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August 30, 2013

McCown Symposium Looks at Neuroscience and Spirituality, Features David Hogue and Diane Stephens

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Northeastern Seminary at Roberts Wesleyan College hosts the 2013 McCown Symposium, Let This Mind Be in You: Wesley, Neuroscience, and the Spiritual Life, on Monday, September 23, 2013 in the Howard Stowe Roberts Cultural Life Center, on the college campus.

Starting at 9 a.m. David Hogue and Diane Stephens, a husband and wife team, will offer a lively three-lecture series featuring an analysis of the vital intersections of classic Christian spirituality, emerging discoveries in the neurosciences, and spiritual practices that have become hallmarks of the Wesleyan movement. “Whether we name the experience ‘awakening’ or ‘personal conversion,’ awareness of our deep longing for God is the starting point in leading a spiritual life,” notes Hogue. Over the course of the one-day symposium that includes a college chapel service they will delve into how and why this happens as they consider what the brain sciences are revealing about human nature, love of God, and love of neighbor. A roundtable lunch will provide participants with the opportunity to explore the topic among themselves and in a question and response time with the speakers.

David HogueDavid Hogue is professor of pastoral theology and counseling at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary where he also directs the Ph.D. program. He is author of Remembering the Future, Imagining the Past: Story, Ritual, and the Human Brain and several book chapters and journal articles exploring the intersection of ritual, liturgy, pastoral care, and the neurosciences. An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Hogue is a member and past chair of the Society for Pastoral Theology, currently co-chairing the pastoral theology and brain sciences working group. He is also a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and a member of the International Academy of Practical Theology, the International Society for Science and Religion, the American Academy of Religion and North American Academy of Liturgy. He received the Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in Religious and Theological Studies.

Diane HogueDiane Stephens is a spiritual director, retreat leader, and writer, specializing in Christian spirituality and contemplative living. A ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Diane serves as affiliate faculty in spiritual formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and as faculty of the CREDO program of spiritual renewal for Presbyterian pastors. She is a contributing author to The Thoughtful Christian, former convener of the Liturgy and Spirituality Seminar of the North American Academy of Liturgy, and a trainer in sexual ethics on behalf of the Presbytery of Chicago.

Read a blog post by Diane Stephens on this topic here.

Now in its 15th year the founders of the symposium, Drs. Wayne and Darlene McCown, have been active participants in the College and Seminary community since 1988. Their goal in endowing this symposium, offered biennially in the fall, is to provide lectureships on the Bible and/or Wesleyan theology to college and seminary students, faculty, and their constituencies.

To register visit Registrations would be appreciated by Monday, September 16. Participation in the full day of sessions, including lunch, is $55.00.

Northeastern Seminary and Roberts Wesleyan College students, staff, and faculty may attend the sessions free of charge. The additional fee for lunch is $15.00.

For more information, please contact Sarah Beckler at 585.594.6420 or


About Northeastern Seminary

Since opening its doors in 1998, Northeastern Seminary on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College has continued to grow in prominence as a significant resource for the church community in upstate New York.  Northeastern Seminary is a multi-denominational graduate school of theology offering five academically and professionally accredited degrees: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Theology and Social Justice, Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, and Doctor of Ministry.  The student body is comprised of more than 30 different Christian faith traditions represented among 180 students and 350 graduates ministering around the nation and world.  For more information visit or call 585.594.6800. 

About Roberts Wesleyan College

With an enrollment of nearly 2,000 students and a tradition of excellence since 1866, Roberts Wesleyan College is a leader among liberal arts colleges with a Christian worldview.  Roberts offers more than 50 undergraduate programs, as well as graduate programs in education, school psychology, school counseling, health administration, nursing education, nursing leadership and administration, strategic marketing, social work, counseling in ministry, and strategic leadership. Roberts Wesleyan also offers innovative undergraduate degree-completion programs for working adults in health administration, nursing, and organizational management.  Visit for more information.

McCown Symposium