Pastors and ministry leaders are invited to gather for a day of enrichment and encouragement, compliments of Gordon College in Wenham, MA. Keeping in mind the unique needs of pastors, several recognized, top-tier Johannine scholars will present a series of lectures, including time for Q & A, related to the preaching of John’s Gospel. They will emphasize various approaches to the characters, symbols, themes, ethics, spirituality and theology of this most remarkable book. Presenters' books on John will be available for purchase. Come join this ecumenical gathering of scholars and pastors as we think about preaching John’s Gospel more creatively and faithfully.
The conference will take place in the Ken Olsen Science Building on the Gordon College campus (255 Grapevine Rd, Wenham, MA). Reserved parking will be available for participants in the Chapel Parking lot, which is accessed directly off Grapevine Rd. The doors will open at 8:15 a.m. for registration check-in and a light continental breakfast. The conference will begin promptly at 9 a.m. A complimentary lunch will be served and the conference will conclude at 4:00 p.m.
Thanks to the generosity of donors, this conference is being offered free of charge with our thanks for the important work you do reaching your communities for Christ. To assist us in our planning, please complete the registration form found at the bottom of this page. Multiple members of the same staff are invited to join us. We simply ask that you register each person individually to assist us in our planning. Please plan to join us, it promises to be a day filled with thoughtful conversation, encouragement and challenge.
Cornelis Bennema, senior lecturer in New Testament, Union School of Theology, Wales, UK
Cornelis Bennema “Cor” was born in Holland where he worked as an IT professional for a large international bank. After spending a month in a slum in the Philippines, he moved to the United Kingdom to study theology. During his studies, he made three short-term trips to India, and eventually moved there permanently in 2002 to teach New Testament in a postgraduate seminary.
After 11 years, he and his family moved back to the UK, where he has been teaching New Testament at Union School of Theology. Cor is the author of several publications, especially on John’s Gospel (e.g., Encountering Jesus: Character Studies in the Gospel of John; Excavating John’s Gospel: A Commentary for Today; The Power of Saving Wisdom: An Investigation of Spirit and Wisdom in Relation to the Soteriology of the Fourth Gospel; and, forthcoming later this year, Mimesis in the Johannine Literature: A Study in Johannine Ethics)—but when he’s not writing for the academy and church, he loves swimming, chess and watching movies.
Jaime Clark-Soles, professor of New Testament and Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX
Rev. Dr. Jaime Clark-Soles is a recipient of a Ford Senior Research Fellowship and a member of the 2016–17 cohort of the Christian Leadership Initiative, the Center for Preaching Excellence and the “Ethics and Biblical Interpretation” Steering Committee of the Society of Biblical Literature. She serves on editorial boards of the Disability and Religion and Teaching in Theology and Religion journals and is the New Testament editor of the new CEB Women’s Bible. Jaime is a prolific author and has expertise in the areas of Johannine literature (her most recent works on John include, Reading John for Dear Life and Scripture Cannot Be Broken: The Social Function of the Use of Scripture in the Fourth Gospel), Disability Studies and the Bible, and immersion trips to Israel and Palestine. As an ordained American Baptist minister she has served in both parish and hospice settings. She is a Navy brat and enjoys running, cycling, racquetball and generally staying in motion.
Michael J. Gorman, the Raymond E. Brown Chair in Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University, Baltimore, MD
Michael J. Gorman, a United Methodist and 1977 Gordon alum, specializes in the theological and missional interpretation of Scripture. He was the recipient of the 2005 Fortress Press Award for Innovative Teaching in Graduate Schools and Seminaries, theological education’s “teacher of the year” award. Gorman is the author of dozens of articles and author or editor of twelve books, including Scripture and its Interpretation: A Global, Ecumenical Introduction to the Bible; The Death of the Messiah and the Birth of the New Covenant: A (Not So) New Model of the Atonement; Reading Revelation Responsibly: Uncivil Worship and Witness; several books on Paul; and the forthcoming Abide and Go: Missional Theosis in the Gospel of John. Besides his academic engagement, he is a fan of traveling and leading study trips, some of them to Greece/Turkey/Rome and to France/Switzerland.
Gail R. O’Day, dean and professor of New Testament and preaching, Wake Forest University School of Divinity, Winston-Salem, NC
Gail O’Day, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, focuses her scholarly research on the Gospel of John, the Bible and preaching, and the history of biblical interpretation. She has written a number of books and articles, including the commentary on the Gospel of John in The New Interpreters Bible and Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary: A Guide. O’Day is currently working on a feminist commentary on the Book of Revelation. She is editor or co-editor of several volumes, including the Oxford Access Bible, and the Theological Bible Commentary. O’Day was the editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature from 1999–2006 and general editor of the Society of Biblical Literature book series, Early Christianity and its Literature from 2009–2014.
Christopher W. Skinner, associate professor of New Testament and early Christianity at Loyola University, Chicago, IL
Christopher Skinner is an ordained Baptist with over a decade of experience in vocational ministry, including eight years as a pastor in Baltimore, MD. He has been working with undergraduates, seminarians and graduate students for the past 12 years. Between 2005 and 2010, he served as Instructor of biblical studies at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore Maryland, where he was the Dunning Distinguished Lecturer for Excellence in Teaching and Scholarship during the 2008–2009 academic year. Between 2010–2016, he was associate professor of religion and director of the honors program at Mount Olive College in North Carolina, where he was voted the 2013–2014 professor of the year. He is passionate about pursuing historical and literary questions in the study of the earliest narratives about Jesus, but also about teaching, guiding, and interacting with students. He has also published extensively on the Gospel of John. Recent publications include: Reading John (for Cascade Companions), Characters and Characterization in the Gospel of John, and John and Thomas: Gospels in Conflict? He has been married to Tara since 1997 and their life together revolves around their three children.
Marianne Meye Thompson, the George Eldon Ladd Professor of New Testament, School of Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA
Marianne Meye Thompson is an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA). She is author of books such as John: A Commentary, 1–3 John, and A Commentary on Colossians and Philemon. Thompson has also published numerous articles and reviews in scholarly journals. As a member of the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas, Thompson has participated in various projects at the Center of Theological Inquiry (in Princeton, NJ), such as “The Scripture Project” and “The Identity of Jesus.” In her free time, Thompson likes to ride bikes and horses, and volunteers with an equine assisted therapy program for persons with disabilities. She and her husband, John, have an interest in the native flora and fauna of California, and are both birders and botanizers.
D. Francois Tolmie, professor of New Testament, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa
D. Francois Tolmie was in the ministry in Walvis Bay in Namibia before he was appointed to the faculty of theology at the University of the Free State in South Africa—almost 26 years ago. In this capacity, he is responsible for teaching students how to use the New Testament in the ministry, and also for guiding students who are doing masters and doctoral studies. He has published mostly on the Gospel of John, and Paul’s letters to the Galatians and Philemon. He is one of the co-editors of the recent publication, Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John. He has also published a practical guide to the theory of narratology in Biblical narratives. He is further interested in the translation of Greek texts: together with Jan G. van der Watt (University of Nijmegen) he published an Afrikaans translation of the apocrypha, and he has also been involved in three different Afrikaans translations of the New Testament.
Ruben Zimmerman, professor of New Testament, Johannes Gutenberg-University of Mainz, Germany
Ruben Zimmermann was born in Heidelberg, Germany. His Habilitation in 2003 in Munich focused on the “Christ-Poetics in the Fourth Gospel.” From 2005–2009, he was professor of Old and New Testament at Bielefeld University and since 2009, he has been professor of New Testament studies and ethics at the Johannes Gutenberg-University in Mainz, where he also served as founder and co-organizer of the Research Center of Ethics in Antiquity and Christianity, a center which deals with bioethics (e.g., end of life-decisions, longevity) and hermeneutics (e.g., the Bible in ethical discourse).
Zimmermann’s publication record focuses on the gospels, where he strives to employ narrative methodologies in the service of understanding the Bible today. His particular interest in metaphorical theory and polyvalent interpretation fuels his interest in the parables and miracle stories of Jesus. His works on John include, Rethinking the Ethics of John: Implicit Ethics in the Johannine Writings, Christologie Der Bilder Im Johannesevangelium, and Imagery in the Gospel of John: Terms, Forms, Themes, and Theology of Johannine Figurative Language. He is also one of the co-editors of the helpful resource Character Studies in the Fourth Gospel: Narrative Approaches to Seventy Figures in John. Zimmermann is an ordained pastor of the Lutheran-United Church and continues in pastoral work beyond his scholarly activities. A passionate violinist, he also likes to garden, and tend to his bees and chickens.