The Marshall T. Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy is name for Dr. Marshall T. Steel, Distinguished Alumnus and President of the College from 1958 to 1969. The Steel Center was made possible by a bequest from Mrs. Ruth Veasey of Dermott, Arkansas. The purpose of the Steel Center is the enhancement of the College's capabilities in the fields of religion and philosophy, including undergraduate study and related activities. Among its functions, the Steel Center sponsors conferences which include students, faculty, and off-campus visitors. Dr. Fred Ablondi, Professor of Philosophy, serves as director.
The Purpose of the Steel Center is to promote the study of religion and philosophy on and beyond the Hendrix campus. In so doing, it is to identify, clarify, and contribute to the emerging religious and philosophical issues of our time. Areas of emphasis include (1) interdisciplinary studies, (2) practical theology, and (3) philosophy and the academic study of religion.
Lectures provide an opportunity for students, faculty, and other interested persons in the region to hear a noted speaker or scholar address issues of public interest or concern. Topics range from contemporary theological and philosophical debates to the relevant issues of our time.
Workshops provide an occasion for small groups to work intensely on specific questions or problems of interest. It is hoped that these will stimulate further reflection and study. The Steel Center sponsors a Preaching Workshop, a Philosophy of Religion Workshop, and a Ministers' Workshop each year.
Friday Afternoon Discussions provide an opportunity for people to come together and talk about various areas of interest. The discussions are not limited to religion and philosophy. A wide variety of topics are discussed, including politics, literature, social issues, and scientific questions. The discussions are held each Friday in the Raney Building and are open to the public.