Theology for Life: Crosslands Winter Conference 2023

‘Theology for Life’ is a two day annual conference for both experienced Christian leaders and those training for ministry. The goal is to help one another to keep developing firm foundations or re-invigorating our understanding in core theological themes and how they shape our lives, our teaching and the cultures we inhabit. With academic input from Crosslands faculty and other specialist contributors, the learning-community format will also include plenty of opportunity to reflect and apply with fellow learner-leaders.

Bookings now closed

The conference is structured in three parts; you can choose to join any one part or attend the whole conference (choosing between parts B1 and B2).

  • Part A: Fully Human (Crosslands Forum – suitable for all) – Thurs – Fri
  • Part B1: The Story of the Church (Crosslands Seminary – suitable for all) – Fri – Sat
  • Part B2: Isaiah and the gospels (Lifelong Learning – assumes prior theological education) – Fri – Sat

The venue is Christ Church Newcastle, 7 Simonside Terrace, Newcastle upon Tyne NE6 5JX.

Part A: Fully Human: Cultivating healthy lives, leaders and churches

(Thurs lunch to Friday lunch)

We live in an age that prizes efficiency and technique, and that rails against the idea that any desires should remain unfulfilled. Difficult situations are treated as problems to be solved or avoided, rather than providences to be courageously engaged and faithfully endured. Society is inclined to treat people like machines needing to be fixed and improved, rather than frail and sinful creatures needing love and redemption. All of life is geared toward defeating our human limitations rather than cultivating well what God has given us.

By its very nature, cultivation cannot be rushed. It is always the lengthy work of a wise community, not the scheduled project of skilled individuals. For the kingdom of God to grow and the Holy Spirit to produce his fruit in us, it takes patience not haste, rich wisdom not mere information, deeper love not better techniques.

Join us to think about what it means for us to cultivate lives, leaders, and churches that can faithfully engage our culture: in ways that are healthy and which bear witness to God’s nature, his kingdom, and his wisdom and grace in Christ.

Who it’s for: This part of the conference is open to any church or workplace leader and other disciples who want to think deeply about the gospel and culture. It will be stretching but does not assume any prior theological education.

Part B1: The story of the church

(Friday lunch to Saturday 3.30pm)
This programme is part of Crosslands ‘Seminary’ curriculum

In this introduction to church history, we’ll gallop through 20 centuries to give a sense of the big picture. It’s our stories that define us and that’s certainly true of the story of the church.

So expect to come away with explanations. The way we do things may start to make more sense. Expect to come away inspired. We’ll meet people who showed amazing courage or remarkable self-sacrifice. And expect to find a new sense of perspective. We’re not the first Christians to find ourselves in a hostile environment. The church has faced massive challenges throughout its history and yet survived and thrived despite them or perhaps because of them.

In five action-packed sessions we’ll tell the story, look at some real historical artefacts and explore lessons for today.

Who it’s for: This track is a mandatory requirement for Crosslands Seminary students, but is open to anyone who wants a lively introduction to the full sweep of church history. It does not assume any prior level of theological study. These sessions run in parallel with Part B2.

Part B2: Isaiah and the gospels

(Friday lunch to Saturday 3.30pm)
This programme is part of Crosslands ‘Lifelong Learning’ curriculum.

All the Old Testament testifies to Jesus, but perhaps nowhere more clearly and profoundly than the book of Isaiah. Isaiah was treasured by the early church, and even the word that has been used to describe the four accounts of Jesus’ life and the life-giving message of his salvation – ‘gospel’ – is drawn from Isaiah. When Jesus announced ‘gospel’ this was not ‘good news’ in general, but rather the specific good news of restoration from Isaiah 40-66.

Knowing the promises and hopes of Isaiah will help us understand the gospels rightly and
more richly, will enhance our view of the salvation that Christ achieved, and will help us
marvel at ‘our king in his beauty’ (Isaiah 33:17).

This 24-hour programme participants will:

  • Refresh their familiarity with Isaiah as a book, in particular the shape of the promises of hope in Isaiah 40-66;
  • Be equipped to see the Isaianic background to the gospels, so that we can read the gospels more richly;
  • Gain a deeper view of Christ and his salvation
  • Grow in skills in Biblical theology as we see how NT authors pick up on themes from the Old Testament and expect their readers to do the same
  • Be inspired for (and even begin to plan) teaching series from both Isaiah and the gospels

Who it’s for: These sessions will not be lectures from the front, but will be interactive, discursive times. There will be required reading (from Isaiah and the gospels) and exercises to be done beforehand, so that when we meet in person we can be learning from each other. These sessions are aimed at those in pastoral ministry who have already done theological training. Whilst not being primarily academic in nature, they will be in-depth and stretching – as we seek to grow together in our knowledge of the Scriptures and our ability to rightly handle God’s word of truth.

Learning community

This event will provide plenty of opportunity to connect with other leaders and learners at different stages of ministry. Specifically:

Dinner Discussion: On Thursday evening each table will offer a different theme for conversation. Join a table focused on a theme that’s of particular interest to you, or suggest a theme if you’d like to convene a conversation on something that’s not on the list.

Celebration evening: Friday evening will include a celebration dinner, marking the graduation of our MA graduates and giving thanks for God’s kindness in sustaining us through the past year.


Prices include lunch and evening meals, but not accommodation or breakfast.

Standard Tickets
Fully Human only (Part A) £120
The Story of the Church (Part B1) only
(Seminary students attend free)
Isaiah & gospels only (Part B2) £120
Full conference (Parts A & B) £160
Seminary student – full conference (early bird available until 31 Oct) £40

Discounts are available for Partner Churches, find out more here.


Bookings now closed