2021 SOUTH CENTRAL REGIONAL CONFERENCE
Communication(s) and Mission
This year’s plenary speaker is Dr. Duane H. Elmer, retired from Trinity International University where he held the G. W. Aldeen Professor of International Studies and distinguished professor of Educational Studies, Ph.D. program. Though much of his career has focused on higher education, Dr. Elmer served with his family as missionaries in South Africa, has traveled and taught in over 75 countries for mission agencies, NGO’s and theological schools, and has also been a trainer for several Fortune 500 corporations. Most of his work related to cultural adjustment, interpersonal relationships, cross-cultural conflict and educational development. Dr. Elmer is perhaps most widely known as the author of Cross-Cultural ServanthoodandCross-Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry published by Inter Varsity Press and used as textbooks in several countries.
The topic of this year’s conference is “Communication(s) and Mission.” Communication(s) is at the heartbeat of God’s interaction with humanity. God has communicated with us by revealing himself through his Word (the Bible), becoming flesh as the Word (Emmanuel) and empowering us through the Holy Spirit with gifts and means of communication(s), enabling us to participate in his mission to others. Communication(s) connects with mission and all that it entails through a vast diversity of avenues.
Possible topics include but are not limited to:
How language affects communication of the gospel message in one’s own, intercultural or multicultural societies
Contributions from theological disciplines (biblical studies, systematic theology, Christian history, homiletics, pastoral theology, missiology, pastoral counseling) that connect communication(s) with mission
Contemporary challenges of mission stemming from communication(s) practice, ideology or world view
Explorations of key global missiological thinkers and practitioners connecting communication(s) with mission; contextualization is a prime example.
Communication(s) vehicles and mission such as art, music, orality, media, preaching, storying, and social media
Global case studies examining communication(s) and mission, including stories of success and failure.
Join us in exploring the intersection of communication and mission and learning how best to use the tools God has given us to bring Christ to the nations!
The South Central Region covers the following states:
This year’s regional turned into a Zoom conference, due to COVID-10 restrictions. By God’s grace, it ended up being our largest regional yet! We had 110 registrants from 7 states in the US and one person Zoomed in from Poland. These attendees represented over 40 organizations. The two plenaries were co-presented by Dr. William (Bill) Taylor and Dr. Michael A. Ortiz. In addition, the conference schedule featured 25 papers presented in 5 concurrent sessions, averaging 60+ people in attendance. Break times and lunch featured topic-focused discussion and prayer in each of the five Zoom rooms. We offered Zoom training for attendees, presenters, and the ten Zoom room monitors who facilitated the meeting. Those Zoom training documents are available at this Google folder. Only a few of the 28 presenters had connection difficulties, and they were still able to present their material, just with limited PPT capability. We experienced a great deal of joy as we saw the blessing of God on this conference.
The 2019 regional conference for South Central EMS was held on March 2nd. There were 19 papers presented plus a plenary session by Dr. Werner Mischke on “An Honor-Bearing Gospel for Shame-Fueled Crises” and a closing panel on “In Contexts of Crisis, Does the Gospel of the Kingdom Better Address the Question of Identity?” Conference attendees numbered approximately 75 people, from 8 states and 25 organizations/schools. Thank you to our volunteers and campus hosts who helped us make this event possible. (Submitted by Robin Harris, PhD, South Central VP)
The 2018 regional conference for South Central EMS was held on April 7, our second “stand alone” conference for this region. The conference featured 17 papers plus a plenary session by Dr. Raphael Anzenberger on “Engaging the Secular Mind: An Urgent Call to the American Church” and a closing panel on “The Impact of Honor -Shame Issues on Mission and Evangelism.” Conference attendees numbered approximately 70 people, from 4 states and 15 organizations/schools. Once again, strong participation from volunteers and the EMS Logistics Coordinator, Bill Harris, made the conference run smoothly. (Submitted by Robin Harris, PhD, South Central VP)
The 2017 South Central EMS regional conference in Dallas took place on March 4 and was the first “stand alone” conference for this region of EMS. We were delighted at the outstanding level of participation! The conference featured 21 papers and 2 plenary sessions, plus vibrant multi-cultural worship and opportunities for networking. There were 85 registrants from 8 states, 7 schools, and 35 agencies, organizations, and/or churches. I’m grateful for the support of Dr. Robert Priest, EMS president, who agreed to come as a plenary speaker, for the large number of volunteers that helped things run smoothly, and for the logistics coordination provided by EMS Logistics Coordinator Bill Harris. (Submitted by Robin Harris, PhD, South Central VP)
The EMS South Central Regional meeting was held in conjunction with ETS and EPS Regional Meetings at Dallas Semianry on April 1-2. Overall there were about 300 people in attendance for all three societies. EMS members had about 70 people participate in our sessions where we had fourteen papers presented on the theme of “Missions and the Local Church.” Several papers were recommended to the national committee for the selection process for the annual EMS meeting in October and for possible selection for our national publications.
The South Central Region held its regional annual meeting in conjunction with the ETS Regional Meeting at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary April 10-11, 2015. We had two EMS tracks at our regional meeting – one being the national theme of “Controversies in Missions;” the other was “General Important Topics in Missions.” We had about 55 members in attendance and nine excellent papers presented, with six chosen as possible for presentation at the national meeting in September.
The EMS South Central Region held its regional meeting together with the Evangelical Theological Society Southwest Region meeting at Southwestern Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, TX on March 7-8,. Several papers were presented on the national theme for 2014 – Diaspora Missiology. There were about 90 in attendance for this joint conference.