The 2022 Samuel Chadwick Lecture

On October 17, I was pleased to deliver the annual Samuel Chadwick Lecture for the Samuel Chadwick Centre at Cliff College. I visited the beautiful Cliff College campus in May, where I spent several days (and evenings!) going through the Chadwick material housed in their archives. I am so thankful for the warm and generous welcome I received from the Cliff community, and for the invitation from Dr Ben Pugh to give the Chadwick lecture.  Revd Dr George Bailey also offered an insightful response to my lecture.

Chadwick is featured in my forthcoming book, British Methodist Revivalism and the Eclipse of Ecclesiology.  He is a contrasting figure in the arc of the book, which focuses on how British Methodist Revivalists marginalized the church in their theology, emphasizing the personal work of the Spirit at the expense of the Spirit’s corporate work. Chadwick, on the other hand, had a very robust ecclesiology and a balanced pneumatology, which, I argue, helped to blunt the sometimes-divisive impulses of his revivalism.

I went to Cliff not knowing quite how much relevant material I would find; when I got there I was overwhelmed by how much Chadwick wrote about the church and questions of Christian unity.  In fact I ended up with much more material than I needed, and I hope I’ll be able to continue writing about Chadwick in the future.

Cliff College campus, Calver, UK

One Day Conference – Women in the Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions

Priscilla Pope-Levison

Since 2009, Tyndale Seminary has gathered scholars, students, and church leaders for an annual Wesley Studies Symposium.  The symposium exists to highlight and foster scholarly work on the Wesleyan tradition, as well as research on related topics undertaken by Wesleyans, with a particular focus on Canadian contributions. Our presenters have included senior scholars, emerging scholars, pastors, and students.  

This year, we are following up our joint Wesleyan-Pentecostal Symposium from 2016 and hosting another partner event with Master’s Pentecostal Seminary. Information is posted below – register by April 8 to receive the early-bird discount for in-person attendance.

Sisters of the Spirit
Women in the Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions

April 26, 2022, Tyndale University (in person and online)

Co-sponsored by Tyndale Seminary and Master’s Pentecostal Seminary

Keynote Speakers:
Priscilla Pope-Levison (Southern Methodist University)
Linda Ambrose (Laurentian University)

Linda Ambrose

The Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions have been on the forefront in empowering women to serve in church leadership. John Wesley’s tentative recognition of women preachers and the extraordinary example of early Methodist women such as Mary Bosanquet and Mary Barritt Taft laid the groundwork for the seminal ministries of women such as Phoebe Palmer, Amanda Berry Smith, Catherine Booth, Maria Woodworth-Etter, and Aimee Semple MacPherson. And yet, women have still struggled, in various ways, to overcome patriarchal structures and assumptions within the Holiness-Pentecostal family.

This conference will explore the contributions and experiences of women in the Holiness and Pentecostal traditions. We invite submissions for 30-minute papers that will address the topic from a variety of academic disciplines, and we would particularly welcome any exploration of the connections between the two traditions.

Registration cost:
In-person Early Bird (by April 8): $50
In-person (after April 8): $65
Student in-person (with lunch): $15
Student in-person (no meal): $0
Online registration: $25
Online Student registration: $0

Pandemic Preaching

It’s been a while since I added sermon audio to this site. It’s not that I stopped preaching, but our congregation used prerecorded services for the first fifteen months of the pandemic, and I never got used to preaching to a camera. It was necessary for a season, and moving to prerecorded services was the least worst option we had…but preaching in an empty room at home on a Thursday morning just wasn’t the same.

I am sure there are lots of reasons why I struggled with video preaching, but the lack of connection to the congregation was a major inhibition. Preaching is a living proclamation of God’s Word to God’s people; it is compromised, to a certain extent, when the preacher and congregation are not together in the same place and time. Preaching to a camera in my basement never felt quite right, and I think that is a good thing.

Not that I am saying God can’t use prerecorded sermons; if God works through the foolishness of preaching to a live congregation, surely he can work through a video sermon. And I know that many people are better at connecting with a camera than I am. But I still think something important is lost when preacher and congregation are not together in the same room. I was trying to get at the same issue when I addressed the question of online communion in the early days of the pandemic. At that time I wrote that “the lack of embodied gathering is a fundamental impediment to the life of the church.” Not that I want to discount the opportunities the pandemic has presented for new and creative ministries, and not that I want to deny that God can work through online communion or online preaching, but I think that these means of grace are significantly inhibited by our inability to gather together, as is the life of the church as a whole. After fifteen months of fully-online worship and now about six months of hybrid of in-person / livestream, I haven’t changed my perspective on these questions.

The first two sermons below were based on challenging texts, but I am so thankful I was able to preach them from the pulpit, the midst of the physically-gathered community.

Sermon: Tragedy and Triumph

Preached at Wesley Chapel Free Methodist Church, July 11, 2021. Mark 6:14-29.

Sermon: The Stone That Will Not Be Moved

Preached at Wesley Chapel Free Methodist Church, November 14, 2021. Mark 13:1-8.

Sermon: The Weight of Words

Preached at Wesley Chapel Free Methodist Church, January 23, 2022. Luke 4:14-21.

Interview on the More to the Story podcast

It was a pleasure to be interviewed by Dr Andy Miller III for his podcast, More to the Story. Andy has recently taken up a position at Wesley Biblical Seminary as Vice President for Academic Affairs and Assistant Professor of Historical Theology. He’s also working on a PhD in historical theology at the University of Manchester through Nazarene Theological College, where I am his co-supervisor.

This interview gave me a chance to revisit my doctoral research on The Salvation Army, and through that discussion we also touched on some bigger issues of Christian unity, denominational distinctives, and church renewal.

If you appreciate the interview take a look at some of Andy’s other recent podcasts.

Call for Papers – Women in the Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions

Tyndale Seminary and Master’s Pentecostal Seminary are following up on our successful collaboration in 2016 with a second jointly-sponsored academic event next April at Tyndale. We are looking for high-quality paper proposals and plan to use the best of the presentations for a book project on this important topic. Further details are found below.

Sisters of the Spirit
Women in the Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions

April 26, 2022, Tyndale University

Keynote Speakers:

Priscilla Pope-Levison (Southern Methodist University)

Linda Ambrose (Laurentian University)

Call for Papers
The Holiness and Pentecostal Traditions have been on the forefront in empowering women to serve in church leadership. John Wesley’s tentative recognition of women preachers and the extraordinary example of early Methodist women such as Mary Bosanquet and Mary Barritt Taft laid the groundwork for the seminal ministries of women such as Phoebe Palmer, Amanda Berry Smith, Catherine Booth, Maria Woodworth-Etter, and Aimee Semple MacPherson. And yet, women have still struggled, in various ways, to overcome patriarchal structures and assumptions within the Holiness-Pentecostal family.


This conference will explore the contributions and experiences of women in the Holiness and Pentecostal traditions. We invite submissions for 30-minute papers that will address the topic from a variety of academic disciplines, and we would particularly welcome any exploration of the connections between the two traditions.

Paper proposals (max 200 words) should be sent to James Pedlar (jpedlar@tyndale.ca) or Van Johnson (vjohnson@mpseminary.com) by November 1, 2021.

Video from Tyndale’s 2021 Wesley Studies Symposium

Although the pandemic prevented us from gathering in person for a second straight year, Tyndale’s annual Wesley Studies Symposium went ahead with an online event, and it was surprising to see that we had our highest registration to-date. We had an excellent group of presentations, all of which were recorded and are now posted on the Tyndale Seminary YouTube Channel. I’ve also linked them below.

We have also announced plans for next year’s symposium (April 26, 2022) on women in the Holiness and Pentecostal traditions, jointly hosted by Master’s Pentecostal Seminary. See the Symposium webpage for further information.

“A Division of Heart”: Wesley on Schism

I was thankful for the opportunity to share this paper with the Nazarene Theological College Research Seminar last week. It is now posted through the Manchester Wesley Research Centre’s YouTube page.

It is not the most polished presentation and very much a work in progress – a draft portion of one chapter from a larger book on revivalism and division in British Methodism – but that’s precisely why I am sharing it, as I’d value feedback and comments. Others in the seminar had access to the manuscript I was reading – so I’ll share it here as well, in case you want to follow along.

2021 Wesley Studies Symposium at Tyndale

Tyndale’s 2021 Wesley Symposium will be held online on Thursday April 29, 2021, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm EST.  There is no cost for this year’s event, but attendees are asked to register in order to receive the Zoom meeting information. 

Our keynote speaker will be Dr. Joel Thiessen, a Nazarene sociologist who teaches at Ambrose University, where he also directs the Flourishing Congregations Institute.  Dr. Thiessen’s keynote address will be on “Signs of Life and Vitality in Canadian Churches: Drawing on Data to Inform Practice.”

The following papers will also be presented (see further details on the full schedule):

  • Christopher Payk, “Prevenient Grace and Chinese Theology.”
  • Matthew McEwen, “Ignatius of Loyola and John Wesley: A Conversation About Scripture.”
  • Barbara Robinson, “‘I earnestly desire him to be electrified’: John Wesley, the formative Salvation Army and ‘Irregular’ Medicine.”
  • Jason Mills, “Virtual Virtue: Exploring the Fruitfulness of Online Pastoral Education.”
  • Gerry Mielke, “Christian Perfection, from Wesley to Phoebe Palmer.”
  • Charles Meeks, “Recovering a Wesleyan Sense of Open Table Communion for Anglicans with the Help of a Lutheran.”