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Annual Conference

NAPCE 2001 Annual Conference
October 25-27, 2001
Sheraton Arlington Park
Chicago, Illinois
Mark Senter - Conference VP

Conference Theme and Description
Conference Program Overview

Conference Theme and Description

Spiritual Journey and our Communities of Faith was the theme for NAPCE 2001. The conference focused on the richness of the spiritual journey found in diverse expressions of the Body of Christ and explored implications for personal and corporate growth.

The journey to Christian maturity is a shared experience. Much of spiritual growth literature focuses on the individual, yet churches and faith traditions represented in NAPCE provide support and encourage maturing believers through a variety of activities reflecting their distinctive values. NAPCE 2001 explored the journey to spiritual maturity in four communities. African, Asian, Hispanic and Willow Creek Community Church experiences were described and explored throughout the conference.

In addition to the plenary sessions utilizing a combination of educationally appropriate presentations, a panel discussion, and a question and answer session, the conference featured Praxis Seminars to explore the shared spiritual journey with children, youth, college and seminary communities, ethnic and immigrant peoples, as well as the poor and disenfranchised.

Conference Program

Robert Mullholland, Author of Invitation to a Journey: A Road Map for Spiritual Formation and Academic Dean of Asbury Theological Seminary, gave direction to our discussion. He drew from his studies on the role of the faith community in spiritual formation to help NAPCE gain a perspective on the spiritual journey that the Church, our schools and NAPCE are traveling.

Joining Dr. Mullholland were people from four distinctly different church traditions of spiritual formation. Ruth Barton champions the rapidly emerging spiritual formation emphasis at Willow Creek Community Church. As a Korean-American, Peter Cha, ministered both in Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and as an ethnic church planter before joining the faculty of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Derek McNeil serves in an African-American church on the west side of Chicago and teaches at Wheaton College. And bringing to our discussion perspectives from the Hispanic American Christian communities was Marta Alvarado, who teaches at Moody Bible Institute.

The conference provided a venue for NAPCE to dialog with people who have served in, and reflected upon, their rich traditions of corporate spiritual formation. Following a keynote address by Mullholland, the four church leaders reflected on the spiritual journey from their perspectives. NAPCE members then explored implications of the journey in praxis groups.

On the basis of insights gathered in the praxis groups, the panel of speakers explored issues raised and attempted to discover fresh perspectives on the shared passage of the Church into the twenty-first century. Robert Mullholland concluded the conference by providing reflections on what conferees have said.

Program Personnel:
1. Registration coordinator Jana Sundene, Trinity International University
2. Praxis Seminar Coordinator David Setran, Wheaton College
3. Research Presentation Coordinator Kevin Lawson, Biola University
4. Professional Development Session Coordinator Gary Bredfeldt, Moody Bible Institute
5. Liaison to Non-NAPCE Educators in the Chicago Area Paul Bramer and Linda Cannell
6. Media Equipment Coordinator Raymond Moushon, University of Chicago
7. Projection and Conference Graphics Bob Whittet (Gordon College) or ETA
8. Worship leader Gary Parrett


Thursday, October 25

1:30-4:00   Registration
4:30-5:30   Reception
6:00-7:30   Dinner sponsored by LifeWay Publishers Welcome by NAPCE President, Mark Cannister
8:00-9:30   General Session #1: Spiritual Journey in a Church Context - Robert Mulholland
9:45-10:30   New Comers Reception

Friday, October 26

7:00-8:00   Breakfast
8:30-9:45   General Session #2a: What are we learning about the spiritual journey in our faith communities? Ruth Barton, Willow Creek Community Church; Peter Cha, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
9:45-10:00   Break
10:00-11:15   General Session #2b: What are we learning about the spiritual journey in our faith communities? Marta Alvarado, Moody Bible Institute; Derek McNeil, Wheaton College
11:45-1:00   Lunch sponsored by Standard Publishers and NAPCE

Research Presentations/Breakout Sessions (eight locations)
Breakout sessions will include further exploration of each the three faith communities presented in General Session #2.

Breakout sessions:
" Our Spiritual Journey at Willow Creek Community Church; Ruth Barton
" Our Spiritual Journey in the Asian American Christian Community; Peter Cha
" Our Spiritual Journey in the Hispanic Church; Marta Alvarado
" Our Spiritual Journey in the African American Church; Derek McNeil

Research presentations:
" Educating the Children's Ministry Professional: Implications from a Study of Job Satisfaction; Jane Carr, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
" Theological Basics and Postmodern Educational Invitations; Bob Pazmino, Andover Newton Theological School
" High School Church Youth Groups: Growth and Decline; Leonard Kageler, Nyack College
" "The Spirit of the Age" Disputes over Evangelistic Methods on the American Frontier; Robert Lay, Taylor University

2:15-2:30   Break

Praxis Seminars
Exploring our spiritual journey from the perspective of historic traditions of spiritual formation.

The Contemplative Tradition: Discovering the Prayer-Filled Life - This session explored the relationship between spiritual formation and the contemplative life. The emphasis here is placed upon prayer-filled living, the development of a steadfast intimacy with the God who loves us.

Facilitator: Dr. James Wilhoit, Price-LeBar chair of the Christian Formation and Ministry department, Wheaton College. Dr. Wilhoit teaches courses on Prayer and Spirituality. He has also co-edited The Christian Educators Handbook on Spiritual Formation (1994).

The Holiness Tradition: Discovering the Virtuous Life - This session explored the relationship between spiritual formation and the development of personal and corporate holiness. Looking particularly at the perspectives and procedures of the early Methodists, this seminar examined the current possibilities for developing within our churches the virtuous life of holiness fashioned in community.

Facilitator: Dr. Cathy Stonehouse, Orlean Bullard Beeson Professor of Christian Education at Asbury Theological Seminary. Dr. Stonehouse teaches in the area of Christian discipleship, wrestling with how spiritual formation takes place in the faith community.

The Charismatic Tradition: Discovering the Spirit-Empowered Life - This session explored the role of the Holy Spirit in the formation process. The seminar explored implications for supernaturally "assisted living" with a focus on engagement in a two-way conversation and personal relationship with the Spirit (illumination and guidance).

Facilitator: Klaus Issler, Professor of Christian Education and Theology, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University and adjunct faculty, Institute for Spiritual Formation

The Evangelical Tradition: Discovering the Word-Centered Life - The Evangelical tradition of spiritual formation centers around three aspects, the written word of God, the Bible; the living word in the person of Jesus Christ; and the spoken word, in evangelism. Have our labors in these three aspects produced the fruit of Christians who impact the Kingdom of God through a life of deepening love for God and for others? If not, are there other aspects of the Christian life that need more emphasis?

Facilitator: Judy TenElshof, Director of the Intentional Character Development program at Talbot School of Theology and founder of Hilltop Renewal Center. Dr. TenElshof is concerned with linking together theological, spiritual, and therapeutic concerns in the spiritual formation of students and Christian leaders

The Incarnational Tradition: Discovering the Sacramental Life - This session explored the relationship between spiritual formation and the sacramental life. The emphasis here is placed on "making present and visible the realm of the invisible spirit." Rejecting the Gnostic understanding of spiritual things as "good" and material things as "bad," the incarnational tradition attempts to recognize the presence of God in creation, in our embodied selves, in physical labor and work, and in the sacraments.

Facilitor: Rev. Robert Henry, Curate of Church of the Great Shepherd in Wheaton, Illinois, has a B.A. in Christian Education from Concordia (River Forest) and an M.A. in Evangelism and Spiritual Formation from Wheaton College

The Social Justice Tradition: Discovering the Compassionate Life - This session explores the relationship between spiritual formation and social justice. The emphasis here is placed upon the working of Gods justice, mercy, and compassion in the personal, social, and institutional spheres of life. The seminar looked at the role of the Church as an embodiment of these themes in the world.

Facilitator: Dr. Astead Herndon, Pastor of Hallelujah Temple in Park Forest, Illinois


3:30-4:00   Break

Professional Development Sessions / Research Presentations (eight locations)

Professional development:
"Communicating in Ways Students Learn (Methods for teaching postmodern young people); Mark Eckel, high school teacher and motivational speaker)
" Classroom on the Web (Principles of instructional design for online courses); Doug Filkins from Moody Bible Institutes online project for Europe

Research presentations:
"Toward Semiotic Harmony: Significant Others in Spiritual Formation; Jonathan H. Kim, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University
" Christian Spirituality in the Life Stories of Chinese-American Older Adults; Lily K. Chua, Ph.D. student, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
" Artifacts of Education: Archaeological Insights into Hebrew Education in the Ancient Near East; James Estep, Kentucky Christian College
"The Promise of Classroom Assessment Techniques; Donald Guthrie, Covenant Theological Seminary
" Thriving in Ministry: Lessons Learned from Exemplar Clergy; Barrett W. McRay, Mark R. McMinn, Mike Ramey, David Swanson, Dennise Villa, Wheaton College
" Self-esteem and Spiritual Well-being in Early Adolescents: A Correlational Study; Jim Mohler, Trinity International University


5:30-7:00   Dinner sponsored by Group Publishing
7:30-9:00   General Session #3 Discovering our common journey through diversity Marta Alvarado, Ruth Barton, Peter Cha, Derek McNeil and Robert Mulholland

Saturday, October 27

8:00-9:00   Breakfast
9:00-9:30   Business Meeting
9:30-10:45   General Session #4 What Have We Learned and What is Missing? - Robert Mulholland
10:45-11:00   Break

Research Presentations / Professional Development Sessions (eight locations)

Professional development:
" Revitalizing the Curriculum (A Look at Educational Ministries curriculum at Wheaton Graduate School) James Wilhoit, et al.
"Teaching 101 (Practical tips and practical advice from a seasoned professor) Dennis Fledderjohann and a panel of NAPCEs best
" Discerning Celluloid Spirituality with Postmodern Generations; Joseph Taylor, Claremont School of Theology

Research presentations:
" Confession, Phenomenology, or Spirituality? What the North American Church can learn from the UK Experience; Eugene Gibbs, Ashland Theological Seminary
" The Measurement of Spiritual Maturity Through the Educator's Eyes: Validation of the Christian Spiritual Participation Profile; Richard Emilson, Canadian Theological Seminary
" Spiritual Formation Class - An Unexpected Journey for Pastors in Training; Carol Tasker, Andrews University
" John Dewey on the Student: Are There Implications for Christian Educators? Douglas Simpson, University of Louisville
" Curricular Implications of the Study of Protestant Youth Ministers in America; Karen Jones & Dave Rahn, Huntington College Link Institute


12:15-2:00   Lunch and Closing Worship
12:00-8:00   Opportunities


Sheraton Arlington Park
3400 West Euclid Avenue
Arlington Heights, Illinois 60005-1052

(847) 394-2000 or (800) 344 3434

Copyright 2001. North American Professors of Christian Education. All rights reserved.