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AGTS News: AGTS community plays prominent role in 44th annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

Does God work only within the believing community? That was the topic of the academic paper AGTS' Ivan Satyavrata (2009 J. Phillip Hogan Professor of World Missions) presented for the opening plenary session for the Society for Pentecostal Studies 2015 annual meeting. Listen to the session here.

Several AGTS and Evangel University professors and a number of AGTS students and alumni contributed during the 2015 Society for Pentecostal Studies (SPS) annual meeting at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla., March 12–14. 

Begun in 1970, the Society for Pentecostal Studies is an international community of scholars working within the Pentecostal and Charismatic traditions. This year's theme was Global Spirit: Pentecostals and the World. AGTS hosted the event in 1992. Evangel University hosted in 1999 and 2014.

For the 44th annual meeting, Pentecostal scholars from around the world gathered for symposia, parallel interest group sessions, plenaries, special caucus events and a closing banquet. Many AGTS/EU participants presented academic papers, while others hosted program events.

AGTS faculty presenters included:

  • Dr. Ivan Satyavrata was the keynote speaker for the opening session, speaking on the topic, “‘The Wind Blows Where It Wills…’: Celebrating the Spirit’s Free Movement in a World without Borders.”
  • Dr. Deborah Gill (‘78/’79) presented, "Spiritual Adventuring: Journeying Deeper into the Presence of God."
  • Dr. Paul Lewis (’88) presented, "The Importance of Divine Healing in Christian Mission: The Church in the Book of Acts and the Growth of Majority World Christianity as Examples" and "'God,' 'The Trinity' and 'The Spirit' among the First Millennium Christians of Tang China: A Translation, Contextual, and Theological Analysis."   
  • Dr. DeLonn Rance (’83) presented, "Historical Aspects of Pentecostal Mission and Intercultural Engagement."
  • Dr. Johan Mostert was a panelist in the Practical Theology/Christian Formation dialogue to discuss Dr. Diane J. Chandler’s Christian Spiritual Formation: An Integrated Approach for Personal and Relational Wholeness.
  • AGTS Discipleship Dynamics, an online discipleship assessment, hosted a dinner and sponsored the Thursday evening reception, with Dr. Charlie Self and Dr. Johan Mostert’s oversight.

EU faculty presenters included:

  • Dr. Brandon Schmidly co-presented, “Epistemology, Ethics and the Environment: Responses to the Global Climate Change Discussion.”
  • Dr. Marty Mittelstadt was a panelist in the discussion regarding Craig Keener’s Acts, Volume 2.
  • Dr. John Plake presented, “Spirit Empowered Missions: The Effects and Limits of Divine Calling on Expatriate Effectiveness among Assemblies of God World Missions Personnel.”
  • Dr. Doug Olena (adjunct) was a panelist, discussing “Issues Reshaping the Vocation of Theological Educators: Corporatizing, Techno-Teaching, Faculty Governance, Academic Freedom and Adjunctification.”

AGTS student presenters included:

  • Allison MacGregor on “Healing in Early Newfoundland Pentecostalism, 1911–1931” and “The Theological Relationship between Atonement and Ecclesiology;” and
  • Stephen P. Todd on “Salvation and Iconography: A Look at Eastern Orthodoxy Theology and Praxis and What Pentecostal Can Learn from Them.”
AGTS Professor Dr. Deborah Gill ('78/'79) presents a paper at the
2015 annual meeting of the Society for Pentecostal Studies.

SPS Executive Director and AGTS faculty member Dr. Lois Olena (’06) reflected on this year’s gathering of 355 Pentecostal scholars: “As God continues to empower men and women of all ages from a multitude of Pentecostal denominations and ethnicities to serve Him with both heart and mind, we are continuing to experience what AGTS has always held dear: Knowledge on Fire. Now, in our fourth decade, the Society desires more than ever to sense God’s favor and fresh touch on all aspects of our lives as academics in service to the church. We experienced that move of the Spirit during our opening plenary with a word from God regarding His desire to bring physical healing. We had a beautiful time of prayer together just before Dr. Satyavrata brought his excellent message.”

Pictures of the 2015 SPS conference can be viewed here.

Next year’s annual meeting will be held March 10-12 at Life Pacific College in San Dimas, CA. For more information, visit

Updated: Friday, March 27, 2015 1:30 PM

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