2023 Somerville_Website Event

2023 Somerville Lecturer Prof. Joni Sancken

The Vancouver School of Theology is thrilled to announce its speaker for the 2023 Somerville Lecture. Professor Joni Sancken, who will be joining VST in the prestigious role of Butler Chair of Homiletics and Hermeneutics in January 2023, will be this year’s keynote speaker.

Sancken’s topic is especially timely in these days of turmoil and disruption. She will explore the impact of collective trauma and
practices of lament, storytelling and blessing as tools for individuals
and communities to grow in resilience.

The Somerville Lecture will be held at VST’s Epiphany Chapel and online on Thursday, October 5th at 7 pm (Pacific). While there is no charge to attend, registration for the event is required. To register, please visit the VST website at www.vst.edu/events.

The Somerville Fund was established in the 1990s by a group of students, and supported through the generosity of Bishop David Somerville to help VST become one of the places where students could come to learn about the spiritual side of life and pass on to others the insights and methods of seeking God’s presence. Since its launch, the Somerville Lecture has become one of VST’s most prominent offerings to the faith community.

Sancken (PhD, Toronto School of Theology, Emmanuel College) is Professor of Homiletics at United Theological Seminary in Dayton, OH and was previously Assistant Professor of Preaching and Practical Theology at Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, VA. Her approach to preaching is interdisciplinary and theological. Recent books include Words that Heal: Preaching Hope to Wounded Souls (Abingdon, 2019), All Our Griefs to Bear: Responding with Resilience After Collective Trauma (Herald Press, 2022,) and Getting to God: Preaching Good News in a Troubled World (co-authored) (Cascade, 2023.)

Sancken is passionate about supporting and encouraging pastors and church leaders. She is an ordained pastor in Mennonite Church USA.

The Butler Chair in Homiletics & Biblical Interpretation is intended to strengthen the preaching ministry of the Church and to equip people to proclaim the gospel with vigor and clarity. It is one of only two in Canada and among a very few in the world supported by an endowment.