A Short History of Kingdom Conference

Historical recap of Kingdom Conference: Dr. Robbie Danielson:

By: Christine Pohl

Since the fall of 1989, Asbury Theological Seminary has set aside a week, or portions of a week, to focus on concerns about mission, mercy, and justice in the world today.  Combining chapel services and talkback sessions, a beloved international potluck dinner, forums and workshops, shared meals and special guests, the week has been designed to challenge our community to a deeper and fuller vision of God’s Kingdom. Over the years, additional activities during the week have included: a rice and beans solidarity meal, concerts from nationally known musicians and local worship leaders, international student choirs, kingdom prayer, soccer and ping pong tournaments, and hosting scores of representatives of mission and justice organizations.  

Originating from a shared vision among students and faculty members in the ESJ School and the Department of Church and Society, the conference has attempted to model an integration of commitments to mission, evangelism, compassion and justice. The conference has also provided an opportunity to celebrate the ways in which the diversity of the Kingdom has come to Wilmore in the form of Asbury students and their families from around the world.

Over the years, the conference has been organized around various themes and has brought in internationally recognized speakers that bring special insight and experience to particular topics.  At times, ATS faculty members have been the primary speakers because of their areas of expertise.  For many years, Kingdom Conference involved four chapel services in Estes Chapel (Tuesday-Friday); they were shaped by the Kingdom Conference Taskforce.

The seminary has provided financial support for the Conference, and, in some cases, a course reduction for the faculty member who chairs the Kingdom Conference Taskforce.  Leadership has been provided by faculty and students, and has included faculty members:  Darrell Whiteman and John Kilner (the faculty initiators), Christine Pohl, Eunice Irwin, Chris Kiesling, Gregg Okesson, and Steve Ybarrola.  The leadership team was assisted by staff from the ESJ School, STF school, the Chapel Office, and the Beeson Center.   The conference is presently led by students and ESJ faculty members. The international potluck is now organized by students.  

This annual conference has been an important part of the formation process of Asbury students and has been noted in ATS accrediting documents as an important co-curricular dimension of the seminary’s Christian formation programs.

Personal historical reflection: Dr. Christine Pohl:

Kingdom Conference: 1989-2017

Year Main Speakers Musician
1989 Eugene Nida & Gerry Phelps Randy Stonehill
1990 Samuel Escobar John Michael Talbot
1991 Bill Pannell & Ted Ward Ken Medema
1992 Jonathan Bonk & Ravi Zacharias
1993 Jackie Pullinger Steve Camp
1994 Ajith Fernando & Tom Sine Doug Elzroth & Cynthia Newland
1995 Sam Kamaleson John Fischer
1996 Miriam Adeney & Richard Mouw Bryan Duncan
1997 Tom Wolf & Glenn Kaiser Glenn Kaiser
1998 Viv Grigg
1999 Clive Calver & Al Vom Steeg Doug Elzroth & Cynthia Newland
2000 C. Rene Padilla & Harold Dean Trulear
2001 Jeanette Yep & Bruce Olsson Martyn Joseph
2002 Jackie Pullinger Michael Card
2003 Tite Tienou & Keith Phillips Angela DePrima
2004 Raymond Rivera & Gary Haugen Wesley Putnam
2005 Howard Snyder, Chris Accornero, Karen Bates, Sandra Richter, Randy Woodley (in house) Uday Balasundaram (in house)
2006 Christine Pohl, Eunice Irwin, Steve Ybarrola,

Roland Wells, Jr. & Chuck Fenrick

Fernando Ortega
2007 Miriam Adeney & Robert Priest
2008 Sharon Gramby-Sobukwe & Augustin Vencer, Jr. Sam Augsburger & friends (local)
2009 Swee Hong Lim & Matt Russell Inchai & Ruth Srisuwan
2010 Viv Grigg & Keith Wasserman
2011 Jorge Acevedo & Narry Santos Kerry Dorrell (local)
2012  Michael Rynkiewich, Miriam Adeney, Bob Rhoden
2013 Graham Cray & Jay Moon
2014 (with Asbury Project) Tetsuano Yamamori
2015 Sue Russell, Tim Tennent, Foley Beach
2016 Kirk Sims (one day)
2017 Ajith Fernando
2018 Todd Johnson