Many readers, both in the church and in the general public, are deeply interested in theological issues. They’re eager to explore significant and serious theology that is pertinent to their lives and, importantly, expressed in clear, non-technical language. This kind of theological writing is often called “pastoral theology,” or even “practical theology,” meaning theology woven into the fabric of everyday living. This workshop is for pastors and other writers who desire to write excellent pastoral theology, theology that is thoughtful and profoundly connected to the life of faith and practice. In the workshop we will address such issues as finding one’s voice as a writer, knowing one’s readers, choosing meaningful topics, creating apt narratives, constructing the flow of an essay or book, and other useful skills and perspectives. Participants will have the opportunity to receive feedback on a work they have already written and also to receive coaching from Sari Fordham on a work in progress.
Thomas G. Long, an ordained Presbyterian minister, served as the Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta from 2000 until his retirement in 2015. He previously taught preaching at Princeton, Columbia, and Erskine Seminaries. He is the author a number of books on preaching and worship and biblical commentaries on Matthew, Hebrews, and the Pastoral Epistles. His latest books are Accompany Them with Singing:The Christian Funeral (Westminster John Knox), What Shall We Say? Evil, Suffering, and the Crisis of Faith (Eerdmans), The Good Funeral: Death, Grief, and the Community of Care (with Thomas Lynch — Westminster John Knox), and 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (Westminster John Knox). His wife, Kimberly, also a Presbyterian minister, teaches worship at Columbia Theological Seminary.
Sari Fordham is an Associate Professor of English at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. She has an MFA in literary nonfiction from the University of Minnesota, and her work has appeared in Brevity, Cerise Press, Best of the Net Anthology and is forthcoming in Isthmus Review. Sari has been the writing coach for ten summer workshops at the Collegeville Institute, starting with the 2007 session Writing and the Pastoral Life: A Week with Eugene Peterson.
The Collegeville Institute will cover travel expenses to and from the workshop within the continental United States, all workshop fees, and room and board. International travel costs, and travel from Hawaii and Alaska may be shared between the Collegeville Institute and the workshop participant. Those who join the workshop will be expected to reside at the Collegeville Institute throughout the entire week. Participants may share apartment space, though each person will be assigned a private bedroom. The program is limited to 12 participants.
The application deadline for this workshop has passed.