The Reformation in a Post-Christian World - October 27-28

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Friday, October 27, 2017 (All day)

McMaster Divinity College  |  October 27-28, 2017

McMaster Divinity College, along with the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies, is hosting a two-day conference marking the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. There will be six plenary addresses from various scholars, along with sessions for parallel papers. The aim is to have a conference that is satisfying to academics, but primarily addressed to pastors and laypeople within churches.

The theme of the conference is “The Reformation in a Post-Christian World.” The trajectory of the conference moves from the historical and theological beginnings to contemporary post-Christendom realties. 

Plenary Addresses (specific scheduling details TBD)


  • Plenary #1: Dr. Victor Shepherd, “Martin Luther and the Origins of the Reformation”
  • Plenary #2: Dr. David Buschart, “Calvin, Anabaptists, and Tradition”
  • Plenary #3: Dr. Gwenfair Adams, “Protestants and the Bible”


  • Plenary #4: Dr. Gwenfair Adams, “Protestants and the Christian Life”
  • Plenary #5: Dr. David Fitch, “Anabaptists and Post-Christendom Realities”
  • Plenary #6: Dr. David Buschart, “Appropriating Reformation Tradition(s) Today”

There will also be parallel paper presentations, as well as lunch and breaks.

Plenary Speakers

Dr. Gwenfair Adams

Gwenfair Walters Adams (PhD Cambridge University), is Associate Professor of Church History at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She teaches courses in Medieval and Reformation history and Spirituality, John Calvin and the Swiss Reformation, and Spiritual Formation for Ministry and is the Director of the Master of Arts in Spiritual Formation. She has expertise in late-medieval Protestant Reformation spiritualties. She is the author of Visions in Late Medieval England: Lay Spirituality and Sacred Glimpses of the Hidden Worlds of Faith and editor of the Romans 1–8 volume of the Reformation Commentary on Scripture series. Her two plenary presentations draw on this rich background to address the centrality of the Bible and spirituality for Protestant Reformers. 

Dr. David Buschart

W. David Buschart (PhD Drew University) is Professor of Theology and Historical Studies at Denver Seminary, Denver, CO. His research interests include the nature and function of tradition and traditions in Christian theology and life, and also diversity and unity within Christianity. These interests are reflected in two books: Exploring Protestant Traditions: An Invitation to Theological Hospitality (IVP Academic, 2006), and Theology as Retrieval: Receiving the Past, Renewing the Church (co-written with Kent Eilers / IVP Academic, 2015).  During 2017, he is participating on an editorial committee for a fresh Protestant confession of faith. His presentations address Jean Calvin and the Anabaptist movements of the Reformation era and his second and the ongoing importance of the Reformation movements for the church for post-Christendom.

Dr. David Fitch

David Fitch is Betty R Lindner Chair of evangelical theology at Northern Seminary, Chicago. He is also an ordained pastor in the Christian and Missionary Alliance and currently pastors (along with 3 other pastors) the Peace of Christ Church of the C&MA in Westmont IL, a suburb of Chicago. He writes regularly on culture, political theory, ethics, ecclesiology and mission in various journals, website and magazines. He brings the unique perspective of an evangelical, Holiness and NeoAnabaptist to thinking through the Reformation for the challenges of mission today. His most recent book is Faithful Presence: 7 Disciplines That Shape the Church For God’s Mission (IVP). He will show the importance of the Anabaptist Reformation movement for the being the church and discipleship in the emerging post-Christian culture of North America.

Dr. Victor Shepherd

Victor Shepherd (ThD Emmanuel College, University of Toronto) is an accomplished Reformation scholar. He has written multiple books that show the implications of Martin Luther and John Calvin for contemporary Christian life and ministry. He has lectured in venues in North America, the U.K., and Singapore on Luther, Calvin, Reformation history, and theology, as well as on Protestant movements arising from or in response to the Protestant Reformations. He has taught Reformation related courses at institutions such as Tyndale University College and Seminary, Toronto School of Theology, and McMaster University. He will draw on this rich background to address the topic “Martin Luther and the Origins of the Reformation.”