The 2010 Conference
On August 12th 2010, at the Murietta Conference Center in Murietta, California, 32 students from across America and even abroad, along with experts in their respective fields, came together for three days to discuss the institution of marriage; how it stands in today's society, what challenges and jeopardy it faces and what we, as a free society, can do to nurture and protect it.
The Ruth Institute's Second Annual Student conference was a resounding success.
THE OPENING CEREMONIES
Our ITAF weekend was kicked off with what promises to be an annual Gala dinner and event, moderated by our own, Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse with keynote address delivered by noted Los Angeles phsychiatrist, Dr. Mirriam Grossman.
The evening was not marred by the presence of the predictable protestors on the sidewalk in front of the hotel where the Gala was held. Despite that, the evening was uneventful as to unpleasentness and long on gaity and information
We were proud to have several ITAF '09 students in attendance, who gave us an accounting of their activities on their respective campuses since the conference the previous year. We were blessed with the more than 125 guests in attendance at the dinner, which included many donors and supporters of the Ruth Institute, as well as numerous members of the clergy and the news media. Dr. Grossman's talk, "Truths That Cannot Be Told: How Ideology Trumps Biology in Sex Education" was gripping and incisive and perfectly set the tone for the days to follow. Afterward, the students and the presenters boarded a transport for the long ride from Los Angeles to Murietta, about midway between LA and San Diego.
The conference was held this year at the Murietta Conference Center and Bible College, a facility owned and operated by Calvary Chapel Church and whose origins date back to the 1920's when, it is rumored, the retreat was first conceived of as a 'hide out' for underworld figures who were 'on the lam' from authorities. Amazing how God works things, isn't it?
Whatever its tarnished history, the center is absolutely delightful, something you can see for your self in the slide show, a link to which is in the left hand column on this page.
Six renowned presenters — offering perspective from a variety of positions on the issue of marriage — were present to share their wisdom and counsel with the students.
- Mr. Bill Duncan, Attorney at Law, is the director of the Marriage Law Foundation, a legal organization whose mission is providing legal resources in defense of marriage as the union of a husband and wife.
- Robert A. J. Gagnon is Associate Professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He has a B.A. degree from Dartmouth College, an M.T.S. from Harvard Divinity School, and a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary.
- Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse, Founder, Ruth Institute. "Dr. J" is the founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a non-profit educational institute promoting lifelong married love to the young by creating an intellectual and social climate favorable to marriage.
- Adam Weinburg, the Leadership Institute’s Campus Services Coordinator for California.