Join us in Sydney this summer for the School of Theology, Culture and Public Engagement (STCPE). Held over four days in January, the STCPE is designed to equip everyday Christians with the knowledge and skills to create, influence and engage with the various spheres of work and culture in which God has placed them.
Our fantastic line-up of speakers includes Lynn Cohick (Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College), lecturing on the topic ‘Philippians Today’, Andrew Errington, Rachelle Gilmour, Ben Myers, Keith Condie, Megan Best, Scott Stephens and more to be announced shortly.
The STCPE is open to both men and women, of all ages and levels – there are no pre-requisites or assessments.
Attendees pay a registration fee for the entire STCPE program, and can then choose from the intensives and workshops on offer. (Registration for a single short course, intensive or workshop may be available at a later date, if there are places available.)
This summer, come together with Christians from a wide variety of fields to explore the distinctive shape of Christian witness today.
Registrations now open!
OUR 2018 SPEAKERS & WORKSHOP PRESENTERS
LYNN COHICK – Philippians today
ANDREW ERRINGTON – Wisdom, creation and ethics
RACHELLE GILMOUR – Stranger things: Weird and wonderful stories of the Old Testament
BEN MYERS – TBC
KEITH CONDIE – Theology & psychology
MEGAN BEST – Ethical care at the end of life
SCOTT STEPHENS – The media and its threat to the moral life
CPX – Engaging in the public square
CPX – What has Christianity ever done for the world?
SEED – Discover your purpose
SEED – Designing for change
SHORT COURSES & INTENSIVES
Paul’s letter to the Philippians offers rich theology, engaging cultural commentary and practical advice for living. We will explore each chapter, as Paul develops his views on Christ as suffering Saviour, and the believers’ salvation and faithful witness. We will ask how Paul’s message speaks to our society’s questions today.
Lynn Cohick (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania) is Interim Dean of Humanities and Theological Studies and Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College. Prior to commencing at Wheaton College in 2000, Lynn taught for three years at Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Nairobi, Kenya. Her research focuses on the ways Jews and Christians lived out their faith in the ancient settings of Hellenism and the Roman Empire, and how Jews and Christians today can better appreciate and understand each other. Lynn also explores women’s lives in the ancient world, most recently focusing on Christian women in the early church. She enjoys studying the Apostle Paul and his epistles within their larger Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. Her publications include Christian Women in the Patristic World: Their Influence, Authority, and Legacy in the Second through the Fifth Centuries (co-authored with Amy Brown Hughes, Baker Academic, 2017); Philippians in the Story of God Commentary (Zondervan, 2013); Ephesians in New Covenant Commentary (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2010); Women in the World of the Earliest Christians (Baker Academic, 2009).
Wisdom, creation and ethics
This course looks at some of the basic ideas that underpin Christian thinking about ethics. Drawing particularly on the book of Proverbs, it begins from the idea of wisdom and moves to look at the nature of creation. In contrast to the way wisdom has often been seen in philosophy and theology, wisdom in Proverbs is a deeply practical reality, anchored in the reality of the created world. Gaining clarity about these things helps us to recognise what is involved in moral discernment, and therefore in the work of Christian ethics. In our day, we sorely need more clarity about these issues.
Andrew Errington is an Anglican minister from Sydney, but still quite an interesting person. He is married to Lauren, a mental-health social worker and family therapist. They have three children. For the last few years, the Erringtons have lived in Aberdeen, Scotland, where they have learned the joys of picking berries and woodland walks, and where Andrew has been working on his PhD in Christian ethics, focusing on the book of Proverbs and the thought of Thomas Aquinas and Oliver O’Donovan. Prior to their time in Scotland, the Erringtons loved living in Sydney’s Inner West, while Andrew served as a minister at Newtown and Erskineville Anglican Church.
Stranger things: Digging deeper into the weird and wonderful stories of the Old Testament
God creates the world. Moses parts the Red Sea. David kills Goliath. These are Old Testament stories that we know well, and we probably feel comfortable applying their message to our Christian faith. But how do we make sense of some of the weirder stories, like angels mating with humans, talking donkeys, Samson’s appalling behaviour towards women or the terrible fate of Lot’s visitors in Sodom? These are also part of our scriptures! Looking at the language and historical background of some familiar, and some unfamiliar, stories from the Old Testament, this intensive will navigate its riches in storytelling and consider what our strategies should be in trying to understand some of the Bible’s weirder stories.
Rachelle Gilmour is Senior Lecturer in Biblical Studies at BBI – The Australian Institute of Theological Education – and is a member of St Philip’s Anglican, Church Hill. She received her Doctor of Philosophy in Hebrew Bible at the University of Sydney, and has researched as a postdoctoral fellow at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Edinburgh. Dr Gilmour's main research interest is analysing biblical narrative from a literary perspective, and using these insights to learn more about the art of the biblical authors and editors, and their ancient conception of historiography. She has published a number of articles on these topics, as well as two books: Representing the Past: A Literary Analysis of Narrative Historiography in the Book of Samuel (VTS 143, Brill, 2011) and Juxtaposition and the Elisha Cycle (LHBOTS 594, T&T Clark, 2014). Her current focus is on collective memory and the Bible, including a project on prophecy and memory in the Book of Jeremiah.
details coming soon
Ben Myers is Lecturer in Systematic Theology at UTC (Charles Sturt University). Prior to that, he was a research fellow in intellectual history at the University of Queensland. His teaching and research focus on systematic theology, but he also has wide interests in literature, political thought and contemporary culture. He has been a fellow of the Center for Theological Inquiry in Princeton and a visiting scholar at Fuller Seminary, and is an Honorary Research Advisor to the University of Queensland’s Centre for the History of European Discourses.
Theology and psychology
The Bible and contemporary psychology both make significant claims about what it means to be human, what is problematic in human life and what it means to flourish as persons. And often those claims are at odds. While some Christians remain deeply suspicious of psychology, this intensive will suggest that it is wise to make use of psychological insights derived from good science. It will explore the theological principles that undergird such a conclusion, as well as considering what psychology and theology can and cannot contribute to the task of promoting human wellbeing.
Keith Condie is Co-Director of the Mental Health and Pastoral Care Institute at ADM. He is an Anglican minister who previously worked in pastoral ministry in churches in Sydney, and as Dean of Students and lecturer in ministry and church history at Moore Theological College. His PhD considered the place of meditation in the thought of Richard Baxter, a seventeenth-century English puritan pastor. He studied psychology many years ago, but has maintained an interest in the discipline and its relationship to theology since that time.
Ethical care at the end of life
details coming soon
Dr Megan Best is a researcher, bioethicist and palliative care doctor. She currently works in the psycho-oncology department at the University of Sydney and at the Institute for Ethics & Society at The University of Notre Dame Australia. She has worked in health ethics for over 20 years and is passionate about encouraging the Christian public to live out their faith in the choices they make in medical care.
The media and its threat to the moral life
details coming soon
Scott Stephens is Editor of the ABC’s Religion and Ethics website, and co-host (with Waleed Aly) of the radio program ‘The Minefield’ on ABC Radio National. He is also specialist commentator on religion and ethics for ABC radio and television. He is currently completing a book under the working title, Idiot Wind: The Media and its Threat to the Moral Life.
Innovation that shows the world what Jesus is like.
Seed helps individuals and organisations design products, services and strategies that grow out of our Christian story and also bring positive change in society.
Seed works at the intersection between Christian formation and social innovation.
Seed workshop 1: Discover your purpose
Find out how your story fits into God's story. Explore your identity and how this affects the change you might be able to make.
Seed workshop 2: Designing for change
How can you apply a Kingdom-approach to your life? Explore a methodology for bringing about change that aligns with God's purposes.
CENTRE FOR PUBLIC CHRISTIANITY (CPX)
The Centre for Public Christianity (CPX) is a not-for-profit media company that offers a Christian perspective on contemporary life. CPX seeks to promote the public understanding of the Christian faith by engaging mainstream media and the general public with high quality and well-researched print, video and audio material about the relevance of Christianity in the 21st century.
CPX workshop 1: Engaging in the public square
This workshop draws on CPX’s 10 years of ‘dropping the drawbridge’ and walking into a public square that’s sometimes hostile to (although more often naïve about) Christian faith. We will consider some dos and don’ts of public engagement, the importance of tone and the distinctive contribution Christians have to make to our increasingly-polarised culture. Attendees will also have the chance to workshop some concrete examples of tricky issues, implementing some of the principles of public engagement we’ve discussed, in order to communicate to a sceptical public in a way that is gracious, intriguing and winsome.
CPX workshop 2: What has Christianity ever done for the world?
The atheist Christopher Hitchens famously wrote that, “Religion poisons everything”. And increasingly, across the Western world, people are coming to think of Christianity as not just outdated or a bit irrational, but as actively harmful. From the Crusades to the child abuse scandals of recent years, sometimes it seems like the Christopher Hitchens of the world have a point. How bad have Christians been, really? How should we respond to those failures? And what about the other side of the story – are Western values like human rights, democracy, care for the vulnerable and marginalised, and the scientific outlook a legacy of the Christian faith, or the result of moving away from it?
This workshop weighs up the history; equips Christians with the apologetic tools to engage with some of the most common criticisms of their faith; and encourages them to have a humble but confident view of the contributions Christianity has made to the flourishing of both individuals and societies.
HOW TO… WORKSHOPS
Details coming soon.