Leadership — Atlanta
Robert C. Dykstra is the Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he earned both the M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees. A native of Minnesota, he is a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and an ordained Presbyterian minister. He served for a number of years as a minister, youth minister, hospital chaplain, and pastoral counselor. His academic interests include pastoral care and counseling, contemporary psychoanalytic theory and developmental psychology, pastoral preaching, and the integration of biblical and theological precepts with contemporary research in the human sciences. His publications include Losers, Loners, and Rebels: The Spiritual Struggles of Boys (with Allan Hugh Cole Jr. and Donald Capps (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) and Images of Pastoral Care: Classic Readings (Chalice Press, 2005).
Topics for lecture and roundtables: “Finding Ourselves Lost: Lessons from Luke on the Pastoral Life.”
“Finding Ourselves Lost” will build on Jesus’ parable of the one lost sheep from Luke 15. The parable underscores the vulnerability of individuals to confusion and humiliation and advocates for Jesus’ sometimes radical preference for the individual over the community as a path to greater mutual acceptance and forbearance.
“Unrepressing the Kingdom” will draw from Jesus’ convictions, expressed in Luke 17 and elsewhere, that the kingdom of God is to be found within and among persons and is epitomized in the lives of infants and young children. It locates children’s intuitions of the kingdom in their artistic sensibilities and capacity for artistic abandon, and considers some of the psychological mechanisms by which those sensibilities and capacities are lost over time. It conceives of our task as Christians as one of unearthing hidden shame and desire and of finding language to express what matters most in our lives.
Anna Carter Florence is the Peter Marshall Associate Professor of Preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia. She is an alumna of Princeton Seminary (Class of 1988 M.Div. and Class of 2000 Ph.D. in homiletics). Her publications include Preaching as Testimony (Westminster John Knox Press, 2007) and Inscribing the Word: Sermons and Prayers of Walter Brueggemann, Editor (Fortress, 2004). She gave the prestigious Lyman Beecher Lectures at Yale University Divinity School in 2012.
Topics for lecture and roundtables: “New Reading Methods for Old Texts, for Preaching and Teaching.”
If you do a quick survey of any Bible passage, you’ll find that what is true in life is also true in scripture: the verbs dominate. Not adjectives; verbs. It’s what we do and don’t do that preoccupies human beings. And it’s the verbs we cannot imagine for ourselves (live, liberate, forgive, resurrect) that the church offers, and that we reach for, week after week. So what happens when we read scripture and let the verbs lead? At this conference, we will put a twist on dramatic theory and read the biblical “script” by focusing on the verbs that are given and chosen by the characters. What new things will we see and hear in both our sacred text and our human drama when we connect the verbs? How can that, in turn, change and renew our preaching?
William Stacy Johnson is Princeton Theological Seminary’s Arthur M. Adams Professor of Systematic Theology. An ordained Presbyterian minister and a lawyer, he earned his Ph.D. in the study of religion from Harvard University and his J.D. from Wake Forest University. Johnson’s work over the years has focused on the future of Christian churches, and especially the theological, ethical, and spiritual challenges they face. His teaching encompasses a diversity of interests, including the reshaping of Reformed theology in a postmodern and post-Holocaust age, theology of religions, environmental theology, Christianity’s cultured critics, feminist theology, and leadership theory, as well as the writings of John Calvin, the Niebuhrs, Martin Luther King Jr., Emmanuel Levinas, and others. His publications include Crisis, Call, and Leadership in the Abrahamic Traditions (with Peter Ochs, Palgrave Macmillan, 2009) and John Calvin, Reformer for the 21st Century (Westminster John Knox Press, 2009).
Topics for lecture and roundtables: Prophetic Religion: Re-Envisioning the Gospel in a Post-Christian World.
Lecture One "In Search of Prophetic Christianity," Lecture Two "All Things New: The Future of Salvation"
Workshop One "For the Love of the Game: The New Task of Theology Today," Workshop Two "Church Unbound"
The cultural and generational challenges facing us today invite us to rethink the very heart of Christianity and to consider afresh what it might mean for 21st-century people to follow Jesus of Nazareth. Moving beyond "theology as usual," now is the time to re-envision our communal life, equip a new generation of spiritual leaders, and realign theological education accordingly. The deep biblical wells of the prophetic tradition offer us a vital resource toward those ends.
Martin Tel, Princeton Seminary’s C.F. Seabrook Director of Music, earned an M.Mus. from the University of Notre Dame, an M.A. from Calvin Theological Seminary, and a D.M.A. from the University of Kansas. He is interested in congregational singing and the Psalter and his courses cover musical resources for the congregation, the Psalms in worship, and the philosophy of church music. He is currently serving on the bi-denominational hymnal committee for the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America. He recently served as senior editor for Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (CICW/Faith Alive/Brazos Press, 2012).
Topics for lecture and roundtables: We will explore the psalter as source for liturgical and sung prayer. Though most Christians profess a love for the Book of Psalms, a quick pass over the entire psalter reveals many psalms that we either are unfamiliar with or consciously avoid. What does the full spectrum of voices in the psalter teach us about the way God wishes for us to pray, both as individuals and as the church? Using the newly published psalter Psalms for All Seasons, we will explore how the full spectrum of psalms can be liturgically and musically re-presented so that their meaning become more clear and our prayers become more honest.
Charlene Han Powell is associate pastor for Christian education at the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. There she is responsible for overseeing adult education, family ministries, and the young adult program. Before earning her M.Div. at PTS, she studied at the University of California,San Diego, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in religion with a minor in dance. She has also done intensive language training at Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea.