Mid-Winter Convocation

Engaging Scripture as Communities of Moral Deliberation

Feb. 2-4, 2011

Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn.

Wednesday, February 2

Keynote: Will Willimon
"Engaged by Scripture: the Challenge of Being a Biblical Preacher"
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Keynote: Matthew Skinner
"Creating a Community Capable of Discussing Difficult Issues without Destroying Itself, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Potluck"
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Thursday, February 3

Keynote: Martha Stortz
"Reading Luther Reading Paul -- and the Reformer's Insights for Today"
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Friday, February 4

Keynote: Will Willimon
"Preaching as Moral Deliberation: Jesus Style"
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Matthew Skinner

Associate Professor of New Testament, Luther Seminary

Matthew Skinner joined the Luther Seminary faculty in 2002. He earned his graduate degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he also served as a teaching fellow and visiting lecturer prior to accepting a call to Luther Seminary.

In 1990 he received the A.B. degree magna cum laude, with a concentration in philosophy, from Brown University, Providence, R.I., in 1997 the M.Div. degree and in 2002 the Ph.D. degree in Biblical Studies from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J. He has done advanced research at the Center of Theological Inquiry, where he was a member-in-residence during academic year 2008-2009.

Much of Skinner's published research focuses on New Testament narratives and the cultural contexts reflected in these writings. His most recent book, The Trial Narratives: Conflict, Power, and Identity in the New Testament, was published in January 2010. He is a frequent contributor to WorkingPreacher.org and can be heard on that site's weekly Sermon Brainwave podcasts.

Skinner frequently speaks and teaches in congregations and at conferences. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Martha StortzMartha Stortz

Bernhard M. Christensen Chair in Religion and Vocation, Augsburg College

Martha Stortz is the Bernhard M. Christensen Chair in Religion and Vocation at Augsburg College as of July 2010. Previously she served as professor of historical theology and ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Stortz has always been fascinated with how people conduct their lives and is convinced that what people believe in has the ability to form, inform, transform and malform how they conduct their lives, leading her to teach the studies of history and ethics.

Throughout her career, she has worked with a variety of organizations, pastors and programs, but has found that it is the people in the pews that make it all work, that it is the congregations that are the soul of the church. Stortz is a member and convener, GTU Core Doctoral Faculty and serves on the editorial board of Theological Education. She is the author of Pastor Power (1993) and A World According to God (2004).

William WillimonWilliam H. Willimon  

Bishop of United Methodist Church, former Dean of Chapel, Duke University, Durham, N.C.

The Reverend Dr. William H. Willimon has been a bishop of The United Methodist Church since 2004. For twenty years he was dean of the chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University, Durham, N.C.

Willimon has served as pastor of churches in Georgia and South Carolina. For four years, beginning in 1976, he served as assistant professor of liturgy and worship at Duke Divinity School, teaching courses in liturgics and homiletics and served as director of the Ministerial Course of Study School at Duke, and presiding minister in the Divinity School Chapel. When he returned to the parish ministry in 1980, he was visiting associate professor of liturgy and worship at Duke for three years.

He is the author of sixty books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the ten most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. Over a million copies of his books have been sold. In 1996, an international survey conducted by Baylor University named him one of the Twelve Most Effective Preachers in the English-speaking world. A 2005 study by the Pulpit and Pew Research Center found that Bishop Willimon is the second most widely read author by mainline Protestant pastors.