Lipscomb University

Christian Scholars' Conference


The following sections are formed to create both peer review and generative sessions within their respective disciplines. Section leaders (designated by an email address) and their committees typically represent a diversity of institutions and are responsible for two to three generative and peer review sessions each year. Appeals for submission and creating generative sessions in 2020 should be routed to members of the appropriate committees.

American Religion

  • Kathy Pulley, Missouri State University,
  • Douglas A. Foster, Abilene Christian University
  • Scott Billingsley, University of North Carolina, Pembroke
  • Richard T. Hughes, Lipscomb University
  • Joshua Fleer, Oakland University
  • Corey Markum, Freed-Hardeman University
  • Todd Brenneman, Faulkner University

Business and Economics

  • Andy Borchers, Lipscomb University,
  • Rob Touchstone, Lipscomb University
  • Allen W. Frazier, Harding University
  • Orneita Burton, Abilene Christian University
  • Russell Dabbs, Lubbock Christian University

Christianity, Literature and Language

  • Darryl Tippens, Abilene Christian University,
  • Susan Blassingame, Lubbock Christian University
  • Steve Weathers, Abilene Christian University

Civil Rights

  • Tanya Brice, Bowie State University,
  • Michelle Steele, Lipscomb University
  • William Lofton Turner, Lipscomb University
  • Joel Anderson, University of Arkansas, Little Rock

Creative Writing

  • John Struloeff, Pepperdine University,
  • Terry Engle, Harding University
  • Steve Weathers, Abilene Christian University.

Cross and Crescent: Intersections of Christianity and Islam

  • Trevor Thompson, University of Chicago,
  • Kelli Bryant Gibson, Abilene Christian University
  • Phil Lieberman, Vanderbilt University
  • John D. Barton, Pepperdine University

Early Career Scholars in Theological Disciplines

  • Laura Locke Estes, St. Louis University,
  • Noemí Palomares, Boston College
  • Angela Sims, St. Paul School of Theology, (Immediate Past Faculty Advisor)
  • Stanley Talbert, Union Theological Seminary, New York (Immediate Past Chair)

Film Studies

  • Joi Carr, Pepperdine University,
  • Miranda Banks, Emerson College
  • Stephen Parmelee, Pepperdine University

Gender Studies Section

  • Lynette Sharp Penya, Abilene Christian University,
  • Suzanne Macaluso, Abilene Christian University
  • Kristina Davis, Abilene Christian University

Health Science Section

  • Toby Rogers, Lubbock Christian University,
  • Jeff McCormack, Oklahoma Christian University
  • Scott Weston, Harding University
  • Marcia Straughn, Abilene Christian University
  • Leah Fullman, Faulkner University
  • Roger Davis, Lipscomb University, immediate past chair
  • Joe DeWeese, Lipscomb University

Landon Saunders Section: The Human Being at the Nexus of World and Faith

  • Kathy Pulley, Missouri State University,
  • Richard Beck, Abilene Christian University
  • Lee C. Camp, Lipscomb University
  • Mike Cope, Midland, Texas
  • Arthur Sutherland, Loyola University, Maryland

Missional Theology and World Christianity

  • Greg McKinzie, Fuller Theological Seminary,
  • Ben Langford, Oklahoma Christian University
  • Chris Flanders, Abilene Christian University
  • Jeremy Hegi, Lubbock Christian University

New Testament

  • Richard Wright, Abilene Christian University,
  • John Harrison, Oklahoma Christian University
  • Kindalee Pfremmer DeLong, Pepperdine University

Old Testament (Roberts Lecture in OT Studies)

  • Mark W. Hamilton, Abilene Christian University,
  • Rick Marrs, Pepperdine University
  • Mark Sneed, Lubbock Christian University
  • Phillip Camp, Lipscomb University

Patristics (Everett Ferguson Lecture in Early Christian Studies)

  • Tera Harmon, Abilene Christian University,
  • Trevor W. Thompson, University of Chicago
  • James E. Walters, Rochester College


  • George Parks, Independent Scholar,
  • Jay Brewster, Pepperdine University
  • Amanda Boston, Lubbock Christian University
  • Amanda Nichols, Oklahoma Christian University
  • Jon Lowrance, Lipscomb University
  • Ben Bruner, Harding University

Teaching, Learning & Technology

  • Mindi Thompson, Abilene Christian,
  • Tim Westbrook, Harding University
  • Peter Williams, Abilene Christian University

Practical Theology (beginning June 2019)

  • Gary S. Selby, Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan College,
  • Sara Barton, Pepperdine University
  • Carson Reed, Abilene Christian University
  • Charles Rix, Oklahoma Christian University
  • Tim Sensing, Abilene Christian University
  • Naomí Walters, Rochester College
  • Lauren Smelser White, Lipscomb University
  • Eric Wilson, Pepperdine University


The Practical Theology section of the Christian Scholars Conference exists to encourage research and engaged reflection about the integration of theology and practice. It explores the ways that theology is shaped by personal and social actions and habits, and it seeks to discover new possibilities for enacting theological reflection within diverse contexts of ministry and life. The Practical Theology section invites peer reviewed and generative sessions that deal with such topics as homiletics, worship, ministry education, pastoral care, missions, and spiritual formation.

Church and Academy (beginning June 2019)

  • Brandon Pierce, Stamford Church of Christ, Stamford, CT (
  • Raymond Carr, Pepperdine University
  • Heather Gorman, Johnson University
  • Paul Watson, Cole Mill Road Church of Christ, Durham, NC
  • Mark Wiebe, Lubbock Christian University


The impetus for a section on the ‘Church and the Academy’ grows out of a sense of a broadening gap between the church and the academy, as well as challenges in both institutions that could be met at least in part by a closer union between them. The purpose of the Church and Academy section, therefore, is to develop historical, theological, and social analysis on the relation between the church and the academy, especially within Stone-Campbell ecclesial contexts, through generative and peer review sessions at the Christian Scholars Conference. We hope this research effects three specific outcomes: to maintain and encourage the strong commitment to ecclesial life among scholarly practitioners within the academy, to encourage the development of lifelong scholarly engagement among ministers and other church leaders, and, thereby, to effect a more unified practical, intellectual, and spiritual union between the Church and the Academy that enriches the life of both institutions. 


The Church and Academy Section will be served by a section committee of no less than 4 and no more than 6 members. Each member agrees to serve 3 years with one member rotating off every year. The board must consist of at least one person who is a full time minister by some reasonable definition. The board must also consist of at least one woman and one person of color.

A ‘chair’ will be appointed each year by a vote of the committee whose function will be to organize an annual meeting with the committee and in consultation with the conference director, David Fleer, and to arrange the sessions at each conference. The committee will consult together to determine the nature and number of sessions (no less than 2 each year) and will assist in the process for selecting submitted papers/abstracts. 

Sections in Development:

  1. Engineering and Mission (Andy Borchers, Lipscomb University, temporary chair)

  2. Higher Education: Crises and Opportunities (Trace Herbert, Lipscomb University)

  3. Honors College (Joshua Fullman, Faulkner University)

  4. Interdisciplinary Studies

  5. Library Studies

  6. Major Book Reviews

  7. Philosophy

  8. Politics and Theology

  9. Practical Theology

  10. Theology