(September 4, 2013)

Inaugural lecture for new speaker series "Religion Matters" features Rev. Gregory Syler

SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary's Christian Leadership Center (CLC) and the Religious Studies Department are hosting Reverend Gregory Syler on campus as the inaugural lecturer in a new speaker series on intellectual and confessional engagements with religion called "Religion Matters." Syler will deliver a presentation entitled "Emergent Christianity and the Once-'Perplexed Profession'" on Wednesday, September 11, from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Whited Room. The event is free and open to the public.

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Reverend Gregory Syler

Syler's presentation is based on research by renowned Christian theological-ethicist H. Richard Neibuhr from 1956. Neibuhr surveyed theological education in North America and concluded that the Christian ministry is a "perplexed profession," noting that there may be an "emerging new conception of the ministry." "Emergent Christianity," according to scholars, is a dramatic period in which "old truths are brought forth and conventional customs are called into question."

The presentation will focus on the ways in which Emergent Christianity impacts leadership in communities of faith; how developments in faith communities might further inform university, denominational and seminary formation for the ministry; and explore how communities of faith prosper.

Syler is an Episcopal priest and rector of St. George's Church in Valley Lee, Maryland. He received a Master of Divinity from the University of Chicago and a post-graduate diploma in Anglican Studies from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virgina. He has served the Episcopal Church and Diocese of Washington on many levels and is regularly engaged in the conversation about "emergent" or "emergence" Christianity. Syler blogs at From the Rectory Porch and is a regular contributor to blogs for the Episcopal Diocese of Washington and Episcopal Church Foundation's Vital Practices.

Syler will also be leading a CLC seminar, meeting with students, and lecturing for Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Dr. Spencer Dew's class.