Nazarenes gather for reflection, discussion at Global Theology Conference

Nazarenes gather for reflection, discussion at Global Theology Conference

by
Nazarene News Staff
| 18 Apr 2024
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GTC Full

The Global Theology Conference 2024 brought together 250 participants from 65 countries and all six global regions. The conference, held 4-6 April on the campus of Seminario Teológico Nazareno del Cono Sur in Pilar, Argentina, was co-convened by Global Education and Clergy Development and Nazarene Theological Seminary.

“Global Theology Conference proved once again its key role for reflecting as a global church on what it means ‘to be the church’ in a world that desperately needs to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ,” said Klaus Arnold, director of Global Education and Clergy Development.

The central theme for the conference was “In the Power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). The conference was developed around three main sessions, each of which thematically focussed on Holy Spirit, holy people, and the hope of new creation respectively. Each session had two presenters and four responders selected to represent each of the six global regions.

The participants were engaged in other plenary sessions and small groups. Arnold said that the participants also learned that the focus of their theological endeavors must be to serve and equip the local church.

“Theological education and reflection must be in, for, by, and with the local church,” Arnold said. “This was wonderfully demonstrated by the participants, who were pastors, teachers, superintendents, lay persons from around the world – all representing various ministries of the Church of the Nazarene to help the local church fulfill the mission of the church, ‘to make Christlike disciples in the nations.’”

NTS President Jeren Rowell said the conference’s purpose was not “debate, argument, or apologetic.“

“Our global family of theologians came together in worship, prayer, in ‘the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace’ (Eph. 4:3), and for mission,” Rowell said. “By the presence and power of the Spirit, this gathering truly became ‘holy conference’ that forms the life of the Church in the way of Jesus.”

General Superintendent David Busic said the conference was a vivid reminder of the global nature of the Church.

“Every region of the world was represented through the voices of scholars, district superintendents, and pastors who are committed to having holy conversations around Nazarene theology and identity,” Busic said. “I came away enriched by the depth of interpersonal relationships and the unified commitment of being faithful to our heritage and to our future.”

The papers and the plenary sessions were translated into English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French. The global community of the Church of the Nazarene, including those not present in Argentina, are encouraged to continue the conversation by reading papers, listening to the podcast of the event, and engaging in thoughtful regional, district, and local church conversations around these themes.

Conference resources are available at https://didache.nazarene.org/, https://holinesstoday.podbean.com/, and WHDL.org.

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