Friday, February 27, 2015

Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity

One of the four major initiatives undertaken by the Sports Chaplaincy Table of the International Sports Coalition is to further the relationships between men and women who work in Academia and those who serve as Sports Chaplaincy practitioners. For as long as I can remember, there has been a rather wide gulf between the two. Some of our friends and colleagues in the United Kingdom are conducting a tremendous event in August of 2016 which stands to bridge the divide quite effectively. Details on the Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity are below. Please consider attending and certainly watch for further details and results. Thanks.

Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity
24–28 August 2016

In light of the dramatic increase in academic research activity and practical initiatives on the topic of sports and Christianity over the last decade, the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at York St John University, in collaboration with the Bible Society, will host this event. 

About the conference


The aims of the IGCSC are to: 

· Encourage global collaboration between academics, practitioners, politicians, administrators and athletes 

· Produce quality academic and practitioner publications that have societal impact 

· Through intentional mentoring and collaboration, develop individuals in their sphere of influence 

· Affect a ‘culture shift’ in modern sport through the sharing of ideas and practices and a ‘coming together’ of individuals from across the academic disciplines and all streams and denominations of Christianity, culminating in an inclusive and ecumenical event. 


The IGCSC will be held over four-and-a-half-days and will comprise: a gala dinner, keynote lectures, parallel sessions, a panel discussion led by the Bible Society, a three-hour seminar for each of the eleven ‘thematic strands’, a ‘student forum’, and a networking event, in which representatives from practitioner organisations, research centres and publishers will be able to share information. A sport-themed service will also be held in York Minster, one of Europe's finest cathedrals. 

One of the keynote presentations (Prof Shirl J. Hoffman) will focus on the recently published ‘Declaration for Sport and Christian Life’, which is a benchmark document for the field of sport and Christianity. 

To ensure the continued development and long-term sustainability of the field, an international organising committee has been established to devise and operationalize a long-term strategic plan to ensure similar events take place every three years (in appropriate institutions around the world). The importance and timeliness of the IGCSC, 2016, has been ‘endorsed’ by a wide variety of individuals. 

Thematic Strands

The IGCSC will comprise eleven ‘thematic strands’, which collectively address existing and emerging topics in the broad area of sport and Christianity. During the congress there will be a three-hour interactive seminar on each thematic strand which will be facilitated by a small group of academics and / or practitioners who are recognised for excellence in their respective fields (click on thematic strand titles below for biographies of Strand Chairperson and Co-Leaders). 

A number of academic and practitioner publications will emerge from these thematic strands, as detailed below. 

Abstracts submitted for consideration for oral presentations (parallel sessions) to be scheduled through the four days of the congress, can focus on the thematic strands, or may address any topic within the broad field of sports and Christianity. 

The thematic strands are as follows: 

· Sports, Peace and Religion (with a focus, but not exclusively, on the 2016 Rio Olympic and Paralympic Games) 

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