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From Porsche to the pastorate: Phoenix minister to give Staley Lectures on media and faith

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – From publicizing Porsches to podcasts and pastoring, Shane Hipps has been on an interesting journey.

Hipps will give the annual Staley Lectures at Bethel College Monday, Feb. 25. His two presentations, under the heading “Digital Christianity: How technology and media are shaping faith,” will deal with electronic media and its effect on Christian community and discipleship.

He will speak at 11 a.m. on “The electronic gospel: Why changing the methods always changes the message” and at 7 p.m. on “Electronic nomads: How technology alters the nature of community.” Both lectures are in Krehbiel Auditorium of the Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus and are free and open to the public.

Hipps is pastor of Trinity Mennonite Church in Glendale, Ariz., part of the Phoenix metropolitan area. He accepted the call at Trinity after earning a Master of Divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif.

Before that, however, Hipps was a strategic planner in advertising, working on a variety of national brands, perhaps most notably developing and implementing the multimillion dollar communications plan for Porsche Cars North America.

Hipps became known to a wider Mennonite Church USA audience last July when he spoke at the MC USA gathering in San Jose, Calif. He is the host of “Third-Way Faith,” a podcast on Leadership Buzz (a division of Christianity Today), and is a featured essayist for, a Web site devoted to cultural critique and film interpretation. He is the author of The Hidden Power of Electronic Culture: How Media Shapes Faith, the Gospel and Church (Zondervan, 2005).

“We live in era of unprecedented technology change,” Hipps says. “As technology changes, culture changes. As culture changes, then faith, community and the gospel all change. How, as people of faith, can we respond?”

The Staley Distinguished Scholar Lecture Series was established in 1969, named for its benefactors, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Staley of New York, who set it up to honor their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Staley and Mr. and Mrs. H.H. Haynes. Bethel College has been hosting Staley Lectures since 1972.

Bethel College is a four-year liberal arts college affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. Founded in 1887, it is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Bethel is known for its academic excellence and was the highest ranked Kansas college in the national liberal arts category of U.S. News & World Report’s listing of “America’s Best Colleges” for 2008. For more information, see the Bethel Web site at

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