Church of the 21st Century

Online registration is now open, space is limited.


The Church in the 21st Century

A three-day conversation at Yale Divinity School


Wednesday Evening until Friday Afternoon

April 4, 5 and 6, 2018

in the Old Refectory, Yale Divinity School


  • Two decades into the 21st Century, and it is time to reflect on the current state of the Church. Join us as we consider the future of the theological conversation, and the practical ways that the faithful are seeking to advance the work of the Church in the decades to come.


  • 15-20 minute talks, featuring leading voices in church and academy, in TedTalk style presentations
  • Large group conversations, led by YDS professors
  • Smaller group reflections, led by current YDS students
  • Including lots of music, short films (by the Nantucket Project!), the arts
  • $100 registration fee


Wednesday, April 4

 7 p.m. The Future of Theology: What will the conversation be about in the next 20 years?

9 p.m. Wine and Cheese Reception

Thursday, April 5

8:30 Gathering over coffee and bagels

8:45 a.m. The Future of the Institutional Church – Expansive Visions for the Future Church

  • Shane Claibourne – Christian author, leading figure in the New Monasticism movement the new Monasticism
  • Dori Baker, Forum for Theological Exploration (Young Adults leading Innovative Communities)
  • Neichelle Guidry, Creator / lead curator, shepreaches
  • Group conversation led by Bill Goettler, Associate Dean, Leadership Initiatives

10:30 Chapel – Sung Morning Prayer, in Marquand Chapel

11:00 Coffee, with YDS students

12 noon – Buffet Lunch, in the Old Refectory

12:30 - The Future of Theological Education – How Will We Teach About God?

2:30 – Break

3 p.m. The Future of Christianity Across the World – Stories of Vital Christian Faith

  • Doris Garcia Rivera, President of Seminario Evangélico de Puerto Rico/Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico (ESPR)
  • Emmanuel Y Lartey, Pastor from Ghana, Professor at Candler School of Theology
  • Tom Hastings, Executive Director, Overseas Ministry Study Center, New Haven 
  • Group discussion, led by Chloë Starr, Professor of Asian Christianity and Theology

6 p.m. Dinner, buffet, in Old Refectory

7:30 p.m. Thursday Evening in Marquand Chapel
Songs of the church of the 21st Century – A Hymn Sing!

Friday, April 6

8:30 Gathering over coffee and bagels

8:45 Future of the Earth, Eco-theology and the work of the church

10:15 - Worship in Old Refectory; Joshua Narcisse M.Div. ‘19 preaching

10:45 - The Future of Prophetic Witness - Renewed Witness/Justice/Technology

  • Amy Butler, Pastor of Riverside Church, New York City and the Riverside Ministry Staff
  • Group discussion led by Almeda Wright

1 p.m. Boxed Lunches for the road!

*schedule subject to revision

William Goettler

William Goettler

Associate Dean for Assessment & Ministerial Studies
(203) 432-9896


Ministerial Studies