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Forum for Brethren Studies Symposium

Friday, March 15, 2019 8:30 a.m.

Boitnott Room

Photo of symposium speakers

Bridgewater College will host a symposium on “The Status of Brethren Organizations: Demise and Momentum, 1994-2019,” on March 14-15.

Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, will open the symposium with an endowed lecture, “The Changing Religious Landscape in America,” at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, in Cole Hall. Sponsored by the Anna B. Mow Symposium on Comparative Religious Ethics, the lecture is free and open to the public.

Friday’s symposium begins at 8:30 a.m. in the Boitnott Room and has a registration fee of $20; lunch is included. The day begins with a question-and-answer session with Jones.

Friday’s sessions will focus on four major Brethren institutions—Annual Conference, Bethany Theological Seminary, Brethren Press and the Mission and Ministry Board—over the past 25 years.

Over the generations, these organizations fostered the Christian faith and Brethren identity of many, but in recent years have significantly declined in budget, staffing and participation.

Presenters are Ben Barlow, an attorney, who will speak on the Mission and Ministry Board, Scott Holland, Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture at Bethany Theological Seminary, who will speak on the Brethren Press, Ruthann Knechel Johansen, president emeritus of Bethany Theological Seminary, who will speak on the seminary, and Carol A. Scheppard, professor at Bridgewater College and past moderator of Annual Conference, who will speak on the conference.

Jeffrey Carter, president of Bethany Theological Seminary, Chris Douglas, director of Annual Conference, Wendy McFadden, publisher of Brethren Press and Publications, and David Steele, executive secretary of the Mission and Ministry Board, will respond.

The mission of the Forum for Brethren Studies is to encourage scholarship on the Bridgewater campus and within the Church of the Brethren, especially on Brethren heritage.

For more information and to RSVP, contact Steve Longenecker at

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