Seeger Chapel steeple against an orange sunset

Dr. Andrew Root to discuss ministry in secular age at Emmanuel’s Ross-Smith Lectures

MILLIGAN, Tenn. (Oct. 3, 2023)—Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan’s Ross-Smith Lectures in Pastoral Care welcomes Dr. Andrew Root to discuss ministry in a secular age on Thursday, Oct. 12. Root is a leading professor in youth ministry and practical theology and is the Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota.

This year’s lecture series invites attendees to examine the changes and challenges facing today’s churches and pastors. Root will provide three lectures, all free and open to the public.

His presentations include:

  • “Why Are They Leaving? Mis-Diagnosing Our Challenges in a Secular Age” at 10:30 a.m.
  • “Ministry Inside the Immanent Frame: The Task of Speaking of God in a Secular Age” at 2 p.m.
  • “Exploring Open Takes and Closed Spins: Forming a Congregation for a Secular Age” at 7 p.m.

All three events are free and open to the public and will be held in the Mildred Welshimer Phillips Memorial Chapel in Milligan’s B. D. Phillips Building on Emmanuel Hill.

“We’re thankful that Dr. Andrew Root will present this year’s lecture and share his expertise on current changes in ministry,” said Dr. Calvin and Nancy Ross, who established the lectureship to facilitate discussion among ministers, students, educators, laity, medical practitioners, and peace and justice advocates.

The Rosses endowed the lecture series in 2013 in memory of Calvin’s parents, Walter and Mardel Ross, and in 2015, for Nancy’s parents, Frank S. and Hylda Smith.

Root focuses his research on the areas of theology, ministry, culture and younger generations. He is a prolific writer, and his most recent books include “Churches and the Crisis of Decline;” “The Congregation in a Secular Age;” “The End of Youth Ministry;” and “Exploding Stars, Dead Dinosaurs, and Zombies: Youth Ministry in the Age of Science.” Root received his doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary and previously worked in congregations, parachurch ministries and social service programs.

Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan is a graduate seminary with a relationship to the churches of the Stone-Campbell tradition, including the independent Christian Church and Churches of Christ. With over 1,650 alumni serving Christ around the world, Emmanuel offers four degree programs: Master of Arts in Religion, Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Christian Ministries and Doctor of Ministry. Learn more about the seminary at

Posted by Greer, Allie E on October 3, 2023.