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July 1, 2014

Ministry Conference on Cultural Intelligence for a Changing World

Rochester, N.Y.—On June 17 Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, associate professor of church growth and evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Ill., was keynote speaker at Northeastern Seminary’s 2014 Conference on Ministry on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College.

This one-day conference hosted some 100 attendees representing a diverse group of faith traditions and ethnicities. Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity and Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church, provided practical guidance on how to minister more effectively in the midst of a shifting religious landscape. He explored culture as it is expressed in Scripture, history, and engaged event attendees in thoughtful discussion and reflection on the practical realities of cultural understanding in pastoral ministry.

The following day Rah served as guest lecturer to Northeastern Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry students whose coursework includes pre-residence readings and reflections, online discussions, and the week-long academic residency that surrounds the conference. The class, taught by Dr. Nijay Gupta, assistant professor of biblical theology and exegesis, developed a deeper appreciation of the cultural context of the church in North America and a sense of the implications for each student’s personal ministry setting. Deacon Dennis Lohouse, a Doctor of Ministry student, reflects, “I found Rah and this course to be challenging in the sense that it made me think about ‘the other’ in my own ministry. This was not about diversity but about understanding the place from which others proceed. Respect for the culture of others, coupled with an understanding of their context, allows us to more effectively minister to them and convey the gospel to all nations.”

Rev. Dr. Rah is formerly the founding senior pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church and currently serves on the board of Catalyst Leadership Center and Sojourners/Call to Renewal. Rah is also a member of an urban ministry working with at-risk youth called the Boston Ten-Point Coalition and is a founding member of the Boston Fellowship of Asian-American Ministers. He has been a speaker and presenter at a variety of events including the 2003 Urbana Student Missions Conference, the 2005 Summer Institute for Asian American Ministry and Theology, the 2006 Congress on Urban Ministry, and the 2008 CCDA National Conference.

The Conference on Ministry series stems from the Seminary’s dedication and commitment to serving the church. Every year the conference series hosts multiple events designed to be responsive to the needs of the church locally, nationally, and internationally. The upcoming Conference on Ministry Series is scheduled for the following dates:

October 22, 2014 – Kingdom Conspiracy: Reclaiming the Radical Mission of the Church in the World with Dr. Scot McKnight

February 9, 2015 - The Worship Architect with Dr. Constance Cherry

June 16, 2015 – Disunity in Christ: Hidden Forces That Keep us Apart with Dr. Christena Cleveland

For more information about the Conference on Ministry Series, contact Maria Rambuski at 585.594.6800 or by email at