The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS) today announced plans to co-host an academic theological colloquy, “Missio Dei and the United States: Toward a Faithful United Methodist Witness.” The colloquy, planned in support of the Council of Bishops, will take place November 12-15, 2017 at the Hilton Boston Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts.
The goal of the colloquy is to engage United Methodist scholars and bishops in constructive dialogue that will open new pathways in our understanding and faithful practice of the Missio Dei. During the colloquy, participants will explore the future of the church from a missional perspective, and examine how to reengage our Wesleyan heritage to participate in the Missio Dei. As we discern God’s leading, we must also heed God’s call to “Go!”
The colloquy will bring together scholars from the United Methodist seminaries, as well as other seminaries across the U.S. Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary, GBHEM, and Dr. Jan Love, president of AUMTS and dean of Candler School of Theology, Emory University, issued a call for papers to more than 30 United Methodist scholars and 15 United Methodist bishops. All invited participants must write and submit a paper in advance. In accordance with the Book of Discipline, the colloquy is an open meeting dependent on seating capacity.
“Our agency strives to provide useful, informative and resourceful tools to help continue to move our church forward, especially in the area of leadership development,” said Cape. “As we face uncertain times in our denomination, the colloquy is a tool to assist the Commission on a Way Forward and the church, providing meaningful conversations and reflections from the scholars and leaders of our church. These conversations are the start of helping us to discern God’s call for the future of our church.”
In planning this colloquy, GBHEM and AUMTS emphasize that it is offered in collaboration with, and following the guidance of, the Council of Bishops.
“The Association of United Methodist Theological Schools is delighted to partner with GBHEM again to foster vibrant conversations across the church on what it means in our day and time to ‘make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,’ particularly in the United States,” said Love. “Our schools’ faculties are deeply dedicated to the church. Their research offers rich insights about opportunities for a vibrant United Methodist witness in the midst of substantial change in recent decades.”
Following the colloquy, a study guide and book will be published, sharing the work and discussions that are presented at the event. The publications will be provided to the Commission on a Way Forward, Boards of Ordained Ministry and others to encourage informed and substantive theological conversation about the practice of the Missio Dei and the future of the denomination.
Love continued, “For more than 30 years, the denomination, its agencies, and our schools have appropriately dedicated themselves to understanding the worldwide nature of the UMC. In the context of these larger international discussions, this colloquy gives us a chance to examine whether we in the United States are using every opportunity to discern how we might best participate in God’s work of love and grace in our neighborhoods, cities, and across the country, particularly as they have experienced considerable change. This will be an exciting discussion.”
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to lead and connect the educational and ministerial life of the church. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.