The School of Psychology

Integration Symposium

Feb 18-20, 2015

Join us as Jenell Williams Paris, PhD presents
"Courageous Leadership in Christian Sex/Gender Conflicts"

**Registration for this event is now closed. We anticipate limited seating for walk-up registrants at each session.**

About Our Speaker

Jenell Williams ParisThe End of Sexual Identity book cover

Jenell Williams Paris (Ph.D., American University) is professor of anthropology at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. She has written for such publications as Christianity Today, Books & Culture and Christian Scholar's Review. Her books include The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex is Too Important to Define Who We Are, Birth Control for Christians, Urban Disciples and Introducing Cultural Anthropology: A Christian Perspective.


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Registration
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Lecture 1 and Responses - Beginning:

Christians have long asked the question, “How should we respond to homosexuality?” Far from being answered with consensus, the question itself is shifting.

Many Christians are calling for a reframing, a new mode of discourse, with new questions, new conversation partners, and new outcomes. This impulse is grounded in important social and ecclesial shifts, which will be described.

When we begin engaging these issues (beginning for the first time, or just beginning a new day), who is the “we” that engages, what is it that we engage, and what are our goals and purposes?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Registration
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Lecture 2 and Responses - Conflicting:

As a move toward perceiving “the pattern of this world”, and discerning how and whether we should conform to it, this talk describes how same-sex sexuality has been understood in our society over time, and how those understandings have shaped Christian thought and practice.

We will consider the sex-gender complex as a difficult conflict, and explore personal, corporate, and spiritual challenges and opportunities embedded in intractable conflict.

Friday, February 20, 2015

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Registration
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon Lecture 3 and Responses - Leading:

Courageous leadership in this domain requires a willingness and capacity to engage conflict productively. While others avoid, deny, whitewash, or inflame the situation, true leadership will flow from people and organizations willing to look clearly, name plainly, and discern together how to proceed.

Social conflict invokes heightened stress, and easily triggers difficult behaviors. Leaders will need to learn strategies of resolution and reconciliation, and how to respect incomplete closure and impassable divides.

Beginning with God’s mercy and with worship, we may be shaped as leaders who can guide others through challenging changes in both church and society.
The Fuller Symposium on the Integration of Psychology and Theology was established to encourage the discovery of new relationships between the Christian faith and the disciplines of psychology. For more information visit
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