Creating Vital Congregations Webinars

Lexington Theological Seminary offers the Creating Vital Congregations webinar series to help equip pastors, church leaders and members alike with tools to address a wide variety of issues facing congregations today.

Please register by 10 a.m. the day before the webinar. A link to the webinar will be emailed the day prior to the webinar. Late registrants are not guaranteed live participation; a link to view recorded presentation will be available within approximately one week of the presentation.

NOTE: If you would like to purchase a webinar from a previous series, please click here.

2022-23 Webinar Series


Free Webinar: Cultivating Food Justice in Our Churches: Building Power and Sustaining Joy

February 25, 2023 1:30–3:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Wilson Dickinson

Feeding the hungry is at the heart of the call for those who follow Jesus Christ. Virtually every church engages in some kind of feeding ministry. While many of these hunger programs were set up to help people in crisis, it does not take long to realize that hunger is not an exceptional space in our food systems. It is baked into our current structures. The approach of food justice seeks to understand issues related to food in systemic terms, and to respond by cultivating collective power and nurturing alternatives.

In this webinar we will explore the ways that various ministries related to food can be transformed. We will begin by learning from the systemic approach of food justice, which helps us work for wider-scale change, while finding ways to sustain our work and root it in joy. We will, then, explore how this approach parallels the practices of Christ that sought to feed people by organizing farmers and fishers and cultivating life-giving communities. Finally, we will explore three mapping exercises that look for connections between food ministries, examine power dynamics, and name the assets and gifts that are hiding in plain sight in our communities. 

In our brief time together, we will seek to discern where the rich soil of community is in your context so that you can start sowing seeds of justice that can be nurtured over the long-term for larger change.

Wilson Dickinson is a theologian, Disciples pastor, and organizer whose work takes place at the intersection of environmental justice and discipleship. He is director of the Green Good News and teaches theology and is the Director of the Doctor of Ministry and Continuing Education Programs at Lexington Theological Seminary. He is author of The Green Good News: Christ’s Path to Sustainable and Joyful Life (2019); Exercises in New Creation from Paul to Kierkegaard (2018), and Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet (forthcoming in 2023). He is chair of the Christ Seminar, a project on Christologies of the People with the Westar Institute, and area editor for ecology and environment for The Bias Magazine. He holds a PhD in philosophical theology from Syracuse University, and MDiv from Vanderbilt Divinity School, and a BA from Transylvania University. 

Click the button below to register through Zoom.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Free Webinar: Intimate Partner Violence and the Church: A Faithful and Faith-filled Response

December 3, 2022 1:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis

Victims and Survivors of domestic violence may not call the police. They may not seek out shelter. And they may not even tell a family member or friend about their abuse. Yet, the one place they may go to seek assistance is the Church. Is the church ready to respond? Is the church prepared to provide effective pastoral care for victims of abuse and accountability to perpetrators? Is the church aware of the devastating impact of violence on the family, community, and the church? And, Finally, has the church even considered their vital role in a collaborative partnership with other service providers. In addition to explaining the dynamics of Intimate Partner Violence, this presentation will seek to establish an ethical, theological, and moral imperative toward a faithful and faith-filled response to domestic violence. 

Rev. Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis is a United Church of Christ ordained pastor with deep roots in the Pentecostal Church, (Pentecostal Assemblies of the World, PAW). She brings over 30 years of pastoral care experience in the church as well as in the academy in the fields of ministry, pastoral care, theology, and ethics. Sharon earned her Master of Divinity Degree (Ministry) from Chicago Theological Seminary; her Doctor of Ministry degree (Pastoral Care) from McCormick Theological Seminary; and her PhD from Chicago Theological Seminary (Theology, Ethics, and the Human Science – Sociology). Dr. Ellis Davis is the author of Battered African American Women: A Study in Gender Entrapment (2014) and, in publication for 2022, Navigating My Way Through: Sexual and Domestic Violence. She is also a contributing author of two books. Dr. Ellis Davis is a retired certified chaplain in the Association of Professional Chaplains and a member of the American Academy of Religion. Dr. Ellis Davis teaches classes such as Sexual and Domestic Violence; Pastoral Care in Times of Crisis; Christian Ethics, and Peace building in the Beloved Community. Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis is a Trainer for FaithTrust Institute, Seattle, WA, for Healthy Clergy Boundaries and Healthy and Safe Families. She is married to Rev. Dr. Edward Smith Davis, Conference Minister for the Southern Conference, United Church of Christ. Together they share 6 Children (one deceased), 15 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Her favorite scripture passage is Isaiah 40:31, But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount with wings as Eagles. They shall run and not be weary. And they shall walk and not faint, (KJV).  

To register, click the button below to register through Zoom.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Free Webinar: Human Trafficking:  Framing Pastoral Responses to Forced and Exploited Labor

October 15, 2022 1:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Presenter: Dr. Yvonne Zimmerman

Human trafficking is often depicted as if it is primarily and most urgently a problem of sold sex and as if trafficking mainly affects women and girls. Thus depicted, when Christians respond to human trafficking, they frequently recruit sexual values that, steeped in Christian purity culture, problematically conflate sexual purity and virtue. Starting with an exploration of this popular understanding of trafficking and its impact on both public policy and vulnerable populations, this webinar will help ministers and lay leaders think theologically about human trafficking outside of a sexual purity framework and will discuss ways the church can respond both practically and pastorally to the needs that underlying situations of human trafficking.

Dr. Yvonne Zimmerman (she/her) is Associate Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Christian Ethics at the Methodist Theological School in Ohio near Columbus, Ohio (USA). Her primary area of research is the movement to end human trafficking, and she has published extensively on this topic, including Other Dreams of Freedom: Religion, Sex, and Human Trafficking (Oxford University Press, 2012). Zimmerman holds a BA from Goshen College; a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) from Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and a Ph.D. in Religious and Theological Studies from Iliff School of Theology and the University of Denver.

Click the button below to register through Zoom.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.