UDTS to Host Spring Renewal Conference

Mar 19, 2018 | University Relations staff

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque Theological Seminary’s Spring Renewal 2018 Conference, “The Hope of Intergenerational Ministry,” will be held Sunday, April 8, through Monday, April 9, on campus. The annual conference is free and open to the public.

“The Spring Renewal offers opportunities for alumni and friends of the seminary and the community to learn from engaging preachers, teachers, and writers who share their insights and scholarship,” said Annette Huizenga, dean of seminary and associate professor of New Testament.

The conference will include a Taizé morning prayer service, coffee with professors, a workshop titled “Shape Shifting: Moving from Education to Formation,” and more. In addition, Rev. Jason Brian Santos, Ph.D., mission coordinator for Christian Formation and national director of UKirk (PCUSA), will present a dinner presentation titled “Killing Church Softly: How Age and Stage Ministry Has Hurt the Church and Why Intergenerational Formation Might Be Our Only Hope.”

“There’s a growing concern in our nation about the hemorrhaging of youth and young adults from our congregations,” Santos said. “But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised. For the past half century, we’ve increasingly formed our children and youth through developmentally centered, peer-oriented ministry programs that remove them from the corporate life of the church. Recent research suggests we might have taken the ages-and-stages model of ministry a little too far.”

Santos’s lecture explores the history of that trend through generational and identity-formation theories that shed light on the problem and offer insight toward a more communal understanding of discipleship faithfully cultivated through intergenerational spiritual formation.

Pre-registration is required by Monday, April 2. For more information, visit bit.ly/UDTSContinuingEd.

The conference is funded, in part, by the John P. Woods Distinguished Lectureship in Religion and Culture. The lectureship seeks to bring to campus a person who speaks about the links between culture and religion through workshops, worship, and other presentations.