Nurture 2013


Nurture 2013 is in the past.

A focus on connections between spiritual calling and career vocation will stream through the activities of Lipscomb University’s 2013 Nurture conference, Feb. 25-26. The conference features keynote speaker Dr. Gordon T. Smith, author of Courage and Calling and a partner in SoulBusiness, a company providing seminars, lectures and courses for businesses.

The annual Nurture conference, held by Lipscomb’s Institute for Christian Spirituality (ICS), features nationally recognized leaders in Christian spirituality in a two-day event offering keynote addresses, workshops and a luncheon. Cost is $95 for the public and $65 for ministers for the entire event. The special Tuesday, Feb. 26, luncheon with Smith may be added for $10.

To register for Nurture 2013, go to or contact Frank Guertin at 615.966.5352.

Focused on spiritual formation, the conference also includes a contemplative prayer service and special sessions led by Lipscomb University and ICS faculty on spiritual direction, missional formation, spiritual formation for adolescents and more. Previous Nurture speakers include Glandion Carney, Gary Moon, Chris Webb and John Ortberg.

Smith, president and professor of systematic and spiritual theology at Ambrose University College and Seminary, will speak throughout the conference on vocation and calling and will interact with participants at the luncheon. Along with his SoulBusiness partner Dr. Ralph McCall, Smith has taught the course, “The Soul of the Entrepreneur,” in a number of settings and provides consultancy services for leaders in both the world of business and in non-profit organizations.

Smith will kick off the conference at 7 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, with a special session at the home of Lipscomb President L. Randolph Lowry and his wife, Rhonda, a senior ICS fellow. On Tuesday, Feb. 26, the conference will offer several events held on the university campus including a contemplative prayer service at 9:30 a.m. in the Ezell Center, a talk by Smith in Allen Arena at 10:55 a.m., a luncheon for registered participants at 12:15 p.m. in the Ezell Center and workshop sessions from 1:30-5:00 p.m. in venues throughout campus.

Workshops will be conducted by ICS theologians and other local experts in spiritual formation. The slate of sessions at this year's conference will include:

  • Moving Beyond "Training Fleas":  Spiritual Formation of Adolescents - Walter Surdacki
  • Moving Deeper into God's Embrace: Bernard of Clairvaux (2 hour session) - Jackie L. Halstead
  • Listen To Your Life: The Sacred Gift of Spiritual Direction (2 hour session) - Lisa Durr and Renee Farkas
  • Missional Formation: God's Redemptive Narrative - Earl Lavender and Frank Guertin
  • Missional Formation: Training into God's Mission of Rescue - Earl Lavender
  • Humility and the Way of the Desert - Frank Guertin


About Gordon T. Smith

Smith has been the president of Ambrose University College and Seminary located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada since August 2012. Ambrose University includes a range of undergraduate programs, and Ambrose Seminary is a fully accredited, graduate-level institution of theological formation.

Previously, Smith served as vice president and academic dean of Regent College, in Vancouver, he taught theology at Canadian Theological Seminary, and he served as the president of reSource Leadership International, an agency that seeks to foster excellence in theological education in the developing world.

He is the author of a number of books, including The Voice of JesusTransforming Conversion and Courage and Calling. His writings focus on the theology of conversion, the nature and practice of discernment and the place of vocation in the life of a Christian. He is currently working on books about the meaning of the Lord’s Supper in Christian spirituality and the place of confession and repentance in the life of a Christian community.


About the Institute for Christian Spirituality

Building on the growing national movement that emphasizes personal spiritual development through spiritual disciplines and spiritual mentorships, ICS provides academic degrees, certificate programs and public seminars aimed at deepening Christian spirituality in everyday life. ICS also offers in-depth resources and scholarly research on spiritual formation in the U.S. and internationally.