Trinity Institute is an annual conference, now in its 44th year, that equips clergy and laypersons for imaginative and catalytic leadership. Trinity Institute conferences present emerging and inclusive theological perspectives and engage participants in inquiry, dialogue, and reflection. Participants from all faith traditions are welcomed. The conference is sponsored by Trinity Wall Street, an Episcopal parish in New York City. This year’s conference – TI2015: Creating Common Good – focuses on economic inequality.
Trinity Institute takes place at Trinity Church in New York City and is streamed at Partner Sites (which are often churches and seminaries) throughout the world.
Why This Year’s Topic: Economic Inequality?
Economic inequality in the United States is a pervasive, overwhelming issue. Our society is increasingly made up of have and have-nots, and this consistently widening gap represents a condition decried by the prophets, forcefully addressed by Jesus, and singled out by a number of contemporary voices in economics and public policy as a serious but correctable obstacle to human thriving. Many of us worry that we are complicit in a system that perpetuates economic inequality, and we feel uncomfortable and tense because this complicity goes against our deeply held Christian values about social justice. Many avoid the topic because taking a stand against economic inequality is difficult, and we don’t know what we can do – as individuals and as the Church – to effect change in a broken system.
TI2015 is taking on this difficult issue and bringing together an illustrious roster of speakers who have real-world experience making change happen. They will provide you with hopeful, practical tools you can use in your community to make a positive economic impact. We also know that many of our constituents are doing powerful ministries in this area, and there will be opportunities to share both success stories and challenges in small groups and networking events. The perspective of this conference is that, far from being too big to tackle (or, as some will argue, nothing to worry about) economic inequality represents a core justice issue that can be a vital focus for preaching, teaching, and social action.
Who Is TI2015 for?
TI2015 is for anyone who’s interested in a practical, theological perspective on economic inequality. It’s not just for clergy – anyone who’s interested is invited to attend. TI2015 is perfect for seminarians, students, and young church leaders and all those who are dedicated to struggling for economic justice.
TI attendees may qualify for Continuing Education Units (CEUs).
What does TI2015 consist of?
Meet up with old friends and make new ones as you share meals, coffee hours, a reception, a networking event and a film screening together in addition to Trinity Institute’s signature talks, panels and reflection groups.
Talks are given by key speakers and last 20 minutes. Each talk is followed by a panel session in which panelists provide their thoughts and answer questions from the audience. During Q&A sessions, attendees at partner site may submit their questions via email to be answered by panelists in real time. After panels, participants break up into groups of 20 for reflection. Reflection groups are led by skilled facilitators and provide opportunities to arrive at a deeper understanding of the topic through peer learning, reflect on how to take new information into life and work, and build community with colleagues. Participation in reflection groups is optional, but many past participants tell us these groups are a vital part of the conference for them – they are the places where they learn experientially and make important connections.
Here are the highlights of the 2015 schedule. For the full schedule and videos from the event, click here.
Thursday, January 22
- Registration and reception
- Evensong: The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury
- Keynote: Cornel West
Friday, January 23
- Session 1*: Is Inequality Sinful?
The Most Rev. Justin Welby, the Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, Rachel Held Evans, Jennifer Jones Austin, R.R. Reno
- Session 2: Class Matters
Barbara Ehrenreich, R. R. Reno, others TBA
- Film Screening (documentary Inequality for All ft. Robert Reich)
- Q&A Session
Robert Reich (via Skype)
Saturday, January 24
- Session 3: What Can We Do About Economic Inequality?
Juliet Schor, Nicole Baker Fulgham
- Session 4: The Agape Economy: The Church’s Call to Action
The Rt. Rev. Julio Murray, Rachel Held Evans, Jennifer Jones Austin, others TBA
- Networking event
Sunday, January 25
- Optional worship service and Discovery class
*All sessions include a talk by a key speaker (the first listed), a Q&A with a panel of speakers, and a reflection group.
Many meals are included throughout the conference. The reception on Thursday night and networking event on Saturday night include heavy hors d’oeurves, beer, wine, and coffee. Continental breakfast, lunch and coffee breaks are provided on Friday and Saturday.
How much does it cost?
It’s affordable! TI2015 features a sliding scale fee structure. Each partner site or New York City attendee may pay the full price of $500 (what it costs us to provide TI2015 for one attendee or one partner site) or a discounted rate of either $300 or $100 —whichever rate you can afford to pay. Whichever fee you choose, you’ll have complete conference access. If you’re interested in applying for a full scholarship please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.