Theology for Social Change

One critique of American Evangelicalism is that its theology fosters a fragmented spirituality, separating private/vertical faith from its social/horizontal implications. So when social issues, such as poverty, health care, corporate responsibility, crime, addiction, governmental policy or race relations, rise in the headlines or the home front, the church’s response is often mixed or absent. Building upon Wesleyan practices of social transformation and renewal, this cohort conversation pursues practical questions about the church’s, the preacher’s and the lay community of believers’ calling in the face of a society’s hopes and challenges. This cohort makes public theology a matter of formation and mission. Participants in this cohort will:

  • Deepen their biblical and theological foundation for engagement in the work of social transformation–both as regards the identification of needed change and the spiritual and social resources for change.
  • Build on their theological foundation with particular insights that can be framed as related to issues of public theological engagement.
  • Select a particular topic/issue in public theology through which the four courses of the track will be processed, offering their case learning to peers.
  • Demonstrate a grasp of the history of the topic and knowledge of the critical issues, terminology, and methodology utilized in forging the Ministry Transformation Project.

Cohort Syllabi

DM915 Seminar I Theological Foundations for Social Change
DM916 Seminar II Public Theology- Surveying the Issues
DM917 Seminar III Methods in Social Transformation
DM918 Seminar IV Social Entrepreneurs and Change Agents in the Contemporary Context

Download the Cohort Card


Dr. Kevin KinghornDr. Kevin Kinghorn is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Asbury Seminary. He has published articles in philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, epistemology and philosophy of action. He has also written a book, The Decision of Faith: Can Christian Beliefs Be Freely Chosen? (T&T Clark, 2005). In 2008, Dr. Kinghorn was elected to the theology faculty at Oxford University.

Dr. Charles “Chuck” GutensonDr. Charles “Chuck” Gutenson is a church consultant and former Chief Operating Officer of Sojourners ( He previously served 10 years at Asbury Seminary in Kentucky, most recently as the Professor of Theology and Philosophy. He is a member of the International Society of Theta Phi, an honor society for theological students, scholars in the field of religion, and outstanding religious leaders. Chuck is the author of three books and numerous articles on a variety of theological and philosophical topics.