The Teaching Pastors Forum was first established in 2019 as a partnership between ABC of Wisconsin and Central Seminary. Though the seminary site is now closed, ABC of Wisconsin is again offering the Forum. TPF is an opportunity for a pastor or minister in the region to share her/his passion project in dialogue with colleagues in ministry. Participants share a simple lunch, followed by a presentation and the opportunity for extended conversation. This year we will again be using a “hybrid” format for the Teaching Pastors Forum, so even if you can’t join us for lunch, you can tune in through Zoom.

The Region is blessed to have pastors and ministers with a wide variety of helpful gifts and interests. Below you’ll find descriptions of our upcoming offerings. Please register at least 1 week prior.

Teaching Pastors Forums – 2024


Thursday, August 22, 2024

“Power and Powerlessness in the Pastorate”

SPEAKER: An ordained American Baptist Minister, Stephen Hawkins is also a sociology PhD candidate at UW – Milwaukee. His research interests include religion, nonprofit management,  and environmentalism. He received his MDiv from Princeton and his MBA from Marquette University. Since moving to Wisconsin, Stephen has served churches locally as pastor and as moderator, as well regionally as a member of the Board of Managers and the Commission on Missions. Stephen has represented ABC-WI on the Wisconsin Council of Churches and the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.

TOPIC: There are many theoretical models of the operation of authority in the church. But responding to challenges or crises reveals the actual power pastors possess in relation to their congregations. Rev. Stephen Hawkins is a pastor, MBA, and Ph.D. student in sociology. His research has revealed interesting observations about power dynamics in the pastorate in the U.S. context. Stephen’s research has implications for responding to external crises such as a pandemic and mitigating internal crises such as clergy abuse and misconduct. He’ll share some of his work and ask us to reflect on its implications for our own understanding of our own contexts.

Sign up by August 15


Thursday, September 19, 2024

“The Inclusion of Disabled People in the Church”

SPEAKER: A minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). J.C. Mitchell received his M.Div degree from Andover Newton Theological School in 2008, shortly before his son A.J. was born. Besides being the father of a developmentally disabled child, he began Open Gathering, a church inclusive of people with disabilities in Bellevue, WA. He has also served churches in Massachusetts and Oklahoma and is currently the Program Coordinator for the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. He is married to Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell

TOPIC: Rev. J.C. Mitchell will lead us in a discussion about the theology of disability and the inclusion of those with disabilities.  This has been at the core or Mitchell’s ministry, and he is eager to share how Christianity embraces the disabled in Jesus’ teachings and Resurrected body.  Rev. Mitchell desires to have a frank conversation about how we have or have not included people with disabilities in church.  We will look together specifically at the two ordinances and discover best practices of inclusion for your specific church setting.

Sign up by September 12.

PRIOR TPF – 2024:

PRIOR TPF – 2024:

Thursday, July 18, 2024

“The Evangelical Christian Baptist Church of (the Republic of) Georgia: Who are the Georgian Baptists?”

SPEAKER: A long-term Wisconsinite, Rev. Sean Cornell (who grew up in Brookfield) has earned two master’s degrees: the first (MA-TS) from Asbury Theological Seminary just outside Lexington Kentucky, and the second (STM) from Nashotah House Theological Seminary near Delafield, Wisconsin. An ABC-WI/ABC-USA pastor, Sean has served (in addition to their previous work here at ABC-WI) in pastoral and community care ministries; most recently as the Director of Senior Community Care in Emmanuel Community United Methodist Church in Menomonee Falls. Sean is currently a member of Underwood Memorial Baptist Church in Wauwatosa.

TOPIC: Rev. Cornell had the privilege of traveling to the Republic of Georgia during their Holy Week. They share from their experience and travels. As Baptists, we value both individual faith (personal & in local Churches) as well as mutual support and association; this is a great virtue. Therefore, it behooves us to know and learn from our Baptist cousins – especially those who are different from us – so that we can live into our faith more fully.

This Teaching Pastor’s Forum on the Evangelical Christian Baptist Church of the Republic of Georgia will both inform and (God willing) inspire you to new horizons and new depths of spiritual and social ministry as we learn from one of our more unique cousins in the Baptist faith family.


See prior topics and speakers from last year – including at least one recording of the session.

Challenges & Opportunities of Digital Ministry


  • Do you want to use technology as part of your mission and ministry?
  • Are you having difficulty figuring out how digital technology should be employed by your congregation?
  • What are the barriers that prevent your congregation from using technology successfully?
  • What do you want to accomplish with technology in ministry?

Perhaps you’ve had these or similar questions. We’re going to try to name and to listen to these questions and others on June 25.


This session was a Zoom conversation in anticipation of our Palmer grant funded “Inclusive Hybrid Ministry” conference in August. In August, we’ll have sessions and speakers to discuss practical issues for those just getting started in using technology well for ministry. We will also have sessions to help us identify and overcome the barriers we face in employing technology in our ministries. We’ll discuss the need for both training and inspiration. We’ll also get into the best ways that we can go about this “new thing” with authenticity in our public witness.

Please promote this opportunity widely, especially to those who are most involved with technology in your congregation. If you have any questions or suggestions, please reach out: