The Progressive Youth Ministry Conference: Fresh Voices, Radical Ideas
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Thursday, March 19 - Saturday, March 21, 2015
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

It can be difficult for a youth worker who identifies as “progressive” or “liberal” to find a tribe. Most events, conferences, camps, and curricula cater to evangelicals. But as progressive theology gains more of a foothold in the church, we need a place to gather as well -- a tribe to meet with, and new ideas to stoke our imaginations.

For that reason, The JoPa Group and Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago are hosting the second annual Progressive Youth Ministry Conference. [[ Read more...]]

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Program Schedule
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Thursday, March 19

8:00     Registration Open (Coffee’s on!)

9:00     Welcome and Introduction

9:30    Opening Worship (Alise Barrymore preaching)

10:30    Open Source Time

11:30    Lunch Break

1:00    Plenary 1 (Pamela Lightsey and Bruce Reyes-Chow)

3:00    Break

3:30    Seminars and Talk-Back Sessions with Speakers

5:00     Dinner Break

7:00     Plenary 2 (Reggie Williams and Peter Rollins)

Friday, March 20

9:00    Plenary 3 (Debbie Blue and Douglas Ottati)

10:30     Break

11:00     Open Source

12:00     Lunch Break

2:00     Plenary 4 (Mandy Meisenheimer and Eric Barretto)

3:30     Break

4:00     Seminars and Talk-Back Sessions with Speakers


Saturday, March 21

9:00:    Plenary 5 (Frank Yamada and John Vest)

11:00     Closing Worship (Amy Butler preaching)


Speaker Lineup
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Alise Barrymore

ALISE D. BARRYMORE attended Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, where she received her Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in African & African-American Studies, with an emphasis in history. After years of faithful service in the Church of God in Christ (COGIC), she answered her call to ordained ministry and earned a Master of Divinity (MDIV)…

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Amy Butler

REV. DR. AMY BUTLER serves as the seventh Senior Minister of the historic Riverside Church in New York City.  Prior to her work at The Riverside Church, Pastor Amy served for eleven years as Senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church, Washington DC.   Pastor Amy received her B.A. and M.A. in Church History from Baylor…

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Frank Yamada

FRANK YAMADA is the President and Cyrus McCormick Professor of Bible and Culture at McCormick Theological Seminary. He is the first Asian American to serve as president of a P.C. (U.S.A.) seminary. Prior to becoming president, Dr. Yamada was the Director of the Center for Asian American Ministries and Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at…

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Debbie Blue

DEBBIE BLUE (MA, Yale Divinity School) is one of the founding pastors of House of Mercy, a church in St. Paul, Minnesota, that was once named “the Best Church for Non-Church Goers.” Rev. Blue’s sermon podcasts are listened to by subscribers around the world. She is the author of Sensual Orthodoxy, From Stone to Living…

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Bruce Reyes-Chow

BRUCE REYES-CHOW is a San Francisco based writer, speaker, coach and pastor. He is the author of two books, The Definitive-ish Guide for Using Social Media in the Church and But I Don’t See You as Asian: Curating Conversations About Race and is in the process of completing his third book, Craptastic: Family, Faith and The Facebooks, a humorist memoir….

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Doug Ottati

DOUG OTTATI is Craig Family Distinguished Professor of Reformed Theology and Justice at Davidson College, NC.  For many years, he taught at Union Theological Seminary in Virginia (now Union Presbyterian Seminary).  He has co-edited a number of classic books in theological ethics, and is the author of seven books and numerous articles.  His most recent…

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Eric Barreto

ERIC D. BARRETO is Associate Professor of New Testament at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota and an ordained Baptist minister. The author of Ethnic Negotiations: The Function of Race and Ethnicity in Acts 16 (Mohr Siebeck, 2010), the co-author of New Proclamation Year C 2013: Easter through Christ the King (Augsburg Fortress, 2013), and editor ofReading Theologically (Fortress Press, 2014),…

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Mandy Meisenheimer

MANDY MEISENHEIMER is the Director of Children and Youth at West End Collegiate Church in Manhattan. Mandy has undergraduate degrees in Spanish and Secondary Education from Wheaton College and is studying for her Masters of Divinity with the Newbigin House of Studies through Western Theological Seminary. She also writes curriculum and reflection guides for books…

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Reggie Williams

REGGIE WILLIAMS is an Assistant Professor of Christianity at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He is a former professional athlete, youth pastor, and college residence life staff. Williams is currently researching the interaction between race and religion on our understanding of what it means to be human and Christian in the Western world. Williams…

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Peter Rollins

PETER ROLLINS is a provocative writer, philosopher, storyteller and public speaker who has gained an international reputation for overturning traditional notions of religion and forming “churches” that preach the Good News that we can’t be satisfied, that life is difficult, and that we don’t know the secret. Challenging the idea that faith concerns questions relating to belief…

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John Vest

Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry, Fourth Church

JOHN VEST has been in youth ministry for 12 years, the last seven of which as the Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry at Fourth Presbyterian Church where he explores the cutting edge of post-Christendom urban ministry. While he considers northwest Florida his home, he has lived in Chicago longer than anywhere else in his life….

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