Of Games and God: Thinking Critically about God, Faith, Video Games & Gaming Culture

Helping Parents, Leaders and Educators Think Critically about God, Faith, Video Games & Gaming Culture

ACTS Seminaries Theology in Culture Public Seminar
Interactive one-day seminar for parents, youth pastors and educators seeking a balanced experience of gaming for youth. Offered in partnership with SouthRidge Fellowship Church.

Date:         To be re-scheduled. Stay tuned for more details


Overview

An interactive one-day seminar to help parents, Christian leaders and educators guide children, youth and young adults to a balanced experience of gaming, appreciating the benefits yet recognizing the signs of unhealthy imbalance. Offered in partnership with SouthRidge Fellowship Church.

Who is this for?

Parents of pre-teens, teens and young adults; youth leaders and pastors; educators; young adults and late teens.

Description

Video games are changing the world. They have become a major catalyst for how we think and relate to one another, particularly for children and youth.

Game enthusiasts laud the interactivity, immersive experience and social aspects of gaming, as well as their artistic and creative potential to birth fantastic worlds like those imagined by C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Critics, on the other hand, focus on objectionable content and the antisocial aspects of gaming, including physical inactivity, disrespect for authority, and poor appreciation of the consequences of actions.

Where do we find a balance in the discussion? And how do parents, Christian leaders and educators help guide children, youth and young adults to a balanced experience of gaming, appreciating the benefits yet recognizing the signs of unhealthy imbalance?

In this one-day seminar, we invite you to consider the WhatWhy and How of a Christian approach to video games.

  • What do we need to know about video games?

    Kevin Schut, PhD, Professor at Trinity Western University and author of Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games, examines the medium of video games, tackles several religious, spiritual and social issues surrounding them, and offers his perspective on finding a balanced Christian approach as parents, teachers and mentors. His interactive presentation will look at specific examples of games and give opportunity for attendees to explore and participate for themselves.
  • Why do we need to re-think a Christian approach?

    As Christians, we are called to engage in culture, not just reject or withdraw from it. A panel of theologians from ACTS Seminaries will reflect on the medium and experience of video games and share their perspectives on what we can learn from the Bible and the example of Jesus to guide an informed, critical Christian approach. Panel members will include:

    John Auxier, Associate Professor of Marriage & Family Therapy, ACTS Seminaries

    Michael Morelli, Adjunct Professor of Theology in Culture, ACTS Seminaries

    David Sigrest, Adjunct Professor of Biblical Languages, ACTS Seminaries

  • How do we translate a Christian approach into action?

    Expert perspectives are valuable, but the real challenge can be translating them into daily life. Each panel member will lead a discussion group on a theme so that participants can explore practical ways to apply what they've heard into their own context. Discussion group themes will be determined based on the interests and needs of participants, for example, parents of pre-teens, teens and young adults, educators and youth pastors.


If you are the parent, teacher or pastor of a child, teen or young adult and struggle with how to wisely guide engagement in video game culture while avoiding potential pitfalls, we encourage you to join us for this one-day exploration of this influential aspect of culture.

Speakers

  • Kevin Schut, PhD Professor of Media and Communication and creator of the new Game Development program at Trinity Western University

    Kevin is the author of Of Games and God: A Christian Exploration of Video Games, and has written and spoken on games and a wide variety of topics, such as narrative, masculinity, and faith. He is also a lifelong fan of Sid Meier’s Civilization and likes getting beaten by his daughters in Super Smash Bros.

  • John Auxier, PhD Associate Professor of Marriage & Family Therapy, ACTS Seminaries

    Dr. Auxier is interested in the impact of technology on marriages and spirituality, has published on the use of serious (non-recreational) games in theological education, and teaches a graduate course on "Theology of Popular Culture” (THS 691) for ACTS Seminaries

  • Michael Morelli, PhD Adjunct Professor of Theology in Culture, ACTS Seminaries

    Michael studies theological ethics, meaning he is fascinated by the ways God's truth confronts and changes the realities that make up our existence. His recently completed a doctorate focused on technology in the writings of French Christian scholars Jacques Ellul and Paul Virilio. Prior to graduate studies, Michael worked in local church ministry, and he continues to serve the church in a lay capacity. He also publishes and presents on a variety of topics within the fields of theology, morality, culture, politics, and technology.

  • David Sigrist, PhD ​(cand) ​Adjunct Professor of Biblical Languages, ACTS Seminaries


Schedule

9:00 am        Welcome

9:15 am        What do we need to know about video games? Interactive session with Kevin Schut. Includes break around 10:15

11:30 am      Lunch (provided) & explore/try video games set up a various stations

12:45 pm      Feedback/thoughts/insights from morning and lunch exploration

1:00 pm        Why do we need to re-think a Christian approach? Panel discussion

2:00 pm        Break

2:15 pm        How do we translate a Christian approach into action? Breakout group discussions for different contexts. Led by panel members

3:00 pm       Feedback/thoughts/insights from group discussions

3:30 pm       Conclude

Register online

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Watch for future Theology in Culture events


SPRING 2020

ACTS Seminaries Course

Christianity & Culture

Understand the ongoing relationship between Christianity and culture. Gain cultural awareness along with critical skills for critiquing culture from a Christian perspective in order to enhance your ministry and leadership effectiveness both in the church and within society at large.

Instructor:        Bruce Guenther, PhD

Date:                One-week intensive course – Monday to Friday
                         February 17-21, 2019 – 8:30am-12:30pm

Location:          ACTS Seminaries, TWU Fosmark Building (7600 Glover Road, Langley). Attend in-person or online.

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Develop deeper awareness and understanding of urban sub-cultures like the street, arts, immigrant, LGBTQ and transgender communities, and explore how to build trust relationships with the people who form them. This interactive one-day seminar will also include an optional immersive experience, an opportunity to engage in street ministry.

Date:                Saturday, March 28, 2020

Location:          Faith Baptist Church, Vancouver

Speakers:         Bruce Guenther
                         Additional speakers to be announced


SUMMER 2020

ACTS Seminaries Course

Religious Freedom in a Secular Culture

Understand the global context for religious freedom worldwide and in Canada. Discuss the marginalization of religion in Canada and examine the expectation that people of faith not only accept, but conform, to our secular culture.

Instructor: Janet Epp-Buckingham, Professor at Trinity Western University and Director of the Laurentian Leadership Centre, an Ottawa-based, live-in, extension program focusing on leadership in public policy, business and communications.

Date:                 One-week intensive course – Monday to Friday, July 6-10, 2020

Location:           ACTS Seminaries, TWU Fosmark Building (7600 Glover Road, Langley)

Public Seminar

Religious Freedom in a Secular Culture: Case studies from Canadian politics and what they mean for people of all faiths

Help Christians develop deeper awareness and understanding of current political trends in Canadian culture through the examination of current and recent cases before the courts.

Date:                Saturday, July 11, 2020

Location:          ACTS Seminaries, TWU Fosmark Building (7600 Glover Road Langley)

Speakers:         Janet Epp-Buckingham, BA, LLB, LLD

                         Additional speakers to be announced


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About ACTS Seminaries

ACTS Seminaries offers theological education and ministry training for anyone interested in deepening their faith or becoming better equipped for ministry and leadership.

Marketplace leaders, Christian professionals, lay ministers, church leaders and those interested in faith development have gained significantly from learning among the theological perspectives and in the mentoring community offered at ACTS Seminaries.






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