Sept. 24-26, 2023
Will Willimon, Keynoter
What is the future of small congregations (the fastest growing segment of North American Christianity)?
Join us for lectures, workshops, worship, and conversations that will inspire your leadership; and receive practical, usable wisdom for giving your congregation a future.
This year's keynoter Will Willimon has been listening to pastors and congregations in hundreds of American churches and has a hopeful, Christ-centered word for small churches and their leaders. He is the author of What’s Next? a book to help contemporary pastors lead their congregations forward. Dr. Willimon will present the Henderson Lecture on Church and Ministry, “Hope for the Many Churches Where Few Are Gathered,” Monday evening, Sept. 25, 2023, at 7:00 person and online.
Additionally, Christian Scharen and Eileen Campbell-Reed, co-directors of the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project—a national, ecumenical, and longitudinal study of ministry begun in 2009—will lead the plenary session, “Pastoral Imagination: Developing, Nurturing, and Sustaining It,” Tuesday morning.
This is our first in-person Henderson Leadership Conference since 2019. In celebration of this chance to gather, we've reduced the registration costs to increase access to these great speakers and this quality content. Expand the Registration information below to register to join us!
Overnight housing is available. Call the Seminary at 412-362-5610 for more information.
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, 616 N. Highland Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15206
A bishop in The United Methodist Church, the Rev. Dr. Will Willimon served as the dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He returned to Duke after serving as the bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. He has taught in Germany, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia in various seminaries. He is a trustee of Wofford College, Emory University, and serves on the Dean’s Committee of Yale Divinity School.
Willimon is the author of more than 70 books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the 10 most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. His articles have appeared in many publications including Theology Today, Interpretation, Liturgy, and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. His book Pastor: the Theology and Practice of Ordained Leadership is used in dozens of seminaries in the United States and Asia.
Ordained in the ELCA in 2001, the Rev. Dr. Christian Scharen is the pastor at St. Lydia’s Dinner Church in Brooklyn, N.Y. A practical theologian and prolific author, he has written or edited more than a dozen books and many articles, book chapters, and research reports on religious organizations, religion and culture, social justice, and theological education in both academic and popular presses. With Eileen Campbell-Reed, Scharen has also served as the co-director of the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, a 10-year longitudinal, ecumenical, national study of learning ministry in practice. He recently completed a volume on the Roots (of Tonight Show fame) and hip-hop as a prophetic art form, and is working on a decolonial theological memoir about his family, the Ingalls of The Little House on the Prairie series.
The Rev. Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed (she/hers) is visiting associate professor of pastoral theology and care at Union Theological Seminary (New York).With Christian Scharen, Campbell-Reed is co-director of the Learning Pastoral Imagination Project, a national, ecumenical, and longitudinal study of ministry begun in 2009. She is author of Pastoral Imagination: Bringing the Practice of Ministry to Life (Fortress, 2021), Anatomy of a Schism (UT Press, 2016), the State of Clergywomen in the U.S. (2018) and the #PandemicPastoring Report (2022). She is founder and host of Three Minute Ministry Mentor, a weekly video, blog, and podcast to inform and inspire the practice of ministry.
See below for descriptions of each workshop.
6:00-7:00 p.m., Registration for in-person attendees
7:00-9:00 p.m., Screening of film Sabbath and conversation with filmmaker and Journey Films director Martin Doblmeier; reception following
8:00-9:00 a.m., Continental breakfast and registration for in-person attendees
9:00-9:45 a.m., Opening worship: Will Willimon, preaching
10:00-11:30 a.m., “Being Church in a Becoming World: A Conversation” with Will Willimon and Janet Nolting Carter
11:45 a.m.-1:00 p.m., Lunch
1:00-2:30 p.m., Workshop Session 1: Caring for Communities (at least two workshops available online)
2:45-4:15 p.m., Workshop Session 2: Caring for Leadership (at least two workshops will be available online)
4:30-5:15 p.m. Bible study, networking, and happy hour
5:30-6:45 p.m., Dinner
7:00-9:00 p.m., Henderson Lecture “Hope for the Many Churches Where Few Are Gathered” with Will Willimon; reception and book signing following lecture
8:30-9:30 a.m., Continental breakfast for in-person attendees
9:30-11:00 a.m., Plenary “Pastoral Imagination: Developing, Nurturing, and Sustaining It” with Christian Scharen and Eileen Campbell-Reed
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Closing worship
12:00-1:00 p.m. Closing luncheon
Mon., Sept. 25
Session 1, 1:00-2:30 p.m.
|Darryl Stephens, Director of United Methodist Studies and Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry, Lancaster Seminary||Thriving as a Bivocational Congregation||Why would a small congregation struggle to survive using a model of professionalized ministry better suited to larger membership churches when it could thrive as a bi-vocational church? This workshop provides lay and clergy leaders with a vision and plan for transformation.||Online Only|
|Eileen Campbell-Reed, Visiting Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, Union Theological Seminary||How Clergywomen Thrive in Ministry||The entry of women and LGBTQIA+ folks into clergy leadership in the last 60 years significantly changed the practice of ministry, yet marginalization, sexism, micro-aggressions, and inequities of pay, benefits, and advancement remain. How does one thrive in these realities? In this workshop we will explore the enduring puzzles that make roadblocks and key strategic solutions that contribute to thriving in ministry.||In Person and Online|
|Leeann Younger, Lead Pastor, Cityview Covenant Church, Pittsburgh, Pa.||Emergent Strategy||What if change is the only constant we can expect? What if Creation has been telling us something all along? As churches recover from the deep impact of the pandemic and changing demographics around who participates in communal religious life, the theory behind "emergent strategies" offers church leaders a set of adaptive tools to lead faithfully even when the road ahead is unpredictable.||In Person Only|
|Jan Nolting Carter, Ordained PCUSA Minister||
The Tension and Opportunity of Our Times: Living and Serving in Constant Transition
|This workshop will focus on resources for staying sane as a leader living in the midst of constant transition: cultural, institutional, denominational, and personal. We will discuss frameworks for leading through change and the ideas of being settled and connected through transition.||Hy-Flex|
Mon., Sept. 25
Session 2, 2:45-4:15 p.m.
|Darryl Stephens, Director of United Methodist Studies and Director of the Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry, Lancaster Seminary||Thriving as a Bivocational Congregation||Why would a small congregation struggle to survive using a model of professionalized ministry better suited to larger membership churches when it could thrive as a bi-vocational church? This workshop provides lay and clergy leaders with a vision and plan for transformation.||Hy-Flex (presenter is remote)|
|Eileen Campbell-Reed, Visiting Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology, Union Theological Seminary||Finding Our Way||The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything, and we are now living in a new era of ministry. How do we navigate hybrid church, ambiguous loss and grief, new expectations, and residual conflict? This workshop will offer 10 insights from two years of qualitative interviews and surveys. It will help participants consider ministry as a spiritual practice and tell new future stories.||Hy-Flex|
|Christian Scharen, Pastor at St. Lydia's Dinner Church, Brooklyn, N.Y.||
Why Dinner Church Isn't Just for Urban Churches
|While the Dinner Church movement emerged in urban settings, it has grown as a vital option for small rural churches, especially where two or more congregations are connected. Come join in exploring these ideas together.||In Person Only|
Register to join us for the 2023 Henderson Leadership Conference!
Register for the free lecture, Mon., Sept. 25 at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Register to attend the conference online. $25 (reduced rate!)
Conference In Person
Register to attend the conference in person. $100 (reduced rate!)
Need overnight housing? Call the Seminary at 412-362-5610 to discuss options for overnight accommodations.