History of the SSPWT
SOCIETY BEGINS: June, 1998, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA
Five faculty members met under the auspices of the Wesleyan Center for Twenty-First Century Studies to organize the Society. The group (Michael Leffel & Brad Strawn, Point Loma Nazarene University; Warren Brown, Fuller Seminary School of Psychology; Doug Hardy & Jan Lanham, Eastern Nazarene College) became the Organizing Committee of the Society and began planning the first conference.
1ST ANNUAL CONFERENCE: February, 1999, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA
Inaugural symposium held as part of the Wesleyan Center’s annual conference. Keynote address by Dr. Newton Malony, Fuller Seminary School of Psychology.
2ND ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March, 2000, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY
First full-fledged conference of the Society, for which the keynote address was brought by Dr. Gregory Clapper, University of Indianapolis.
3RD ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March, 2001, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA
Keynote address by Dr. Albert Rossi, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. First executive council elected by the membership for a two-year period: Brad Strawn, president; Doug Hardy, program; Ron Wright, communications.
4TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March, 2002, Hobe Sound, FL
Psychology track sponsored by SSPWT at the annual meeting of the Wesleyan Theological Society. Decision made to schedule future conferences in conjunction with the Wesleyan Philosophical Society (WPS) and the Wesleyan Theological Society (WTS).
5TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March, 2003, Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, KY
Conference held jointly with the Wesleyan Philosophical Society as a pre-conference event for the annual WTS meeting. 77 people registered for the joint-meeting of SSPWT and the WPS. The meeting opened with a banquet featuring keynote speaker, James Fowler, the Charles Howard Candler professor of Theology and Human Development and Director of the Center for Ethics in Public Policy and the Professions at Emory University, Atlanta. Indiana Wesleyan University faculty members Michael Boivin (Psychology), Keith Puffer (Psychology), Douglas Daugherty (Counseling), and Keith Drury (Religion) brought 14 students with them to the conference. Attendees at the Conference came from the following states: CA, TN, IL, MA, NJ, VA, IN, OR, KY, OH, MO, SC, WA, OK, ID, KS, CO, MN. A new executive council was elected: Doug Hardy, president; Brad Strawn, records; Toddy Holeman, program Greg Dimond, communications.
6TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March, 2004, Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College, Rochester, NY
Conference held jointly with the Wesleyan Philosophical Society as a pre-conference event for the annual Wesleyan Theological Society meeting. The meeting opened with a keynote address by Ann Taves, Professor of History of Christianity and American Religion at Claremont School of Theology & Professor of Religion, Claremont Graduate University: Religious Experience as the Embodiment of Practical Divinity (Wesley & Methodism), and concluded with a second address by Taves at the closing Banquet: The General Concept of Religious Experience (William James). A rich spectrum of papers were presented by Society members and friends.
The position of President-elect was added to the Executive Council and the position of “Communications” was changed to “Promotion”. To allow for a balance between continuity and change on the Council, the President-elect will automatically become President the following year and the Promotion chair will automatically become Program chair the following year. The Council for 2004-2005 is: Doug Hardy, President; Ron Wright, President-elect; Toddy Holeman, Program; Greg Dimond, Promotion; Brad Strawn, Records.
7TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 3, 2005, Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA
Over 60 participants attended nine concurrent paper sessions and a keynote banquet address by Dr. Nancey Murphy, Professor of Philosophy at Fuller Theological Seminary. There was a wonderful representation of psychologists, philosophers, theologians, and graduate and undergraduate students at the conference. The sessions included an interdisciplinary panel on the implications of a monistic perspective on the person, a paper on holiness through the life-cycle, another on Just War and Wesley, two papers on the work of D. W. Winnicott, and many others.
8TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2006, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Kansas City, MO
9TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2007, Olivet Nazarene University, Keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Long, Professor of Systematic Theology at Marquette University
10TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2008, Duke University, Keynote speaker Dr. Don Browning
11TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2009, Anderson University, Keynote speaker Dr. John Caputo, Syracuse University
12TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2010, Azusa Pacific University, Keynote speaker Robert Hammerton-Kelly
13TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2011, Southern Methodist University, Keynote speaker Dr. Robert C. Dykstra, Princeton Theological Seminary
13TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: March 2012, Trevecca Nazarene University, Keynote speaker Dr. Steve Sandage, Bethel Seminary