About the Theological Commons

Many events at MTSO are presented by the Theological Commons, bringing together students, faculty, practitioners and the general public for learning and dialogue. Formed in 2012, the commons is one way the school fulfills its mission to provide theological education and leadership in pursuit of a just, sustainable and generative world.


The Theological Commons at MTSO is a means through which the school shares intellectual resources with the church and the world through dialogue with the broader community. By offering events, learning resources and continuing conversation, the Theological Commons promotes the sharing of knowledge and experience between students, faculty, clergy and the public for the benefit of all participants and those they serve.

Commons events

Events presented by the Theological Commons cover a wide range of topics at the intersections of religion, scholarship and society. Video of most events is streamed live and archived for future viewing, along with printed resources. See upcoming events. A sampling of past Theological Commons events:

Women’s Participation in Food Justice: Developing Transnational Solidarity
Lecture by MTSO Assistant Professor of Theology, Ecology and Race Elaine Nogueira-Godsey and Ohio State University doctoral student Kelsey Ryan-Simkins. September 2019.

Reading Philippians in the Age of Mass Incarceration
Faculty lecture by Ryan Schellenberg, MTSO assistant professor of New Testament. May 2019

Fearless Dialogues community conversation
Fearless Dialogues, led by Gregory C. Ellison II, associate professor of pastoral care and counseling at Candler School of Theology, has created unique spaces for unlikely partners to engage in hard, heartfelt conversations that see gifts in others, hear value in stories, and work for change and positive transformation in self and other. March 2019.

Missing in Action: The Disappearance of Progressive Christianity in the Movement to End Human Trafficking
Faculty lecture by Yvonne Zimmerman, associate professor of Christian ethics. February 2016.

Faithful Justice: Confronting Mass Incarceration
An afternoon of critical dialogue, scholarship and networking to identify practical actions we can take as we work together to dismantle mass incarceration. Keynote address by James Logan, author of Good Punishment? Christian Moral Practice and U.S. Imprisonment. February 2016.

Towards a Practical Theology of Disability
Lecture by John Swinton,chair of divinity and religious studies at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Trained as a nurse, chaplain and theologian, Swinton teaches multidisciplinary courses in healthcare and spirituality. January 2015.

The Fleeing Nones: Food for Thought from the Spiritual but not Religious
Faculty lecture by Linda Mercadante, MTSO professor in the Straker Chair of Historical Theology. March 2014.

View a complete archive of MTSO events.