BJU Seminary Announces Stewart Custer Lecture Series

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (October 6, 2021) – Dr. Les Ollila, founder and director of Building Great Leaders, a ministry devoted to producing effective servant-leaders in the pulpit and the church, will headline BJU Seminary’s 2021 Stewart Custer Lecture Series Nov. 9 at Bob Jones University.

Ollila’s Stewart Custer Lecture Series topic will be “Biblical Leadership: A Theological Perspective,” addressing issues including the paucity of male leadership in the church and the challenge of leading in a fallen culture. The series honors one of BJU Seminary’s most celebrated scholars — the late Dr. Stewart Custer, who served 56 years at BJU Seminary and Bob Jones University — by offering insights into contemporary challenges to the church based on in-depth, faithful analysis of the biblical text.

Dr. Alan Benson, BJU’s executive vice president for student development and ministry advancement who oversees the Seminary, said, “Les Ollila’s ministry emphasis, as he has expressed it, exemplifies the spirit of both BJU Seminary’s 500 x 5 x 5 vision and the Stewart Custer Lecture Series: ‘seeing pastors helped and leaders built, seeing people encouraged and helped, and seeing God’s truth change lives.’ We look forward to his insights on filling the leadership vacuum in the church today, both in the pulpit and the pews, and on equipping our pastor guests and our students with keen theological insights to speak that truth into today’s fallen culture.”

The schedule for the lecture series, which will be available via livestream in addition to being in-person, is as follows:

  • 8–8:50 a.m. — “Where are the Men? A Theology of Biblical Manhood,” Stratton Hall
  • 9–9:50 a.m. — “Faith: Leading in a Fallen World,” Stratton Hall
  • 10–10:50 a.m. — “The Practical Problem: Maintaining Biblical Models of Leadership in a Woke Culture” (panel discussion including Seminary faculty members Dr. Ken Casillas, Dr. Greg Stiekes, Dr. Sam Horn and Dr. Renton Rathbun), Stratton Hall
  • 11–11:35 a.m. — “Understanding our Mission: Absolutes v. Relatives” (BJU chapel session), Founder’s Memorial Amphitorium

Individuals wishing to attend the event in person or via livestream can register beginning Sept. 27 at

About Building Great Leaders and Les Ollila

Building Great Leaders is a ministry devoted to producing effective servant-leaders in the pulpit and the church and providing them instruction, encouragement and resources. Founder and director Les Ollila is a nationally recognized seminar and conference speaker in the areas of leadership training, Christian educators’ conferences, family-centered church meetings, summer camps, and Christian school ministries. He served as president of Northland Baptist Bible College from 1984–2002 and chancellor of Northland from 2003–2013.

About BJU Seminary

BJU Seminary is a conservative graduate school of theology and ministry in Greenville, South Carolina. Part of Bob Jones University, BJU Seminary features a world-class faculty of 25 full-time and adjunct professors recognized as specialists in fields ranging across theology, ministry, apologetics, counseling and missions — fulfilling a commitment to equip leaders to effectively proclaim the Word, serve the church and advance the Gospel.

The Seminary is pursuing a 500 x 5 x 5 Strategic Vision of putting 500 pastors on the path to the pulpit in the next five years — and every five years after that — through a 5P Plan of innovation and investment in the areas of program, partnerships, people, plant and profile.

BJU Seminary offers full-time, flexible graduate programs and certificates in areas including biblical counseling, theological studies, expository preaching, ministry studies, intercultural studies, biblical language and literature, Bible teaching, chaplaincy and master of divinity.