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March 13, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 3:45 pm

Ministerial Association Theological Symposium

The Evangelical Covenant Church occupies a unique place among denominations.  Like others, we emphasize God’s Word.  We also emphasize freedom in Christ.  At times, this two-fold reality is helpful and healthy, and at other times it is confusing and challenging.  This symposium is intended to help pastors and other key church leaders explore how these two emphases work together, and how they are reflected in specific areas of our life and ministry as a denomination.


$10 suggested donation to be collected at the door


  • Stephen Chester (Professor of New Testament, North Park Theological Seminary)
  • Dwight Perry (Dean of Faculty, North Park Theological Seminary)
  • Klyne Snodgrass (North Park Theological Seminary, emeritus)
  • Richard Theilen (Salem Covenant Church, Pennock)
  • Kyliah Clarke Villa (Crosstown Covenant Church, Minneapolis)


  • Freedom and Boundaries in the Covenant (Rich Theilen). Although the Covenant emphasizes freedom, it has always set some basic limits.  In this presentation, we will see examples of how our Covenant founders and other leaders have addressed several areas of disagreement.  We will also reflect on Psalm 119:63, which is central to our Covenant identity, and Paul’s statement that, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”
  • Biblical Interpretation and Authority (Stephen Chester). The Covenant affirms that the Bible is the Word of God and the only perfect rule for faith, doctrine, and conduct.  Yet there are differing approaches people can take to interpreting and applying Scripture.  In this session, we will explore some of the issues and considerations around handling the biblical text in a way that respects and reflects Scripture at its best.
  • The Covenant’s Practice of Baptism (Kyliah Clarke Villa). The Covenant recognizes baptism as a sacrament, yet it is intentionally open on the question of believer vs. infant baptism and requires Covenant pastors to administer both. This presentation will address some reasons for differing perspectives, and how our openness on the issue reflects our commitments to both biblical teaching and theological freedom.
  • Women in Ministry (Klyne Snodgrass). Many godly people question whether or not women should be encouraged to pursue any and every form of ministry, including pastoral ministry.  As Covenanters, we affirm the full participation of women in ministry, and this presentation will demonstrate how our position reflects biblical teaching and sound theology, and is not simply a cultural or convenient accommodation.
  • Human Sexuality (Dwight Perry). Questions and conflict around human sexuality dominate our culture and are of vital importance to the Church.  In this presentation, we will explore how our Covenant perspective fits the biblical view, and how it respects and reflects our denomination’s historic principles and practice of theological freedom.

Vocational Growth Credit:

Participation in this event may be applied toward the annual denominational requirements for vocational growth.

The Theological Symposium is sponsored by the Northwest Conference Ministerial Association, with Support by Minnehaha Academy and Solid Rock School of Discipleship.



March 13, 2018
8:30 am - 3:45 pm
Event Category:


Salem Covenant Church
2655 5th St NW
New Brighton, MN 55112 United States