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InterGenerate | Paper Presentations - 2021

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Gareth Crispin, MA

Lecturer in Practical Theology and Programme lead for the BA in Mission and Ministry, Cliff College, UK

Monday, May 24 @ 2 pm 

Ludicity and Theology: Exploring Some Theological Foundations of Intergenerational Ministry


Ludicity (or playfulness) captures many crucial ingredients for intergenerational ministry (IG), including freedom, participation, relational safety and informality.  What inhibits or encourages ludicity then inhibits or encourages IG.  Reflection on three English congregations suggests that theological foundations and commitments are central to whether ludic characteristics are present in a congregation or not.  More specifically this reflection suggests that open evangelical and charismatic theologies ostensibly provide better foundations for IG than more conservative theologies.

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Johannah Myers, DMin

Director of Disciple Formation, Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Greenville, SC, and Associate Director, Messy Church USA

Monday, May 24 @ 2 pm 

Apprenticing Faith Together: Helping Adults Understand Discipleship and Their Role in Intergenerational Community

Regardless of the model of intergeneration ministry a church adopts, unless there is a good foundation for understanding disciple formation, adults may still struggle to accept intergenerational endeavors. This paper explores Jesus’ way of teaching and its parallels with apprenticeship as foundational language for creating a successful basis for intergenerational ministry to flourish.

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Robert Pendergraft, PhD

Assistant Professor of Church Music and Area Coordinator for Academic Studies at University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Belton, Texas

Monday, May 24 @ 2 pm 

Building Ramps Instead of Stairs: Universal Design in Planning Intergenerational Worship

The concept of Universal Design is widely used in the realm of architecture but emerged in the late 20th century as a means for educators to meet the diverse needs learners with varying backgrounds and levels of ability. This paper will provide a brief overview of the tenets of universal design as articulated for education but then pivot toward definitional work of universal design as applied to corporate worship planning and leading. Specific attention will be applied to multiple means of representation, expression, and engagement of worshipers from non-majority classes. The theoretical work of this paper will be useful for researchers and scholars studying the intersection of universal design and worship, but the framework will be used by practitioners and lay persons as a means of reconsidering intentional inclusivity in their local ministry context.

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Shantelle Weber, PhD

Senior Lecturer at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa

Tuesday, May 25 @ 2 pm 

The Necessity of Intergenerational Dialogue on Social Justice within the South African Church

The recent (2015–2017) protests by university students in South Africa have ignited conversations about social justice that have perhaps been lying dormant for many years after the country’s 1994 democratic elections. Local congregations have engaged in varying activities which created space for dialogue with these youth in an effort to figure out how the church in South Africa could respond to these in theologically appropriate ways. One of the key issues emerging from such reflections has been the gap of older generations’ voices in passing on their experiences of injustice during their fight against our apartheid regime. The role churches played during this period in history is integral to this succession. This chapter argues that it is imperative that the church in South Africa engage in intergenerational dialogue around faith and social justice if we claim to be an authentic and prophetic voice focused on passing on the faith to future generations.


Daniela Seibert

PhD student at the University of Zurich Faculty of Theology, Switzerland

Tuesday, May 25 @ 2 pm 

How Age-Specific Ministry Became Key to Intergenerational Ministry: Findings from a Case Study in Switzerland

Age-specific ministries—especially for children, youth and seniors—are accepted as a matter of course in many congregations. Is this harmful for intergenerationality? The presentation will contest this assumption. First, a brief review of the beginning of some age-segregated ministries is given. Second, encouraging findings from the doctoral research of the speaker presented. They show that age-segregated ministry is sometimes even a key to intergenerational ministry.

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Dave Csinos, PhD

Assistant Professor of Practical Theology at the Atlantic School of Theology, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Tuesday, May 25 @ 2 pm 

The Final Frontier? Toward a Theology of Preaching among Intergenerational Faith Communities

Despite exponential growth in all-age worship, little attention has been given to how to make preaching moments truly intergenerational. This presentation addresses this gap by developing an intergenerational homiletic, that is, a theology of preaching that goes beyond paternalistic inclusion of young people in adult-centric sermons or the latest trends in children’s sermons. Rather, by interpreting Jesus as an intergenerational preacher and digging into key theological assumptions, this presentation builds a foundation on which practitioners of all stripes—since all are called to proclaim the gospel—can build through creative experimentations with intergenerational preaching.

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Holly Allen, PhD

Professor of Christian Ministries at Lipscomb University, Nashville, Tennessee

Wednesday, May 26 @ 2 pm 

Systematic Review of DMin Theses and PhD Dissertations on Intergenerational Ministry, 2011-2020​

his paper will analyze the findings of approximately thirty-five DMin theses and PhD dissertations from 2011-2020 that have focused on intergenerational ministry either empirically or conceptually. The analysis of the empirical studies will share common findings regarding challenges churches face when implementing more intentionally intergenerational practices, leadership insights, benefits for various cohorts (e.g., children, youth, young, middle, and older adults), and blessings for congregations as a whole; the analysis of the conceptual projects will share fresh biblical, theological, and theoretical insights regarding intergenerationality from those doctoral works. The presentation should be of interest to both scholars and ministry leaders who are currently transitioning to a more intergenerational culture.


Stacey Davis, PhD

Assistant Professor of Educational Ministry and Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas

Wednesday, May 26 @ 2 pm 

Childhood Intergenerational Experiences that Contribute to Christian Commitment in Young Adulthood

Many who minister to children wonder about the connection between childhood experiences and adult spirituality. Research, both formal and informal, has been conducted seeking to understand what types of experiences, especially if cross-generational relationships, make an impact later in life. This presentation seeks to encourage those working in family ministry by revealing research findings from a research endeavor completed in Spring of 2019 seeking to understand the connection between childhood experiences and adult spirituality. Results uncover the influence childhood intergenerational relationships have on adult religiosity particularly in the areas of cross-generational teaching, discussions, and relational interactions

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Wilson McCoy, DMin

Minister at College Hills Church of Christ, Lebanon, Tennessee

Wednesday, May 26 @ 2 pm 

Honoring the Original Image: A Creational Theology for Intergenerational Ministry

One question to consider when transitioning a church towards greater intergenerational outlook and practice is that of “why?” Why would a community of faith consider bringing the generations together in an intentional and mutual way? This presentation is intended to help give scriptural rationale for those who desire to make the case for this particular vision of church in their given context. The primary focus of this paper will be to offer a creational theology for intergenerational Christian formation by highlighting the conviction that all of humanity is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). The reasoning offered in this presentation is intended to help those trying to make the case for intergenerational ways of being in their local church.


Please note that your Children's Spirituality Summit registration fee also includes access to presentations from InterGenerate Conference. Link HERE to register. 


Both the InterGenerate Conference and the Children's Spirituality Summit bring together lay leaders, pastors, teachers, children's ministers, youth ministers, sociologists, parents, and theologians from a broad spectrum of Christian traditions to collectively explore the best ways to approach spiritual formation with all ages and stages.

This joint conference offers dozens of informative and inspiring workshops and papers presented by participants like you! We're excited to see new faces and hear fresh ideas.

Register HERE!

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