Wednesday, June 10 at 8 a.m. in Meeting Room 7 & 8
Seminar title: God’s physicians: models of pastoral care and neglect at the Westminster assembly
Dr Chad Van Dixhoorn, Associate Professor of Church History, Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington, DC and Chancellor’s Professor of Historical Theology
Brief seminar description
This brief lecture tries to understand what the Westminster assembly (1643-1653) was looking for in a pastor. It offers an initial attempt to understand what the assembly had in mind when it considered the subject of pastoral care.
The Westminster assembly was summoned by a rebel Parliament to reform the structures of the English church. As it happens, the members of the assembly were equally eager to reform its personnel. In the decade between 1643 and 1653, the Westminster divines spent more time examining these individuals than it did fashioning a new church government, revising public worship, or creating confessional texts for a more fully Reformed Church. A published version of the paper carrying the same title is scheduled to be published in Church Life: Pastors, Congregations, and the Experience of Dissent in Seventeenth-Century England, M. Davies, A. Dunan-Page and J. Halcomb, eds. (Oxford, forthcoming 2016).
Chad Van Dixhoorn is a graduate of Westminster Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM) and the University of Cambridge (PhD), and has held three fellowships at the University of Cambridge. A former British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Van Dixhoorn has taught at Reformed Theological Seminary, Washington since 2008, where he teaches church history and practical theology. In 2013 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in recognition of his five-volume work on the Westminster assembly, published by Oxford University Press. His most recent book is entitled Confessing the Faith: a reader’s guide to the Westminster Confession of Faith (Edinburgh, 2014).
Chad served as a pastor for nine years, first in England, and then in Virginia. He and his wife Emily have five children. He organizes his free time by coaching little league, losing tennis matches against all comers, and reading NYT bestsellers.