Registration is now OPEN for everyone.

Online registration will close March 31st.

Invoice will be sent to your email address or you can pay online when you register.

07 Apr 2017 4:30 PM • Hoag Auditorium, 82 College Circle, Dahlonega, GA


Over the last several years a number of independent book clubs in North Georgia have been reading books that explore various aspects of our religious heritage and spirituality.  Many of us have attended theological lectures and felt there would be an interest in offering lectures in North Georgia to learn more about the origin and evolution of our religious heritage.  

Our mission is to foster a better understanding of religion, theology, spirituality and science 
and how that impacts our lives in the 21st century.

Mountain Top Lectures in collaboration with the University of North Georgia host scholars and authors on a wide range of issues of religion and spirituality in a north Georgia setting. We host three lectures per year, one in the spring, one in the summer and one in the fall at the Hoag Auditorium at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, GA.

Since we began in 2010, we have been very fortunate to host some of the most prominent authors and speakers on religion: Dr. Amy Jill Levine, Dr. Marcus Borg, Dr. Robin Meyers, Dr. Bart Ehrman, and the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Bourgeault, Dr. Brian McLaren, Bishop John Shelby Spong, Dr. John Dominic Crossan and Rabbi Rami Shapiro.  Last year we hosted Dr. Owen Flanagan, Dr. Kirby Godsey and Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor, and this year, Rev. Michael Dowd, imam Enchassi and Rev. Dr. John Phillip Newell.

If you have an interest or curiosity about how Christianity and other religions developed and the challenges they face in the 21st century, you will want to join us at Mountain Top Lectures.

Our recent post lecture surveys have indicated a strong interest in spirituality, the connections between science and religion and understanding other religions.  Our future speakers address these issues.

We limit the number attending our lectures to provide an intimate setting for questions and discussion.

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2017 Lecture Series speakers -

April 7-8 - Pastor Phillip Gulley

August 26 - Dr. Mark Muesse

November 3 -4  - Sister Ilia Delio, OSF

2018 Lecture Series speakers - 

April 6-7 - Dr. Justin Barrett

August 25 - Rev. Gretta Vospers

 November 9-10 - Rev. Brian McLaren

2017 Spring Lecture with

Pastor Phillip Gulley

April 7-8

 Hoag Auditorium 
University of North Georgia
Dahlonega, GA


Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor, a writer and speaker from Danville, Indiana.

Theme for lecture series - "Unlearning God"

The premise is this:  "The earliest things we learn about God are often the most deeply rooted.  As we mature, we discover those first beliefs are unhelpful and must be unlearned.  This is both frightening and exhilarating, providing us the opportunity to consider God, ourselves, and others in a new light."

Philip Gulley is a Quaker pastor, writer, and speaker from Danville, Indiana. Gulley has written 21 books, including the Harmony series recounting life in the eccentric Quaker community of Harmony, Indiana and the best-selling Porch Talk essay series. Gulley’s memoir, I Love You, Miss Huddleston: And Other Inappropriate Longings of My Indiana Childhood, was a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. In addition, Gulley, with co-author James Mulholland, shared their progressive spirituality in the books If Grace Is True and If God Is Love, followed by Gulley’s books If the Church Were Christian and The Evolution of Faith.

In his most recently published work of non-fiction, Living the Quaker Way: Timeless Wisdom For a Better Life Today, Gulley offers the opportunity to participate in a world where the values of the Quaker way bring equity, peace, healing, and hope. Living the Quaker Way invites readers to encounter the defining commitments of the Religious Society of Friends–simplicity, peace, integrity, community and equality, and shows how those ideals can be incorporated in personal and public life to bring renewal and eliminate the clutter that is keeping us from deeper spirituality.

2016 Fall Lecture with

Rev. Dr. John Phillip Newell

November 11-12, 2016

 Hoag Auditorium 
University of North Georgia
Dahlonega, GA

John Philip Newell, the celebrated author of Listening for the Heartbeat of God: A Celtic Spirituality, is one of the most prominent Christian teachers of spirituality in the Western world.

Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he now divides his time between Edinburgh, where he does most of his writing, and traveling and teaching internationally. In 2015 he became the Distinguished Visiting Scholar of Spirituality at Iliff School of Theology in Denver where he offers a course every Spring.

John Philip Newell is the co-founder of Heartbeat: A Journey Towards Earth’s Wellbeing( a scholarship-awarding foundation committed to enabling

  • the articulation of earth-honoring spirituality
  • the pursuit of interfaith relationship
  • the practice of contemplation and action

The Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell is an ordained Church of Scotland minister with a passion for peace among the great wisdom traditions of humanity. In 2011 he received the first-ever Contemplative Voices Award from the Shalem Institute in Washington DC in recognition of his work in spirituality and peacemaking. His PhD is from the University of Edinburgh and he has authored over 15 books, including Christ of the Celts, Praying with the Earth, A New Harmony, and his most recent visionary title The Rebirthing of God: Christianity’s Struggle for New Beginnings.

'The Rebirthing of God:
Christianity's Struggle for New Beginnings'

Friday evening lecture:

Registration:  4-6pm
Speaker reception: 5-6pm
Dinner: 6-6:45

7pm - Lecture 1. 'Reconnecting with the Earth'

Saturday morning lecture:

Coffee: 8:00-9:00am

9:00am - Lecture 2. 'Reconnecting with the Wisdom of Other Faiths'

10:30am - Lecture 3. 'Reconnecting with the Imagination'

Newell celebrates the sacredness of the universe under the belief that everything that exists is made of God:

New science speaks of being able to detect the sound of the beginning in the universe. It vibrates within the matter of everything that has being. New science is echoing the ancient wisdom of spiritual insight. In the twelfth century Hildegard of Bingen taught that the sound of God resonates ‘in every creature’. It is ‘the holy sound’, she says, ‘which echoes through the whole creation.’ 

If we are to listen for the One from whom we have come, it is not away from creation that we are to turn our ears, it is not away from the true depths of our being that we are to listen. It is rather to the very heart of all life that we are to turn our inner attention. For then we will hear that the deepest sound within us is the deepest sound within one another and within everything that has being. 

We will hear that the true harmony of our being belongs to the universe and that the true harmony of the universe belongs to us. …

Everything arises from that sacred sound."[1]

Video Recordings of
Previous Lectures

Full lecture series by previous speakers
can now be watched on our new
VIMEO Channel

John Philip Newell
Nov. 11-12, 2016

Imam Imad Enchassi
Aug. 27, 2016

The Genesis Library
A great resource to enhance your book club, start a small discussion group or support your Sunday School class.with

Mountain Top Lectures is offering free access to a resource library of DVD 's and CD's to registered groups to help facilitate local discussion on topics of religion and spirituality.

This program will be available only to registered groups under the Genesis Project guidelines. The only cost to the group will be the cost of return postage to material back to the Genesis Project. The Genesis Project will pay for the outbound postage.

To participate in this program you must register your group. Please click on this link to download the Registration Form. You need to complete and sign the form and mail to us.

Genesis Project Group Registration Form.docx

Review the current list of resource materials available through the Genesis Project
Inventory by Title - Oct. 2016.pdf
Inventory by Author - Oct. 2016.pdf
After your group has registered and you may order materials from our resource library.
To order material, please submit a Genesis Project Material Request Form.

Genesis Project Request Form .docx

Dr. Harry Gilmer is a founding board member of Mountain Top Lectures.  Last year he moved to Mississippi to be closer to family.  He continues to research and write on matters affecting those who are pilgrims seeking to follow the way. 

“He has just published a new work titled “Living Into A Life Of Faith”. Also, the book is currently available on Amazon. The Amazon link is Living Into A Life Of Faith.

How do we keep our heart and head together? Gilmer says that this is one of the most difficult tasks that thinking people face. In this memoir of his intellectual and spiritual journey lasting over seven decades, Gilmer has delineated the eternal tension between tradition and enlightenment, faith and reason. That tension, he says, is what gives rise to the words set forth in his memoir. How do we reconcile what we know from our sacred traditions [Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, etc.] with what we know from science and critical study? Can these two kinds of knowledge be reconciled? Are tradition and enlightenment just polar opposites that cannot be reconciled? Gilmer believes that they can be reconciled, but that it is an on going project. The post-modern world continues to search for meaningful sacred metaphors. While the search for meaning is the price we pay for self-consciousness, without it we lead impoverished lives. Gilmer is also the author of The Boisterous Sea Of Liberty: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in America.

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