Bringing Theology Home: Formation in Local Contexts

As the church undergoes significant demographic shifts, the approach to forming leaders in the church, both ordained and lay, must also shift. The traditional model of going to a three-year residential seminary, finding a two to three-year curacy, and then a full-time parish position works in some places and for some people. However, it is increasingly becoming unrealistic for others, especially more rural dioceses. At this year’s conference, the Society of Scholar Priests will discuss the theological impact of formation in local contexts.

Date: June 12-14, 2019
Place: Trinity Church, Princeton, NJ

Scheduling Note: Registration on Wednesday will open at 3:30 with a reception at 5:00 and the Opening Eucharist at 6:00. On Friday, the conference will conclude with a Closing Eucharist at 11:00 followed by lunch at noon.

Dr. Joshua Davis is the Dean of the Alabama Integrative Ministry School (AIMS) and teaches in the Religion and Core Text program at Samford University in Birmingham, AL. He has previously taught at General Theological Seminary, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Institute for Pastoral Studies at Loyola Chicago, and Sewanee, University of the South.

The Rev. Robyn Szoke-Coolidge serves on diocesan staff in the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania since 2011, first as Canon for Formation and, most recently, as Dean of the Stevenson School for Ministry and Assistant to the Bishop for Leadership Development, a role in which she has served since 2013. As Dean, Robyn has worked to form a Board of Directors for the school, expanded the internship and mentorship opportunities for students, and is overseeing the expansion of the school to include the School for the Diaconate, a Pilot Priesthood program, further opportunities for continuing education for both clergy and lay leaders, and the Vital and Effective Leadership Institute for newly ordained clergy and clergy who are new to their cures.

o Session 1 – The Implications of Ecclesiology for Local Formation – Joshua Davis will be our plenary speaker for this session. Q&A will follow.
o Session 2 – The Implication of Local Formation for Ecclesiology – This will be an open paper session.
o Session 3 – Partners in Local Formation – This will be a panel discussion.
o Session 4 – Contextualization – This will be an open paper session with Robyn Szoke-Coolidge, Dean of the Stevenson School for Ministry providing the lead paper.
o Session 5 – Spiritual and Liturgical Formation – This will be an open paper session.