April 25-27, 2019 | Marriott City Center, Minneapolis, Mn

Engaging Power

In an era of polemical social media, partisan politics, and increased tensions around “the other”—the political other, the racial other, the immigrant other, the gendered other, the religious other. As groups of people experience anxiety provoked by fear of the other, they look to leaders enact power to resolve their anxieties.

Given this context, how should religious leaders think about, talk about, teach about, steward, challenge, and address power? Among the questions we explored:

  • How do we steward our personal power?
  • What constitutes a theology of power?
  • How might we address power?
  • What is the role of religious leaders in the prophetic act of speaking to power?
Conference Schedule

Friday, April 13

8:30 am Opening Session – Welcome to ARL and introducing the them

10:30 – 12:00 Presentations Session Chair: Kris Stache


  • Tom Tumblin “The Power to Change: Leadership Development and Identity Formation”
  • Andre Henry “Making the Invisible Visible: Prophetic Drama as a Tactic for Social Change”
  • Sandra Shelby “Addressing Unchecked Power: Lessons Learned from Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing”

1:30 – 3:00 Break Out Sessions

Frameworks for Leader Power Session Chair: Robert Martin


  • May Kay DuChene “Deriving Power from Purpose: Developing Leaders to Influence Significant Change”
  • Bernard Chao “Expanding the Discourse on Agency with the Vocabulary of Power: Narratives and Ideologies Influencing Leader-Laity Relationships in Churches”

Church Leadership & Power Session Chair: Courtney Davis Olds


  • Ginger Hertenstein “Understanding God’s Power and How the Church Can Prophetically Address Its Diverse Community: A Case Study from First Presbyterian Church, Duncanville”
  • Will Houts “The Faces of Power in the Church”
  • Zach Ellis “The Place of Power in Shared Leadership Teams in Christian Congregations”

3:00 – 4:00 Exercise: Exegeting the City

4:00 – 5:30 Shaping a Praxis of Prophetic Power Engagement: A Practitioner Round Table Moderator: Craig Hendrickson


  • Chris Brooks
  • Rose Lee Norman
  • Richard Coleman

5:30 – 6:15 Tour of Westminster and Conversation with Timothy Hart-Anderson, Senior Pastor, and Meghan Gage-Finn, Executive Associate Pastor

 Saturday, April 27

8:30 – 9:30 Business Meeting

10:00 – 11:30 Presentations Session Chair: Leanna Fuller


  • Bill Kondrath “Power, Affect, and Meaning as Domains of Communication”
  • Wilmer Villacorta “Admitting Assumptions on Power: An Integration of Paradox, Storytelling, and Community”
  • Phil Allen “Spirituality of Black Bodily Resistance: Reimagining Kaepernick’s Protest Through King’s [Nonviolent] Direct Action”

11:30 – 12:00 Closing Session