ABCUSA Announces Theologians Conference

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ABCUSA Announces Theologians Conference

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 2/27/13)—General Secretary A. Roy Medley and the Emerging Theologians Task Force are excited to announce the ABCUSA Theologians Conference. The conference will meet prior to the American Baptist Mission Summit/Biennial, on Thursday, June 20, 2013, at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Shawnee, Kansas. The Mission Summit/Biennial meets June 21-23, 2013, in Overland Park, Kansas.

The theme of the conference will be “Baptists and the Spirit: Living into God’s Future,” with a goal to foster ongoing, vigorous theological conversations among American Baptist theologians, pastor-theologians, and theological educators. This will be the second bi-annual event sponsored by Medley and ABCUSA for theologians and theological educators. In 2011, the ABCUSA Theologians Conference met before the Biennial in Puerto Rico, at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico, an ABC-related Seminary.

“The response to the 1st conference in 2011 in Puerto Rico was excellent and the conference was filled with energy and renewed connections between our theologians and our mission as a denomination.  I look forward to the blessing this second gathering will be,” said Medley.

Jennifer W. Davidson, Task Force chair and assistant professor of Worship & Theology at American Baptist Seminary of the West said, “The task force made it a priority to provide plenty of opportunities at this conference for people to make significant and worthwhile connections with one another through thoughtful dialogue. Although there will be plenty of excellent presentations, this conference will not be just another “talking heads” event. We have remained committed throughout our planning process to fostering collegial relationships with American Baptists who identify as theologians and theological educators. It is wonderful to have these opportunities to get to know one another, and to find common interests that we can build upon for years to come!”

The conference is designed to be interactive and engaging, providing opportunity for conference attendees to talk with one another, explore ideas together, and establish thoughtful connections with other American Baptists who identify themselves as theologians. Using paper presentations from various voices as starting points, participants will consider (American) Baptist notions of pneumatology and eschatology as they relate to questions of economic justice, worship, leadership, ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, missional/global engagements, Baptist history and identity-shaping, beloved community, and post-colonialism in American Baptist contexts.

The conference will also feature an opening plenary presentation by Molly T. Marshall, President of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, and a closing plenary session with esteemed panelists:

  • David L. Bartlett, Emeritus and Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary
  • Leslie Callahan, Pastor, St. Paul’s Baptist Church, Philadelphia
  • Loida Martell-Otero, Professor of Constructive Theology, Palmer Theological Seminary
  • Chakravarthy Zadda, PhD Candidate, Chaplain and Coordinator—International Student Affairs, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago

The registration fee for the conference includes shuttle transportation from the Convention Center to Central Baptist Theological Seminary, lunch, and snacks. Interested persons can register at

American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.