Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Women's Preaching and Leadership Conference at United

Some of the most gifted and inspired leaders in the Church today are women. In my work as a seminary professor and dean, I encounter numerous women with incredible potential for the work of the God's kingdom. Yet many churches and denominations still struggle with the place of women in leadership. The so-called "mainlines" are not immune to this. For example, an article in  reports that female clergy in the UMC make 13% less than their male counterparts. In addition recent statistics show that women on average make up about 20% of conference leadership, and studies also show that female clergy are leaving the ministry after about 8 years, often citing bias against female clergy as a primary reason. 

United Theological Seminary will host a conference on women's preaching and leadership this September in Dayton. Speakers include Bishop Violet Fisher and Bishop Marva Mitchell. (Bishop Craig was originally scheduled, but at this point cannot attend). Also joining them will be Ms. Amee Paparella, Director and Grass Roots Organizer for Women’s Issues, General Board of Church and Society UMC, who will lead worship on Wednesday morning. 

Female faculty members will be on hand to discuss the importance of women's perspectives on biblical interpretation, pastoral care, leadership, and evangelism/community renewal.

Additionally, the conference will include a panel discussion with the following participants: 

·                     Dr. Vivian Johnson, Associate Dean, Moderator
·                     Bishop Violet Fisher, Retired Bishop, UMC
·                     Bishop Marva Mitchell, Revival Center Ministries International
·                     Dr. Wendy Deichmann, President, UTS
·                     Dr. Lisa Hess, Moderator, Presbyterian Church, Ohio Area

Both Masters Level and C.E.U. credits are available. 

This is going to be an important and inspiring event. I really hope you can make it. Men, don't be shy. If you care about the place of women in ministry as I do, come to listen, learn, discuss, and support. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Frank Thomas on "The Real" and "Fake Emotional Truth"

Watch live streaming video from unitedts at

Dr. Frank Thomas recently spoke at the Doctor of Ministry intensive at United Theological Seminary. His topic was what he called "the real" in preaching: authenticity and truth, not just in the event of the sermon, but in the life of the pastor. This is a lengthy video, but I commend it to you. You may not agree with everything he says, but I for one learned a great deal from listening to him. 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

How to read Wesley's sermons: An interview with Jason Vickers

The sermons of John Wesley collectively serve as one of our doctrinal standards in United Methodism. It is in our interest, then, to read, reflect upon, and comprehend Wesley's sermons as ways of entering into the life of faith more deeply. Jason Vickers of United Theological Seminary and Ken Collins of Asbury Theological Seminary have just published a new edition of Wesley's sermons, subtitled A Collection for the Christian Journey. It's a great volume and I highly recommend it. Check out this interview with Dr. Vickers on the new collection.