PLNU Faculty and Students Speak at Peace and Justice Summit

Friday, April 20, 2012

This Friday and Saturday, April 20-21, 2012, the La Paz Peacemaking and Justice Summit will be held in Pasadena, California, where PLNU faculty and students, both undergraduate and graduate, will be speaking. 

The summit is filled with workshops for congregations and community organizations seeking transformational, effective ministry models that will demonstrate how to utilize the abilities of the community members to share God’s peace, justice, and transforming grace. The conference will exude an effective learning environment in a theological framework, where members of communities can take part in a discussion of shared values for development and transformation. 

"Justice and peacemaking are part of the DNA of the Christian life," said Dr. Jamie Gates, professor of sociology and director of PLNU's Center for Justice and Reconciliation. "PLNU students and professors are participating in the summit as a way to reach out to the church and to learn from the church, to equip ourselves and others for nurturing the prophetic imagination in all of us.  The friendships we make there and the lessons we learn will help grow and sustain a passion at PLNU for being the hands and feet of Christ in the face of violence and injustice."

Dr. Robert Gailey, professor of business and director of PLNU’s Center for International Development, commented on the significance of the summit, saying, “the focus of the conference is on helping people to see the link between the local church community and engaging in issues of justice and reconciliation. The PLNU community that attends will be inspired, enriched, and informed on these important issues and come back to campus to share with the rest of us who are unable to attend.” 

He explained that it will help PLNU to be known as a place where students are encouraged to “consider the responsibilities people rooted in a local church have to engage in works of mercy, while providing them with tools to do such ministry.”

Some of the topics PLNU will add to this training resource include “Microfinance and the Church,” “Missional Church Theology,” “Urban Agriculture,” homelessness, immigration, Sabbath, prayer, and more.


The names of student and faculty presenters and their presentation topics are listed below.
  • Microfinance and the Church
    • Jen Moody, HOPE International
    • PLNU Microfinance Club
  • Urban Agriculture: Pathways to Food Justice and Community Resilience
    • Dr. Harry Watkins
    • Bethany Tipton
    • Amanda Bevins
    • Diane Moss, Project New Village/People’s Produce Project
  • You Were Once Slaves in Egypt!: Empowering churches to engage the modern abolition movement
    • Sara Crabtree, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
    • Paige Milgrom, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
    • Jamie Gates, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
  • Missional Church Theology
    • Rob Benefiel
  • Beyond Soup: Homelessness, Community Collaborations & the Church 
    • Pat Leslie
    • Cassandra Purdy
  • The Roots of Giving: Sabbath Economics and a Fair Trade Fair in Your Community
    • Marisa Hirtzel, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
    • Jamie Gates, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
  • Beauty for Ashes Prayer Service
    • Hayley Swan, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
  • Leadership and Practices in the Missional Church
    • Rob Benefiel
  • From “Illegal Aliens” to “Undocumented Migrants”: Biblical, Theological and Ethical reflection on Immigration and the Church
    • Christina Marcial, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation
    • Jamie Gates, PLNU’s Center for Justice & Reconciliation