Lipscomb University

Christian Scholars' Conference

Call for Abstracts


Civil Rights

The Churches of Christ, a largely Southern fellowship, has a tenuous history of race relations. However, our quest to take the biblical text literally serves as a strong foundation towards achieving racial and social justice in the US.  This section invites paper proposals from researchers in relevant fields in the social sciences and theology that examine the meaning of racial and social justice in the context of the church.  Furthermore, this section seeks models of racial and social justice in practice in churches that might inform the larger Church of Christ context.

Proposals of 300-400 words will be accepted through January 31.  Those submitting will be notified of the status of their proposals by February 15. Accepted proposals must be completed and submitted to the session chair by May 15.  Please send proposals and queries to Tanya Brice, Benedict College,  


Doctoral Students Session #1: “Theological Anthropology and Identity Construction”

This session will concern the relationship between theological anthropology and human identity formation in the history of Christian thought. Much contemporary scholarship is dedicated to elaborating and interrogating the role of Christian conceptions of the human being in processes of identity construction. We invite PhD students (at any stage) to join in that work by engaging in critical reflection upon these issues from a clear disciplinary perspective that speaks into a multi-disciplinary conversation. Papers may identify and critically evaluate implicit beliefs, practices, and values informing Christian claims about human salvation and/or flourishing, with far-reaching implications for identity formation (historically, materially, dogmatically, and so on).

Email your proposal of 300-500 words to Lauren Smelser White ( by February 21.. Three proposals will be chosen for presentation in consultation with relevant faculty (through “blind” evaluation). Final papers will be distributed in advance to the session participants 3-4 weeks before the conference; depending on the length of papers, some may be summarized in a presentation rather than read in full. The three doctoral students whose proposals are accepted will be eligible for up to $1,000 in reimbursement for travel, lodging, and registration.


Doctoral Students Session #2: “Issues in Teaching for Ministry: A Roundtable Discussion”

This panel seeks to cultivate theologically reflective conversation on the practice of teaching for ministry in undergraduate, graduate, and seminary contexts. Possible topics include, but are not limited to, diversity in the classroom, ends/objectives of theological education, the changing religious landscape, and concrete pedagogical practices. Compelling proposals will identify a problem or possibility in theological education, offer specific, informed reflection upon it, and raise a substantial question for discussing teaching for ministry in its diverse facets.

E-mail your proposal of 300-500 words to Lauren Smelser White ( by February 21. Three papers will be selected through blind review by a faculty panel. Final papers will be distributed to all session participants by May 13th. In order to facilitate substantive conversation, a maximum presentation time of 15 minutes will be strictly enforced; papers must not exceed 2,000 words. The three doctoral students whose proposals are accepted will be eligible for up to $1,000 in reimbursement for travel, lodging, and registration.


Business, Computing and Engineering Sections

We live in a world that cries out for justice on many fronts. Our millennial students are especially interested in justice issues and look to faculty for ways our disciplines can respond. At the same time, faculty and doctoral students in business, computing and engineering areas often address justice related issues in their scholarly efforts. We also bear a Christian duty in educating and inspiring young people to bring justice into the marketplace. 

In this Call for Abstracts, we invite business, computing and engineering scholars to gather June 8-10, 2016 at the Christian's Scholars Conference at Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN. Topics can include, but are not limited to:

Topics of special interest to the justice theme:
- Missional entrepreneurship (including Business as Mission (BAM))
- Humanitarian Engineering
- Related Research Topics
- Corporate social responsibility and triple bottom line
- Sustainable business models
- Spirituality and Leadership – including Servant Leadership
- Leading social enterprises
- Value centered leadership
- Business and religion – understanding each other
- Other Engineering and business related topics (such as ethical supply chains)
- Pedagogy
- Engineering and Business Missions
- Co-Curricular leadership activities in Colleges of Business
- Teaching social justice topics in business, computing and engineering courses

We plan to concentrate our sessions on Thursday and Friday, highlighted by a Thursday luncheon for business, computing and engineering faculty and doctoral students. Please email paper abstracts (maximum 500 word) or panel proposals to by February 29, 2016. All abstracts will undergo blind review. We will then organize one or more sessions based on these submissions.


Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

Papers are invited for any topic in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible or cognate literatures.  The organizers are particularly interested in papers on the history of biblical reception and on Old Testament theology, however conceived.  However, papers more closely focused on discrete exegetical, historical, or philological issues are also welcome.  For consideration, please send a title and brief abstract to Mark Hamilton at by January 31. Decisions on the status of the proposals will be made by February 15.


Creative Writing Section: Two Calls for Papers

On “To Kill a Mockingbird”

With the July 2015 release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman, scholars have been given a fresh opportunity to study the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird – not only to consider new possible interpretations of the classic, but also view the revisions Lee made from her early draft to the final version we all know so well. In line with the conference theme, our panel will focus on the themes of justice and judgment in these two novels. Papers should address one or both novels, as well as these two themes, but we invite a wide range of  approaches. Email your proposals of 300-500 words to John Struloeff ( by January 31. Decisions on the status of the proposals will be made by February 15.

The Poetry of Linda Pastan

?Poet and keynote speaker, Linda Pastan, is the author of more than a dozen books of poems, for which she has won many awards, including the Dylan Thomas Award and the Ruth Lilly Poetry prize. For this panel, we are seeking a broad range of papers on Pastan’s work. Possible themes might include family life, motherhood, aging, and grief, although additional thematic lenses are encouraged. Email your proposals of 300-500 words to John Struloeff ( by January 31. Decisions on the status of the proposals will be made by February 15.



The Patristics section of the Christian Scholars Conference issues an open call for papers pertaining to the field of Patristics. We particularly encourage papers that address Christianity in the Middle East up to the early medieval period, but other topics are also very welcome. This open session will coincide with the third annual Everett Ferguson Lecture in Early Christian Studies, to be given by Sidney Griffith and titled, “Christians at Home in the ‘World of Islam’: the Legacy of Christian Theology in Arabic."

Faculty members may submit proposals of 300-400 words describing the aim and scope of their papers. PhD students are invited to submit complete papers of approximately 10 pages, double-spaced. All proposals will be considered by a peer-review committee, which will organize one or two sessions, depending on the number and quality of proposals received.

Please send proposals to Jeff Childers ( no later than January 22, 2016. Paper proposals should include the title of the paper and a brief bio of the author, which will appear in the CSC program, if the paper is accepted. We will notify you whether your paper is accepted by February 15, 2016.


Gender and Women’s Studies Section

The Christian Scholars Conference is pursuing the creation of a new division, a Gender and Women’s Studies Section. During this first year, we are inviting the creation of panels and academic or non-academic papers connected to the discussions of gender and religion. The theme for CSC 2016 is Justice; therefore, the organizers are particularly interested in panels and papers that focus on the question of gender, justice and the church. For consideration, please send a title and brief abstract (85 -100 words) to Kristina Campos Davis at or Lynette Sharp Penya at  We will be accepting papers and panels on a rolling basis.


Updated 24 February 2016