College Theology SocietyServing Church and Academy Since 1954

The Art and Practice of Teaching Theology

2024 Call for Papers

Julia Brumbaugh, Regis University (CO)

Dana Dillon, Providence College (RI)


The Art and Practice of Teaching Theology section of the CTS invites paper and panel proposals that address pedagogical issues related to the conference theme: “Vulnerability and Flourishing.” Vulnerability is multivalent.  Someone or an idea that is invulnerable cannot grow or change, but neither can they be harmed by external agents or forces. Teaching always involves accompanying learners on journeys in a space of potentiality – for both harm and good. Flourishing names an expansive image of well-being, which echoes Irenaus’ famous axiom, the glory of God is the human being fully alive. Proposals may include, but are not limited to:

  • How are educational contexts (classrooms, etc.) sites of either or both vulnerability and flourishing, and what might those possibilities mean for the art and practice of teaching?

  • What (if any) are appropriate means for engaging students’ vulnerabilities in the context of teaching and learning?

  • What kinds of  vulnerability are appropriate and even necessary conditions of learning? How are these effectively invited into the learning and teaching of theology? (Consider the sense of vulnerability involved in not-knowing, or Brene Brown’s analysis of vulnerability as (potentially) the birthplace of creativity and growth.)

  • How does a concern with vulnerability in teaching and learning in theology invite consideration of related topics, including any of these: the operations of power in classrooms and curricula; abuse and exploitations of students in educational programs and experiences; use of and resources for trauma-informed pedagogy; navigation of particular post-pandemic vulnerabilities; the impact of marginalized identities on vulnerability and flourishing in the classroom; the impact of gun violence on US classrooms as sites of vulnerability; strategies for engaging the clergy sex abuse crisis in the context of teaching theology.

  • How does the vulnerability and flourishing of teachers (as opposed to students) operate or matter for the practice or art of teaching?

  • How does the (economic) vulnerability of smaller Catholic universities make an impact on curricula and what is possible and important in these contexts?

  • How do issues of race, gender, and ethnicity shape experiences of vulnerability and flourishing in the classroom?

  • Other topics related to the conference theme which focus on the art and practice of teaching theology, especially to undergraduates.

Preference will be given to collaborative and interdisciplinary papers and presentations. Proposals for pedagogically creative formats are welcome as are proposals for traditional paper presentations.

Proposals should be 250-500 words in length and include:

  • one’s current institutional affiliation and position.

  • a working title

  • a brief description of methodology

  • a selected bibliography

  • anticipated AV needs 

Proposals should be emailed to both conveners by December 15, 2023. Scholars will be notified of the status of their proposals by mid-January.

The College Theology Society is a registered, non-profit professional society and a Related Scholarly Organization of the American Academy of Religion.


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