When School of Discipleship convenes on 6 July, it will mark the event’s 15th iteration.
School of Discipleship is a conference that brings theology to an audience largely consisting of university and TAFE students. The event’s first keynote speaker was theologian Rev Thorwald Lorenzen back in 2004. Subsequent keynotes have included Rev Chris Budden, Dr Deirdre Palmer, and Dr Liz Boaze.
School of Discipleship took place at the ACT’s Greenhills Conference Centre from 2004 to 2010. Since 2011, the School has met at the Namaroo conference centre in Chatswood.
2008 was a landmark year for the conference, with keynote speakers Dr Ched Myers and Dr Elaine Enns.
In a statement, Dr Myers and Dr Enns said that they enjoyed their time with the School, “the chilly venue [was] offset by the warm sense of community among participants.”
“ In our view, the importance of curating these sorts of spaces—where seminary, sanctuary, and streets intersect, and where body and spirit are nurtured by the gospel—cannot be overestimated,” they wrote.
“SOD is a strategic gathering where pressing issues are vetted, kindred spirits connected, and new leadership raised up. As such it is a gift to the church, and a small but significant demonstration project of good news to the broader society.”
World Vision Chief Advocate and Micah Challenge CEO Rev. Tim Costello was the keynote speaker in 2016. He told Insights that, “The School of Discipleship echoes the biblical message in contemporary times.”
“This evangelical message is expressed less in ‘you must be born again’ but more in ‘they left their nets and followed Him’,” Rev. Costello said.
“It is about discipleship that is costly, prophetic and courageous. I am encouraged that a decade on the School of Discipleship is still issuing the call to follow Jesus in fearful times when nations and groups are retribalising and turning inwards.”
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor