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Study Conference 2015

5, 6, 7 May 2015

access the full schedule here

Featured speaker

Dr. Craig Van Gelder

Emeritus Professor of Congregational Mission, Luther Seminary and Church Consultant with The Missional Network

A Changing Church in a Changing World:
Discerning the Spirit’s Leading in the 21st Century


The church of Jesus Christ is called by God to re-contextualize its ministry in every generation to the changing realities it encounters, while also seeking to steward well the truths of the historic Christian faith. The euro-tribal faith traditions in North America are undergoing significant change at the beginning of the 21st century and appear to be experiencing what might be called “the great unraveling.” How might we discern the Spirit’s leading in the midst of such change? This series focuses on trying to answer this question for denominations and their congregations in the contemporary Canadian context.

Titles of Three Presentations

  1. Challenges Historical Denominations and Their Congregations Are Facing Today in Canada
  2. Considering How God’s Spirit Might Be at Work in the Midst of the Disruption We Are Experiencing
  3. Thinking Biblically and Theologically about the Challenges We Face

Brief Bio

Van Gelder holds a Ph.D. in Missiology (1982) and a Ph.D. in Administration in Urban Affairs (1985) and served as Professor of Congregational Mission at Luther Seminary from 1998-2014, preceded by 10 years as Professor of Domestic Missiology at Calvin Seminary. This discipline utilizes biblical and theological frameworks in developing a missional approach for helping congregations in the North America engage changing contexts while pursuing adaptive change and transformation. He is ordained in the Christian Reformed Church.*

Now retired from full-time teaching, Van Gelder continues to consult with churches across North America helping them participate more fully in God’s mission in the world. His most recent book was co-authored with Dwight Zscheile, The Missional Church in Perspective (2011), and is the author of The Essence of the Church (2000) and The Ministry of the Missional Church (2007), as well as serving as editor of and contributor to numerous other volumes.

*The Christian Reformed Church of North America is bi-national, with a third of its congregations located in Canada. Because of this, Van Gelder took opportunity upon beginning his teaching at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1988 to familiarize himself with the Canadian context and churches in that context. He has traveled extensively across Canada over the past 25 years working with CRC congregations and classes as well as being involved in a number of ecumenical conferences. He has also engaged, as a missiologist, in reading and writing about the historical development of churches in Canada. 


Cost – $25

Accommodation – available at Luther Residence (306-966-7889)

Parking – Parking is available in Lot 4 for $4 max per visit per day (you pay every time you leave that lot, so it's not a good place to stay if you plan to leave for lunch and breaks). Passes for Lot S (formerly known as Lot P) for the three days will be available for $20 from Adrienne at Registration.