April 12-14, 2018 | Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, Mn

The Church and the Academy are at a Crossroads

Religious leadership is a complex enterprise. Multi-faceted by nature religious leadership engages theology and draws upon leadership theories; requires particular understandings and competencies as well as abilities to read contexts and situations; and includes personal and communal formation in addition to leading existing communities. While debates over approaches to the formation and teaching of religious leadership have taken place before the changing national and global religious landscape provides a prime opportunity for teachers, scholars, and practitioners to take another look at this topic. What enduring understandings and capacities are most critical for religious leadership today? How do theology, theory, and practice inform each other when it comes to religious leadership? What locations are most fruitful for teaching religious leadership? What approaches are most fitting for the formation of religious leaders? How might research and experiments expand the current imagination of the academy and the church? In a time when the church, pastoral leadership, and theological education are all in flux, this gathering invites scholarly and imaginative engagement around the formation and teaching of religious leadership in the 21st century.

Conference Schedule

Friday, April 13

  • 8:30 am Opening Session – Welcome to ARL and introducing the theme
  • 9:45 am break (with snacks)
  • 10:15 am Plenary Session engaging papers - The Person of the Leader facilitated by Jessica Vaughan Lower
    • Person-Centered Presence in Religious Leadership – Matthew Lyons
    • Leadership in, with, and under both Community and Person – Joseph Kovitch
    • God’s Electricians:Participatory Action Research Methodology as a Model for Missional Leadership – Steve Thomason
  • 12:15 pm Lunch – on our own
    • JRL steering team meeting
  • 2:00 pm Plenary Session engaging papers - The Multi-faceted Nature of Formation-part 1 facilitated by Michael Binder
    • “I’m Just American”: Facilitating Students’ Reflections on How Whiteness Impacts Their Vocational Formation – Susan Maros
    • The Quest for A Practical Theological Approach For Teaching Transformative Pastoral Leadership – Jeffery Tribble
  • 3:00 pm break (with snacks)
  • 3:30 pm Plenary Session engaging papers –The Multi-faceted Nature of Formation-part 2 facilitated by Mark Lau Branson
    • Why leadership? The formation and teaching of church leaders should be based on the purpose of the church – Andy Rowell
    • Art-making as a Pedagogical Tool for Training Spiritual Leaders – Thea M.M. Wyatt
  • 4:30 - 5:30 pm Learning from Each Other
    • Art-making exercise
    • Teaching Religious Leadership in the classroom
    • Forming Religious Leadership in congregations
  • 6:30 - 8:30 pm Dinner together off-site (included in registration) @ The News Room– 990 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis

 Saturday, April 14

  • 8:30 – 9:30 am Business meeting with breakfast
  • 9:30 am Break
  • 10:00 – 11:30 am Plenary Session engaging papers – Teaching Religious Leadership facilitated by Robert Martin
    • Emotional Fluency in Leadership: Can This be Taught in the Classroom? – Rob Muthiah
    • Faltering Steps-Limping Across the Seminary-Church Divide– Mark Miller-McLemore
    • Adventures in Digital Teaching, Learning, and Formation – Kris Stache
  • 11:30 – Noon Closing Session – reflecting on our learning