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Adult Education

Our Mission

Lee Institute

In 1995, Ladue Chapel established the Lee Institute in response to a gift from E. Desmond Lee. The Institute, supported by an endowment from the Lee Foundation and by Ladue Chapel, seeks to provide stimulus and education for persons in the Ladue Chapel congregation and the Greater St. Louis community in order to:

  • Foster spiritual and religious growth;
  • Create public awareness of critical issues; and
  • Inspire further study, action and service that can make a difference in the world.

The Lee Institute Speaker Series is free & open to the public. We are a handicap accessible facility.

All events are held at Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church.   For more information on a particular event, or to be placed on the Lee Institute mailing list, please leave a message for the Executive Director of the Lee Institute at 314-993-4771, ext. 3111 or you may use our convenient online form.


Monday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.


From Klinghoffer to Ferguson and Beyond

A Community Conversation


Batya Abramson-Goldstein, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC),

Reverend Traci D. Blackmon, Pastor at Christ the King, U.C.C. in Florissant,

Timothy O’Leary, General Director of Opera Theatre of St. Louis,

Reverend Dr. David Greenhaw, President of Eden Theological Seminary, and

Dr. Ghazala Hayat, Professor and Director, Neurophysiology and Neuromuscular Services at St. Louis University School of Medicine; Past President of the Islamic Foundation of St. Louis

John Adams’ opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, is based on the hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by the Palestine Liberation Front in 1985, and the hijackers’ murder of wheelchair-bound Jewish-American passenger Leon Klinghoffer. Before the 2011 St. Louis performances, Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, the JCRC’s Michael and Barbara Newmark Institute for Human Relations, and others developed programs to engage the community in respectful dialogue centered on the controversial opera.

That successful partnership led to the creation of the September 11th Interfaith Commemoration in Music and the development of Arts & Faith St. Louis, which sponsors the annual concert and its Community Programming Initiative, which develops programming throughout the year.

The City of Ferguson and the community of St. Louis search for peace from the brokenness and violence instigated by the shooting death of Michael Brown in August of 2014. Now the hard work of developing mutual respect and creating systematic change begins.

Arts & Faith St. Louis believes that the arts have a unique power to inspire thoughtful discussion among diverse audiences, to bring people together, and to bridge divides through shared experiences. This process of collaboration builds on the St. Louis community tradition of strong interfaith and inter-group collaboration, mutual respect among diverse groups and civility in public discourse.


Lee Institute welcomes this Conversation as part of the Lee Institute Speakers Series on

Monday, October 20 at 7:30 p.m.


Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, 9450 Clayton Road, 63124, 314-993-4771 x 3111.


The 45-minute presentation will be followed by a 15-minute question and answer discussion and a reception.

The event is free and open to all.

More information at



The Lee Institute is mentioned in Talia Leman’s book,  A Random Book About The Power of ANYone for it’s involvement in“The BIG Return St. Louis” which offered St. Louis area youth an opportunity to make a difference in the community and the world!

The Big Return 2012 pilot program began in St. Louis with 247 youth. Area corporations invested in their ideas for a better St. Louis, and their City Government supported their initiatives. In a mere four months time …..

25,000 students were rallied and engaged, 813 teachers were enlisted, 17,900  people attended their events, 39,831 people were engaged beyond their school communities, 1 principal was duck-taped to the wall., 2 teachers were pied in the face, 6,993 items were collected valued at $37,327, $33,041.67 in donations were collected

The community’s investment in St. Louis youth yielded a return of 1011% impacting over 100,000 people in the St Louis community. And THAT was just the beginning. RandomKid and Youth Venture are now taking The Big Return to all 50 states in 5 years. LOOK OUT WORLD.

More information on Talia and her work can be found at


Past Presenters

The public lecture series has brought many wonderful speakers to Ladue Chapel. In the past, we have been honored to host the following:

2014 – Dr. Mehnaz M. Afridi – Contemporary Issues of Muslim Women

2013 – Dr. Jeffrey L. Stout – Ends and Means in the Struggle for a Just Society

2013 – Stephen Prothero – Our Uncommon Creed: Reflections on the World’s Religion and American Politics

2012 – Brian D. McLaren – Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha and Mohammed Cross the Road?

2012 – Dr. R. Marie Griffith – Religion, Sex, and Politics: An American History

2011 – Bob Abernethy – The Life of Meaning: Reflections on Faith, Doubt, & Repairing the World

2011 – “Living Green” – Chris Cedergreen – Living Green: Building a Sustainable Future 

2010 – Greg M. Epstein – Good Without God: What a Billion Non-Religious People Do Believe

2010 – Talia Leman – The Power of ANYone: What I Have Learned on My Journey

2009 – Peter Hessler – Instant Cities: Life in a Chinese Factory Town

2009 – David Robertson & Fred Bronstein – The Role of the Arts in the Quality of Life and Education

2009 – Lynne Twist – Money and the Soul’s Journey: The Miracle of Sufficiency

2008 – Ranya Idliby, Suzanne Oliver, Priscilla Warner – The Faith Club: Three Women  Search for Understanding

2008 – Nicholas D. Kristof – Reporting from Darfur: the First Genocide of the 21st Century

2007 – Minnijean Brown Trickey – Return to Little Rock: A 50th Anniversary Memoir

2007 – Ivy Beckwith – The Role of the Family in the Spiritual Formation of Children

2007 – Kathleen Norris – The Desert In Bloom: A Geography of Hope

2007 – Bruce Feiler – Can’t We All Get Along? Building Bridges for the 21st Century

2006 – Dr. Peter H. Raven – Biodiversity and Stewardship: Our Common Responsibility

2005 – David Gergen – Eyewitness to Power: Leadership in America

2005 – Huston Smith – Why Religion Matters – Now More Than Ever

2004 – John Stossel – Give Me a Break: The Media and How We Did It Wrong

2004 – Dr. Elaine Pagels – The Discovery of the Gnostic Gospels: New Views of Jesus and His  Message

2004 – Episcopal-Presbyterian Charitable Health & Medical Trust – Health & Faith in St. Louis: A Community Story

2003 – Rabbi Susan Talve – Building Community in a Fragile World

2003 – Rev. Dr. John Claypool, Ph.D. –  Mending the Heart

2003 – Laura S. Mendenhall – 21st Century Stewardship & Mission

2003 – Raymond Roberts, Ph.D. – Religion and Morality in America’s Public Schools

2003 – Hamilton Jordan – No Such Thing as a Bad Day

2002 – Dr. Jane E. Smith, Ph.D. – Building Success Through Public Service

2002 – Joyce Rupp – Spiritual Transformation of the Liberated Heart

2002 – Rev. Peter J. Gomes – Outer Turmoil – Inner Strength: A Strategy for Troubled Times

2001 – E.J. Dionne, Jr. – Issues of the Faith-Based Initiative

2001 – Rosalynn Carter – Helping Someone with Mental Illness

2000 – Morris Dees – Hope and Tolerance in the New Century

2000 – Rev. Dr. Robert Raines – Wake Up and Live: Essential Steps of Creative Living and Mid-Life and Beyond: Passage into the Elder Season

2000 – William H.  Willimon – The Oddness of Being Christian

1999 – Jonathan Kozol – Amazing Graces in the Lives of Children

1999 – Bill Moyers – Genesis and the Millennium

1998 – General Colin L. Powell – Challenges of a Changing World

1998 – Senator John C. Danforth – Exploring Ideas for Change: Including Everybody

1997 – Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker – Public Service for the Common Good

1997 – Dr. Thomas G. Long – The Word We Cannot Say: Sin

1996 – Dr. Walter Brueggemann – Cadences Toward Home: The Contemporary Church in Exile

1996 – Dr. Cornel West – Race Matters

1995 – A.E. Hotchner – Shameless Exploitation in Pursuit of the Common Good

For more information about our facilities, please contact Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church by phone (314-993-4771) or use our convenient online form.