Conference Timeline & Event Info

The "Mobilizing the Church for Social Justice" conference—featuring speakers Dr. Dan Boone, Dr. Jo Anne Lyon, Dr. Carla Sunberg, Dr. Jim Copple, and others—will be held September 12-14 at Trevecca Community Church of the Nazarene in Nashville, TN.


Thursday, September 12
6:00 - 7:00 PM: Event Registration
7:00 - 9:00 PM: Dr. Dan Boone - "Mobilizing the Church for Social Justice: A Biblical Approach"
9:00-10:00 PM: Conference Reception and Networking with Presenters

Friday, September 13
8:15 - 9:00 AM: Event Registration
9:00 - 10:15 AM: Dr. Jo Anne Lyon - "God’s People in a World of Pain and Injustice"
10:15 - 10:30 AM: Coffee Break
10:30 - 11:30 AM: Workshops (see below)
11:30 AM- 1:00 PM: Lunch (provided)
1:00 - 3:30 PM: Tours of Local Ministries
3:30 - 5:00 PM: Coffee Break & Free Time
4:00 - 5:00 PM: Workshops (see below)
5:00 - 6:30 PM: Conference dinner; Jennifer Tunehag - “How the European Freedom Network is Mobilizing the Church through Partnerships”
6:30 - 8:00 PM: Film & Dialogue: Trade of Innocents

Saturday, September 14
9:00 - 10:15 AM: Dr. James Copple and Dr. Carla Sunberg - "Kenya Gender-Based Violence Prevention in Africa”
10:15 - 10:30 AM: Coffee break
10:30 - 11:30 AM: Keynote Speaker Panel & Dialogue


Room in the Inn
Rachel Hester, Executive Director
Over 180 congregations in Middle Tennessee and over 6,000 volunteers, in addition to our downtown campus, shelter almost 400 men and women from November 1st through March 31st each season. 365 days a year we offer emergency services, transitional programs, and long-term solutions to help people rebuild their lives. In this workshop, hear from the Director of Room in the Inn about this amazing ministry and how community collaboration and vision join together to provide radical hospitality to people in need.

Environmental Justice
Jason Adkins, Environmental Projects Coordinator at Trevecca Nazarene University
From human trafficking to world hunger, the greatest issues of our world are connected to the health of our land.  Loving God requires God's people to care for the earth on which all people depend for our mortal life--food, air, water, beauty, energy--as well as the revelation God pours forth through His creation.  Because the world's poor live directly off the land and in the places where the toxins of our world collect, loving the poor invites us to pay particular attention to our stewardship of creation.  When half the world's workers make their living from the land, it is critical to develop a Christian ethic of stewardship that leaves the land in better shape than we found it for future generations.  Explore the broader issues of environmental justice and the ways in which Christians are embodying creation care out of their love for God and the world's poor.

Sex Trafficking: The Church's Response
Lisa Thompson
, Anti-Trafficking Director for World Hope International
Hearts may be greatly moved to respond to the commercial sexual exploitation and sex trafficking of women and children, yet the problem is so large that it may overwhelm and paralyze the intentions of even the most motivated people. Accordingly, this workshop will build on the discussion of historic efforts to combat sex trafficking, as well as review some of the modern Church and parachurch efforts to respond to the sexual oppression of women and children in the commercial sex industry. Additionally, there will be discussion and an opportunity provided for participants to develop their own plans of action.

Radical Mission Workshop
Brett Smith, Founder and Executive Director
You know compassion is important, but how much luck have you had lately convincing the people of your church?  You know "social justice" isn’t a bad word, but how comfortable do you feel proclaiming it from the pulpit?  This session will discuss the intricacies of founding and developing compassion-based ministry within a local church congregation from start to full-fledged Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Center.  Founder and Executive Director Brett Smith will tell the “Radical Mission Story” as it was birthed within Clarksville First Church of the Nazarene, which helped reform and truly mobilize a large-church culture into become a “Community of Hope”.  The Radical Mission Story includes principles and strategies developed for mobilizing any congregation toward God’s vision of shalom.

The Widow, the Orphan and the Stranger
Jamie Gates, Professor of Sociology, Director, Center for Justice and Reconciliation

A consistent theme in the prophetic narratives of the Old Testament is God's concern for the Widow, the Orphan and the Stranger.  The word in Hebrew often translated as "stranger" is the same word used for "immigrant."  Jesus carries this tradition into the New Testament and radicalizes it, calling us to love the immigrant as ourselves.  The Greek word used for immigrant/stranger is "xenos," and Christians are called to show "hospitality to strangers" (xenophilia, lit. make strangers friends).  So what does it look like for the church to be the hands and feet of the Christ who calls us to befriend immigrants, documented and undocumented?  Come for a workshop that explores the immigration-related challenges facing the church from both a theological and sociological perspective.  We will also explore what the Bible has to say about all this, and Christ-like ways of responding to these issues.

Tour Options

Tina Mitchell, Executive Director, CrossBRIDGE Inc. Co-Director, Restoration House
Initiatives currently include recovery programs offered in partnership with Trevecca Community Church: recovery housing for men (Restoration House) and women (Phases, Inc.) and an after-school program for at-risk children (KidPOWER). Our programs are both preventative and restorative. We help addicts and alcoholics (most with criminal records) break the bondage of addiction while preventing the cycle from continuing in young children through KidPOWER. The programs are holistic in nature involving a plethora of services designed to address the numerous needs of our participants. The problems facing these populations are enormous, but we know we are overcoming challenges and changing lives for the better. We know we are truly making a difference.

Trevecca Urban Farms
Jason Adkins, Environmental Projects Coordinator & Urban Farm Leader
Trevecca’s Urban Farm began several years ago when Jason Adkins, TNU professor for the Center for Social Justice, had a vision for helping others in a community facing food access challenges.  Not only was Jason instrumental in starting Trevecca Farms, but he also moved into the community with his wife, five kids, and several other families who felt called to make an impact and serve.  Trevecca Farms tour will show you the constellation of food works that have sprung up in and around the Trevecca Campus including a tour of the greenhouse, the aquaponics system (growing fish and plants together), bio-intensive raised beds, fruit trees, chickens, worms, bees (at a safe distance), community gardens, and a one acre vegetable garden. The tour will explain how the farm operates logistically, how the parts complement one another, and how the farm serves our mission of teaching and inspiring people to grow their own food as a way of addressing food sufficiency and community building.

Room in the Inn & Clancey’s Crossroads Cafe
Jon Mowry, Educational Day Services Coordinator
Room in the Inn’s main campus is a multi-purpose 45,000 square foot building offering permanent supportive housing and other comprehensive support to those in need. We walk with people on their journey out of chaos, through periods of great change, and continue to support them as they rejoin the workforce, seek education, and work with partner agencies. We do this work with an emphasis on one-on-one relationships and a commitment to serving those who call the streets of Nashville home. Clancey’s Café is the flagship workforce development internship program for Room in the Inn’s transitional housing residents. Each Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning, interns have the opportunity to work for several weeks in an authentic coffee house environment as servers, bussers, and managers. Participants using Room In The Inn services can use points earned for attending educational classes to buy coupons for coffee, other drinks, and pastries. Often, local musicians come to perform for the coffee house patrons.

Thistle Farms
Becca Stevens, Founder of Magdalene & Thistle Farms
Founded in 1997 by Becca Stevens, an Episcopal priest on the campus of Vanderbilt University, Magdalene is a residential program for women who have survived lives of prostitution, trafficking, addiction and life on the streets. Thistle Farms is the social enterprise run by the women of Magdalene. By hand, the women create natural bath and body products that are as good for the earth as they are for the body. Purchases of Thistle Farms products directly benefit the women by whom they were made. Thistle Farms employs over 40 Magdalene residents or graduates. While working at Thistle Farms, women learn skills in manufacturing, packaging, sales and marketing, and administration. It is a supportive workplace where women acquire the skills they need to earn a living. Employees have the opportunity to put a percentage of their earnings in a matched savings account provided by Magdalene. Through Thistle Farms, the women of Magdalene gain much needed job skills, and learn responsibility and cooperation. Thistle Farms products are available in over 200 stores in Tennessee and across the country. Into every Thistle Farms product goes the belief that love is the most powerful force for change in the world. Our dream is that people will come to see Thistle Farms as a humble but powerful business synonymous with women’s freedom. Learn more at Excursion participants will tour the 11,000 square feet sales and manufacturing facility near downtown Nashville, TN as well as the paper making studio and the sewing studio. We will enjoy our coffee break in the brand new Thistle Stop Café, also run by the women of Magdalene and Thistle Farms as we hear from some of the staff and residents.