Are you interested in the intellectual life of the Christian faith?
If you answered ‘yes’ to those two questions, I’ve got a suggestion for you.
One of the professional ‘guilds’ of which I am a member is the Wesleyan Theological Society. The annual meeting of the WTS is upcoming on March 2-3 at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tennessee. I thought the annual meeting’s approach was as good a time as any to highlight the work of the society — and suggest it as a possibility for pastors, grad students, and interested laity.
If you think an academic guild sounds a little too highbrow, I’d urge you to think again. While some guild meetings I go to for other organizations are made up solely of teaching scholars and graduate students, the Wesleyan Theological Society tends to draw from a somewhat wider demographic. Every year I meet pastors and even undergraduates who have come out of pure interest.
Another benefit is the way that many parts of the Wesleyan world are represented. As a United Methodist, I’ll be in the minority in a crowd that will include Nazarenes, Free Methodists, Wesleyans, Church of God folk, and others. It makes for a good mix.
I think the reason the WTS is such a lively guild is that it is a group of people who are all connected to a common tradition – the Wesleyan one – rather than simply sharing academic commonalities. That means society members’ intellectual affinities are often matched by spiritual affinities. And it means that the various presentations you’ll attend at the society meeting are often being made by people who really think there’s something at stake in what is going on.
So it’s worth a look — and it’s pretty easy to join, too!