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

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.

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.”

Cancellation of Wesley Events at Tyndale

Tyndale’s Wesley events planned for April are cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. This includes the worship service on April 19, the Ministry Conference on April 20, and the Symposium on April 21.

Those who have already registered will receive a refund.

The Wesley Studies Symposium might be rescheduled for the fall of 2020. Watch for a further notice in the coming weeks.

I pray that the peace of Christ will be with you all. May the Holy Spirit give us wisdom and courage so that we can be faithful servants of the gospel in a difficult and disorienting time.

Thou hidden source of calm repose,
Thou all-sufficient love divine,
My help, and refuge from my foes,
Secure I am, if thou art mine,
And lo! From sin, and grief, and shame
I hide me, Jesus, in thy name.

Thy mighty name salvation is,
And keeps my happy soul above,
Comfort it brings, and power, and peace,
And joy, and everlasting love:
To me with thy dear name are given
Pardon, and holiness, and heaven.

Jesu, my all in all thou art,
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The med’cine of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain,
My smile beneath the tyrant’s frown,
In shame my glory, and my crown.

In want my plentiful supply,
In weakness my almighty power,
In bonds my perfect liberty,
My light in Satan’s darkest hour,
In grief my joy unspeakable,
My life in death, my heaven in hell.

Charles Wesley, Hymns and Sacred Poems (1749)

Installation Sermon: The Triumphs of His Grace

This past Tuesday I was officially installed as the Donald N. and Kathleen G. Bastian Chair of Wesley Studies at Tyndale Seminary.  I’ve been doing the work of the Wesley Chair since I arrived at Tyndale in January 2013. However, since I was a newly-minted Assistant Professor, I was hired with the understanding that I would be officially appointed to the Chair upon successful application for tenure and promotion. So this Tuesday’s ceremony was nearly six years in coming.

It was a good day to celebrate the partnership between Tyndale and the Wesleyan denominations that sponsor the Bastian Chair: the Be in Christ Church (formerly Brethren in Christ), the Church of the Nazarene, the Free Methodist Church, the Salvation Army, and the Wesleyan Church. The Bastian Chair was established in 1993, and Donald Bastian (then Bishop of the Free Methodist Church in Canada) was instrumental in drawing the partner denominations together.

Installation Sermon

The sermon audio is below, and it can be downloaded from the Tyndale website.  It was a bit of an unusual sermon – in fact, it was something of a blend of sermon and keynote address. Had the installation been held a separate occasion I would have done an inaugural lecture; since it took place during our regular community chapel service, it needed to take the form of a sermon and speak to the whole Tyndale community.

The scripture readings were Isaiah 25:1-9 and 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.

As I said on Tuesday, I am truly grateful for Tyndale and for this unique role, which allows me to serve both the Canadian Wesleyan family and the broader church.

 

 

 

2019 Wesley Studies Symposium

An Evangelical MindI’m pleased to announce that Tyndale’s next Wesley Studies Symposium will take place on April 30, 2019, with Marguerite Van Die giving the keynote address. Van Die is Professor Emerita of History at Queen’s University, and a noted expert on Canadian church history. Her many publications include An Evangelical Mind: Nathaniel Burwash and the Methodist Tradition in Canada, 1839-1917This is the definitive biography of Burwash, the most important Canadian Methodist theologian and an important churchman in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Dr. Van Die’s address is entitled “Building a moral community: Methodists and Public Life in Nineteenth Century Canada.”  I have a number of excellent papers lined up but am open to receiving proposals from other potential presenters. Watch for registration and other details in the coming weeks.

A Window on early Primitive Methodist Meetings

While reading Hugh Bourne’s History of the Primitive Methodists (1823) at the Rylands library last summer I came across this interesting set of “advices” for leading meetings.  The context, as Bourne relates it, was that some in the PMC were allowing preaching to go on too long, thereby not allowing enough time for prayer.

There are several aspects of these outlines that I find interesting. One is how much attention is given to technique, and keeping things moving along. Not only is long preaching excluded, but so are long speeches from members in the class meeting.  I also find it interesting that, although these outlines are 200 years old, one can still recognize some features of these services in the routinized revivalism of many evangelical denominations (the “song sandwich” approach, for example, that many of us grew up with). Another noteworthy feature is the lack of attention to scripture. For several years now I have been quite concerned about the disappearance of the public reading of scripture from evangelical worship services. However, reflecting on these outlines causes me to think that the neglect of scripture readings is very deep-seated in the revivalist stream of evangelical worship.

Advices for Meetings

Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1819

Source: Hugh Bourne, History of the Primitive Methodists Giving an Account of Their Rise and Progress up to the Year 1823. (Bemersley: Printed for the author, at the Office of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, by J. Bourne, 1823), 59-60.

Outline of a Preaching Service.

“Let all the exercises, in general, be short. The preaching whenever it can, should be followed by a prayer meeting. From the beginning of the service to the end of the sermon, should up about three quarters of an hour; and the prayer meeting should continue about half an hour; the whole to conclude in about an hour and a quarter. After the conclusion, prayer must be made for mourners; or the society may meet for about twenty minutes. Long preachings generally injure both the preachers’ constitution and the cause of religion.”

Outline of a Prayer Meeting.

  1. Open with singing for about four, five, or six minutes.
  2. Spend four, five, or six minutes in prayer, ending with the Lord’s Prayer.
  3. Sing about two, three or four minutes.
  4. Let the members of the society prayer in quick succession, for two, three, or four minutes each.

When mourners are in distress, or in any other particular cases, the exercises may be lengthened. But, in general, long exercises in public, are improper and injurious; and should be carefully avoided. And if any one trespass by attempting to drag out to an improper length, the next meeting of the society may determine what remedy shall be applied to such impropriety.

  1. Let a little singing be occasionally intermingled to vary the exercises.
  2. If exhortations be given, they may be for two or three, or from that to six or eight minutes. Short exhortations are useful.
  3. Conclude in an hour or an hour and a quarter.
  4. On suitable occasions, prayer may again commence, and especially if there by souls in distress.
  5. This outline may be judiciously varied at any point, as circumstances may require.

Outline of a Class Meeting.

  1. Open with singing for about four, five, or six minutes
  2. Let for or five minutes be spent in prayer, ending with the Lord’s Prayer.
  3. Sing about two, or three minutes.
  4. Leader speak one or two minutes, chiefly to his own experience.
  5. Let fifteen, or from that to twenty minutes, be spent in conversation of the leader with the members.

In speaking to one, the leader, in effect, speaks to all; and it will on some occasions, be found difficult to keep up the attention of the whole meeting for twenty minutes together. But the leader passing from one to another in quick succession will be a great means to keep the attention alive. Also the leader may give out a verse and sing in the midst of the work.

If a class have fifteen or sixteen members, the average time of speaking should be under a minute with each member. If there be twenty or thirty members it should be still less. In particular cases, more time may be spent with any of the members.

If a member have acquired or be acquiring a habit of long speaking, then, the leader, after dropping a few words, must immediately pass on to the next, and begin at once to speak to the next. If this be not attended to the meeting will soon be injured.

  1. When the speaking is concluded, sing for two, three, or four minutes.
  2. Then let the members pray in quick succession, for about two or three minutes each. The leader must take care that none of them trespass upon time.
  3. Intermingle occasionally a little singing to vary the exercise.
  4. Be careful and exact in settling the class paper.
  5. Conclude in an hour, or an hour and a quarter.
  6. This outline may be judiciously varied in any point, as circumstances may require.

Media from the Wesleyan-Pentecostal Symposium

We had a wonderful day at the Wesleyan-Pentecostal Symposium here at Tyndale on March 22. It was a pleasure to partner with Van Johnson and Master’s Pentecostal Seminary in hosting this event. Donald Dayton was his inimitable self and helped us to understand how significant it was to have a gathering of these two traditions, given our frosty relations in the past.  The other papers from scholars, pastors and graduate students provided a great deal of discussion material for the attendees.  More than one person commented to me about how engaged everyone was in the topic, discussing it over coffee breaks and lunch as well as in the sessions.

One of the benefits of moving to our new campus is that all our classrooms have very recently been outfitted with excellent audio-visual equipment. This made it very simple for us to record the presentations. The three plenary talks were recorded on video, and audio recordings of all the sessions were made as well. I’m grateful that all the presenters agreed to allow their recordings to be shared publicly after the event.

So, please take a moment to visit the symposium media page and make use of this excellent content.  I’ve embedded my own talk on Burns, Horner, and Burwash below.

 

Tyndale Wesley Studies News – September 2015

 

We are gearing up for another academic year at Tyndale, this time (finally) on our beautiful new campus.  It has been a bit of a chaotic summer, with all the disruption that comes along with a move, and I’m now looking forward to seeing this place filled with students in the next few days.

I’ve just sent out my most recent Wesley Studies newsletter, highlighting next year’s joint Wesleyan-Pentecostal Symposium on the role of experience in theology (March 22, 2016).  I’m really pleased to be bringing Donald Dayton to Toronto as our keynote, and I think we’ll have a great day of conversation about a topic that concerns both traditions.

There’s lots more in the newsletter about recent book releases (including the latest in the Tyndale Wesley series from Chris Payk and my own book, which I will blog about soon) and upcoming events and conferences in Toronto.  Take a look, and subscribe if you are interested.

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