Andy Root & Audrey West…For Free!

Today, as you’ve no doubt heard, is “Giving Tuesday,” the day recently invented and named to compete with “Black Friday,” and “Cyber Monday” and that seeks to invite us to turn for a few moments from seeking bargains to make a difference through our charitable giving. Which means that by the time you read this post you’ve likely already received several worthy requests today. (And, if you’re on the LTSP mailing list, you’ve received on from me today on behalf of our students! And if you feel left out, you can read about that here. 🙂 )

But as this is Giving Tuesday, I’d like also to give you something. A chance to hear two brilliant speakers and leaders of the church…next Monday, December 8…for free. Yes, that’s meant to be a genuine gift.

So in case you haven’t heard yet, we’re having a day of lectures and workshops and worship and fellowship here at The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia next Monday. The theme for the day? Faith Formation and the Future of the Church. Seriously, who wouldn’t want to talk about that?

And even more seriously, who wouldn’t want to listen to Andy Root and Audrey West talk about that with us?

The day starts at 9:30 with a Keynote address by Audrey West on “Recalling the Stories: Faith Formation for Every Age.”

At 11:45 to 11:45 we have several workshops on
“Prepping for Epiphany: Preaching Mark’s Gospel,”
“Moving Beyond Millennial Anxiety: Taking a Theological Turn in Ministry to Young People with Dietrich Bonhoeffer”
“Nurturing Vibrant Congregations”
and more!

Noon is worship together, followed by lunch at 12:30 and another Keynote at 1:00, this one by Andy Root on “The Church and the Melting of Identity.”

We’ll conclude with some conversation and have you on your way by 2:15 to beat the afternoon traffic.

And just in case this combination of great speakers, intriguing workshops, inspiring worship, and scintillating conversation isn’t quite enough to bring you out for the day…did I mention the whole day is free? Yes, free! (Okay, so if you want the lunch that’s provided, you need to pay for that, but you can also bring your own.)

It should be a wonderful day, and I hope you can make it. I’ll put a link below where you can register (both for the day and boxed lunches, which will help us prepare for your visit).

In case you’re wondering a bit more about our keynote presenters, I’ll put a little info. below, but the key thing to know is that they are great people and great presenters and you won’t want to miss them…especially when they’re here for free (did I mention that?? 🙂 ).

Even if you can’t come, we will live stream and/or archive the keynotes so you can enjoy them from a distance. Check the LTSP website for more details.

Finally, a favor: help me get the word out about this great (and free!) event by posting it on your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts. Why not, after all, share the love on this Giving Tuesday!


Dr. Audrey West served from 2000-2008 as Associate Professor of New Testament at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, where she continues to teach occasionally in the ACTS DMin in Preaching program. She holds a BS from the University of California, Davis, an MDiv and STM from Yale University, and a PhD from Duke University. Her exegetical and homiletical essays have been published in Christian Century, Currents in Theology and Mission, Lutheran Woman Today, and in Feasting on the Word, a lectionary preaching resource published by Westminster John Knox. Audrey is the recipient of the Associated Church Press “Award of Excellence” for her 2004 study on the parables, “Everyday Surprises: The Parables of Jesus,” published by Lutheran Woman Today.  Dr. West is a regular contributor to

Andrew Root, PhD (Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Olson Baalson Associate Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary. He is most recently the author of Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross (Fortress, 2014) and Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (Baker, 2014).  He has also written The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (titles include Taking Theology to Youth Ministry, Taking the Cross to Youth Ministry, Unpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry, and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry).  In 2012  his book The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, IVP, 2011) was Christianity Today Book of Merit.  He has written a number of other books on ministry and theology such as The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Baker Academic, 2010), The Promise of Despair (Abingdon, 2010), Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (IVP, 2007) and Relationships Unfiltered (Zondervan/YS, 2009).  Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries, and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their two dogs. When not reading, writing, or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies. Dr. Root’s website is at

PS: You’re also totally invited to my inauguration on Sunday. Details can be found here. That’s for free too :), but I wanted especially to let you know about the events here on Monday!