Category Archives: faculty

In Defense of “Religion” (Brannon Hancock)

At some point – I know not when – religion became a dirty word. And this attitude doesn’t just come from critics outside the church. I’ve heard many Christians make this distinction as well: “It’s not about religion; it’s about relationship.” Or “I’m spiritual, but not religious” – religion often serving as a cipher for rituals, moral codes, spiritual disciplines, and the like.

A couple years ago, this attitude was brought to its clearest – or at least loudest – articulation by Jefferson Bethke in his spoken-word video “Why I Hate Religion, but Love Jesus.” The video had 1.2 million hits within its first 24 hours online (that’s an average of 14 views per second); 11 million hits the first week; and has been viewed nearly 30 million times in the three years since it was uploaded. (That’s off-the-charts virality, especially for a piece of Christian pop culture.) Continue reading

Welcome to Rev. Colleen Derr!

Wesley Seminary at Indiana Wesleyan University would like to welcome Rev. Colleen Derr as our newest full time professor, namely, Assistant Professor of Christian Ministry and Congregational Formation.  She will take the lead now in teaching our Congregational Spiritual Formation core requirement and will become the primary point of reference for our spiritual formation courses and our MA in Youth Ministry.

Rev. Derr is an ordained minister in The Wesleyan Church and has served for the last 10 years at Wesleyan Church headquarters as Director of Children’s Ministry for The Wesleyan Church.  She is also Assistant Pastor of Fall Creek Wesleyan Church in Fishers, Indiana, and has served in other roles, including teaching in public schools. She is currently finishing her doctorate at Regent University in the area of Christian Education Leadership.

A hearty welcome to Rev. Derr as she joins our faculty!