In January, more than 40 past and current Harry Denman and John Wesley Fellows gathered for the 42nd Christmas Conference at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. At the gathering, organized annually by A Foundation for Theological Education (AFTE), participants heard from keynote speaker Tim Dalrymple, CEO of Christianity Today, and working groups focused on three topics: Bible and theology; practical theology and Christian history; and humanities and social sciences.
In attendance was currently funded Denman Fellow Rev. Wendy Mohler-Seib, and Fellows who have completed doctorates including Dr. Brian Yeich, Dr. Alma Ruiz, and Dr. Rob Haynes. Also in attendance were Paul and Kitten Ervin, former director of the The Foundation for Evangelism, who celebrated his retirement from the AFTE board of directors at the gathering.
AFTE’s Christmas Conference began in 1977 in Shakertown, Ky., and is named for the gathering in 1784 at Lovely Lane Chapel in Baltimore, Md., which formed the Methodist Episcopal denomination. AFTE’s Christmas Conference gathering has become an annual tradition for this group of Wesleyan-tradition scholars.
The Foundation for Evangelism is in partnership with AFTE to fund the Harry Denman Fellows who, similarly to the John Wesley Fellows, are pursuing doctoral studies with the intent of teaching in a Wesleyan-tradition school of theology or institution of higher education. Denman Fellows are scholars in evangelism or related disciplines. The Foundation for Evangelism is funding one new and one current Denman Fellow for 2020 and 2021:
Rev. Andrew Kinsey begins his time as a Harry Denman Fellow in 2020. He is an Elder in The United Methodist Church, and a member of the Indiana Conference, serving Grace United Methodist Church, Franklin. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Theology and Ministry at Durham University in Durham, England. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology, SMU; Candler School of Theology at Emory University; and University of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.
Rev. Kinsey serves on the editorial team of the Wesleyan Doctrine Series (Wipf and Stock), and is an instructor in the Course of Study in Indiana. He is an adjunct professor in the Lantz Center for Christian Vocations at the University of Indianapolis, and at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Rev. Kinsey hopes to “find creative ways of practicing renewal in the life of the church and integrating the Wesleyan theological tradition into a missional understanding of the church’s life and evangelistic practice and educating future leaders.”
Rev. Wendy Mohler-Seib is completing her third year as a Harry Denman Fellow. She is pursuing doctoral work in practical theology through Nazarene Theological College at the University of Manchester, England. Her dissertation, titled “Hearing and Obeying God: Mentoring Teenagers in Practicing the Presence of God,” explores spiritual disciplines and the faith formation of adolescents.
Rev. Mohler-Seib is a graduate of Southwestern College, B.A. in religion and philosophy, and graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary, with an M.Div and a M.A. in youth ministry. She works as the Director of Faith Formation for The Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.
You can read more about the Harry Denman Fellowships on our Grants page.