Welcome to the Robert E. Webber Center for an Ancient Evangelical Future! Established at Trinity School for Ministry in 2012, the Center was founded by its namesake, the late Robert E. Webber, an American evangelical Anglican theologian whose vision the Center broadly seeks to uphold. The following is a description of the Webber Center’s key commitments and the functions that flow out of those commitments.
Three Key Commitments
Ancient-Future Orientation – The most obvious commitment of the Center is to an ancient-future orientation. The Webber Center is dedicated to critically reclaiming the wisdom of the ancient Christian tradition for the life and mission of the church today. In an increasingly secular, postmodern and post-Christian culture, the Webber Center seeks to retrieve those beliefs and practices that lie at the roots of the Christian tradition, that have stood the test of time, and that will nurture the life and health of the church in our day.
Anglican, Evangelical & Ecumenical Scope – Closely related to its ancient-future orientation is the Webber Center’s commitment to a spirit of orthodox, Nicene ecumenism in which it undertakes its mission. Though many real differences exist between our various Christian traditions, the Center seeks to uphold those lasting truths that all orthodox Christians hold in common. While the evangelical Anglican tradition is our immediate setting, the Center’s vision extends to the broader Protestant and Evangelical world, and ultimately to the whole “household of faith.” As such, the Webber Center seeks to be a resource for the whole church, while remaining rooted in the evangelical Anglican identity of Trinity School for Ministry.
Christian Formation Focus – A third commitment of the Webber Center is to the doctrinal and spiritual maturity of the church, especially in North America. Many within our churches lack even a basic grasp of the principles of the Christian faith, rendering them susceptible to the trends of contemporary culture and to errors in doctrine. Through its various functions, programs, and publications, the Webber Center seeks to be an agent of Christian formation and maturity in the life of the church today (Ephesians 4:1-16).
Two Key Functions
Flowing directly out of these three key commitments are the two key functions of the Robert E. Webber Center.
Theological Engagement – One of the key functions of the center is to host events that engage the vital theological issues facing the church in our time. Featuring prominent Christian thinkers and focusing upon the life of the church, these events are intended for pastors, scholars, students, lay leaders and parishioners. God willing, these events will one day include additional lectures, workshops and courses of study. At present, our main event is the annual Ancient Evangelical Future Conference. This series of conferences is roughly organized around Robert Webber’s 2006 “Call to an Ancient Evangelical Future,” with every conference focusing upon one of the six points of the Call. For a schedule of upcoming conferences, please visit our Conference page.
Christian Formation – A second key function of the Webber Center is catechesis and Christian formation. From the outset, Trinity has identified the development of a rich collection of Catechetical Resources as a key function of the Center. The goal of these resources is to inform the doctrinal and spiritual formation of a new generation of Christian leaders, teachers, and disciples – both in North America and around the world. Rooted in Scripture and ancient Christian wisdom, these resources are being produced through a range of media and are being widely distributed. As a whole, they present a pattern of Christian thought and life that is grounded in the Gospel and conformed to the image of our Lord (Rom. 8:29). Both Trinity and the Webber Center have high hopes for this vital catechetical ministry. Please visit our Resources page for more information.