BETHANY, W.Va. – Dr. Bonnie Thurston, a poet, scholar, minister, anchorite and member of the Board of Trustees at Bethany College, will present this year's Helen Louise McGuffie Lecture, entitled, "A Way of Offering Praise to the World: God Talk in the Poetry of Anne Sexton and Mary Oliver." The lecture will take place on April 1 at 4 p.m. in Phillips Hall lounge on the campus.

Thurston, a native of West Virginia and Wheeling resident, received her Bachelor of Art degree in English from Bethany in 1974, serving as the class's valedictorian. She earned her Master of Art and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. Thurston most recently resigned from her William F. Orr Professorship in New Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 2002.

She has done post-doctoral work in New Testament at Harvard Divinity School; Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen, Germany; and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.

Thurston has written eleven theological books and over 100 articles, has contributed to reference works on the New Testament, and has taught at the university level for 30 years. She has also written poetry and two volumes of verse. Her scholarly interests in the New Testament include the gospels of Mark and John and the Deutero-Pauline canon and, more generally, the history of Christian spirituality and prayer.

Affiliated with the Episcopal Church and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) she was ordained in 1984 and has served as co-pastor, pastor or interim of five churches and twice in overseas ministries.