Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

May 2, 2006

Christian Leaders to Share Insights at 31st Annual Whitworth Institute of Ministry

The 31st annual Whitworth Institute of Ministry, focusing on the theme "Proclaiming Christ in a Pluralistic World," will include workshops led by noted authors and theologians Iain Torrance, Leanne Van Dyk, Dale Bruner and Mark Labberton, and Whitworth faculty members. The institute will be held July 10-14, 2006, at Whitworth College. For more information or to register, please contact the Whitworth Institute of Ministry program coordinator at (509) 777-4345 or register online at www.whitworth.edu/wim.

The Whitworth Institute of Ministry serves pastors, music and worship directors, lay church leaders and their families through worship, theological reflection, Bible study, prayer and small-group interaction. The 2006 institute will provide biblical and theological clarity about the person and work of Jesus Christ. Each of the presenters will provide models of how to speak the truth of Jesus in a way that engages listeners for the sake of the gospel.
Whitworth Institute of Ministry July 10-14 schedule:

  • Evening Worship: Mon.-Thurs., 7 p.m., Seeley Mudd Chapel (Free and open to the public.)
  • Bible Hour: Tues.-Fri., 9-10 a.m., Seeley Mudd Chapel
  • Morning Workshops: Tues.-Thurs., 10:30 a.m., various on-campus locations (Registration required.)
  • Afternoon Workshops: Mon., Tues., Thurs., 3:30 p.m., various on-campus locations (Registration required.)
  • Preaching Seminar: Tues., Wed., Thurs., 10:30 a.m.-noon (Registration required.)
  • Communion and Commissioning Service: Fri., 10:30 a.m.

During the institute, Dale Bruner, professor emeritus of the Whitworth Theology Department, will lead Bible hour, during which he will speak on "The Great Texts of the First Half of the Book of Acts."

Iain Torrance, president of Princeton Theological Seminary, in Princeton, N.J, will present a workshop, "Postmodern Ethics," in which he will address how to make Christian decisions in the midst of modern pluralism. Torrance will also lead a workshop, "Thinking about Abortion Theologically."

Leanne Van Dyk, academic dean and professor of Reformed theology at Western Theological Seminary, in Holland, Mich., will present a workshop, "Christ and Christian Worship: The Formational Connections," in which she will explore foundational questions that relate to worship, Christians' place in a pluralistic world, and their identity as the people of God.

Mark Labberton, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, in Berkeley, Calif., will present a workshop, "Three Questions in One," in which he will explore three important questions embedded within the question, "Is Jesus the only way?"

Gerald Sittser, professor of theology at Whitworth, will present a workshop, "Water from a Deep Well: What History Can Teach Us about the Spiritual Life," in which he will explore historical models of the spiritual life that can teach participants how to become more effective disciples of Jesus Christ. Sittser's book When God Doesn't Answer Your Prayer (2003, Zondervan) was recently named the recipient of a 2005 Gold Medallion Book Award. Given by the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association, the award recognizes Christian books of the highest quality based on excellence in content, literary quality, design and significance of contribution.

James Edwards, professor and chair of the Whitworth Theology and Philosophy Department, will lead a workshop, "How Should Christians Think about Other Religions?," in which he will explore the concept of Jesus Christ as "the mystery of God" and its implications for faithful witness in a pluralistic world. In May Edwards' book Is Jesus the Only Savior? (Eerdmans 2005) won a top book award in the "Apologetics/Evangelism" category from Christianity Today magazine.

Ronald Pyle, professor of communication studies at Whitworth, will lead a preaching seminar, "Preaching Skills for Postmodern Proclamation," which is designed to refine foundational preaching skills. Pyle will also lead a workshop, "Proclamation as Postmodern Dialogue," in which he will introduce a model of communication for postmodern preaching and will consider some essential communication dynamics and their implications for the ways in which preachers create connections.

Whitworth President Bill Robinson will speak on Friday during the 10:30 a.m. communion and commissioning service.

During the weeklong institute, youth programs will be available for children of participants. Art, music and recreational activities are planned for all age groups, including a teen program for junior- and senior- high youth. Trained caregivers will be present to care for infants and toddlers. Accommodations in residence halls and on-campus dining services will be available for Institute of Ministry participants.

The 2006 institute is sponsored in part by the Academy of Preaching at Whitworth College. The academy was made possible by a generous grant from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and is designed to provide educational programs and resources that help pastors preach and teach God's Word with compassion and conviction in today's world.

Complete Whitworth Institute of Ministry details and the week's schedule of events can be found online at www.whitworth.edu/wim.


Toni Sutherland, program coordinator, Whitworth Institute of Ministry, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4345 or tsutherland@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information officer, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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