Just Like Me: Learning to Trust with Amy R. Valdez Barker

2020 Albright-Deering Lecture in Methodist Studies



March 12, 2020


How do we trust one another when we have so many differences? During this lecture, "Just Like Me: The Era of 'Likeness' in a Global World Full of Difference," we will explore the differences in the Methodist global connection that threaten to divide the church. Exploring global differences, we will encounter how our differences emerge in our own communities and threaten to disrupt the church’s mission to be “united in Christ.” Using trust as the centering value that grounds our faith, we will uncover the “divine likeness” that moves us toward one another for the sake of God’s mission in the world.

All events during this day's program are free and open to the public. For lunch, advance registration is required.


The Western Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church will be hosting a workshop with Rev.Dr. Valdez-Barker Wed., March 11, 2020. Details about the workshop and separate registration can be found on their website.


10:00 a.m. Just Like Me: The Era of "Likeness" in a Global World Full of Difference

11:30 a.m. Chapel - "The Divine Likeness"  Scripture: Ephesians 4:1-14

12:30 p.m. Lunch by Reservation (pre-registration required)


The Rev. Dr. Valdez Barker, Executive Director at Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, leads a staff that relates to partners in the worldwide United Methodist and ecumenical mission network, seeking to foster collaborative interaction for church development and Christian service. She has extensive experience on the connectional level of the church, having worked for the Connectional Table, a program and policy coordinating agency, from 2010 to 2017, four years as the top executive. She served as a board member of four General Agencies (GCORR, GCFA, GBCS, and GCOM) between 1987 and 2003. She also served as a member of the World Methodist Council Executive Committee when she was 15 years old. As the WMC Youth Committee chairperson, she brought the first International Methodist Young Leaders Seminar (IMYLS) to London, England, and recently spoke as an alumni and founding member of the gathering in Houston in 2015. Valdez Barker  has a deep passion and love for the local church and the global connection. As a member of the Call to Action team in 2010, she caught the vision of wanting to discover ways to use data to help local churches see opportunities for developing ways of engaging with the community around them. She joined the team focusing on increasing Vital Congregations throughout the denomination and helped bring strategic focus amongst annual conferences engaging in innovative and adaptive experiments for ministry. Most recently, she completed a book with Abingdon, titled Trust By Design: The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture, taking the Towers Watson Research about the denomination’s lack of trust and exploring ways in which the church needs to rebuild trust internally and beyond church relationships.

Valdez Barker grew up in Iowa and is an ordained deacon in the North Georgia Annual Conference. She did her undergraduate work at University of Iowa in communication studies and has earned both a master's degree and PhD from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Valdez Barker is motivated to engage in mission by the experience of lives changed by the grace and love of God through the work of the church. Her interests include the study of different cultures and spiritual generativity, what we are doing to pass on the faith from one generation to the next. In every aspect of her work, she is searching for ways to improve the lives of people around the world and building systems that will help the next 10 generations have a better future. 



Registration in advance is required to attend lunch March 12 at PTS.



Events for the day will be held on the campus of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. Directions to the Seminary. Free parking is available on campus behind the chapel and library. There will be signs directing you to the campus locations for the lecture, chapel service, and luncheon.


1.0 CEU is available for clergy or laity. To receive the certificate, e-mail the Office of Continuing Education


E-mail the Office of Continuing Education or call 412-924-1345.