2017 Symposium

Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization Coming March 30 - April 1

Published: Tuesday, February 7, 2017

In the World, but not of the World.Benedictine College’s Institute for Missionary Activity is preparing for its biggest event of the year, the annual Symposium on Advancing the New Evangelization.  The 2017 Symposium, set for March 31 and April 1 at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., boasts top Catholic speakers as well as dozens of additional papers and presentations from professors, field professionals, students and clergy. This year, there are also special pre-Symposium Workshops presented by FOCUS beginning on March 30. Registration for the Symposium and the pre-Symposium Workshops, along with additional information, is now available online.

“The theme of this year’s Symposium is ‘In the World, but Not of the World: Paradigms for the Evangelization of American Culture,’” said Matt Muller, associate director of the Institute for Missionary Activity at Benedictine College. “It is an invitation to reflect upon fundamental issues concerning evangelization in the cultural context of American life today.”

The two-day symposium includes four keynote addresses.

The four keynote speakers are:

  • Bishop James D. Conley, Bishop of the Diocese of Lincoln, NE
  • Rod Dreher, senior editor of The American Conservative and author of The Benedict Option
  • Katherine Lopez, editor-at-large of the National Review Online
  • Patrick Deneen, professor and chair of Constitutional Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

In addition to the four keynote speakers, there are four additional featured presenters this year. They are:

  • William Cavanaugh, director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology and professor of Catholic Studies at DePaul University
  • Angela Franks, professor in the Theological Institute for the New Evangelization at Saint John’s Seminary in Boston
  • David Lapp, research fellow at the Institute for Family Studies, Charlottesville, Virginia
  • David Schindler, Dean Emeritus of the John Paul II Institute and editor of Communio: International Catholic Review

There are also dozens of breakout sessions over the course of the two-day Symposium, covering everything from marriage and evangelization to constitutional issues regarding religious freedom and separation of church and state. Presenters at the colloquium sessions are from a variety of different institutions, organizations, and ministries. Previous symposia have featured speakers from Benedictine College, Ave Maria University, the Augustine Institute, Saint Louis University, University of Dallas, Marquette University, Justice for All, University of Kansas, Archdiocese of Omaha, the Center for Advanced Leadership and Catechetics, the Diocese of El Paso, and the USCCB Department of Justice, Peace, and Human Development, among many others.

The pre-Symposium Workshops, put on by missionaries from FOCUS, are designed to equip catechists, educators, clergy and parish leaders with practical tools for evangelization. These workshops are hands-on, high-paced, and designed for quick implementation and repetition.

“Come spend these two days together to learn from others and discover how to integrate Catholic thought and field experience to be more affective in the New Evangelization,” Muller said.

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been consistently named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.