Hand to the Plow: Activating Faith and Thought for Change

Date(s) - 03/27/2017
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Bass Conference Center


Hand To the Plow: Activating Faith and Thought for Change
March 27, 2017   1:00 to 4:00 pm
Bass Conference Center
Brite Divinity School

People of Faith today are seeking ways to advocate for a more just and equal society with an urgency not seen since the days of the U.S. Civil Rights struggle. This workshop will show how the separation of church and state, one of the most cherished American values, and the faith imperative of action on behalf of justice are not mutually exclusive—but are actually complementary.

Attendees will learn about strategies for prophetic and pastoral action that does not condemn, but instead uplifts “the better angels of our nature” while challenging faith communities to stand up for marginalized people in today’s political climate. Examples will be drawn from the lives and practices of great American faith leaders whose approaches will be examined for ways we can respectfully stand up for “the least of these” in hostile, challenging times. Among the leaders whose advocacy will be examined are: Abraham Joshua Heschel, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Day, Thomas Merton, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Special attention will be given to the Moral Reformation movement set in motion by Disciples of Christ leader, William J. Barber II and the North Carolina NAACP.

Stephen V. Sprinkle is Professor of Practical Theology, and has held the office of Director of Field Education and Supervised Ministry since 1994 at Brite Divinity School.  A native of North Carolina, and educated with a B.A. from Barton College, an M.Div. from Yale University Divinity School, and a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duke University Graduate School, he is an ordained minister of the Alliance of Baptists.  Dr. Sprinkle was named 2010-2011 Hero of Hope by the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas, Texas for his advocacy on behalf of the LGBTQ community, and currently serves as Theologian-in-Residence for the Cathedral.  In 2013, he was named Director of Baptist Programming for the Divinity School.  He holds professional memberships in the Academy of Religious Leadership, the Association of Theological Field Educators, and is a member of the Forum on the Military Chaplaincy. Dr. Sprinkle is a human rights advocate, a widely sought speaker, and an internationally recognized authority on anti-LGBTQ hate crimes.

Dr. Sprinkle is the author of many articles and chapters in books, and of three books, Disciples and Theology (1999) and Ordination (2004), both published by Chalice Press, and Unfinished Lives: Reviving the Memories of LGBTQ Hate Crimes Victims (2011) by Resource Publications.  Unfinished Lives won the International Silver Medal in Gay/Lesbian Non-fiction, given by the Independent Book Publishers Awards (the IPPYs) in 2012. In 2013, his book was translated into Korean and published in the Republic of Korea under the title, Who Trampled Down the Rainbow Flag?: Remembering the Death of Victims of Hate Crimes Against the Sexual Minority (Seoul, South Korea: Alma Publishing Co. Ltd.).  Dr. Sprinkle is the founder and webmaster of http://unfinishedlivesblog.com, and an official blogger for the Huffington Post.

Join the workshop in person at Brite ($25) or by live webcast ($20).  (High-speed internet connection required.)  Current students can attend for $5.  (Other scholarships available.)  All registrants will have access to the webcast until May 31, 2017.