Note: Karam Forum isn’t the only digital opportunity for ON collaboration! Here’s a quick reminder of an opportunity we shared last month: Register today to join Scott Cormode, author of The Innovative Church, and Michaela O’Donnell Long for a webinar on how churches can transform their approach to vocation to connect with the rapidly changing needs of the world around us. The webinar will take place on October 22 at 10-11 Pacific time (12-1 central, 1-2 eastern). It is co-sponsored by the Oikonomia Network and Fuller’s De Pree Center.
There’s no doubt that this is a time of crisis for theological education. On January 5, we will digitally convene Karam Forum to link arms and rise to this challenge with hope, vision and wisdom.
Karam Forum 2021 will be a half-day digital event. Our focus will be discovering a vision for theological education to thrive in the coming century, and sharing the wisdom to put that vision into practice, fueled by our assured hope that God will continue to build his church – and that he has summoned us into that work. President Mark Labberton of Fuller Theological Seminary, President John Nunes of Concordia College New York and Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary will be among our key speakers.
Don’t risk missing out – mark your calendar today to be part of this time of inspiring and equipping collaboration!
To stimulate our vision, we turn to two school presidents who have taken the lead in reinventing Christian higher education for the coming century. Mark Labberton, president of Fuller Theological Seminary, and John Nunes, president of Concordia College-New York, will help us see the present moment as an opportunity to take theological education in a new and life-giving direction. Our schools have already been moving from the old model of education as “information” to a new model of education as “formation,” and grappling with the challenges of a diverse and fragmented cultural environment. Now is the time to rethink our model of education from the ground up – the opportunities for new and better approaches haven’t been this wide open in over half a century, if not longer!
To cultivate the wisdom we will need when the rubber hits the road, we will convene an interdisciplinary discussion of how theological scholarship and education can better connect our biblical knowledge to the way people live in the world. Kicking off this catalytic conversation will be Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary. Drawing on many years of attention to this problem as a scholar and educator, he’ll outline some of the challenges we face in the way we think about and organize theological knowledge. Then, modeling the interdisciplinary cooperation our schools will need to rise to the challenge, we’ll ask a panel of leaders drawn from across the disciplines to consider the practical challenge in rethinking how we steward the theological knowledge tradition. Lynn Cohick of Denver Seminary, Gerry Breshears of Western Seminary and Charlie Self of Assemblies of God Theological Seminary will be among our panelists.
This is an interdisciplinary panel we had originally been planning to convene back when Karam Forum was going to be a live event. (Long, long ago, in the before-time.) After considering our options, we’ve decided this is a conversation that needs to happen without letting anything like a pesky pandemic get in our way. We will, of course, adjust the format for digital engagement – to avoid “Zoom fatigue.” But the original idea of a conversation across the disciplines about how to steward theological knowledge in a way that connects it more completely to the way people live is a plan worth sticking to.
That’s right: We’re putting the band back together. And we’re . . .
We have much more in store, including a special “global session” that we will be convening at a different time so our friends and partners around the world can join the conversation. More details about that, and other surprises we have in store, will be coming in future editions of this newsletter.
In the meantime, mark your calendars for January 5.
Don’t make us storm the building to come get you!