2020 Meeting

The 55th Meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society will be held at Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO March 6-7, 2020. The theme for the meeting is: ‘Powers and Principalities’: Christian Complicity, Confession, and Confrontation. The Keynote Address will be given by Rev. Dr.  Randy Woodley and the Presidential Address by Christina Smerick, Northwest Nazarene University. The Wesleyan Philosophical Society, The Wesleyan Historical Society, and The Wesleyan Liturgical Society will all hold pre-conference meetings. Please make plans to join us for the conference.

2020 Conference Registration and Membership Renewal

2020 Keynote: Rev. Woodley is a Keetoowah Cherokee (legal descendent) teacher, poet, activist, former pastor, missiologist and historian. Woodley received his baccalaureate degree from Rockmont College in Denver, Colorado. He was ordained to the ministry through the American Baptist Churches in the USA in Oklahoma after graduating with a Masters of Divinity degree from Eastern Seminary (now Palmer Seminary), Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Randy's Ph.D. is in Intercultural Studies from Asbury Seminary, Wilmore, Kentucky.

** Shuttle Options between Hotel and Airport and between Hotel and NTS.

Local students are willing to provide a ride between airport and conference hotel for $40 each way.

Local students are also willing to provide transportation between conference hotel and NTS for $12 each way. If interested in any of these please contact persons individually.

Jenee Noriega (jnoriega@cnm.edu/505-261-8903)

Melissa Cabrera (melissacabrera0723@pointloma.edu/530-405-7507)

Esther L Fairbanks (estherlovesmichael@hotmail.com/816-728-1777)

CONFERENCE HOTEL:  Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza (3.7 miles to NTS)    

One East 45th Street, KC, MO 64111/ Phone: 816-753-7400/ Fax 816-561-2547

Rate: $119/ Night (+ Taxes) 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR BOOKING BY PHONE OR ONLINE:   Below is the online booking link for your block. After clicking on the link, you should be redirected to the Holiday Inn website where you can book reservations. The group code (WES) that is specific to your group will automatically populate. This will allow guests to book reservations for the specific dates (March 4-6).  If anyone would like to book outside of these dates, please contact the hotel. Reservation requests outside of the block dates can be booked upon availability. If guests would like to call in and make reservations, please call 1-866-280-6326. Please note that the cutoff date for guests booking reservations is February 3, 2020. This is the last day we can guarantee a reservation be booked in this group block at the contracted rate. 

Booking Link for WTS Hotel Reservations


2020 Schedule:

Please download and use WTS app for most updated schedule (please excuse html)

Wesleyan Theological Society Annual Meeting

Nazarene Theological Seminary

March 6-7, 2020

Friday, March 6  (Facility will be open at 7 am) 

8:00-9:00 a.m.                    Registration (Library Entrance)

9:00-9:30 a.m.                     Opening Worship (Chapel) [Jeren Rowell, NTS President of Seminary brings greetings]

9:30-10:30 a.m.                   Plenary Address: Dr. Randy Woodley (Chapel)  

10:30-11:00 a.m.                 Break/Refreshments (Cafe)

11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.        Concurrent Sessions I

Biblical Studies I (Room 122)

Moderator: Brad Kelle 

<b>Andy Johnson</b>:  Purity, Powers and Principalities: Reading Gospel Texts with Race in Mind<br/>

<b>Elisée Ouoba</b>: The Lord and the Other Gods: Joshua 24, Acts 7, and Postcolonial Theory<br/>

<b>Brent Laytham</b>: Taking Every Thought Captive: Enlisting Paul as (Unlikely) Ally in Anti-Racism<br/>

Ecumenical  (Room 200)

Moderator-Kelly Yates 

David Young: The Cost of Bibles and Biblical Scholarship: Empire, Patronage, and the Christian Scriptures

Sarah Blake Larose:  Breaking the Powers of Silence and Exclusion: Empowering People with Disabilities for Discipleship

Janel Apps Ramsey:  The Role of Multifaith Engagement in a Changing World: A Muslim, A Sikh, and an Ex-Nazarene Walk into a Pub

<b>Kenneth Wade Brewer</b>:Wesley, National Sins, and Repentance: Does Repentance Include Reparations?<br/>

Historical Studies I (Room Commons 1)


<b>Stephen Gunter</b>: From Toleration to Freedom of Conscience: A Case Study of Early Arminianism <br/>

<b>David Bundy </b>: The Double Life of Thornley Smith (1813-1891) and Catherine Smith (1813-1884): Wesleyan Methodist (UK) and Radical Holiness Activists<br/>

Historical Studies II (Room Commons 2)


<b>Mark Tooley</b>: Methodism and Soviet Empire<br/>

<b>Ryan Kristopher Griffin</b>: “We Have Not Done Near As Much as We Might Have Done”: Racism and the Confession of the Texas Holiness Association<br/>

<b>Matthew Preston</b> : “The Social Goals of Christianity:”C.E. Brown and the Parameters of Holiness Fundamentalism<br/>

Practical Theology I (Room 306)


<b>Jeffrey Conklin-Miller</b>:The End(s) of Evangelism Amidst the Principalities and Powers<br/>

<b>Jonathan Lemaster</b>: De-Centralizing Methodist Studies, (Re)Invigorating Congregational Action<br/>

<b>Brent D Neely</b>: Conversatio Morum: How Monasticism Can Shape Wesleyans in Kingdom Growth and Christian Perfection<br/>

Systematic Theology I (Room 304)


<b>Thomas A Noble</b>: Christian Faith and the Nation State<br/>

<b>Thomas Jay Oord</b>: Demons, the Demonic, and God's Power<br/>

<b>Maureen Krudsen Langdoc</b>: “I Didn’t Do It!”: Human Responsibility and the Power of Non-Competitive Divine Agency<br/>

Theology & Preaching I (Room 301)


<b>Scott Donahue-Martens</b>:Beneath the Veneer: Critical Race Theory’s Challenge to White Color-Blind Preaching <br/>

<b>Reuben L. Lillie</b>: Confronting Hegemonic Homiletics: Returning Preaching to a Liturgical Act<br/>

<b>Kevin S. Portillo</b>: The Prophetic, Pastoral, and Theological Preaching of Oscar Romero: A Wesleyan Conversation<br/>

Theology & Pop Culture- I Evil (Room 302)

Moderator- Brannon Hancock<br/>

<b>Phil Tallon & Cameron McAllister</b>:Resurrecting Satan: Cinematic Horror vs. the Culture of Irony<br/>

<b> Rustin E Brian</b>: The Reality of Nothing: A Theological Investigation of Sin, Evil, and Theodicy as seen in Alex Garland’s Annihilation (2018)<br/>

<b> Segbegnon Mathieu Gnonhossou</b>: Wesley's Anti-Slavery as Exorcism: A Theopolitical Approach to Spiritual Warfare <br/>

Theology & Science I (Kings CC 1)

Moderator- Matthew Hill<br/>

<b>Matthew Hill</b>: Understanding Our Roots: Our Biological Predispositions Toward Sin and Holiness<br/>

<b>Chris Willard</b>: Big Data, Ethics, and the Wesleyan Perspective <br/>

 *Special Session (Chapel)

<b>Panel: Montague Williams, Andrew Thompson, and Randy Maddox, Responsible Grace and Theological Method: Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Responsible Grace.

12:30-1:30 p.m.      Lunch-- pick up at Registration site (Library Foyer)

                                Meeting of the Executive Committee (Room 200) 

                                 Graduate Student Luncheon with Speaker (Room 302)

1:30-2:30 p.m.        Presidential Address: Christina Smerick (Chapel) 

2:30-3:00 p.m.        Break/Refreshments (Cafe)

3:00-4:30 p.m.        WTS Business Meeting (Chapel)

4:45-6:15 p.m.        Concurrent Sessions II

Biblical Studies II (Room 122)

Moderator- Dean Flemming <br/>

<b>Ryan L. Hansen</b>:  Focus on the Family Separation: Reading Romans 13 with Jeff Sessions<br/>

<b>Celia I. Wolff</b>: Jesus-Shaped Justice: A Portrait from Luke and Acts<br/>

<b>David F. Watson</b>: The Ontology of Powers and Principalities<br/>

Historical Studies III  (Commons 1)

Moderator-: Geordan Hammond<br/>

<b>Jeffrey W. Barbeau</b>: Confronting Power: American Methodism, Roman Catholicism, and the Oxford Movement<br/>

<b>Samantha L Miller</b>: John Chrysostom and Deliverance Theology: A Conversation about Virtue<br/>

Moral Theology I (Room 124)


<b>Frank Liley</b>: The Elements of Faith: Canonical Theism and the Powers and Principalities of Civil Religion<br/>

<b>Hannah Grubbs-Oechsle</b>: Inward and Outward Holiness: Towards a Wesleyan Ecological Ethic<br/>

Practical Theology II (Room 306)


<b>Melanie Dobson</b>: Finding Consensus Through Wesleyan Spiritual Practice: The Case of Washington Street UMC Becoming Reconciling<br/>

<b>Tammy Marie Grimm</b>: "Empowering Pedagogy for Confronting the Status Quo: Essential Elements of the Wesleyan Small Group Meeting" <br/>

<b>Reuben L. Lillie and Charles L. Perabeau</b>: Dissident Districts: Developing a New Model for Administrative Boundaries in the Church of the Nazarene<br/>

Practical Theology III (Room 302)


<b>Deanna Hayden</b>: Dying to Live: Self-Denial Subverting Consumerism<br/>

<b>Doug Hardy and Shane Ash</b>: Spiritual Direction as Prophetic Practice<br/>

<b>Brandon Winstead</b>: From Take Out to Potluck: Giving Public Witness to God’s Delight Through Just Eating in Wesleyan Youth Ministries <br/>

Systematic Theology II  (Room 304)

<b>Panel: Craig Keen, Nathan Kerr, Keegan Osinski, and Eric Severson</b> : "Whose is this image and superscription?":  The Grace that Goes Before the Counterfeit Face of Money<br/>

Theological Education: (Room 200)


<b>Thomas E. Phillips</b>: Global Justice, the Means of Grace & the Wesleyan Right to Read and Speak<br/>

<b>Darren Cushman Wood</b>: The North Declaration: A Congregational Exercise in Progressive Practical Divinity<br/>

<b>Tyler Brinkman</b>: Theological Pedagogy After John Howard Yoder in the #MeToo Era<br/>

Theology & Preaching II (Room 301)


<b>Christopher McFadden</b>: The Lord's Supper: Sacrifice as a Means to Reconciliation in Community at the Table<br/>

<b>Stephen Scott Mapes</b>: Preaching for the "Mentally Ill": Helping Persons on the Schizophrenia Spectrum to Hear the Voice of God<br/>

Women’s Studies I (KCC 1)


<b>Priscilla Pope-Levison</b>: “‘Her Distinctive Dress’: Uniforms, Costumes, and Plain Dress of 19th Century Protestant Women”<br/>

<b>Tyler Brinkman</b>: Tortured Bodies: Intersexuality Through the Lens of William Cavanaugh <br/>

<b>Kate Hanch</b>: A Missional Deification: Sojourner Truth's pneumatology <br/>


6:30-7:30 p.m. WTS Banquet (Library) 

7:30-8:30 p.m.  WTS Award Program (Chapel)

8:30-9:30 p.m. Nazarene Graduate Fellowship Reception (Room 304)

8:30-9:30pm  MWRC and NTC alumni Reception  (Room 306)


8:00-8:50.m.                   Meeting of Program Units Committee & Section Chairs
 (Room 200)

9:00-9:30 a.m.                Worship (Chapel)

9:30-10:00 a.m.               Break/Refreshments (Cafe)

10:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.     Concurrent Sessions III

Biblical Studies III (Room 122)

Moderator-Jennifer Matheny <br/>

<b>Ben Boeckel</b>: Saving Rest: A Biblical Theological Investigation of Sabbath<br/>

<b>David Young</b>: The Cost of Bibles and Biblical Scholarship: Empire, Patronage, and the Christian Scriptures<br/>

<b>Kimberly Majeski</b>: Household Codes and the Complicity of the Early Church in Ephesus<br/>

Historical Studies IV (Commons 1)

Moderator: Samantha Miller-<br/>

<b>Emma CW Ceruti</b>: The ADA and the Church<br/>

<b>Benjamin Ryan Porter</b>: John Wesley's Use of the Old Testament to Support His Doctrine of Christian Perfection<br/>

<b>Daryl E. McCarthy</b>: John Wesley—Public Intellectual:  Recovering Insight, Courage and Justice in a Divided World<br/>

Intercultural Studies (Room 301)

Moderator- Nell Becker Sweeden <br/>

<b>Keegan Osinski</b>: Don’t Be Sorry, Be Better: Queer Power and Wesley’s Caution Against Bigotry<br/>

<b>Greg Coates</b>: The Sacred Margins:  Spiritual Experiences in Mixed-Race Worship Settings in Early American Methodism’s First Generation<br/>

<b>Michael Weaver</b>: Reading Lesslie Newbigin in a Post-Secular Age<br/>

Moral Theology II (Room 124) 


<b>Estrelda Y Alexander</b>: Negation and the Will to Power<br/>

<b>Cole Christian Jodon</b>: Bigotry as Sinful Communal Self-Will and the God-Man Who Came to Destroy it <br/>

Practical Theology IV (Room 306)

Moderator-Montague Williams<br/>

<b>Dean Blevins</b>: Imbizo: Confronting White Fragility through Gathering for Witness<br/>

<b>David Justice</b>: How Then Should We Experience?: White Supremacy, Bias and Conversion Through the Lens of Lonergan and MLK <br/>

<b>Kelly Vargo </b>: A Colorful Church of a Colorful God: An Ecclesial Reaction to Racism<br/>

Systematic Theology III (Room 304)

Moderator- <br/>

<b>Steven Hoskins and Brent Peterson</b>: Against the Powers and Principalities of Gender and Sin: The life and influence of Mildred Bangs Wynkoop <br/>

<b>Martin D. Phillips</b>: Principalities and Powers as a Problem of Sin in John Wesley<br/>

Theological Education (Room 200)


<b>Panel: The Summit Youth Academy- A Case Study in Wesleyan Theological Education</b><br/>

Theology & Pop Culture II: Sex, Drugs, and Rock&Roll (Room 302)

Moderator-Phil Tallon<br/> 

<b>Nicholas John Sailer Polk</b>: Punk & Wesley<br/>

<b> Kaitlyn Haley Deisher</b>: Social Reform in the Performing Arts: What Evangelicals Have Missed<br/>

<b>Jason Wellman</b>: Reimagining Wesley’s Sermon “The Use of Money” -  Unleashing Laity to Work Toward Justice through the “Secular” Workplace<br/>

Theology & Science II (Library Conference)

Moderator-Matthew Hill

Bradford Lee McCall:Necessary, Kenotically-donated, & Self-giving Love<br/>

Tom Oord: Response to McCall: Love that's Necessary and Free? God's Kenotic Nature and Will<br/>

Nancy Howell: Approaching Theological Primatology 

Women’s Studies II (KCC1)


L Michaels</b>: Am I Writing this, or is it Writing Me?  

Panel: Janel Apps Ramsey, Christy Gunter Sim, and Melissa Wass</b>: Embodied Women and Christianity