Call for Proposals for the 30th Annual Conference
October 27-29, 2023 | Chicago, IL

Multicultural Ministry in the Church and The Academy

Proposal Deadline for Proposals
July 15, 2023

Submit proposals to Dr. Theresa O’Keefe

We welcome the submission of proposals for breakout session presentations at this year’s AYME Conference. This is a wonderful opportunity for your work to stimulate the thinking of others in the field while receiving valuable feedback from colleagues. We encourage papers which explore topics related to teaching, leading, and working with the next generation, in particular, those that are of an interdisciplinary nature, reflect your context, and/or your research base, be that theological, historical, philosophical, quantitative, or qualitative.

Of particular interest are proposals that speak to the conference theme:

Multicultural Ministry in the Church and the Academy

The current generation of young people is the most multicultural, multiethnic generation we have ever seen. The fact that diverse cultural and racial-ethnic groups often worship, learn, and work together necessitates the establishment of meaningful and formative relationships among them. Therefore, as educators, we are challenged by our ministry leaders’ and students’ urgent hope to develop multicultural competencies for their own ministry with young people and families. Thus, we take up the theme of multicultural youth ministry in the Church and the academy so that we can discover the dispositions and practices to best serve this moment and context. We ask you to consider the following question: As we work with an increasingly diverse racial-ethnic population of young people, what do we need to be aware of to create spaces of belonging?  How do we create spaces of listening and learning so we might come to appreciate diverse cultural modes of discipleship?

Our hope is that the breakout sessions will augment the plenary sessions as we explore the current state of multiethnic/multicultural ministry in the church and the academy. If you are a practitioner who serves in a multicultural context, consider sharing what you have learned about best practices among diverse communities. If you are teaching faculty, share how you have fostered spaces of belonging in the classroom while preparing students to enter ministry in a multiethnic/multicultural setting. If you are a researcher, help us investigate the questions and themes of multiethnic/multicultural ministry.

While the questions provided are suggestive and not prescriptive, we invite proposals that speak to the following categories:

Contexts and Practices of Multicultural Ministry with Youth and Families
As the United States population becomes more multiculturally diverse, consider:

  • How does this multicultural context shape the ministry to young people?
  • What has been demonstrated to be effective for creating spaces of belonging and justice for diverse racial-ethnic young people?
  • How do theological values intersect with best practices to make multicultural ministry with youth and families effective?
  • What are young people teaching us about creating spaces of belonging?


Multicultural Ministry in the Academy
As our educational institutions and classrooms becomes more multiculturally diverse, consider:

  • The learning environment: What are practices and rhythms faculty can establish within their classrooms that orient everyone towards increased cultural competency?
  • The faculty: What relationships, insights, and professional development do faculty need prior to entering the classroom space that might better help them embody equity, justice and belonging in the classroom?
  • The student: What are habits, practices, and strategies that raise critical awareness around race, justice, and reconciliation, prompting students toward a greater consciousness of their own biases and friendship across difference?
  • The pedagogy: What are effective pedagogies of multicultural engagement?


Questions of Multiculturalism
As the Church becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, consider:

  • What is multiethnic/multicultural ministry?
  • What are theological values that undergird multicultural ministry?
  • What are some of the promises and challenges of multicultural ministry in the Church?
  • What are the questions and concerns of multiculturalism?
  • What, if any, is the role of ethnic-specific ministries within multiculturalism in pursuit of justice and reconciliation?
  • How do we ensure that the language of multiculturalism and reconciliation is not misused to erase or dismiss the racial trauma that people of color have felt and continue to feel?


All proposals can be for one of four presentation formats, the first three of which will be featured in 50-minute time slots:

  • Research Papers: a paper to be presented and discussed. All accepted papers MUST BE SUBMITTED electronically in full NO LATER THAN SEPTEMBER 15, 2023. Papers will be posted for reading on the AYME website prior to the conference. Any papers not received by the due date may not be presented at the conference. We encourage you to seriously consider this when applying.
  • Collaborative Engagement: an opportunity for a small group of scholars to work together to promote discussion around a particular topic related to the theme. The format can be varied (e.g., panel, dialogue, professional development, interactive workshop, embodied process). The number of these will be limited and we will privilege proposals that bring together multicultural perspectives.
  • Book Highlight: an opportunity for current AYME members, who have published a scholarly book, to offer insights on their newest publication. Only books that have been published since the last conference will be considered. Only one breakout session will be dedicated to this; if there are multiple interested authors, they will be grouped together.
  • Posters: an opportunity for scholars working on research in process to visually share their work via a poster. Authors will have the opportunity speak informally with conference attendees about their projects. High traffic spaces at the conference will be dedicated to the posters exhibits.