Ministers Week 2020

Date(s) - 02/17/2020 - 02/19/2020
All Day

Brite Divinity School

Categories No Categories

Pre-registration for Ministers Week 2020 has closed. Walk-up registration will be available on Monday, February 17th at 4:00 p.m. at University Christian Church. 

On behalf of the students, faculty and staff of Brite Divinity School and Texas Christian University, we invite you to campus for three days of inspiring worship, thought-provoking

lectures, enriching workshops and an uplifting organ recital and hymn sing. Our preacher is Rev. Grace Imathiu and plenary speakers are Rev. Dr. Nancy Ramsay, Rev. Michael Yandell, Rev. Richard McCullen, and Rev. Dr. Eugene Boring. Dr. Sheryl Sebo is the guest organist for the recital and hymn sing.

As this event is a gift from Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University and University Christian Church there is no general registration fee; however, pre-registration is encouraged.

We look forward to seeing you at Ministers Week 2020!

Newell Williams
President and Professor of Modern and American Church History
Brite Divinity School

Angela Kaufman
Minister to the University
Church Relations Officer
Texas Christian University


The Wells Sermons
Rev. Grace Imathiu

Grace Imathiu, Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church in Evanston, IL, is intimately familiar with the Church in its many theological expressions and social locations having served churches in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Africa.  In Kenya she was a church planter; a superintendent minister overseeing 68 rural churches in Nkubu; and an urban minister to an ecumenical congregation in Nairobi with strong outreach to the neighboring slums of Kawangware.

Rev. Imathiu loves people and has a passion and gift for inspiring and nurturing communities of faith to live out loud the prophetic story of Jesus. For her, the quintessential expression of the resurrected Lord’s presence is a community whose very DNA is a radical hospitality which births a loving and a healthy tension that is ideological, theological, racial, ethnic and cultural.

For Rev. Imathiu “the world is her parish”. As an African who is married to a European and is raising an American son, Grace is committed to advocating for the inclusion of all people.   She has preached internationally and in 2016 was a speaker at the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women as well as preaching for the third time at the World Methodist Conference held in Houston, Texas – an event attracting 3,000+ participants from more than 80 countries. Grace is the author of two books: Matthew’s Message: Good News for the New Millennium and Words of Fire, Spirit of Grace.

The Scott Lecture
Rev. Dr. Nancy Ramsay and Rev. Michael Yandell
“Military Moral Injury—A Challenge for Clergy and Faith Communities”
Military Moral Injury: Implications for Spiritual Care (Nancy Ramsay)
Moral Injury: Faith in the Midst of Meaninglessness (Michael Yandell)

Nancy J. Ramsay is Emerita Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care, Brite Divinity School where she also served as Executive Vice President and Dean from 2005-2012. She serves as the Director of the Soul Repair Center at Brite. She is ordained in the PCUSA.  Prior to coming to Brite, Nancy served as the Harrison Ray Anderson Professor of Pastoral Theology at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. She is the author or editor of five books including most recently, Military Moral Injury and Spiritual Care: A Resource for Religious Leaders and Professional Caregivers, co-edited with Carrie Doehring. Her primary research and teaching interests include military moral injury and addressing intersecting forms of difference treated oppressively. She is a founding member of the Society for Pastoral Theology and also active in the American Academy of Religion, the Association for Practical Theology, and the International Academy of Practical Theology. She serves on the Board of the International Journal of Practical Theology and as the English language book review co-editor for that journal.

Michael Yandell completed a MDiv at Brite Divinity School in 2015 and is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). He was an enlisted Army explosive ordnance disposal (E.O.D.) specialist from 2002 to 2006. Yandell is currently a PhD candidate in theological studies at Emory University, with a concentration in Religion, Conflict, and Peacebuilding. Rev. Yandell has published pieces about moral injury in Christian Century, Plough Quarterly, Pastoral Psychology, the anthology Exploring Moral Injury in Sacred Texts, and the forthcoming volume Military Moral Injury and Spiritual Care: A Resource for Religious Leaders and Professional Caregivers.

This lecture is partly supported by the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School.

The Gilbert and Hilda Davis Workshop in Ministry
Rev. Rich McCullen
“Can the Mainline Church Be Saved?”

Rich McCullen is the Lead Visionary and Founder of the Missiongathering Movement (Disciples of Christ). The Missiongathering Movement is an organization that specializes in mainline church planting and revitalization.  Rich has spent the last 20 years living in his passion and conviction believing that Progressive Christian communities of faith can transform our cities and neighborhoods. The Missiongathering Movement has planted five Disciples of Christ churches: San Diego CA, Charlotte NC, Denver CO, Seattle WA, and Pasadena CA. He lives in Pasadena, CA, serving as the Planting Pastor of Missiongathering Pasadena.

The McFadin Lecture
Rev. Dr. M. Eugene Boring
“Hear, O Israel: Deuteronomic Theology and Sarah’s Laughter”

Eugene Boring is I. Wylie and Elizabeth M. Briscoe Professor of New Testament, Emeritus, Brite Divinity School. Prior to Brite he taught in the Religion Department at Texas Christian University and at Phillips University Graduate Seminary. He is the author of numerous articles and books, most recently An Introduction to the New Testament: History, Literature, Theology (2012) and 1–2 Thessalonians (2015). Dr. Boring’s latest project is a multi-volume biblical theology for preachers and teachers in the church: Hearing John’s Voice: Insights for Preachers and Teachers in the Church (2019) and Hearing Paul’s Voice: Insights for Preachers and Teachers in the Church (forthcoming in 2020). The third volume and subject of the McFadin Lecture is on Hearing the Voice of Deuteronomy (forthcoming, 2021).  A second project is a book on issues involved in biblical translation, tentatively titled Translating the Bible: Linguistics, Theology, and Money. For ten years he served as pastor in Disciples congregations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Tennessee.

Organ Recital and Hymn Sing
Dr. Sheryl Bristol Sebo

Dr. Sheryl Sebo was brought up in the parsonage of a well-known Disciple minister, Dr. Ray Bristol and his wife, Pam Bristol. Ray was highly regarded as a true pastor, preacher, and scholar. His wife, Pam, was an excellent musician who was in demand as a performer and as an accompanist on the piano for outstanding choral groups. Sheryl has been associated with the Christian Church all her life.

Sheryl has earned the following degrees: BM in Organ from TCU, MA from Boston University, and DMA from Rutgers University. Her teachers have been Robert Poer, Dr. Emmet Smith, Dr. Max Miller, George Faxon and David Drinkwater. She has held prestigious positions as organist, music director, college professor, and is in her seventh year as Organist and Associate Director of Music at Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas. As an Associate in The American Guild of Organists she leads an active life in that scholarly association as lecturer, workshop leader, and recitalist.

This program is made possible by the Emmet G. Smith Endowment Fund of Texas Christian University.


T1Moral Injury as Grief and Loss: Resources for Care

Grief and Loss help describe the experience of Moral Injury. Like grief, moral injury is a life-long and relational experience. This workshop invites participants to explore experiences of military moral injury through the lens of grief and loss. We will also con­sider how military moral injury arises as a nation wages war which points to the importance of helping members of faith commu­nities consider their own relation to moral injury. We will give particular attention to ways ritual practices may be incorporated to assist in healing individually and corporately as well as in public contexts.

Nancy J. Ramsay is Emerita Professor of Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Care, Brite Divinity School. (See biography under the Scott Lecture.)

Rabbi Kim S. Geringer, MSW, serves on the faculty at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City where she teaches in the rabbinic, cantorial, and Doctor of Ministry programs. She is also rabbi-in-residence at the Chai Center for Jewish Life in New Jersey. She recently published with Rabbi Nancy H. Wiener, “Insights into Moral Injury and Soul Repair from Classical Jewish Texts”, Pastoral Psychology, November, 2018. Through the Union for Reform Judaism, she is also the author/co-author of many publications on personal religious observance, ritual, and worship transformation.

This workshop is partly supported by the Soul Repair Center at Brite Divinity School.

T2More than a Will: Estate Planning for Lifetime and Estate Distributions

Pastors and chaplains deal with end of life issues on a semi-regular basis.  But, have you thought about how to document your own financial and medical preferences?  Or do you know how to guide congregation members through the process or what is involved if they wish to leave a bequest to the church or agency? Join Mr. Allan Howeth for a conversation on the information needed when setting up an estate plan, including establishing a will or trust and the various documents to consider such as medical power of attorney and durable power of attorney.

Allan Howeth is the former managing partner of the Cantey Hanger LLP firm and is a former section head of the Taxation, Trust and Estates, Small Business Organizations Group in the Fort Worth office. A native of Fort Worth, Mr. Howeth joined Cantey Hanger in 1963, after receiving his law degree from Southern Methodist University that year. As an undergraduate, he first attended Texas Tech University, and then transferred to Texas Christian University, earning his BA in 1960.  Mr. Howeth is an active member of Ridglea Presbyterian Church and serves on the Board of Trustees for Brite Divinity School.  His legal expertise includes individual and business tax planning, purchase and sale of business organizations, estate planning, probate and trust related matters.

T3The Community of Specialized Ministry

Are you an active or retired clergy whose ministry is/has been in settings other than local church?  Or are you interested in non-parish ministry?  Join us as we explore the following three objectives: to gather clergy not serving in a local congregation to begin forming a community; to develop networking strategies for the subgroups we represent; and, to brainstorm possibilities for providing mentors to Brite students who are called to ministries other than congregational.

Dr. Michelle Tatlock, B.C.C. obtained an MDiv in Pastoral Care and Counseling and a DMin in Gerontology; she completed her Clinical Pastoral Education residency at Parkland Hospital in Dallas and is Board Certified with the Association of Clinical Pastoral Education.  The majority of her career has been in Specialized Ministry; she has been a Chaplain at the University of New Mexico Hospital since 2008 and the Director of the Department of Spiritual Care and Education since 2014.  She claims the Jemez Mountains in the Santa Fe National Forest as her sanctuary and is blessed to ‘attend’ regularly.

Roger Wedell is a mostly-retired Disciples clergy person whose contexts for ministry have included local congregations, higher education, campus ministries, civic service and nonprofit administration. His areas of interest, research and publication include religion and the arts, liturgy, leadership development, religion and sexuality, organizational development, and civil rights advocacy. He enjoys music, theater, galleries and museums, cycling, hiking, good wine and good conversation, not necessarily in that order.

Post Ministers Week Symposium

Religion in Strange Times: Honoring the Scholarly Passion of Professor Ronald B. Flowers
Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm
University Christian Church, Fort Worth

For more than five decades, Dr. Flowers has inspired TCU students with his insight, scholarship, and wit.  When there was no case book available, Ron, along with Robert Miller, wrote the first one, Toward Benevolent Neutrality: Church, State, and the Supreme Court, a definitive work that went through five editions and was reissued in 2008 with the title Religious Freedom and the Supreme Court, co-authored by Melissa Rogers and Steven K. Green.  His textbook, That Godless Court: Supreme Court Decisions on Church-State, was published in 1994 and is now in its second edition.  Even in “retirement,” Ron continues to teach his Church Stat Relations class every year.  The symposium will include scholarly presentation from people influenced by Ron’s work and at lunch there will be a chance to reminisce and thank Ron directly.

To register, go to

Sponsored by: Rev. Nancy Brink, Director of Church Relations, Chapman University and Trustee of Americans United for Separation of Church and State; Prof. Steven K. Green, Fred H. Paulus Professor Law and Affiliated Professor of Religious Studies, Willamette University; and Rev. Tom Plumbley, Senior Minister, First Christian Church, Fort Worth.