Baptist Worship Identity Conference at Union University

A News Release today from Union University announces an upcoming conference on worship to be held on Union’s campus:

JACKSON, Tenn.November 29, 2007 – Union University will host a major conference early next year focused on the importance of worship in Baptist life.

The Baptist Worship Identity Symposium Feb. 14-16 will feature a distinguished panel of presenters on the Jackson, Tenn., campus. They will explore key worship issues and present musical performances.

“This project unfolded into a dynamic, three-pronged focus upon three areas: a major symposium, worship renewal in partner churches and worship renewal throughout our campus community,” said Richard Joiner, chairman of the department of music at Union. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to join our churches and our Baptist communities of faith with this pivotal endeavor.”

The Baptist Worship Identity Project and Symposium is a joint endeavor of Union University and the Tennessee Baptist Convention. This symposium and project are made possible, in part, through a $14,000 Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Mich., with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc.

Among the presenters scheduled to appear is Marva Dawn, author of “Reaching Out Without Dumbing Down,” and other books on worship. She is a teaching fellow in spiritual theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Also scheduled are Donald Hustad, senior professor of church music and worship at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; Robert Smith Jr., professor of Christian preaching at Beeson Divinity School, Birmingham, Ala.; David S. Dockery, Union University president; George Guthrie, Benjamin W. Perry professor of Bible at Union; Daniel Montgomery, teaching pastor at Sojourn Community Church in Louisville, Ky.; and Mike Cosper, also of Sojourn Community Church.

The conference will also include a special time of worship and hymn-singing on the evening of Feb. 14.

The symposium follows two Baptist Identity Conferences at Union in 2004 and 2007. Those meetings focused on key matters of faith, doctrinal and confessional identity, evangelism and the future of Baptist associations and the traditional church.

“The Baptist Worship Identity Project and Symposium was born out of the hope that the Baptist Identity Conferences would not only affirm the doctrines that are essential to our identity, but guide us to a worship that grows out of that identity,” Joiner said.

The conference will be augmented by special chapel programs at Union on Feb. 13 and Feb. 20, focusing on worship. Danny Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, will speak Feb. 13, followed by David Nelson, senior vice president for academic administration at Southeastern, on Feb. 20.

Conference registration is $50, which includes meals. Online registration is available at

For more information about the 2008 conference, or to register by phone, contact the department of music at (731) 661-5345.

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