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Camelford Hall (Room 226),
Wed, January 10, 2024
Start: 01:00 PM
End: 01:50 PM

At this week’s Theological Research Seminar, Paul Lucas will be presenting, “Congregational Engines: A Narrative Inquiry into Leadership Awareness of Communal Identity and Belonging.” Read the abstract and Paul’s bio below.

All are welcome to attend in Camelford Hall (Room 226) at McMaster Divinity College at 1:00pm or via livestream at the link below:

Join the Livestream
Password: z00m (Note that the password has zeros rather than “o”)


This presentation will summarize findings through the research of communal identity within faith communities through the lens of social identity theory (SIT). Practical theology grapples with specific challenges arising from practical experiences, which in the present work have to do with the community of the church and the mechanisms that foster a sense of belonging. This work seeks to contribute to the practice and theory of Christian leadership by providing a thick description of identification factors that are present in communities of faith. This was done through a survey of four churches, narrative interviews with three churches, and presentations to three church leaders. From this narrative inquiry, it is concluded that the concepts and tools of SIT are useful and effective in developing greater awareness of congregational identity among leaders and of how this impacts people’s experiences of belonging.



Paul Lucas is a student in the Doctor of Practical Theology program. Paul works at MDC as the IT Assistant. Paul also works as Pastor of Discipleship and Missions at Crossings Community Church in Acton, ON. He lives north of Dundas with his wife, Payge, and three children.

About TRS

The MDC Theological Research Seminar (TRS) is a bimonthly gathering for all MDC students and faculty. TRS meets over the lunch hour on Wednesdays, and includes about thirty minutes for the paper presentation and twenty minutes for discussion.

All advanced degree students are invited to present a paper and share your research with your colleagues. TRS is an excellent opportunity to “test drive” a paper you will be presenting at an upcoming conference and receive helpful feedback on your current research projects. Thinking about submitting an article to a journal and want some interaction first? TRS will provide it. Just published an article or an essay and want to share it us? TRS is an excellent opportunity to broadcast it.

This year the organizing committee consists of Dr. Francis PangDr. Phil Zylla, and Dr. Gord Heath. To submit a paper, contact a member of the organizing committee.