The Great Conversation (TGC)
A Conversation with our Community
We’ve designed TGC to allow our students and our community to participate in a dialogue that transforms the way we live, study, work, and engage the world—or, stated another way: how we think and live well. TGC taps into the great conversations, debates, and issues of our time—and throughout history.
TGC includes online postings and videos, guest lecturers in Pacifica classrooms, public symposia on topics of interest, salon-style events with Pacifica faculty members, and major community speaking events. TGC speakers include Pacifica educators, visiting professors, marketplace and non-profit professionals, public officials, and church leaders.
Ultimately, through TGC, we learn that all parts of life matter to God, including entering into a good conversation with our neighbors—whether or not we always agree. It is with this understanding that we encourage our community to pursue lifelong learning, relationships, and careers. And we encourage our students in the training of their minds, the engaging of their world, and their faithfully leading wherever they are called.
PAST TGC EVENTS
Senator Ben Sasse Event on Meaning and Happiness
An Evening with The Bard – “Shakespeare’s Macbeth”
C. S. Lewis Symposium 2017
Morality & American Foreign Policy
Acton Event – “The Free and Virtuous Society”
C. S. Lewis Symposium 2015 – “Education of the Soul”
An Evening With Pacifica – “Why Study English”
David L. Bahnsen
David L. Bahnsen is Founder, Managing Director, and Chief Investment Officer of The Bahnsen Group, a private wealth management boutique in Newport Beach. David has been named one of Barron’s America’s Top 1,200 Advisors, On Wall Street’s Top 40 Advisors, and Financial Times Top 400 Advisors in America. David brought The Bahnsen Group independent through the elite boutique fiduciary, HighTower Advisors, in early 2015. David is a frequent guest on CNBC, Fox Business, and Bloomberg, and is a regular columnist for Forbes magazine, focusing on the synthesis of markets and ethics. David serves on the faculty of Acton University and the Blackstone Institute, where he lectures on various aspects of the marketplace, economics, and applied worldview. David is a co-founder of Pacifica and the Vice-President of its Board of Trustees.
Rev. Hayden Butler
Hayden Butler is the founding Chair of the English Department at Pacifica Christian High School Orange County. He completed his undergraduate work in English Literature before continuing to study English and also Theology at the graduate level. His reading focused on the intersection of poetry and prayer in Shakespearean tragedy. As a teacher, Hayden seeks a sense of integrity, joy, and rigor in an interdisciplinary approach to the study of English. As an Anglican clergyman, he gratefully invites his formation in the liberal arts to assist his work as a preacher and pastor.
Carlson & Jayakumar LLP is based in Newport Beach and is focused on employment and healthcare. Keith has represented Fortune 500 companies, the largest California hospitals, as well as individual healthcare practitioners and small‐business owners. He has held church‐leadership positions for a decade, including teaching and preaching responsibilities. Keith has extensive experience on school‐related boards at all levels of education, including, Santa Ana Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee, Irvine Valley College Foundation Board of Governors, Boards of both Whittier and Chapman Law Schools, and Pacifica Christian High School‐Santa Monica Board of Advisors.
Keith and his wife Amy live in Huntington Beach with their four children, who attend Huntington Christian School. While serving on civic boards, he volunteers as a soccer coach and as Chairman of Cub Scout Pack 1. Previously, he was the California Republican Party’s Treasurer and oversaw party finances for three Gubernatorial and two Presidential elections. Both he and his wife attended UCLA. Keith graduated from UCLA School of Law, while Amy got her Masters in Education and taught in both local public and Christian schools. Keith earned the UCLA Chancellor’s Service Award for his work with inner‐city youth as a Young Life leader.
Fr. Andrew Cuneo
Andrew Cuneo graduated from Stanford with a B.A. in English and then traveled to England to complete an M.Phil. in English Renaissance Literature at the University of Oxford. Before completing graduate studies, he assisted Walter Hooper with research on the unpublished letters of C. S. Lewis, a subject which then became the focus of his doctorate at Oxford. The University awarded him his D.Phil. in English in 2001, making him the first Oxford scholar ever to receive a doctoral degree on C. S. Lewis. Andrew was a former Professor of English and C. S. Lewis Scholar at Hillsdale College and St. Katherine’s College.
Diana Pavlac Glyer is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She has published extensively on Lewis, Tolkien, and the Inklings, including contributions to The C. S. Lewis Readers’ Encyclopedia and C. S. Lewis: Life, Works, and Legacy. She is the recipient of the Wade Center’s Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant (1997), APU’s Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Teaching Award (2002), and The Mythopoeic Society Scholarship Award (2008). She is best known for her book The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community. Her latest book is Bandersnatch: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings. Learn more about Diana at www.dianaglyer.com
William Inboden is Executive Director and William Powers, Jr. Chair at the William P. Clements, Jr. Center for National Security at the University of Texas-Austin. He also serves as Associate Professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and Distinguished Scholar at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. He is a Non-Resident Fellow with the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Associate with the National Intelligence Council, Member of the CIA Director’s Historical Review Panel, and Associate Scholar with Georgetown University’s Religious Freedom Project. Previously, he served as Senior Director for Strategic Planning on the National Security Council at the White House, where he worked on a range of foreign policy issues including the National Security Strategy, strategic forecasting, democracy and governance, and counter-radicalization. Inboden also worked at the State Department as a Special Advisor in the Office of International Religious Freedom, and has worked as a staff member in both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives. He is the author of Religion and American Foreign Policy, 1945-1960: The Soul of Containment (Cambridge University Press) as well as numerous articles and book chapters on security studies, American foreign policy, and American history.
Brian T. Kennedy
Brian T. Kennedy is President of the American Strategy Group, a think tank dedicated to understanding the strategic threats to the United States. Mr. Kennedy is also a board member and senior fellow of the Claremont Institute where he served as president from 2002 to 2015. During his 25-year tenure at the Claremont Institute, he directed their National Security Project and served as publisher of the Claremont Review of Books.
Mr. Kennedy is a member of the Independent Working Group on Missile Defense and is a co-author of Shariah: The Threat to America. His articles on national security affairs and public policy issues have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Investor’s Business Daily, and Hillsdale College’s Imprimis. Mr. Kennedy is a native Californian and a graduate of Claremont McKenna College.
U.S. Representative Ed Royce
U.S. Representative Ed Royce is the Chairman of the United States House Committee on Foreign Affairs. He represents California’s 39th Congressional District, and has vast experience in the foreign affairs of our country. He previously chaired the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade as well as Subcommittees on Asia and Africa. After the president his position is the highest elected post directing American foreign Affairs.
U.S. Senator Ben Sasse
Senator Sasse was born and raised in Nebraska and has represented this state since 2015, winning the November 2014 Senate election by a landslide. He is a graduate of Harvard University and earned his Ph.D. in American History at Yale University. He taught at the University of Texas and was president at Midland University, a liberal arts Lutheran college in Nebraska. He has authored The Vanishing American Adult and Them: Why We Hate Each Other - and How to Heal.
Senator Sasse believes we have a moral obligation to pass along a country as great and free and opportunity-filled to the next generation as we were blessed to inherit from our grandparents.
Rev. Robert A. Sirico
Rev. Robert A. Sirico is the President and Co-founder of the Acton Institute and the pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish, both in Grand Rapids, MI. A regular writer and commentator on religious, political, economic, and social issues, Rev. Sirico’s contributions have been carried by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Washington Times, CNN, ABC, CBS, NPR, and the BBC, among others. In his recent book, Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy, Rev. Sirico shows how a free economy is not only the best way to meet society’s material needs but also the surest protection of human dignity against government encroachment.
Michael Ward is a Fellow of Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford, and Professor of Apologetics at Houston Baptist University, Texas. Described by N.T. Wright as “the foremost living Lewis scholar” (Times Literary Supplement, 2009), Ward is the author of Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis (Oxford University Press, 2008) and co-editor of The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis (Cambridge University Press, 2010). On the fiftieth anniversary of Lewis’s death, Dr Ward unveiled a permanent national memorial to him in Poets’ Corner, Westminster Abbey, London.
Sign up for our newsletter!
Learn more about our joy-instilling, freedom-producing education by subscribing to our e-Newsletter.