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Speakers


Keynote Speaker: Dr. James K.A. Smith

Dr. James K. A. Smith, Professor of Philosophy at Calvin College holds the Gary & Henrietta Byker Chair in Applied Reformed Theology & Worldview. He also serves as editor of Comment magazine and is a Senior Fellow for The Colossian Forum.


James K. A. Smith’s hometown is Embro, ON, a small village northeast of London. It was here that he met his school sweetheart, Deanna, who became his wife in his second year at Bible College. With a BSc. from Emmaus Bible College, Dubuque, Iowa, Dr. Smith enrolled in the Institute for Christian Studies, Toronto. Further studies beckoned following the MPhil at ICS, with philosophy being the established path for doctoral studies. Jamie settled the growing family in Philadelphia to attend Villanova University where he studied under John D. Caputo for four years. After a brief stint teaching philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in the year round sunshine of Los Angeles, Jamie accepted a position in philosophy at Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI where he has remained to the present.


Meanwhile the family expanded to include four children, now in their teens and twenties with two at university. Jamie keeps a punishing schedule as a speaker on the global circuit. With well over a dozen books in print and numerous articles, Jamie knows how to organize his days. While grounded in philosophy and theology, his interests and research range widely from postmodernism to Pentecostalism, hermeneutics to secularism, the reformed tradition and radical orthodoxy, and more specifically the topic of focus at our conference, Christian formation. On this topic, two books of a trilogy titled, Culture and Liturgy, have been published: Desiring the Kingdom and Imagining the Kingdom. A number of his lectures can be found on You Tube should you wish to become more acquainted with his work.

Learn More
Listen to his recent Faith Talks lectures at Tyndale University College & Seminary

Dr. Paul Bramer

Workshop:Dynamics and Stages of Adult Spiritual Formation: This workshop identifies key factors in spiritual growth and describes some critical turning points and stages on the spiritual journey. Some implications for developing as Christian leaders will be explored.

A faculty member at Tyndale seminary, Dr. Bramer is currently Professor of Christian Formation and Leadership where he is also Director of the seminary’s Doctor of Ministry Program. With a life long commitment to the development of Christian Leaders, he has served on the board of the North American Professors of Christian Education, the editorial advisory board for Christian Educational Journal along with site visit committees for the Association of Theological Schools. Paul has published articles in the Christian Educational Journal, Covenant Quarterly and Covenant Companion. His church based ministries have included small group leadership, Christian education, youth ministries, and spiritual direction.

The Rev. Stephanie Douglas-Bowman

Workshop: Domestic Liturgies and Faith Formation: “Faith is nurtured in the home through intentional relationships and practices between parents and children.” In this workshop, Stephanie will present the findings from recent studies on the significant role of parents in the spiritual formation of children.  Stephanie will argue that in a sense, the practices and habits in the home act as an influential cultural liturgy.  If the home is, as John Chrysostom once said, a “little Church,” what then would a domestic Christian liturgy look like?

Rev. Stephanie Douglas-Bowman has a B.A. in linguistics from McGill and an M.A. in theology from Wycliffe College at the Toronto School of Theology. She is the incumbent at Oshawa’s Christ Memorial Church,  a very active parish with 250 households. An award-winning freelance writer with a special focus on the discipleship of children in their family setting, Stephanie has written on faith parenting, has spoken on the topic of discipleship at the Making It Easier to Serve: Leading Children’s Ministry Conference in Toronto, and is engaging in doctoral studies at Wycliffe College to explore more fully discipleship in the domestic context. She has served at St. Paul's, Bloor Street; St. Timothy's, Agincourt; and St. Bride's, Clarkson. Stephanie is known as a creative and engaging speaker whose experience is informed from her own family that includes three children.

The Rev. Dr. Val Michaelson

Revised* Workshop: Space, Time and Stories: Reimagining children in the church: In Mark 4:27, Jesus tells a powerful story about a seed that lands in good soil and thrives.  This  story is a powerful metaphor for children’s ministry.  Soil is the environment for much of life.   If soil is healthy, seeds grow and life thrives.  In the same vein, when a child experiences good soil, good things tend to happen.  Few things are recognized as being more important for children than their environment:  in this workshop, we learn from people who have created exceptional “soil” for children in environments as diverse as children’s museums, schools, art galleries and adventure parks.  We consider theological foundations and practical applications and for creating “good soil” in our church contexts.  This project was funded by a Pastoral Study Grant from the Louisville Institute in 2015.

The Rev. Dr. Tim Perry

Workshop: “Blessed are those who have seen”: Imagination, Icons, and Christian Formation. Imagination can sometimes be presented in opposition to reason as though reason alone guides us to what is true. In this workshop, Tim will begin from a different perspective: imagination is a rational faculty that helps to explore deep connections between the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. Drawing on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien and others, Tim will explore the role imagination plays in healthy Christian formation, examining the use of icons in prayer as a case study.

 

Rev. Dr. Tim Perry is Rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Sudbury, Ontario.  He has written for both academic and popular audiences, and is Associate Editor of The Anglican Planet. An alumnus of Ontario Theological Seminary and former faculty member of Tyndale Seminary, Tim holds a PhD from the University of Durham, England. His latest book, The Blessed Virgin Mary, was co-authored with Rev. Daniel Kendall SJ and published by Eerdmans in 2013.  The authors have “joined across the Reformation divide to provide an irenic, balanced volume for. . . readers interested in this most remarkable woman and the ways in which she has shaped Christian thought.”