Pope Francis met privately with 15 non-Catholic Christian leaders at the Vatican on June 5. Westmont President Gayle D. Beebe represented Christian higher education in the ecumenical conversation, which also involved politicians, theologians and pastors. Earlier in the week, the group met with Vatican staff members, toured the Vatican and attended the Convocation of Renewal at Olympic Stadium in Rome.
The pope invited the Protestant leaders to discuss the question, Can we find common ground in order to advance the life and ministry of Jesus so more people can experience the joy of Christian faith?
Beebe was the only college president in the group. Before coming to Westmont in 2007, he led Spring Arbor University in Michigan for seven years. He earned his doctorate in the philosophy of religion and theology at Claremont Graduate School and previously served as dean of the Haggard School of Theology at Azusa Pacific University. An active scholar, he co-authored “Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion” with Richard Foster and served as senior editor with Dallas Willard for the “Life with God Spiritual Formation Bible.” His most recent book is “The Shaping of an Effective Leader: Eight Formative Principles of Leadership.”
I’ve spent today reflecting. So much has happened over the last week that I’ll need time to see everything in proper perspective. As it turned out, the Vatican Foundation served as our official (read more)
Can we find common ground in order to advance the life and ministry of Jesus so more people can experience the joy of Christian faith? Before he left, President Beebe held a 90-minute conversation with five Westmont faculty members to explore this question, which Pope Francis has raised.
Finding Common Ground
President Beebe and Westmont faculty discuss the common ground between Protestants and Catholics and how these areas can benefit the world.
The Common Ground of Jesus
The panel discusses how the question poised by Pope Francis is a great place to start to both understand and be confronted by the demands of Jesus on our lives as Christians.
How Does Renewal Begin?
If the Protestant church and the Roman Catholic church are to come together what role should gratitude and other spiritual disciplines play?
How Can Westmont Grow as Christian Community?
What benefits exist from studying the life, teaching and ministry of Jesus that can both empower and inform our understanding of what it means to follow Christ?