Dear friends of WTS,

I’m writing to let you know about an unexpected change related to the visit of Dr. Kate Bowler, scheduled for April 16 at WTS. There is bad news and good news.

The bad news is this: much to her regret, Dr. Bowler has had to cancel all of the events on campus on April 16. She was looking forward to it, and I know she had already been working on preparing her plenary lecture for our event. Unfortunately, her chemo treatment has been catching up with her, dramatically draining her energy and making travel and speaking quite difficult. I can testify from personal experience that chemo fatigue is very real, and often quite unpredictable. So, at the end of last week, she and her team of supporters made the difficult decision that she needs to cancel half of her speaking engagements in this season, and schedule more time for rest in the places where she does speak. Her agent called me this week to let me know, along with his regrets. Please join me in praying for Dr. Bowler as she continues the difficult path of receiving chemotherapy, receiving cancer tests every two months, and seeking to steward her energy for her family and her broader calling.

However, there is some good news as well. Her agent put me in touch with the Director of the Festival of Faith and Writing at Calvin College, who readily offered a special opportunity for not only students, but for friends of WTS like yourself. This opportunity is to hear Dr. Bowler give her plenary address at Calvin College on Friday, April 13, at 3:30pm. This event is not open to the public, and normally only those registered (at the price of $225) can attend. They are making an exception for us, and they have given us a limited number of tickets that we can buy for this event only. I’ve decided to cover that ticket fee through the Girod Chair fund for friends of WTS who want to attend – as long as the tickets last.

So what do you do if you want to hear Dr. Bowler? Please fill out THIS ONLINE FORM. For those who are interested, we will provide rides from the seminary to Calvin for the 3:30pm lecture at Calvin. You will need to sign up by no later than Wednesday, April 11. Again, attending the lecture is free, but you are required to sign up (whether or not you want a ride) so that we can pay the Festival for each person attending. There is a limited number of tickets, so it would be wise to sign up soon. Thank you for weighing through this long email, and for your patience with the changes. And please join me in prayer for Dr. Bowler.

grace & peace in Christ,

Dr. Billings


DR. KATE BOWLER- April 16, 2018


3:00 p.m.
Discussion with Dr. Dennis Voskuil on “The Prosperity Gospel in the American Church Today” in Mulder Chapel

7:00 p.m.
Plenary address, “The Prosperity Gospel and the Dying” in Dimnent Chapel at Hope College

Dr. Kate Bowler is the Assistant Professor of the History of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School and author of Blessed: A History of the American Prosperity Gospel.

In 2015, she was diagnosed with stage IV cancer at age 35. The next year, she wrote a New York Times article that went viral, “Death, the Prosperity Gospel, and Me,” and in this month she released a memoir with Random House: Everything Happens for a Reason: And Other Lies I’ve Loved. While Dr. Bowler does not embrace the prosperity gospel, she describes it fairly and with insight. She embraces the Christian faith, bearing witness to Jesus Christ in this midst of this season.

Listen to the recent NPR podcast with Dr. Bowler, “A Stage-4 Cancer Patient Shares The Pain And Clarity Of Living ‘Scan-To-Scan'”.