Mission and Transmission: Walking in the Congregational Way     
A virtual conference to be held July 17, 2024 on Zoom


Call for Papers

The Theological Commission of the International Congregational Fellowship (ICF) and the Congregational Library & Archives are delighted to sponsor a virtual half-day conference seminar, planned for 17 July, on the theme, “Mission and Transmission: Walking in the Congregational Way.” The conference will be held on Zoom so that participants around the world can take part.

The Congregational Way is an expression of Christianity in every part of the world. For some, it spread through the mission agencies of the USA and UK. In other places, it was transmitted through shifts in population as a result of persecution and conflict, or exploration and seeking new lives. But it has also arisen as a natural response to the Gospel, as God calls communities to express their lives in freedom.

This virtual conference marks the legacy of the International Congregational Journal, which recently ceased publication after a nearly two-decade print run. Through the years, it published many articles reflecting on the mission and transmission of the Congregational Way.

We are delighted that Brian Fiu Kolia, an ordained minister of the Congregational Christian Church Samoa and a lecturer in Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Malua Theological College, has agreed to be our Keynote Speaker, and we will provide other resources to conference registrants, including relevant published articles from the International Congregational Journal.

Scholars, students, ministers, and others are invited to submit proposals for 20-minute papers, that will form the two panels of the virtual conference.

Possible topics may include, but need not be limited to:

  • Reflections on historical moments or movements in Congregational missions;

  • Radical responses to global missions through Congregational mission organisations, including a critique of missions, and reflections on decolonialisation;

  • Explorations of contemporary Congregational praxis in local settings; and

  • Congregationalism in the context of twenty-first century digital communication and artificial intelligence.

To propose a paper, please send the following to programs@14beacon.org by May 1:

  • An abstract of 250 words

  • A brief biography of 100 words

  • Contact details: name, institutional affiliation (if applicable), and email address

The conference committee’s decisions will be communicated by May 17.

The conference will be hosted on the Zoom platform, and there will be no charge for registration.  More information will be forthcoming about the structure of the conference.


About the Sponsors

The Theological Commission of the International Congregational Fellowship (ICF) was founded in 2001 with the mission to promote and provide the means for the development of theological reflection and expression in the context of the living Congregational Way. It published the International Congregational Journal from 2001-2020. Commission members have included Christian brothers and sisters in South Africa, South America, the Middle East, Pacific, UK, and USA over the years. As well as publishing a global range of articles a global range, it has supported ICF Quadrennial Gatherings with speakers, workshops, Bible studies, and facilitated seminars in many parts of the world, where there are not the resources to host larger scale international events. The ICF’s aim has been to bring many voices together, especially hearing what the Spirit has to say to churches that are often silenced or rarely heard. Through the years, political situations have shifted and changed, and the ICF has had to be sensitive to those whose Christian faith or international connections may endanger them. In all cases, it continues to uphold its brothers and sisters on prayer. Learn more about the ICF on its website: http://www.internationalcongregationalfellowship.org.

The Congregational Library & Archives (CLA) is located in Boston, Massachusetts. Established in 1853, the CLA’s mission is to foster a deeper understanding of the spiritual, intellectual, cultural, and civic dimensions of the Congregational story and its ongoing relevance in the twenty-first century. The CLA does this through free access to a research library of 225,000 books, pamphlets, periodicals, and manuscripts and a digital archive, with more than 110,000 images, many drawn from its New England’s Hidden Histories project. Throughout the year the CLA offers educational programs and research fellowships for students, scholars, churches, and anyone interested in Congregationalism’s influence on the American story. Learn more about the CLA on its website: www.congregationallibrary.org.


Conference Committee

The Rev’d Dr Charles Packer, International Congregational Fellowship, USA
Dr Kyle Roberts, Congregational Library & Archives, Boston, USA
The Rev’d Dr Janet Wootton, International Congregational Fellowship, UK