With cultural and social shifts sparking much congregational conflict, the 2014 School for Leadership Training aims to train leaders and congregations to discern God’s call in the midst of these shifts. (Photo by Lindsey Kolb)

School for Leadership Training to focus on navigating touchy issues via discernment

Immigration, racism, sexuality, biblical authority, and politics are just a few of the issues that threaten to tear churches apart. How do churches and leaders find their way through these difficult issues?

School for Leadership Training 2014 at Eastern Mennonite Seminary will focus on the theory and practice of discernment at all levels, from personal to denominational. The three-day workshop takes place Jan., 20-22.

Ruth Haley Barton

David Brubaker, associate professor of organizational studies at the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University, will guide participants through three case studies on discernment at various levels of church. Workshops, worship and large group sessions will help participants get a broad view of discernment in various contexts. In addition, keynote speakers Ervin Stutzman and Ruth Haley Barton will offer conclusions from their recent books.

“The church is in the midst of massive cultural and social shifts which often create conflict in congregations,” said Michael A. King, Seminary dean. “School for Leadership Training this year is part of our on-going desire to train leaders and congregations to discern God’s call in the midst of these shifts.”

Ervin Stutzman
Ervin Stutzman

Ruth Haley Barton is an award-winning author, sought-after teacher and conference speaker and the founder of the Transforming Center based in Wheaton, Ill. Her books include Pursuing God’s Will Together: A Discernment Practice for Leadership Groups and Strengthening the Soul of your Leadership: Seeking God in the Crucible of Ministry.

Ervin Stutzman is executive director of Mennonite Church USA. His most recent book Discerning God’s Will Together: Biblical Interpretation in the Free Church Tradition will be the basis of his plenary address.

More information and registration is available at: emu.edu/seminary/slt.