The Kuyper Conference is honored to have four distinguished plenary speakers for the 2017 conference.
Plenary Address: “The Grand Vision of Unity: Modern Models of Missional Ecclesiology and the Dream of Christendom”
Stefan Paas (b. 1969) studied theology at Apeldoorn Theological University and Utrecht University. In 1998 he received his PhD (Old Testament studies) at Utrecht University. Paas has published in the fields of Biblical Studies, Missiology, Philosophy of Religion, and Political Theology. His most recent English titles are: Church Planting in the Secular West: Learning from the European Experience (Eerdmans: Grand Rapids 2016), and Sharing Good News: Handbook on Evangelism in Europe, (WCC: Geneva 2016), ed. together with Gerrit Noort and Kyriaki Avtzi. Currently, Paas is the J.H. Bavinck Professor of Missiology and Intercultural Theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Professor of Missiology at Kampen Theological University, the Netherlands. Paas is married with three children, and lives in Baambrugge (10 miles south of Amsterdam).
Ruth Padilla DeBorst
Second Plenary Session: “The Church: a School For Every-Square-Inch Citizenship”
Ruth yearns to see peace and justice embrace in the beautiful and broken world we call home. A mother of many, theologian, missiologist, educator, and story teller, she has been involved in formation for integral mission in her native Latin America and beyond for several decades. With her husband, James, she leads the Center for Interdisciplinary Theological Education and lives in Costa Rica as a member of Casa Adobe, an intentional Christian Community. Among her other communities are the Latin American Theological Fellowship, the International Fellowship for Mission as Transformation, and Christian Reformed World Missions. Her studies include a Bachelors in Education (Argentina), an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies (Wheaton College), and a PhD in Missiology and Social Ethics (Boston University).
John Halsey Wood
Third Plenary Session: “Congruence in Ecclesiology and Ethics: What It Is, Why It Matters, and Why It’s a Problem”
John Halsey Wood works with his family business, Wood Fruitticher Grocery
Company in Birmingham, Alabama. His is married, a father of four, and a lay person at Covenant Presbyterian Church. He has a special interest in the relation between ecclesiology and social ethics, which he explored in Going Dutch in the Modern Age(Oxford University Press, 2013), a study of Abraham Kuyper’s free church ecclesiology.
Fourth Plenary Session: “Leslie Newbigin: Theologian for a New Neo-Calvinism”
Scot Sherman is the Executive Director of the Newbigin House of Studies, a center for graduate theological education and spiritual formation based in San Francisco. He oversees the Newbigin Fellowship, a nine-month intensive training program that seeks to provide a framework for wise integration of faith, work, and life, and hosts the speaker series Conversations For the Common Good. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Wales, a Th.M. from Princeton Theological Seminary, and an M.Div. from Westminster Theological Seminary.
Scot’s doctoral dissertation focused on the early ecumenical influence of the British missionary-theologian Lesslie Newbigin, a pioneer in thinking through the challenges facing churches in the contemporary West. He is currently working on his first book, an exploration of the ideas of the French philosopher and social theorist René Girard.
Scot lives with his wife, Catherine, and they have four sons. He loves opera, detective fiction, playing the piano, and goes wine tasting as often as possible.