that most of us are unable to reach,” said Maddix.

Written By: Emma McCoy