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Position in Christian Spirituality

Position in Christian Spirituality

Yale Divinity School invites applications for a tenure-track/tenured faculty position in Christian Spirituality to begin July 1, 2022. The rank of the appointment is open. Yale Divinity School provides an ecumenical environment in which students are prepared for ordained and lay ministry in diverse Christian churches and for a wide range of professional careers, including additional advanced degrees in academic and professional schools, not-for-profit work, and public service.

Candidates must hold (or be on the verge of completing) a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in a directly related field and have strong competence as an instructor. The successful candidate will be a skilled researcher and practitioner with expertise in the field of Christian Spirituality, as well as having a demonstrated record of contributions to the field relevant to practical theology. The subfield within this specialization is open. Competence in the practice of spirituality in a particular social context and/or in an additional religious tradition are welcomed.

A letter of application with curriculum vitae and three letters of reference should be submitted online at] Review of applications will begin on November 1, 2021. We will accept applications until the position is filled.

Yale University is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer. Yale values diversity in its faculty, staff, and students and especially encourages applications from women and gender-nonconforming persons, persons with disabilities, protected veterans, and underrepresented minorities.

Brief report of the 2021 IAPT conference “Coping with Crisis”

Brief report of the 2021 IAPT conference “Coping with Crisis”

Two hundred participants from Africa, Asia, Australia, North- and South America, and Europe, attended the online bi-annual conference of the International Academy of Practical Theology (IAPT). The conference was hosted by KU Leuven’s Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, and prepared by a scientific committee, unifying in ecumenical harmony, members of all Belgian theological faculties (Evangelische Theologische Faculteit Leuven (ETF Leuven), Faculté Universitaire de Théologie Protestante (FUTP), KU Leuven, and Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL)). Almost one hundred paper presentations and six keynote speeches were presented during July 8-10, 2021, and provided a diverse range of scholarly perspectives on the conference theme of coping with crisis.

For a brief report  of the conference: Coping with Crisis: Hospitality, Security, and the Search for Faithful Connections – Theology Research News (

Job Opening: Interim Doctor of Ministry Director

Job Opening: Interim Doctor of Ministry Director

The position of Interim Doctor of Ministry Director is for the period of June 30, 2021 – June 30, 2023, and is jointly appointed by St Andrew’s College (SAC) and Lutheran Theological Seminary, Saskatoon (LTS) to lead the implementation of their cooperative Doctor of Ministry program in collaboration with the DMin Committee of the Graduate Studies Council (GSC) of the Saskatoon Theological Union (STU).

For more details, download the full job description.

Faculty Positions in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology

Faculty Positions in Biblical Studies and Pastoral Theology

Atlantic School of Theology in Halifax, Nova Scotia, intends to hire two new tenure-track faculty members at the Assistant or Associate Professor level, to commence in summer 2021 (date negotiable). One of the positions is in Biblical Studies, the other in Pastoral Theology. To fulfill statutory requirements, one (1.0 FTE) of the two appointments must be filled by a Roman Catholic.

In addition, to allow some flexibility around local needs for institutional fit and global demands related to the pandemic, each position may be filled either by one full-time appointment, or two half-time appointments. All finalists will be expected to come to Halifax for on-campus interviews, public health requirements permitting; however, only full-time appointments would be expected to relocate to Halifax. Half-time appointments could be remote positions.

Applicants to the position in Biblical Studies should specialize in New Testament or Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, and should have a strong secondary competence and ability to teach in at least one other relevant theological discipline.

See the full position description and apply at

The Pastoral Theology position includes the role of Director (or Coordinator) of AST’s Summer Distance MDiv program. Applicants to this position should have a strong competence in an area like liturgy and worship, supervised field education, interreligious/interfaith dialogue, or ecumenism, with clear potential for crossover.

See the full position description and apply at

Review of applications will begin November 16, 2020 and will continue until the positions are filled. Informal queries about the positions may be directed to Dr. Daniel Driver at

Conference subsidy for IAPT Leuven 2021

Conference subsidy for IAPT Leuven 2021

IAPT full and associate members can apply conference subsidy for the Leuven 2021 by 1.11.2020.  Priority will be given to members from the global south or those from under-resourced countries. Subsidy will include conference fee and accommodation but no travel subsidy. Preference will be given to those who did not receive a subsidy for Brazil 2019 conference.   Send an application in which you explain the need of subsidy to IAPT treasurer Auli Vähäkangas (

IAPT 2021 conference, Leuven, Belgium!

IAPT 2021 conference, Leuven, Belgium!

Coping with crisis: hospitality, security, and the search for faithful connections


IAPT conference, Leuven, Belgium,

Thursday 8 – Saturday 10 July 2021 (fully online)

Link to the conference website 

Link to the conference leaflet

foto leuven 2021Scientific and Organizing Committee:

Annemie Dillen (Chair, KU Leuven); Axel Liégeois (KU Leuven); Anne Vandenhoeck (KU Leuven); Amy Casteel (KU Leuven); Armin Kummer (KU Leuven); Jack Barentsen (ETF Leuven); Jos de Kock (ETF Leuven); Arnaud Join-Lambert (UCL – Louvain-la-Neuve); Laurence Flachon (FUTP)


Many people around the world consider their lives and the world as threatened. Climate change and global ecological threats are real threats. Old age and widening inequality are impending socio-economic threats faced by many. In some countries, including Belgium, these are compounded by fears of terrorism and racism.


Balancing human rights and privacy with security and surveillance is increasingly difficult and is continuously negotiated. Political and religious movements – fundamentalist, nationalist, ethnocentric – pay attention to the fear and anxiety among many people by supporting their indulgence to fence themselves off from others.


This conference considers the multidimensional phenomenon of ‘crisis’ in both its sense of threat and opportunity. How are people coping with experiences of crisis? In what way does the rhetoric of fear and crisis mobilize people for social action? Does the current sense of ‘crisis’ lead to valuable and effective positive actions or does it overwhelm our senses, paralyzing our ability to act? And what does the experience of ‘crisis’ imply for contemporary theological conversations?


Communities respond to the sense of ‘crisis’ and anxiety in a variety of ways. Through formal and informal discourses they create a sense of connectedness and belonging among the like-minded. This is true for formal faith communities as well as newer forms of ‘implicit religion’ (such as sports, political parties, groups for social activism). Faith communities try to offer answers to various forms of fear, as they stimulate people’s hope. Such responses are incurably ambiguous, balancing competing demands and values in an effort to both protect and reach out. This leads to many interesting questions for practical theology.


How do we evaluate societal and religious reactions to the ‘sense of crisis’ in our globalized world? Do the reactions of religious groups stimulate connections that empower people to cross social boundaries or do they adopt new forms of tribalism, focused on security, that protect against and thus exclude the other? How do faith communities strike a balance between an ethic of hospitality towards ‘the other’ and an ethic of security, which nurtures and protects treasured traditions and identities? Which religious practices and experiences (of groups and individuals) nurture trust towards others, and what forms of practice (implicitly or explicitly) encourage anxiety and self-protection instead? Who benefits from various approaches, and what are their dangers? How can hope, trust, and faith be nurtured on a micro, meso- and macrolevel in an atmosphere of fear and crisis? How can theology contribute to the flourishing of all species?


We encourage practical theologians from all disciplines to think about the sense of crisis and adequate reactions to this from a practical theological perspective. Examples of sub-questions are related to discourses, practices and communities:


Discourses, views and theories

In what ways would the responses of practical theology enable people to live with risks, insecurity and doubt?

How do biblical-theological metaphors, such as “the family of God,” “the people of God,” “the Kingdom of God” or apocalyptic discourse influence people’s perception of crisis and their strategies for community formation?

How does the sense of crisis impact the value and relevance of our ‘(religious) identity’? What are the advantages (cohesion, security, …) and dangers (exclusion, abuse of power, …) of a new ‘politics’ of religious identity? Where and in which practices do practical theologians recognize these tendencies and possible positive or negative answers to these trends?

How can we build trust in relationships with others, while recognizing our difference from them? What is the influence of our theological anthropology, for instance in a conception of humankind as essentially relational?


Practices and experiences

What religious practices nurture openness and generosity towards the other even while acknowledging our fears and insecurities? How do certain practices support people/groups in their coping processes?

How does the rhetoric of crisis influence our motivation and ability to care for especially those who are victims of the crises? How can practices of care be considered as answers to a ‘rhetoric of crisis’? How can we avoid the patronizing or exclusive forms of care that a sense of crisis stimulates? What are the dangers and benefits of various strategies of care, and especially also pastoral care?

What is the role of religious language, rituals, liturgy and homiletics in avoiding dangerous reactions towards the sense of crisis or in stimulating faithful connections between people?

What can be done in religious education, in religiously affiliated schools or in a catechetical context where young people are educated? How can trust be stimulated? How to deal with anxiety and insecurity? What are the agencies of people and movement? Is religiosity considered as ‘dangerous’ or as ‘empowering’ for young people?


Communities, churches and personal relations

How can local church communities, groups of Christians active in society, persons interested in spirituality act against all too easy reactions? How can we avoid that the Christian message becomes a ‘closed story’ or an all too easy ‘therapy’ with a theology presenting only a story from ‘woundedness to healing’. How can theologians support the complexity and ambiguity of Christian narratives and also help persons to live with insecurity?

What is the role of religious leaders or those concerned in using this rhetoric of crisis or, alternatively, in defusing it? What are alternative and competing narratives that offer a more comprehensive hope and more inclusive social action?


In Belgium, we find lots of connections with this theme from the terrorist attacks in March 2016 to the strong forms of populism in current politics. Yet this connection is not new as Belgium currently hosts the EU, core European organizations and NATO which arose as a response to World War II. Belgium wrestles with its current identity among the economically privileged of the world but also with its history as oppressed and oppressing people. These identities have included defense and deterrence as well as peace-making. Visits will be organized which explore the context of this congress among core social and religious organizations and historical sites in Flanders and Brussels.

Memorial tribute Hans van der Ven

Memorial tribute Hans van der Ven

The following address was delivered at the meeting of the International Academy of Practical Theology at Sao Leopoldo, Brazil on April 7, 2019, in commemoration of Johannes A. van der Ven.

Dear members and guests of the International Academy of Practical Theology!

It is sad news which make me address you. This morning we learned that Hans van der Ven passed away two days ago.

I have been asked to say a few words commemorating him.

I have known Hans for a long time. We first met in 1987 at one of the Tuebingen conferences which later led to the founding of the International Academy. Hans was one of the small number of people who founded the Academy in Princeton in 1991.

Hans first of all was a practical theologian. Many will see empirical theology as his main contribution and achievement, including the Journal of Empirical Theology which he founded about 30 years ago. Yet Hans never equaled empirical research with practical theology. He was also very interested in theology, in systematic theology, especially in post-Vatican II theology. His major books testify to this, like his book on the Church (almost as monumental as the Bible), his continued interest in theodicy which he treated both theologically and empirically, but also his last major topic Human Rights.

I well remember Hans asking me at one the meetings of the Academy if I thought that he should devote the rest of his academic life to this topic (and I agreed). It was a well-considered choice.

Hans also was a wonderful colleague and teacher – a teacher of teachers. His Nijmegen team including his former doctoral students show this in the first place. To just mention those who many in the Academy will remember: Chris Hermans, Hans-Georg Ziebertz, Carl Sterkens, Paul Vermeer.

There would be many other colleagues to mention – colleagues who came to Nijmegen for one of the conferences and symposiums, study groups and exchanges which Hans organized. His inspirations were dear to many in the field.

And certainly Hans was a friend, a personal friend and a caring friend who was interested in what others were doing and how they were doing.

Next year Hans would have turned 80.

I have lost a friend, we all have lost a friend!

I invite you to stand in order to commemorate Hans with a moment of silence.

Thank you!


Friedrich Schweitzer (University of Tübingen, Germany)