The Bible & Theology Toward Christian Maturity
Raising Up Millennial Leaders
By Tori Hoffman | Photo by Luke Rutan
Scholars, pastors, and entrepreneurs came together at Seattle Pacific University in late October to brainstorm ways to transform theological education to appeal to today’s church.
Through presentations and panels, invited attendees at the “Equipping Faithful Leaders” conference discussed ways theological education can renew churches and adjust to changing cultural dynamics.
“Many millennials have expressed disillusion, disappointment, and frustration with the church,” says Douglas Strong, dean of the School of Theology. “Those of us who are running theological institutions better open up, get aware, and figure out how to change if we want to have a future for the church.”
Kenda Creasy Dean, a United Methodist pastor and professor of youth, church, and culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, delivered a keynote address on the spiritual needs of millennials to those gathered for the invitation-only conference. The conference gathered about 75 professors and pastors from churches and schools in the Pacific Northwest and around the country.
L. Gregory Jones, professor of theology and Christian ministry at Duke Divinity School and a conference coordinator, said at the event that theological education needs to be reimagined to incorporate technological and social innovations.
“There is a need for new kinds of institutions, for new patterns of relationships, for new expressions of community,” Jones said. “We can retrieve the best from our past for the sake of faithful innovation into the future.”