Welcome to Our First FamilyScholars Symposium of 2013!

01.17.2013, 8:56 AM

Beginning today and continuing through Friday, we will be highlighting the expert analysis and thoughtful recommendations of 12 pastors, scholars and opinion leaders from across the country. They respond to the recently released report titled Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith? Challenging Churches to Confront the Impact of Family Change, funded by the Lilly Endowment and published by the Center for Marriage and Families at the Institute for American Values.

A quick note about reading and commenting: All of the essays are listed in this welcome post and archived here. Feel free to scroll down this page to read them all, comment on each one individually, or comment on them as a whole in the comment section of this welcome post. Clicking on each author’s title will also direct you to a page for that essay on its own and you can comment on the individual piece there as well. Additionally, over the two days we will be highlighting each piece at the top of FamilyScholars, so check in throughout the two days and join the conversation.

Each writer brings a unique perspective that builds on elements of the report’s argument and recommendations, pinpoints gaps, critiques all or part of the report’s thesis, or makes suggestions for further study. Check in here throughout the two days and follow us on Twitter ( @FamScholars or me @RevAmyZ or Elizabeth Marquardt @newmetaphor70) for live-tweeting throughout the two days.

We welcome rigorous, critical engagement in a context of civility.

Welcome to the conversation.

William J. "Beau" WestonLosing the Coherent Network of Faith
William (Beau) Weston, Van Winkle Professor of Sociology, Centre College



Celebrating the Family of Faith in All Its Forms
Rev. Laura A. Phillips, Associate Minister, First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Baton Rouge, LA; and Bethany Fellow



Catherine PakalukWhat Do We Teach and How Do We Teach It? Reversing the Causal Arrow
Catherine Pakaluk, Stein Center for Social Research, Ave Maria University



It Is Our Business: Divorce, the Church, and the Tie that Binds
Rev. Andrew Packman, Co-Pastor at Root and Branch Christian Church and a Ph.D. student in Theology at the University of Chicago Divinity School



Finding Faith: The Voiceless Child
Leah Misch, RN, BSN



Faith Begins in the Home
Christine Kim, Policy Analyst, The Heritage Foundation



Fathers, U Matter!
Rev. Michael Karunas, Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church, Decatur, IL



Children of Divorce Deserve Better Treatment in Our Churches
Linda Ranson Jacobs, DC4K Creator and Ambassador



Say that again, Donor Conception? What about Adoption?
the Rev’d Mark Diebel, Pastor at Christ Episcopal Church, Greenville, New York



A Response to Does the Shape of Families Shape Faith?
Chap Clark, Author, Hurt/Hurt 2.0; co-author of Sticky Faith; and Associate Provost and Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture, Fuller Theological Seminary



Marrying Romance and Children, from the Very Beginning
Helen M. Alvaré, Associate Professor of Law at George Mason University



5 Responses to “Welcome to Our First FamilyScholars Symposium of 2013!”

  1. Diane M says:

    I really like it when a link opens a new window the way you’re doing with these series.

    However, not all of the articles above open into new windows. Some do and some don’t.

  2. Amy Z says:

    Thanks Diane-we’re working on that issue with the essays that don’t open into a new window.

  3. Wayne Stocks says:


    Thanks for coordinating all of this. I really enjoyed all of the articles and different perspectives!

  4. mythago says:

    I’m disappointed that the symposium seems to assume the only type of “faith” worth discussing is Christianity. Ten contributors, and only one (Ms. Kim) contributed a piece that was even arguably other than Christian-centric.