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EMS South Central Regional meeting - APRIL 7, 2018

“Mission and Evangelism in a Secularizing World”

Int'l Linguistics Center, Dallas, TX


  Register here now!

Regular registration prices available until March 18  

Call for Papers

Secularization has typically been described as that process by which a society attempts to separate and marginalize religious values and institutions from the broader culture and public sphere. Secularization has been largely discussed in the context of the Enlightenment and modernization in Europe and countries of predominantly European descent populations. However, similar processes and influences are increasingly evident in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Numerous theoretical and practical questions arise from this phenomenon:


  • Can the “religious” be really separated from the “secular” either conceptually or practically? What are the implications of the answer to this question for evangelism, discipleship, ecclesiology, and social action?
  • Have missionaries inadvertently been agents of secularization, as is sometimes claimed? If so, how should this be addressed today?
  • How do the processes and impact of secularization differ in various cultural and regional contexts, e.g. in Western democracies, in totalitarian societies, in industrializing and modernizing societies?
  • How might evangelism and mission methods be contextualized to respond to the influences of secularization?
  • In what ways are various forms of religious fundamentalism a reaction to the forces of secularization, and what are the implications of these responses for mission praxis?
  • How have indigenous expressions of Christianity been influenced by or responded to secularization?
  • How is secularism making evangelism, discipleship, and church planting more complex, and what are some of the creative paths forward to respond meaningfully to these complexities?

 Papers are solicited that address these and other related topics from missiological, theological, historical, sociological, and/or regional perspectives.

Proposal Submission Instructions

Paper proposals for the South Central regional gathering can be sent to Dr. Robin Harris, regional Vice President (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Proposals should include the presenter’s name, institutional or other affiliation, presentation title, and a 150-200 word abstract. Panel and roundtable proposals are also welcome. 


The EXTENDED deadline for submission of abstracts is January 31, 2018. Proposal acceptance or rejection notices will be sent by the first week of February. Selected papers presented at the regional meetings will be invited to be presented at the annual EMS meeting in Dallas, October 12-14, 2018, leading to the possibility of being published as a chapter in the EMS Annual Compendium for 2019.

Past Events

2017 - 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)

Photos     Recordings     Schedule

2016 - 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.  


2015 - 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. 


2014 - 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.

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