One Hundred Sixty-Six people registered for the 2020 SCJ Virtual Conference, September 15-17, hosted by Johnson University, Knoxville, TN. Registrants included people from California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, North Carolina, Missouri, Tennessee, Nebraska, Oregon, Wisconsin, Alabama, Michigan, West Virginia Kansas, Kentucky, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Ghana, India, Russia, Czech Republic and Swaziland. Active participants in the zoom sessions numbered less than half that number.
In order to accommodate three time zones the conference schedule for the first time spread to Thursday evening and Saturday afternoon. The student paper competition finalists made their presentations on Thursday evening and one plenary lecture and three study groups were held on Saturday afternoon.
A highlight of the conference was the “surprise” that came in the mail to all those registered. This was a square package with containing two fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies plus a bag of M&M’s to replicate our traditional Friday afternoon conference snack break.
Attendees registered from 45 different colleges, universities, and graduate schools, with Johnson University Tennessee leading the way with 27, followed by Johnson University Florida (10), Abilene Christian University (8), Central Christian College (5), Lincoln Christian University (5), Emmanuel Christian University (5), Faulkner University (5), and Great Lakes University (5). Registrants also came from twelve different churches. Most registrants were faculty (75) but many students (46). Students included Graduate (12), undergraduate (13), and Ph.D. (21).
The theme of Politics and the Stone-Campbell Movement was addressed by our featured speakers who included: Shaun Casey, Director of the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and Public Affairs and Professor of the Practice in Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, who presented “The Impact of Stone-Campbell Ideals: My Life in Political and Public Service” and “The office of religion and Global Affairs under Barack Obama: My Perspective;” Jess Hale, Attorney with the Tennessee General Assembly and Staff to a Tennessee Governor and a U.S. Senator, who presented “Disciples at Public Tables: A Public Servant’s View of SCM Engagement with Public Policy;” and Richard Cherok, Professor of History, Ozark Christian College, who presented “Citizen Campbell: Alexander Campbell and Early American Politics.”
These lectures were complemented by more than experienced and emerging scholars who gave presentations in parallel sessions, study groups, and student paper context sessions.
The real stars of the conference were the technical crew of Johnson University who organized and monitored held on Zoom.