Faith Formation in a Secular Age


This key conference for church leaders will explore the theological thinking behind faith formation and discipleship for all. There will be reflections on the theology relating to the church’s ministry to children and young people, learning from the work in this area across the reformed tradition.

Professor Andy Root from Luther Seminary in the USA will deliver the keynote sessions and the day will be chaired by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.

Keynote 1 - What is a theological turn in ministry?

What exactly does it mean to make a theological turn in ministry? It is turning away from a technological perspective that sees ministry providing solutions or as a means to a goal, but it doesn't necessarily mean turning to ‘theology’. Rather, the theological turn in ministry turns to the ‘theological’. It seeks for the act of God in the lives and concrete experience of people. We will explore why and how this ‘turn’ matters immensely, particularly with regard to the young.

Keynote 2 - Ministry, the church and the melting of identity

One of the greatest pursuits for people in today’s secular age (especially those of younger generations) is to construct an identity for themselves. But as we have seen recently, the fluidity of our culture does not allow for our identities to be carved in stone. Instead our identities are always transitioning. This makes a faith commitment made in high school for instance, always open to being reconsidered. This fluidity of identity makes a ‘theological turn’ in ministry all the more necessary, especially in our ministry with children and young people.

Keynote 3 - Examining the changes impacting ministry

How does the church and the minister's role change with our secular age? Ministers and church leaders are regularly told, “The world is changing”. This comment usually refers to either technological changes like a digital landscape, or philosophical changes like postmodernity. While these perspectives have their place, this session will make a different assertion; that our most fundamental challenge is that God is no longer an assumed reality. Following historical transitions, we will explore how ministry, the church, and the role of leaders shift when belief in God and transcendence is optional. What is this new age we are in? And what does this means for the practice of ministry and future of Christianity?

Andy Root has written several books and is a sought after speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches. He is known for an engaging style that laces together stories, theological depth, and humour. He has lectured and presented all over the world, including South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and many places in Europe.

This conference is for all church leaders; Ministers, MDS, Children/Youth/Family workers, Elders, Readers, Deacons. The conference is eligible for Ministers Study Leave and FFY CMD Allowance. Those from other denominations are very welcome.


Date: Thursday October 4th

Time: 10:00 - 16:00

Price: £20

Venue: Wellington Church 77 Southpark Ave, Glasgow G12 8LE

Book your ticket now on Eventbrite!

For more information contact Suzi Farrant at the Church of Scotland.