2018 Karl Barth Pastors Conference

June 21, 2018 - June 23, 2018

The Witness Of The Pastor


2018 Karl Barth Pastors Conference





Regular Attendee: $295 (Includes breakfast on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, lunch on Thursday and Friday, the banquet dinner meal and reception on Thursday evening, and all refreshments)

Students: $80 (Does not include meals, but includes the reception on Thursday evening and all refreshments)


Speaker Profiles

Concurrent Speakers


Peter Anders

Peter Anders is a theologian and freelance academic. He has graduate degrees in theology and religious studies from Wheaton College (MA), Yale Divinity School (MAR), and the University of Oxford (DPhil). He was also Visiting Research Fellow in Modern Intellectual History at Harvard University. Peter has taught theology and religious studies at a number of Christian colleges and seminaries across the country. Among Peter’s publications is “Nonviolence and the Immanent Logic of Christian Trinitarian Monotheism,” in Violence in Modern Society: Monotheism Guilty?, edited by Alejandra Vanney (Georg Olms, 2013). Peter’s current book project is an intellectual history of Barth’s recovery of Luther’s theologia crucis as a modern theological corrective.

Christian Andrews

In 2002, Christian left Princeton Theological Seminary’s doctoral program in homiletics to work with a group of Christians who organized to do evangelistic outreach with teens in Red Bank, New Jersey. His reading of Barth shifted from academic to practical purposes as the community began gathering for weekly worship in 2004. For thirteen years, Barth’s theological vision has shaped his preaching, his approach to pastoral leadership, and his self-understanding. He has taught Missional Theology and Practice and Church Planting and Revitalization with Darrell Guder at Princeton Theological Seminary. He currently serves as Lead Pastor for Renaissance Church in Summit, New Jersey.

Sally Brown

Sally A. Brown is Princeton Seminary’s Elizabeth M. Engle Associate Professor of Preaching and Worship. She has an MDiv from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary. An ordained Presbyterian minister with more than 20 years of parish and nonparish pastoral experience prior to beginning her academic career, she continues to teach and preach in local congregations. Her academic interests include the theology and rhetoric of the cross in contemporary preaching, with attention to issues raised by feminist theology and postmodern theories of discourse; exploring the history, theology, and rhetoric of women’s preaching in a range of cultural contexts; identifying trajectories of continuity and change in worship today, with attention to the what and why of Christian worship, theologically, as well as the difference context makes in worship practices; and hermeneutical theory and constructive practical theology. She teaches preaching and worship as well as a PhD seminar in theories of interpretation and constructive practical theology. She is the author of Cross Talk: Preaching Redemption Here and Now (Westminster John Knox Press, 2008) and editor of Lament: Reclaiming Practices in Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005).

Raymond Carr

Dr. Raymond Carr is an Assistant Professor of theology and ethics in the Religion and Philosophy Division at Pepperdine University. His research interests are theologically ecumenical, historically sensitive, and radically inclusive. Dr. Carr received his Ph.D. from Graduate Theological Union in Systematic and Philosophical Theology. He teaches courses on the theology of Martin Luther, Theology Born of Struggle, and the Old Testament in Context. He is currently working on a theological aesthetics, Theology in the Mode of Monk: Barth and Cone on Revelation and Freedom, which combines together his research interests and uses the music of Thelonious Monk as a form of parabolic suggestiveness. Previous publications include “Merton and Barth in Dialogue on Faith and Understanding: A Hermeneutics of Freedom and Ambiguity,” The Merton Annual: Studies in Culture, Spirituality, and Social Concerns 26 (2013), 181-194. Living in the City of Angels renews his appreciation for various cultures and challenges him to honor the word of God as it speaks to all nations: “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations will worship before you. Selah” (Psalms 9:20).

Angela Dienhart Hancock

The Rev. Dr. Angela Dienhart Hancock is Associate Professor of homiletics and worship at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She is the author of Karl Barth’s Emergency Homiletic,1932-33: A Summons to Prophetic Witness at the Dawn of the Third Reich, a contextual interpretation of Barth’s lectures on preaching in the early 1930s, based on unpublished archival material. She is an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and has served as pastor to churches in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Hancock earned her Bachelor’s degree in music from Indiana University, Bloomington, and her M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Her current research assesses the potential contribution of Barth’s thought to the vitality of democratic practices in the United States today, with particular attention to the relationship between political and theological rhetoric and the ethics of deliberation in Christian communities.

Gerald C. Liu

Gerald C. Liu is Assistant Professor of Worship and Preaching at Princeton Theological School. An ordained United Methodist Elder of the Mississippi Annual Conference, he also serves as a Minister in Residence at the Church of the Village, a United Methodist Congregation in Manhattan. He is the son of culturally Buddhist immigrants from Taiwan, and has recently published Music and the Generosity of God (Palgrave MacMillan, 2017), a theory about sounds as gifts from God.

Eugene Peterson

Eugene H. Peterson is a pastor, scholar, author, and poet. He has written over thirty books, including Gold Medallion Book Award winner The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Navpress Publishing Group, 2002), a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible. Peterson earned his B.A. in philosophy from Seattle Pacific University, his S.T.B. from New York Theological Seminary, and his M.A. in Semitic languages from Johns Hopkins University. In 1962, Peterson was a founding pastor of Christ Our King Presbyterian Church in Bel Air, Maryland, where he served for 29 years before retiring in 1991. He was Professor Emeritus of Spiritual Theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia until retiring in 2006. He now lives in Montana.

Andrew Root

Andrew Root, PhD (Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Carrie Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He is most recently the author of Faith Formation in a Secular Age (Baker, 2017) and The Grace of Dogs: A Boy a Black Lab and Father’s Search for the Canine Soul (Convergent, 2017). He has also authored Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross (Fortress, 2014), Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (Baker, 2014) and The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2012).

Fleming Rutledge

The Rev. Fleming Rutledge is a preacher and teacher known throughout the mainline Protestant denominations of the US, Canada, and parts of the UK. She is the author of seven books, the most recent being The Crucifixion: Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ. She has received a grant from the Louisville Institute to complete a two-volume work about the meaning of the Crucifixion. She contributes regularly to her website. One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the Episcopal Church, she served in parish ministry for 22 years. Fourteen of those years were spent at Grace Church on Lower Broadway at Tenth Street, New York City. Her most recent position was as guest lecturer in preaching at the University of Toronto School of Theology. A native of Franklin, Virginia, Mrs. Rutledge and her husband Reginald E. (Dick) Rutledge recently celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary. They have two daughters and two grandchildren.

Shannon Smythe

Shannon Smythe is assistant Professor of theological studies at Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Smythe’s research interests include the doctrines of atonement, election, and justification, dialectical theology, apocalyptic theology, theological interpretation of Scripture, and feminist and womanist theology. Her current questions center on the intersections between apocalyptic theology and dialectical theology, and dialectical theology, feminist theology and gender studies. She is the author of Forensic Apocalyptic Theology: Karl Barth and the Doctrine of Justification and Women in Ministry: Questions and Answers in the Exploration of a Calling and has several chapters on Karl Barth’s theology in edited volumes. Dr. Smythe is an ordained teaching elder in the PC(USA) and regularly preaches and teaches in local congregations, including her home congregation, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church.

Nibs Stroupe

Nibs is a native of Helena, Arkansas and has just retired as senior pastor at Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in January, where he pastored since 1983. Oakhurst Presbyterian is a nationally recognized leader in multicultural ministries, having been featured in Time Magazine, NBC News, NPR, CNN News, CBS Radio, Christian Science Monitor, and Presbyterians Today. In 2003, the church was named as one of 300 Excellent Protestant congregations in the United States by a Lilly-based study.

Nibs is married to the Rev. Caroline Leach, and they have two children and two grandchildren. He and Caroline were the first clergy couple to serve in a local church as co-pastors in the former PC(USA), and they were pastors at Oakhurst Presbyterian until her retirement in 2012. He is the author of four books, including a book of sermons published in September entitled Deeper Waters: Sermons for a New Vision. He has written numerous articles for Journal for Preachers, and he is a regular contributor to the Feasting on the Word series. Nibs also writes a monthly column for Hospitality Magazine and has written other articles for numerous publications and books. In 2007, he was inducted into the MLK Board of Preachers at Morehouse College. He has been adjunct faculty at both Columbia Seminary and Candler School of Theology.

John Swinton

John Swinton is Professor in Practical Theology and Pastoral Care and Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen. He is an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland working for more than a decade as a registered mental health nurse. He also worked for a number of years as a hospital and community chaplain. John serves as an honorary professor and researcher at Aberdeen’s Centre for Advanced Studies in Nursing. In 2004, he founded the University of Aberdeen’s Centre for Spirituality, Health, and Disability and in 2014, he founded the University’s Centre for Ministry Studies. Professor Swinton has published widely within the area of dementia, practical theology, disability theology, qualitative research, and pastoral care. He is the author of a number of monographs including Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefullness, and Gentle Discipleship (Baylor Academic Press, 2016), Dementia: Living in the Memories of God (Eerdmans, 2014), Raging With Compassion: Theological Responses to the Problem of Evil (Eerdmans 2006), and Spirituality in Mental Health Care: Rediscovering a ‘Forgotten’ Dimension (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2001). In 2016, his book Dementia won the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Ramsey Prize for excellence in theological writing. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Right Rev. Justin Welby, described the book thus: “John has written a book which is deeply challenging and brings to bear a coherent theological approach, with clinical background and understanding, to an issue that has touched many of us, and is one of the great issues of our society. He has done the church and our country a huge service.” In 2017, his most recent book Becoming Friends of Time won the award of merit for theology and ethics in the Christianity Today book awards for 2017. The book was named as “one of the books most likely to shape evangelical life, thought, and culture.” John is married with five children and lives in the city of Aberdeen.

Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger

The Rev. Deborah van Deusen Hunsinger, Charlotte W. Newcombe Professor of Pastoral Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, earned her M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School, and her M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York City.

An ordained Presbyterian minister, she is interested in educating clergy and laypeople to offer theologically sound, psychologically informed, and contextually relevant pastoral care in the church. She has extensive experience as a certified pastoral counselor, nonviolent communication educator, grief counselor and facilitator of restorative circles. She is author (or co-author or co-editor) of six books and many articles, including the 2015 Book of the Year, Bearing the Unbearable: Trauma, Gospel and Pastoral Care (Eerdmans), awarded by the Academy of Parish Clergy.


June 21-23, 2018 (Thursday to Saturday)

Wednesday, June 20

4:00 – 6:30 p.m. Registration (Erdman Campus Center)

Thursday, June 21

7:30 – 8:00 a.m. Registration (Erdman Campus Center)

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Worship (Miller Chapel) – Sally Brown, Preaching

10:00 – 11:45 a.m. Extended Teaching – Christian Andrews (Stuart Hall 6)

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Workshop A

1. Angela Hancock (Stuart Hall 1)

2. Raymond Carr (Stuart Hall 2)

3. Peter Anders (Stuart Hall 3)

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Coffee and Refreshments (Stuart Hall Basement)

3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Workshop B

1. John Swinton (Stuart Hall 1)

2. Shannon Smythe (Stuart Hall 2)

3. Deborah Hunsinger (Stuart Hall 3)

4:15 – 6:00 p.m. Break/Free Time

6:00 – 7:30 p.m. Banquet Dinner (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

7:30 – 8:30 p.m. Plenary Session: Fleming Rutledge

Friday, June 22

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

9:00 – 9:45 a.m. Worship: preaching (Miller Chapel) – Gerald Liu, preaching

10:00 – 11:45 a.m. Extended Teaching – Christian Andrews

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

1:00 – 2:15 p.m. Workshop B

1. Deborah Hunsinger (Stuart Hall 1)

2. Raymond Carr (Stuart Hall 2)

3. John Swinton (Stuart Hall 3)

2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Break – Coffee and Refreshments (Stuart Hall Basement)

3:00 – 4:15 p.m. Workshop C

1. Angela Hancock (Stuart Hall 1)

2. Peter Anders (Stuart Hall 2)

3. Shannon Smythe (Stuart Hall 3)

4:15 – 6:30 p.m. Break – Free Dinner in Princeton

6:30 – 7:30 p.m. Plenary Session: Andy Root (Stuart Hall 6)

8:00 – 9:00 p.m. Special Message from Eugene Peterson (Stuart Hall 6)

9:00 – 9:45 p.m. Reception

Saturday, June 23

Please make sure to check out from the Erdman Center before you leave for breakfast.

8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (Mackay Campus Center Dining Hall)

9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Worship (Miller Chapel)

9:45 – 10:45 a.m. Extended Teaching – Christian Andrews (Stuart Hall 6)

10:45 – 11:00 a.m. Break – Coffee (Basement of Stuart)

11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Plenary Session: Nibs Stroupe (Stuart Hall 6)


Leader Name: Peter Anders (University of Oxford)

Title: “The Cruciform Witness of the Pastor”

Description: This workshop will explore some of the practical implications of Karl Barth’s theologia crucis for the witness of the pastor. We will begin by setting out the basic contours of Barth’s theologia crucis developed in his earlier theology, first as a corrective theology in response to the collapse of modern theology with the First World War, and then as a recovery of Martin Luther’s theologia crucis in his engagement at Göttingen with the Luther Renaissance. We will discuss the practical implications of Barth’s theologia crucis as it informs his theological method, homiletics, and ethics—the pastor’s cruciform witness to faith, hope, and love.

Leader Name: Raymond Carr (Pepperdine University)

Title: “Epistrophy: From Romans 13 to the 13th”

Description: In this workshop, I will utilize the theology of Karl Barth in conversation with James H. Cone to address the mythology of black criminality—specifically the prison industrial complex. Utilizing original research from the archives of William Stringfellow (who escorted Karl Barth on an American prison tour) in conversation Ava DuVernay’s galvanizing documentary 13th, I articulate a rapprochement between Barth and Cone that illuminates how Barth’s and Cone’s theology provide a framework for radical engagement in the socio-political arena. The term Epistrophy, coined by the jazz musician Thelonious Monk, plays on the term epistrophe, which among theologians and New Testament writers signifies a turn or break from a previous mode of being. Epistrophy thus signifies the way a theology of redemption can turn or make its break with the “powers that be” in light of Barth and Cone’s theological contributions.

Leader Name: Angela Hancock (Pittsburgh Theological Seminary)

Title: “Sermon Purgatory with Karl Barth”

Description: Most preachers have some acquaintance with the dark night of the soul that can occur in the midst of writing a sermon—right at the intersection of exegesis and life. This workshop considers the potential contribution of Barth’s approach to sermon preparation for the practice of preaching today, with attention to biblical interpretation, creativity, and social/political witness.

Leader Name: Deborah Hunsinger (Princeton Theological Seminary)

Title: “Trauma, Mourning and Forgiveness: Karl Barth and Pastoral Care”

Description: Karl Barth (and his colleague in pastoral theology, Eduard Thurneysen) were both sharply critical of American approaches to pastoral care which were little more than “psychological counsel in religious garb.” This workshop will develop an approach to pastoral care in which psychological concepts will function as a truly auxiliary science but where the Word of God will take precedence.

The workshop will engage a case study in which a man, filled with regret for sins he committed, seeks his pastor with specific questions about God’s forgiveness. Together, the participants will engage the case, seeking to offer a more substantive theological conversation than what the pastor offers his parishioner.

Leader Name: Shannon Smythe (Seattle Pacific University)

Title: “Straight to the Heart: Delighting with Barth in Romans”

Description: In a 1924 letter to his good friend, Eduard Thurneysen, Barth expressed his utter delight in the letters of the apostle Paul. In comparison, all dogmatics and ethics were “slime” in Barth’s eyes. This workshop will endeavor to experience some of Barth’s delight with Romans by dipping into his engagement with Romans 7 in two different theological contexts: the 2nd edition of his Romans commentary and the fourth volume of the Church Dogmatics. Both works will give us insight into Barth’s commitment, as a dialectical theologian, to the good news of God’s justification of the ungodly. Barth hears Paul’s proclamation of our liberation by God from sin and death and for new freedom and life in Christ by the Spirit. We will wrestle together with the existential implications of understanding justification, in contrast to all religious striving, as a constant, dynamic transition in us patterned after the history of Christ’s death and resurrection.

Leader Name: John Swinton (University of Aberdeen)

Title: “Being in Christ: Barth, Human Identity, and the Experience of Brain Damage.”

Description: The workshop will focus on the ways in which Barth’s thinking around the idea of being in Christ impacts upon the issue of identity in relation to three groups of people who have experienced significant brain damage: people with profound intellectual disability, people with advanced dementia, and people living with traumatic brain injury. Focusing on Barth’s thinking around soteriological objectivism – the suggestion that there is no other truth about us other than the truth of who we are before God in Jesus – we will explore what it is that makes “you” “you” in the midst of significant brain changes or the lack of neurological development. The workshop will explore issues of identity, personhood, personality change, the nature of discipleship, and salvation.