Northwood University and Jack Miller Center to Host Lecture on Separation of Church and State

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The lecture will be held on Tuesday, November 27, at 7 p.m. in the Griswold Lecture Hall.

MIDLAND, MI – Northwood University’s Forum for Citizenship and Enterprise, in partnership with the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, will host a lecture by Dr. Daniel L. Dreisbach of American University titled “Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation.” Dreisbach will contrast the origin of the metaphor, used by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to a Baptist congregation, with its use in contemporary court decisions and public policy. The lecture will be held on Tuesday, November 27, at 7 p.m. in the Griswold Lecture Hall on Northwood University’s Midland campus located at 4000 Whiting Drive (the community is reminded that the Whiting Road entrance to the campus is closed at Cook Road—visitors should use the Saginaw Road entrance). There is no admission charge and members of the community are encouraged to attend. Refreshments will be served afterward. This will be the third and final lecture in this fall’s series of lectures on religion and the Constitution.

Dr. Dreisbach is a professor in the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. He received a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. Dreisbach has authored or edited eight books, including Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation between Church and State (New York Univ. Press, 2002). He has published over 70 book chapters, reviews and articles in scholarly journals, including American Journal of Legal History, Constitutional Commentary, Emory Law Journal, Journal of Church and State, North Carolina Law Review, Politics and Religion and William and Mary Quarterly. Dreisbach was the 2008 recipient of American University’s highest faculty award, “Scholar/Teacher of the Year.”

Professor Glenn Moots, chair of the philosophy and political science department at Northwood University, directs the Forum and commented on the relevance of the lecture. “Controversies concerning religious freedom aren’t going away. Jefferson’s phrase is often cited but shouldn’t we know what he intended by it? Dr. Dreisbach is well qualified to help us understand if the phrase has been well-used or abused.”

Questions about the event may be directed to Professor Glenn Moots at 989.837.4255 or


The Jack Miller Center (JMC) is a nonpartisan 501 (C) (3) public foundation dedicated to reinvigorating education in America’s Founding Principles and history. The foundation works with college faculty, administrators and donors to improve this essential education for students on campuses across the country. The JMC’s community of professors currently totals 550 on more than 180 campuses, including many of our nation’s leading scholars in American history and political theory. The JMC supports partner programs on 52 campuses, including Ivy League institutions, flagship state universities and leading liberal arts colleges. The JMC is led by its founder and chairman, Jack Miller, a prominent Chicago philanthropist, and its president, Mike Ratliff (Rear Admiral, USN ret.), the former chief of Naval Intelligence. Mr. Miller and Admiral Ratliff began their efforts in higher education in 2004 and incorporated the JMC as an independent foundation in 2007 with headquarters in Philadelphia.


Northwood University is committed to the most personal attention to prepare students for success in their careers and in their communities; it promotes critical thinking skills, personal effectiveness, and the importance of ethics, individual freedom and responsibility.

Private, nonprofit, and accredited, Northwood University specializes in managerial and entrepreneurial education at three full-service, residential campuses located in southern Florida, mid-Michigan and northern Texas. Adult Degree Programs are available in eight states with many course delivery options including an online option. The DeVos Graduate School offers day, evening and weekend programming in Michigan, Texas, Florida and Switzerland. The Alden B. Dow Center for Creativity and Enterprise in Midland, Michigan, specializes in creative thinking and innovation development. International education is offered through study abroad and in Program Centers in Switzerland, China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka.