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Proclaiming Justice: The Challenge for the Church

Unemployment!  Immigration!  Violence!  Healthcare!  #BlackLivesMatter!  DACA!  Racism!  Mass Incarceration!  Homelessness!  Poverty!

These issues and more plague many in our society, and they cry out for justice. The whole people of God cry out to God whose name is Justice. God calls the church to prophetic witness and to proclaim justice for all people. Modern-day prophets Father Michael Pfleger, Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, and Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III and panels of leading scholars and pastors address some of the pressing issues of injustice that infect our society and call for a response from the church. Come and be a part of the conversation. Be educated, encouraged, and activated to proclaim and work actively for justice in your church, community, society and the world. 


Online Registration has closed. On-site registration will be available on November 15th beginning at 8:30 a.m.

On-Site General Registration: $100

The General Registration fee also includes 1.5 Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for participants who attend all sessions of the conference. Those who wish to attend only part of the conference and receive CEUs should email for more information.


Conference Information

Conference Schedule

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

8:30 a.m. Breakfast (light breakfast provided with room for gathering)
9:00 a.m. Welcome and Opening Devotions
9:45 a.m. Framing the Series of Proclaiming Justice Events
10:30 a.m. Panel 1: “What Does Justice Mean for Today?”
Panelists: Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, Dr. Débora Junker, Dr. Andrew Wymer
11:30 a.m. Lunch (provided)
12:30 p.m. Keynote Address: "Proclaiming Justice in the Midst of Violence"
Father Michael Pfleger
2:15 p.m. Panel 2: “What Issues of Justice in the Trump Era Need to be Addressed in the Church’s Proclamation?”
Panelists: Dr. Nancy Bedford, Rev. Dr. Stephanie Crowder, Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors
4:00 p.m. Chapel Worship with Bishop Jonathan Keaton
5:00 p.m. Dinner (provided)
6:00 p.m.
This lecture is open to the public.
Public Lecture: "Proclaiming Justice as Christian Hospitality in the Context of DACA"
Rev. Alexia Salvatierra 
Respondents: Ms. Maria Alejandra Salazar, Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, Dr. Luis Rivera


Thursday, November 16, 2017

8:30 a.m. Breakfast (light breakfast provided with room for gathering)
9:00 a.m. Opening Devotions/Continuing the Conversation
9:45 a.m. Panel 3: “Expanding the Boundaries of Proclamation and Justice Beyond Preaching”
Panelists: Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser, Dr. Ilsup Ahn, Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran
11:00 a.m. Panel 4: “The Realities of Preaching Justice Today” 
Panelists: Rev. Dr. Neichelle Guidry, Bishop Jonathan Keaton, Rev. Chris Winkler
12:00 p.m. Lunch (provided)
1:15 p.m. Keynote Address: "Proclaiming Justice for Black Lives in a Culture of Whiteness"
Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
2:45 p.m. Guided Conversation Groups: "Where Do We Go From Here?"
3:15 p.m. Closing Remarks


Area Hotel Information

Hotels in Evanston

Holiday Inn Chicago North Evanston

1501 Sherman Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
Distance from campus: 1 mi
Rooms start at $127
Hotel Website

Margarita European Inn

1566 Oak Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
Distance from campus: 1.4 mi
Rooms start at $144
Hotel Website

Hilton Garden Inn Chicago North Shore/ Evanston

1818 Maple Ave
Evanston, IL 60201
Distance from campus: 0.8 mi
Rooms start at $159
Hotel Website

Hyatt House Chicago/ Evanston

1515 Chicago Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
Distance from campus: 0.8 mi
Rooms start at $169
Hotel Website

Hilton Orrington/ Evanston

1710 Orrington Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
Distance from campus: 0.7 mi
Rooms start at $209
Hotel Website

The Homestead

1625 Hinman Ave.
Evanston, IL 60201
Distance from campus: 0.7 mi
Rooms start at $141
Hotel Website


Hotels in Skokie

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Chicago - North Shore Conference Center

9599 Skokie Blvd.
Skokie, IL 60077
Distance from campus: 3.8 mi
Rooms start at $111
Hotel Website

Hampton Inn & Suites Chicago- North Shore/ Skokie

5201 Old Orchard Rd.
Skokie, IL, 60077
Distance from campus: 4.8 mi
Rooms start at $139
Hotel Website

Residence Inn by Marriott Chicago/ Wilmette/Skokie

3205 Old Glenview Rd.
Wilmette, IL 60091
Distance from campus: 5 mi
Rooms start $150
Hotel Website  

Directions to Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

The links below will help you make your way to Garrett-Evangelical, and help you find your way around once you arrive.



Campus Buildings:

The Garrett-Evangelical campus is comprised of five buildings toward the north and west side of Northwestern University's Evanston campus. In addition, the seminary owns three nearby apartment complexes.

  • Main, its Gothic tower visible from much of NU's campus, houses much of the administration, most of the classrooms (all outfitted for computer-assisted learning), many faculty offices, the Styberg Library, and the Chapel of the Unnamed Faithful.
  • Shaffer is connected to the north end of the Main building and houses most of the faculty offices as well as the IT department.
  • Loder Hall, east and slightly south of the main building, contains the cafeteria (Food for Thought), guest rooms, dorm rooms, some administrative offices, student lounges and kitchen, lockers for commuting students and is LEED certified.
  • Pfeiffer is located directly to the east of Main and includes offices for faculty, development, and many of the Seminary's Centers.
  • Stead Hall, which is connected to the south side of the Main building, houses the Stead Center for Ethics and Values, the Lucy Rider Meyer Conference Room, and offices for the library.
  • Old Dorm, east of the main building, is additional housing for students.
  • Howes Chapel is directly west of Main and is set adjacent to the beautiful Shakespeare Gardens and our own prayer garden.

On-Campus or Near-Campus Parking

Parking is an acknowledged challenge here in Evanston and on campus, but with a little planning and forethought, it is not an insurmountable problem. We currently have one gated vistor's lot on campus that you can purchase a parking pass for $8/day (cash or check only). You can purchase the parking pass the day of the event, though there is a limited number of spots. You may also call as much as a week or two in advance to the front desk (847-866-3900) to make a reservation, at which time you should be able to find out if there will be space available on November 15th and/or 16th. When you come to campus you will get a magnetic card to use to get into and out of the lot. You may come and go as many times as you want that day, but the card must be returned at the end of the day as you leave the lot the last time (slide the card into the return box on your way out). 

Should parking in the gated visitor's lot sell out, you may also purchase a Northwestern Visitor's Lot parking pass. This yellow hangtag can be purchased from our front desk for $8.50/day (cash or check only). Please note, this pass is NOT good for the big lot next to our campus; if you purchase one of these passes you must park in any of the NU visitor lots, the nearest of which is across Sheridan Road just south of Noyes Street. Other lots are further away - about a 10 minute walk back to Garrett-Evangelical.  See the Northwestern University parking maps here for more information.

If you have any questions about parking options on or near campus, please contact Rev. Paul Ortiz, director of residential ministries, by email or at 847.866.3939.


Keynotes and Plenaries

Wednesday Afternoon Keynote: Proclaiming Justice in the Midst of Violence

Speaker: Father Michael Pfelger, Senior Pastor, The Faith Community of Saint Sabina

Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Pfleger received his B.A. in Theology from Loyola University, his Master of Divinity from the University of St. Mary of the Lake and an honorary Doctor of Divinity from North Park Theological Seminary. He has also completed post-graduate studies at Mundelein College and the Catholic Theological Union.

Father Pfleger was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 14, 1975. In 1981, at the age of 31, he became the youngest full pastor in the diocese when he was appointed Pastor of Saint Sabina Church.

In 1981, Father Pfleger became the proud adoptive father of an eight-year-old son, Lamar. In 1992, he also became the adoptive father of Beronti. In 1997, he became a foster father to Jarvis Franklin, who was tragically killed as a result of gang crossfire, May 30, 1998.

Since 1968, Father Pfleger has lived and ministered in the African-American community on both the west and south sides of Chicago. He spent two summers working in a Native American community in Oklahoma, and did his seminary internship as a chaplin at Cook County Jail and at Precious Blood Catholic Church, both in Chicago.

Father Pfleger has been recognized for his fight against alcohol and tobacco billboards, drugs and racism in PeopleTimeEbonyNewsweek and Jet magazines; The New York TimesThe Los Angeles TimesThe Washington PostUSA Today, The Chicago TribuneThe Chicago Sun-TimesThe Chicago Reader and numerous other papers an journals. He has also been profiled on the following television shows: "Day One" ABC; "60 Minutes" (CBS); BBC in Great Britain, the Larry King Show and Nightline.

Father Pfleger was cited in the December 20, 2004, Crain’s Chicago Business as one of the best and entertaining preachers in Chicagoland. Also, The Faith Community of Saint Sabina was written up in the December 2004 issue of Ebony Magazine as one of the churches symbolizing the "New Black Spirituality."

In the course of his extensive and active ministry, Father Pfleger has been recognized for his commitment to equality and passionate stance against injustice. Some of the awards and honors he has received include: "Keeper of the Dream", Rainbow/Push; Distinguished Service Award, Nation of Islam; "Thurgood Marshall Award", National Black Prosecutors Association; "Monsignor Egan Social Justice Award", DePaul University, "I Am A Man Award" from the April 4th Foundation in Memphis, TN, "Rosa Parks Award" from the SCLC and the "Unsung Hero Award" from the Wade's World Foundation.

Father Pfleger has been involved in many issues, such as, campaigns against the sale of drug paraphernalia, billboards that targeted children with alcohol and tobacco advertising and saturated communities of Color, negative music that glorified violence and degraded women, the violence and disrespect of women on The Jerry Springer Show and the easy access to guns and the violence that is snatching the lives of children across the country.

Father Pfleger developed a program called "Operation Empowerment" that trained Saint Sabina members to inspect neighborhood stores for poor conditions. He also developed a team of church members who, rather than have the prostitutes arrested, went out and paid prostitutes for their time so they could talk about how they could turn their lives around.

Father Pfleger is the founder of the Employment Resource Center, the Ark Youth Center, Saint Sabina Social Service Center, Thea Bowman Spiritual Advance Center, Samaritan House for the homeless, Saint Sabina 80-unit Elders Village and the Beloved Community, Inc.

As a minister, Father Pfleger has sought to break down the walls of racism and denominationalism by building unity among all people founded on truth and based on Jesus’ command to love one another. This holy calling has led him to be parent, a preacher, a teacher, a lecturer and an activist. However, he believes his most important role is an errand boy for Jesus!


  • At the request of Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Father Pfleger was the keynote speaker for the national Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Service. This event was held on January 20, 2003, at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • At the request of the King Family, Father Pfleger was one of the speakers to eulogize Mrs. Coretta Scott King on February 8, 2006.
  • Father Pfleger was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame on January 24, 2009, in Atlanta Georgia.
  • Father Pfleger was honored by the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference on February 18, 2009, with the "Beautiful Are Their Feet" award.
  • Father Pfleger was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Office of Racial Justice of the Archdiocese of Chicago on April 7, 2010
  • Father Pfleger was honored with induction into the Martin Luther King Jr. International Board of Preachers on April 7, 2011.
  • The March 2012 issue of Chicago Magazine has named Fr. Pfleger as one of “THE POWER 100” of Chicago

Wednesday Public Lecture: Proclaiming Justice as Christian Hospitality in the Context of DACA

Speaker: Rev. Alexia Salvatierra, Advocate, Community Organizer, Pastor

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is the author with Dr. Peter Heltzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (Intervarsity Press) and the founder of the Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork. She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 35 years of experience in congregational (English and Spanish) and community ministry, including church-based service and community development programs, congregational/community organizing and legislative advocacy.  She was the Director of Justice for the Southwest California Synod of the ELCA under Bishop Nelson. In addition to coordinating the Welcoming Congregations Network/Guardian Angels Project and assisting at Hope Lutheran Church, she serves as a consultant (training, facilitating, organizing and leading strategic planning) for a variety of national/international organizations, including World Vision, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship and the Christian Community Development Association.  She has been a national leader in the areas of working poverty and immigration for over 20 years, including co-founding the national Evangelical Immigration Table, the 2007 New Sanctuary Movement, the Guardian Angels project, and the Matthew 25 Pledge Movement.   She is also Affiliate Faculty for the Centro Latino and School of Intercultural Studies for Fuller Theological Seminary and Adjunct Faculty for the Micah Doctorate of Ministry for the New York Theological Seminary, Masters in Urban Studies at Eastern University, Masters in Urban Transformational Leadership program at Azusa Pacific University, Maestria at Universidad Teologica de la Iglesia Apostolica, the New Theological Seminary of the West, Haiti Partners Interseminary Micah Program, Duke Divinity School Summer Intensive and the Pacific School of Religion Summer Intensive and has taught at Vanguard and Biola Universities as well as lecturing at a variety of academic institutions, including Biblica Virtual (Argentina), the University of Southern California and UCLA. From 2000 to 2011, she was the Executive Director of Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice—beginning as the director of CLUE in Los Angeles and then as the first CLUE-CA director.  CLUE-CA is a statewide alliance of organizations of religious leaders who come together to respond to the crisis of working poverty by joining low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them.   Under Alexia’s leadership, CLUE-CA became known for its young leaders’ project, the New Sanctuary Movement and the “Our Children” project in Orange County which engages immigrant and non-immigrant evangelical congregations in joint ministry to immigrant youth facing deportation. 

Before CLUE-CA, Rev. Salvatierra founded multiple programs and organizations, in the US and overseas. These included a gang prevention program for at-risk immigrant youth, a community computer center and an intergenerational community garden where the elderly taught at-risk youth to grow produce for sale as well as a collaborative of UC students, homeless leaders and congregation members providing emergency services in the streets of Santa Cruz and the migrant farmworker camps in Watsonville. She was founding director of the Berkeley Ecumenical Chaplaincy to the Homeless, a program that integrated social services, community organizing, pastoral care, and economic development for the homeless that was replicated in six US cities. In the Philippines, she trained urban poor women in Manila to serve as chaplains to their neighbors.   She has been awarded the Changemaker award from the Liberty Hill Foundation, the Stanton Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation, the Amos Award from Sojourners, the Giants of Justice award from CLUE LA and the Prime Mover fellowship from the Hunt Alternatives Fund. 

Thursday Afternoon Keynote: Proclaiming Justice for Black Lives in a Culture of Whiteness

Speaker: Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ

With civil rights advocacy in his DNA, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III built his ministry on community advancement and social justice activism. As Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, IL, Dr. Moss spent the last two decades practicing and preaching a Black theology that unapologetically calls attention to the problems of mass incarceration, environmental justice, and economic inequality.
Dr. Moss is part of a new generation of ministers committed to preaching a prophetic message of love and justice, which he believes are inseparable companions that form the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As part of his community engagement through Trinity United Church of Christ, Dr. Moss led the team that came up with the “My Life Matters” curriculum, which includes the viral video, “Get Home Safely: 10 Rules of Survival” created in the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson, Missouri police.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Dr. Moss is an honors graduate of Morehouse College who earned a Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry from Chicago Theological Seminary. He returned to Yale in 2014 to present the famed Lyman Beecher lectures. The three-day event included an in-depth discourse on the subject of “The Blue Note Gospel: Preaching the Prophetic Blues in a Post-Soul World.” The lectures, which demonstrated a homiletic blueprint for prophetic preaching in the 21st century, were the foundation of his latest book, Blue Note Preaching in a Post-Soul World: Finding Hope in an Age of Despair, published in 2015.
Dr. Moss was named to the inaugural Root 100, a list that “recognizes emerging and established African-American leaders who are making extraordinary contributions,” according to the publication’s Website. Honorees range between ages 25 to 45 and their accomplishments and successes transcend media headlines or statistics.
With a unique gift to communicate across generations, Dr. Moss’ creative Bible-based messages have inspired young and old alike. His intergenerational preaching gift has made Dr. Moss a popular speaker on college campuses and at conferences and churches across the globe. He is highly influenced by the works of Zora Neale Hurston, August Wilson, Howard Thurman, Jazz, and Hip-Hop music. The work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the pastoral ministry of his father, Dr. Otis Moss, Jr. of Cleveland, Ohio, have been primary mentors for his spiritual formation.
Dr. Moss is the former pastor of the Tabernacle Baptist Church in Augusta, Georgia, his first pastorate, where the church grew from 125 members to over 2,100 disciples during his tenure.
His earlier publications include: Redemption in a Red Light District, and The Gospel According to the Wiz: And Other Sermons from Cinema. He co-authored The Gospel Re-Mix; How to Reach the Hip-Hop Generation with three other contributors, and Preach! The Power and Purpose Behind Our Praise, with his father, Rev. Dr. Otis Moss, Jr.
His sermons, articles, and poetry have appeared in publications such as Sojourners Magazine and The African American Pulpit Journal. Those works include: "Power in the Pulpit II: America’s Most Effective Preachers," "Joy To The World: Sermons From America’s Pulpit," "Sound The Trumpet: Messages of Hope for Black Men," and "The Audacity of Faith: Christian Leaders Reflect on the Election of Barack Obama." His work has also been featured on Huffington PostUrban Cusp, and The Root.
Dr. Moss is an ordained minister in the Progressive National Baptist Convention and the United Church of Christ. He is on the board of The Christian Century Magazine and chaplain of the Children’s Defense Fund’s Samuel DeWitt Proctor Child Advocacy Conference.
He is married to his college sweetheart, the former Monica Brown of Orlando, Florida, a Spelman College and Columbia University graduate. They are the proud parents of two creative and humorous children, Elijah Wynton and Makayla Elon.

Panel: What Does Justice Mean for Today?

A three-person panel on the topic, "What does justice mean for today?" This panel will help frame the conference topic of proclaiming justice. 


  • Rev. Dr. Stephen Ray, Neal F. and Ila A. Fisher Professor of Systematic Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Débora Junker, Assistant Professor of Christian Education and Director of the Hispanic-Latinx Center, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Andrew Wymer, Assistant Professor of Preaching and Worship and Director of the Chapel, New Brunswick Theological Seminary

Panel: What Issues of Justice in the Trump Era Need to be Addressed in the Church’s Proclamation?

A three-person panel on the topic, "What issues of justice in the Trump Era need to be addressed in the Church's proclamation?" This panel will help expand our vision of the challenges facing the church and our nation during this current administration. 


  • Dr. Nancy Bedford, Georgia Harkness Professor of Applied Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Dr. Stephanie Crowder, Associate Professor of Theological Field Education & New Testament and Director of Theological Field Education, Chicago Theological Seminary
  • Rev. Dr. Michael Nabors, Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church of Evanston

Panel: Expanding the Boundaries of Proclamation and Justice Beyond Preaching

A three-person panel on the topic, "Expanding the boundaries of proclamation and justice beyond preaching." This panel will help expand our conversation about the many ways justice can be proclaimed in concert with and in addition to preaching.


  • Rev. Dr. Angela Cowser, Assistant Professor of the Sociology of Religion and Director of the Center for the Church and the Black Experience, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Dr. Ilsup Ahn, Carl I. Lindberg Professor of Philosophy, North Park University
  • Rev. Dr. Mai-Anh Le Tran, Associate Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Panel: The Realities of Preaching Justice Today

A three-person panel on the topic, "The realities of preaching justice today." This panel will help direct our discussion of the proclamation of justice to the realities of local churches and local communities. It is our hope that the practical challenges as well as the impacts of preaching justice will create awareness and activate those who attend the conference. 


  • Rev. Dr. Neichelle Guidry, Liaison to Worship and Arts Ministries, Trinity United Church of Christ
  • Bishop Jonathan Keaton, Retired United Methodist Bishop
  • Rev. Chris Winkler, Senior Pastor, Barrington United Methodist Church


Sponsored by the Styberg Preaching Institute

Founded in 2005, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Gennifer Brooks, the director, the Styberg Preaching Institute at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary has established an intentional and persistent agenda of addressing the need for relevant, effective preaching in the church. Its motto, The Seminary and the Church: Partners in Proclamation, speaks to the mandate of the Seminary to equip pastors for transformative ministry and recognizes preaching as a critical aspect of that mission. You can learn more about the Styberg Preaching Institute at

November 15, 2017 - November 16, 2017

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston , IL 60201

Wednesday Keynote

Proclaiming Justice in the Midst of Violence

Father Michael Pfleger
Senior Pastor, The Faith Community of Saint Sabina

Wednesday Public Lecture

Proclaiming Justice as Christian Hospitality in the Context of DACA

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra
Advocate, Community Organizer, Pastor

Thursday Keynote

Proclaiming Justice for Black Lives in a Culture of Whiteness

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III
Senior Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ