Flourish Conference

18-19 July 2022

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Flourish: The Good News of Science-Engaged Theology

Monday, 18 July and Tuesday, 19 July 2022

How can science-engaged theology contribute to greater human flourishing?

Whether we have thought long and hard about it or not, everyone cares about flourishing. What does it mean to live well? What do the “good news” and the “good life” share in common? At this conference, we will pull from a variety of resources from the Christian tradition and the social sciences to think together on these questions.

Join us for a two-day conference as we explore possible answers from our plenary speakers and from one another. Our anticipated speakers will be: Joanna Leidenhag, Pamela Ebstyne King, Andrew Torrance, Nicola Hoggard Creegan, Andrew Picard, Christa McKirland and Joe Bulbulia. Assuming travel is permitted, we will hear from our international guests in person.

The conference is part of a Sir John Templeton research grant and hosted through Carey Baptist College.

We will be adhering to the current COVID-19 Protection Framework as well as the conference centre space constraints. Detailed schedule to follow.

Flourish Conference

Join us for a two-day conference as we explore possible answers to the question “How can science-engaged theology contribute to greater human flourishing?”

When: Monday, 18 July 9am-4pm and
Tuesday, 19 July 9am-4pm
Where:   Parnell Conference Centre
Cost:   $120 per person

The conference centre does have overnight accommodation and if you are keen to stay the night on the 17 or 18 of July you may book directly with [email protected]  to get a lower rate by quoting Ref: 60728*

*Please note that all bookings are subject to availability at the time of booking.

Dinner and Public Lecture

Join us for dinner followed by a Public Lecture given by Dr Joanna Leidenhag, lecturer at the University of Leeds, on the topic of “Autism in the Flourishing Church.”

When: Monday, 18 July 6–8.30pm
Where: Parnell Conference Centre
Cost: $50 per person

Please note this is a separate event, Conference Registration does not include entry to the dinner and public lecture.

If the cost of the conference inhibits your ability to attend, please contact us directly about subsidising the conference registration fee.


Day 1 Conference: Monday 18 July Day 2 Conference: Tueday 19 July
8.45am Registration
9.00am Coffee/Tea/Pastry 9.00am Coffee/Tea/Pastry
9.15am Welcome 9.30am Flourishing and Neurodiversity:
Dr Pamela Ebstyne King* and Dr Joanna Leidenhag
9.30am Flourishing and Human Need:
Dr Christa McKirland
10.20am Religion in NZ since 2009:
Insights from the NZ Attitudes and Values Survey
Dr Joseph Bulbulia
10.20am Let Justice Roll Down:
Dr Andrew Picard and Jordyn Rapana
11.15am Morning Tea
11.15am Morning Tea 11.45am Paper Break out Sessions
11.45am Paper Break out Sessions 1.15pm Lunch
1.15pm Lunch 2.00pm Freedom and Flourishing in Community:
Dr Nicola Hoggard Creegan
2.00pm Women Flourishing in Theological Academy and Church:
Panel with Jordyn Rapana, Maja Whitaker, Joanna Leidenhag
2.45pm Small Group Discussion
2.45pm Accountability and Human Flourishing:
Dr Andrew Torrance
3.20pm Closing Remarks and Acknowledgments
3.40pm Afternoon Tea 3.40pm Afternoon Tea
4.00pm End of Day One 4.00pm End of Conference

*Dr Pamela Ebstyne King will be speaking via Zoom

Evening Dinner and Public Lecture
6.00pm Dinner
7.15pm Welcome and Introduction
7.30pm Autism in the Flourishing Church:
Dr Joanna Leidenhag
8.15pm Q&A
8.30pm End of Public Lecture

International Key Note Speakers

Dr Pamela Ebstyne King

Dr Pamela Ebstyne King*

Pamela Ebstyne King is the Executive Director of the Thrive Center of Human Development and the Peter L. Benson Chair of Applied Developmental Science in the School of Psychology & Marriage and Family Therapy at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California.

At this conference she will be talking on a theology of flourishing for neurodiversity.

*Pamela will be speaking at the conference via Zoom.

Dr Joanna Leidenhag

Dr Joanna Leidenhag

Joanna Leidenhag (PhD, University of Edinburgh) is lecturer in Liberal Arts and Theology at the University of Leeds, UK. She studied at the University of St Andrews and Princeton Theological Seminar, before completing her PhD in Systematic Theology at the University of Edinburgh in 2018.  She serves on Logia International Board of Advisors.

At this conference she will be talking on a theology of flourishing for neurodiversity.

Dr Andrew Torrance

Dr Andrew Torrance

Andrew Torrance (PhD, University of Otago) is senior lecturer in theology, School of Divinity at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK. He studied at the University of Otago, NZ completing his PhD in Systematic Theology.

At this conference he will be talking on “Accountability and Human Flourishing” for which he will focus on our fundamental need for other persons to provide us with an account of “who we are and who we should be”, arguing that relationships of accountability are essential to human flourishing.

Local Key Note Speakers

Dr Joseph Bulbulia

Dr Joseph Bulbulia

Joseph Bulbulia (PhD, Princeton University) is a professor of psychology at Victoria University, where he serves as Director of the Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research. Joseph is also a researcher for the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study (University of Auckland), a longitudinal study with over 35,000 New Zealanders currently participating.

At this conference he will describe features of religious stability and change within New Zealanders during the past 12 years.

Nicola Hoggard Creegan

Dr Nicola Hoggard Creegan

Nicola Hoggard Creegan (PHD, Drew University, New Jersey) is a theologian living in Auckland. She is co-director of New Zealand Christians in Science, and the author of Animal Suffering and the Problem of Evil (OUP, 2013) and co-editor (with Andrew Shepherd) of Creation and Hope (Wipf & Stock, 2018).

At this conference she will speak on the corporate aspects of freedom (and bondage) in both an anthropological (New Evolutionary Synthesis) and theological perspective, arguing that individuals are not free alone, and that this is one reason we find it so hard to solve the problem of free will.

Dr Christa McKirland

Dr Christa McKirland

Christa L. McKirland (PhD, University of St. Andrews) is lecturer in systematic theology at Carey Baptist College in Auckland, New Zealand. She is the founder and executive director of Logia International, which seeks to support women across the divinity disciplines for the sake of the academy and the church.

At this conference she will be exploring the benefits of looking at basic human needs theory and what light that may shed upon divine to human and human to human interactions.

Dr Andrew Picard

Dr Andrew Picard

Andrew Picard (PhD, University of Otago) is a lecturer and director of the Carey Graduate School in Auckland, New Zealand. Andrew has a passion for justice, and he teaches, researches, publishes, and supervises in systematic theology and public theology to serve the church in its service of the gospel.

At this conference he will be exploring the topic “‘Let Justice Roll Down’: Decolonising Theological Education for Human Flourishing”.

Staff_Jordyn Morgan_300x300

Jordyn Rapana

Jordyn Rapana (BApplTheo, Carey Baptist College) is a lecturer at Carey Baptist College. She has over ten years ministry service and experience.  She is fluent in Te Reo Māori. She joined Carey in 2021 where her role is to support and advocate for Māori students to enable them to thrive in their experience and studies at Carey.

At this conference she will be exploring the topic “‘Let Justice Roll Down’: Decolonising Theological Education for Human Flourishing”.

Flourish Conference 2022

Flourish Conference

18-19 July, 9am-4pm
Parnell Conference Centre
$120 per person

Flourish Conference Dinner 2022

Dinner and Public Lecture

18 July 6-8.30pm
Parnell Conference Centre
$50 per person

Call for Papers

Flourish Conference Papers

Thank you for submitting your abstract and titles. These have now been finalised.

Pacific Journal of Theological Research

We are still looking for papers for the year’s second edition of the Pacific Journal of Theological Research. While these are 6,000 word essays (footnotes inclusive) please keep that in mind if your presentation paper could be expanded and submitted to this journal. The submission deadline for the journal is 31 July 2022.

“At Carey we believe that the God of mission is at work in the world by the Spirit to renew people and places in Christ. Our calling is to equip Christian leaders with the convictions, competencies, and capacity to participate in that mission, bringing gospel renewal in churches and communities across Aotearoa and around the world.”

– John Tucker, Principal