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The Warren Dennis Metro-Urban Lecture 2019

February 26 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The City as classroom: emerging pedagogies in Urban Ministry.

Urban Ministry finds its fullest meaning within the context of Metropolitan Ministry: a vision and practice that considers and engages a myriad of systems that impact life in an ever-changing and increasingly urban world. Today’s urban contexts –local, national and global-are diverse, complex, pluralistic, entrepreneurial, innovative, trendsetting and growing. Ministries/social agencies within urban contexts and programs in urban ministry, need to make the city their classroom, i.e. to know the cultures and environments around them, interrogate their interactions and relationships with the communities they serve and affirm the multi-religious and multicultural dynamics that shape these communities and those around the word.

How do urban pastors, practitioners and social agencies develop a vision and daily practice that are contextually relevant, historically grounded, culturally competent, pastoral in nature, global in outlook and prophetic in witness? This lecture will address these questions and provide innovative strategies for doing ministry in 21st century metro-urban contexts.

Janice McLean-Farrell, Ph.D.

Lecture given by:

Janice McLean-Farrell, Ph.D.
Dirck Romeyn Assistant Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry


Objectives of the lecture are:

  • Revisit what does it means to be metro urban in the 21st century
  • Discuss what it means to take the city as a classroom and examine some of the new ideas and strategies this elicits for doing ministry in an increasingly urbanized world.
  • Interrogate how 21st century urban contexts shape the global church.
  • Explore the significance of partnering with other social agencies/institutions/not-for-profits organization in conducting ministry that speaks to the lived realities in contemporary global cities.


Following the lecture will be three respondents:

Dr. Bill Levering
Senior Pastor, First Reformed Church, Schenectady, NY
Rev. Dr. Patricia Sealy
Pastor of Mott Haven Reformed Church, Bronx, NY
Warren_Dennis Dr. Warren Dennis
Dirck Romeyn Professor Emeritus of Metro-Urban Ministry, NBTS


All are welcome!

Admission is free but registration is requested; to RSVP, please email

Click the image below to download a PDF of the flyer. 

About The Warren L. Dennis Annual Metro-Urban Lecture Series

The New Brunswick Theological Seminary Warren L. Dennis Annual Metro-Urban Lecture Series is intended to help revitalize the study and practice of urban ministry in theological education in North America.

Programs for urban ministry in theological education have often focused on specific skills or strategies that define cities in terms of their deficiencies. Cities have been seen as places of poverty, violence and oppression that are in need of outside intervention in the form of missions or evangelism. The work of churches, other religious institutions, communities and the broader context of urban life (corporations, financial institutions, hospitals, entertainment, legal systems and law enforcement, universities, transportation system, etc.) have too often been ignored in these educational models. As a result, many of the traditional approaches to urban ministry in theological education have become increasingly ineffective.

Institutions of theological education must establish an urban ministry body of knowledge that connects faculty, students and pastors to the systemic realities and challenges faced in our inner city neighborhoods. The Warren L. Dennis Metro-Urban Lecture Series will strive to develop new models for urban learning and leadership training, and to provide new resources for teaching urban ministry in theological education that reflect more inclusive concerns and commitments. The lecture series will challenge seminaries to assume greater public responsibility for helping urban congregations and other private and not-for-profit institutions shape the character of effective urban ministry in this new century.


About Warren L. Dennis

On the occasion of his retirement in May 2015, Warren Dennis was honored with a resolution from the Seminary Board of Trustees naming him Professor Emeritus of New Brunswick Theological Seminary. Dennis served as The Dirck Romeyn Professor of Metro-Urban Ministry and Director of Doctoral Ministry at NBTS from 1992-2015. He developed an urban concentration in NBTS’

Master of Theological Studies and Master of Divinity degree programs, and he established the first Doctor

of Ministry in Metro-Urban Ministry degree for professional clergy development. He is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church USA. Prior to coming to New Brunswick in 1992, he served for eight years as the Associate Executive for Metropolitan Ministries and Mission for the Presbytery of Detroit, supporting 92 churches and four campus ministries. From 1980 to 1985, he was pastor of First and Olivet Presbyterian Church, a multiracial congregation in Wilmington, Delaware, specializing in inner-city ministry in culturally diverse neighborhoods.

As a retirement gift, former students of Dennis established the Warren L. Dennis Lecture in Metro-Urban Ministry Endowment to ensure his legacy lives on in a new and tangible way.


February 26
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


NJ Campus
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ 08901 United States
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