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Midwestern Seminary Hosts Regional Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society

Posted April 1, 2024 by Michaela Classen

KANSAS CITY, Mo—The Evangelical Theological Society held their Midwest Regional Meeting on the campus of Midwestern Seminary on March 22–23.

Presenters included 21 Midwestern Seminary Ph.D. students and alumni. Patrick Schreiner, associate professor of New Testament and biblical theology at Midwestern Seminary, delivered the keynote address.

“I am grateful that Midwestern Seminary was able to host the Midwest Regional Meeting of ETS for the second straight year,” said President Jason Allen. “These more formal academic settings offer invaluable time for students and scholars to sharpen and refine their thinking on a host of topics.”

The weekend event marked the second consecutive year Midwestern Seminary has hosted the Midwest Regional. Jason Alligood, secretary-treasurer for the ETS Midwest Region, shared, “Traditionally the regional chapters of ETS seek to have a variety of host institutions, but when Midwestern Seminary offered to host again, we took them up on it.” He added, “Midwestern Seminary has been a gracious host.”

Jason Duesing, provost and senior vice president of academic administration at Midwestern Seminary, noted the value of ETS meetings for faculty and students. He said, “Pursuing scholarship for the Church is a Midwestern Seminary priority. A key way we accomplish that is by serving scholars as they develop and refine their work—whether in the classroom or in professional conferences like this one.”

Duesing added, “I am so thankful Midwestern Seminary can serve our immediate region of scholars by hosting these ETS meetings and to see the fellowship and sharpening that results.”

Alligood, who completed his Ph.D. at Midwestern Seminary, shared how ETS serves the Church by supporting teachers with a network of scholarship and community. He said, “The idea is that ETS would come alongside the Church and help bring along those who are digging deep into the Bible and theology to aid the Church in her mission.”

The theme of this year’s Midwest Regional, Scripture, arose from the ETS doctrinal statement. Alligood said, “The Scriptures are our final authority for theological reflection, and we wanted to highlight that truth in this year’s meeting.”

Following the conference theme, Schreiner’s keynote address was titled, “The Four Senses: Recovering an Ancient Way of Reading Scripture for Today.”

Schreiner noted the relevance of this topic for contemporary Christians, saying, “We deal with different challenges than we have in the past 20–40 years, and specifically we struggle with a secular, disenchanted, and materialistic view of reality. The ancients had a sacred way of reading that I think could help us in some areas.”

Presentations by Midwestern Seminary students included topics in biblical studies, systematic theology, and Church history. Ph.D. student Aaron Trent presented a lecture titled, “Beyond Soul Winning: Spurgeon’s Vision for Soul Care.”

Trent’s research examined how Spurgeon’s investment in training preachers produced faithful pastors for the Church. Trent said, “The need for pastors is great, and we can learn from Spurgeon’s model as we work together in training a new generation of laborers for the advance of the gospel.”

Trent’s presentation at the Midwest Regional was his first time presenting an academic paper. “I was encouraged by the older scholars who took the time to listen, ask questions, and provide helpful feedback to help me—and many others—grow.”

He also shared how others’ presentations contributed to his knowledge of research methods, effective communication, and teaching.

Trent is a member of Midwestern Seminary’s residential Ph.D. program, The Residency, which combines advanced theological research with cohort-based mentorship and community for doctoral students. Students in The Residency must propose a paper to ETS as one of the program’s marks.

Schreiner, who serves as director of The Residency, highlighted the value afforded to Ph.D. students who present at ETS. He said, “ETS is a place for evangelical scholars to share research, learn from one another, and form connections. The Regional Meeting is especially beneficial for Ph.D. students as it is smaller and closer to home. This provides a key opportunity for students to test their ideas and get feedback on their research.”

He went on to say, “The Residency is like an internship in the academy, and this is a key experience for those wanting to do scholarship.”

During the weekend event, students in The Residency gathered for dinner which fostered further fellowship and opportunity to discuss research. Schreiner expressed his encouragement at the number of Midwestern Seminary Ph.D. students attending the meeting.

To learn more about Midwestern Seminary’s Ph.D. programs, click here.

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