Torrance Workshop-Retreat, July 31 – August 2, 2020 (Online via Zoom)

Location: Global; held online via zoom.  
Date: July 31-August 2, 2020
Sponsor: The Thomas F. Torrance Theological Fellowship. 
Organizers: Brent Purkaple, Geordie Ziegler, Daniel Cameron, Kerry Magruder.

Register as a participant: Use the EventBrite link.
Cost: Free (A free Zoom account is required).

Apply to give a presentation: Send an email to giving a title, research question, chief concepts, and likely sources. Indicate your institutional affiliation and explain the context or nature of your anticipated research project. 12 presenters will be accepted.

What is a Workshop-Retreat? The Torrance Workshop-Retreat will consist of successive Zoom meetings over the space of a weekend. Ample breaks in between online sessions will allow time for reading, meditation, and backchannel conversation. The Workshop-Retreat is designed for students, pastors, and interested lay people as well as scholars. 

Torrance Workshop-Retreats are different from other conferences. Rather than a typical conference, this event is a retreat, and a workshop. 

1. Retreat

Come join others in the Torrance tradition for a special weekend retreat of worship and prayer together. The weekend will include three retreat sessions, each lasting 30-45 minutes. In format, facilitators may combine, at their discretion, responsive readings, music, and prayer, with a short homily. The retreat sessions will lead us in prayerful reflection, meditation and worship related to the theme of theology and scholarship in the time of COVID-19. The facilitators may provide PDFs in advance for responsive reading or thoughtful consideration.

2. Workshop

Are you ready to begin a new research project involving T. F. Torrance or the Torrance tradition? There’s no need to wait until you have finished a paper to benefit from the input, advice and feedback of current scholars. Rather than a typical conference, where presentations consist of polished papers, workshop sessions are designed to assist anyone with a new Torrance project, whether they be new to Torrance or experienced scholars or anywhere in between.  

Workshop details

There will be three presenters per session, with 20 minutes for each presentation. Each researcher will present a project for 8 minutes, leaving 12 minutes for discussion. Each 8-minute presentation will consist of at least the three following components: 

  • a statement of the presenter’s overall research question
  • the concepts the researcher is exploring in relation to the research question, and 
  • the sources (both primary and secondary) that seem to be of key relevance to the project. 

The researcher may provide additional details, if desired, depending on the stage of the project. Input will then be provided in a conversational manner, facilitated by the workshop session chair. 

After the three presentations, each workshop session will conclude with a 10-minute reflection by a session Commentator. Commentators will share their impressions of key concepts, offer any tips or general guidance, note particularly useful sources (primary and secondary), or possible misconceptions, etc., related to the topics of that session. 

Up to four workshop sessions allow for up to 12 different presenters. Workshop sessions are plenary in order to encourage the exchange of perspectives across various subspecialties, although sessions may be organized topically depending on the applications received.

Imagine the conversations that might result from spending a weekend at a wilderness retreat center in the mountains together with others in the Torrance tradition. The ethos of plenary sessions, open to all registrants, provides a personal venue for initial queries to be made in sustained conversation with other Torrance researchers. This format is ideal for graduate students considering possible dissertation topics and for experienced scholars in other areas who wish to embark on a new direction in Torrance research. Workshop sessions provide an opportunity for presenters to receive feedback, pointers, and advice from participants. The aim is to help researchers efficiently and effectively launch new projects.

The weekend will conclude with a panel discussion where several scholars will reflect on common themes arising from the presentations, offer general tips and advice for beginning researchers, or identify areas where further study is needed.


All times Central Standard Time (Chicago, Dallas), with apologies to our international friends.

Sessions will begin on time. We encourage participants to sign on to Zoom five minutes before each session. 

Friday evening

Retreat Session 1. 7:00pm.

  • Faciliatator/liturgist/homily: Geordie Ziegler

Workshop Session A. 8pm.

  • Chair: Kerry Magruder
  • Presenter 1, 8:00-8:20
  • Presenter 2, 8:20-8:40
  • Presenter 3, 8:40-9:00
  • Commentator, 9:00-9:10: Gary Deddo

Saturday morning

Retreat Session 2. 10:00am.

  • Facilitator/liturgist/homily: Daniel Cameron

Workshop Session B. 11:00am.

  • Chair: Daniel Cameron  
  • Presenter 1, 11:00-11:20
  • Presenter 2, 11:20-11:40
  • Presenter 3, 11:40-12:00
  • Commentator, 12:00-12:10: Thomas A. Noble

Saturday afternoon

Workshop Session C. 2:00pm.

  • Chair: Brent Purkaple  
  • Presenter 1, 2:00-2:20
  • Presenter 2, 2:20-2:40
  • Presenter 3, 2:40-3:00
  • Commentator, 3:00-3:10: Jerome van Kuiken

Workshop Session D. 4:00pm.

  • Chair: Geordie Ziegler  
  • Presenter 1, 4:00-4:20
  • Presenter 2, 4:20-4:40
  • Presenter 3, 4:40-5:00
  • Commentator, 5:00-5:10: Myk Habets

Sunday afternoon

Panel discussion. 3:00pm.

  • Chair: Brent Purkaple
  • Panelists: Gary Deddo, Myk Habets, Tom Noble, Jerome van Kuiken, Brent Purkaple

Retreat Session 3. 4:30pm.

  • Faciliatator/liturgist/homily: Kerry Magruder

Speakers, OrganizersPurkaple, BrentCameron, Daniel J.Ziegler, Geordie W.Magruder, KerryNoble, Thomas A.Deddo, Gary W.Van Kuiken, E. JeromeHabets, Myk


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