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Christian Formation Workshop 2024

A Crisis Among Us: The Problem of Christian Immaturity

May 16-18, 2024
Global Leadership Center
Westmont College, Santa Barbara

Registration is now closed. If you have additional questions, please contact us at

A Crisis Among Us

Are Christians failing to develop spiritually and morally in ways that are reasonable to expect given the claims of Christianity? Is there or has there been a widespread problem of Christian immaturity? To the degree that there is a problem, what are the best diagnoses of it and what might be done to help Christians mature? These and related questions are at the heart of the MARTIN INSTITUTE CHRISTIAN FORMATION WORKSHOP 2024.

The workshop will bring biblical scholars, theologians, historians, philosophers, psychologists, sociologists, and ministry leaders into conversation around three central questions: 

  1. What degree of spiritual and moral maturity is expected of Christian persons and what is the value of such maturity?
  2. What evidence do we have of Christian maturity both historically and in contemporary contexts?
  3. What are the most plausible explanations for the absence of Christian maturity? 

The workshop's goal is to seek consensus on these matters in order to consider actionable steps toward fostering greater spiritual and moral vitality among Christian individuals and groups. The workshop is organized by Steve Porter and Rebecca DeYoung.

Schedule & Invited Participants

8:45am – 10:00am Light Continental breakfast | Global Leadership Center (GLC) Keller Plaza
All participants

10:00am – 10:20am Steve L. Porter | Westmont College
Opening Comments

10:20am – 11:35am Nijay Gupta | Northern Seminary 
The Expectation of Christian Maturity

  • Commentator: James Samra – Calvary Church (Grand Rapids, MI) 
  • Chair: Holly Beers – Westmont College 

11:45am - 1:00pm Lunch on-campus | Global Leadership Center (GLC) Keller Plaza
All participants

1:00pm – 2:15pm Dan Speak | Loyola Marymount University 
The Value of Christian Maturity

  • Commentator: Charity Anderson – Baylor University 
  • Chair: David Vander Laan – Westmont College 

2:30pm – 3:45pm Dave Wang | Fuller School of Psychology 
The Empirical Evidence of Christian Maturity/Immaturity

  • Commentator: Tyler Greenway – Calvin University 
  • Chair: Pete Hill – Biola University 

4:00pm – 5:15pm Christian Miller | Wake Forest University 
Assessing the Evidence of Christian Maturity/Immaturity

  • Commentator: Brandon Rickabaugh – Palm Beach Atlantic University 
  • Chair: Jason Baehr – Loyola Marymount University

5:45pm – 7:30pm Dinner on-campus | Founders Room
Invited participants only


Scroll to schedules for Friday and Saturday via tabs at the top of the schedule.

7:15am – 9:15am Breakfast available | Dining Commons on-campus
Included for invited participants; registered participants can purchase meal at entrance for $13.50

7:30am – 9:00am Breakfast available | Mar Monte Fireside Room
Invited hotel guests only

9:30am – 10:45am Vince Bantu | Fuller School of Theology
Racial/Ethnic Injustice and the Problem of Christian Immaturity

  • Commentator: Estrelda Alexander – William Joseph Seymour Foundation
  • Chair: Brandon Paradise – Rutgers University 

11:00am – 12:15pm Kristen Johnson |  Western Theological Seminary
Diagnosing the Problem of Christian Immaturity: A Theological Perspective

  • Commentator: Kyle Strobel – Biola University
  • Chair: Trey Clark – Fuller School of Theology 

12:15pm – 1:45pm Lunch available | Global Leadership Center (GLC) Keller Plaza
Included for invited participants; (registered participants can purchase meal at Dining Commons for $16)

2:00pm – 3:15pm Bruce Hindmarsh | Regent College
Diagnosing the Problem of Christian Immaturity: A Historical Perspective

  • Commentator: Helen Rhee – Westmont College
  • Chair: Alister Chapman – Westmont College 

3:30pm – 4:45pm Lisa McMinn | George Fox University
Diagnosing the Problem of Christian Immaturity: A Sociological Perspective

  • Commentator: D. Paul Sullins – Catholic University of America
  • Chair: Felicia Song – Westmont College

5:00pm Shuttles leave from GLC at Westmont for Cold Spring Tavern

6:00pm - 8:00pm Dinner at Cold Spring Tavern (please take shuttles)
Invited participants only

8:00pm - 8:30pm Shuttles return to hotel and Westmont GLC


Scroll to schedules for Thursday and Saturday via tabs at the top of the schedule.

7:00am – 8:00am Hot Continental breakfast | Global Leadership Center (GLC)
All participants

8:00am – 9:15am Brent Slife | Brigham Young University
Diagnosing the Problem of Christian Immaturity: A Psychological Perspective

  • Commentator: Nicholas Gibson – independent scholar
  • Chair: Jeff Schloss – Westmont College 

9:20am – 10:35am Michael Austin | Eastern Kentucky University
Diagnosing the Problem of Christian Immaturity: A Philosophical Perspective

  • Commentator: James K. A. Smith – Calvin University
  • Chair: Gregg Ten Elshof – Biola University 

10:45am – 11:15am Rebecca DeYoung | Calvin University
Closing Comments

*This concludes the workshop portion of our gathering. Pastoral Fellows and representatives of partner organizations continue with the Ministry Leaders Colloquium.


Ministry Leaders Colloquium (Invited Ministry Leaders Only)

Addressing the Problem of Christian Immaturity in Ministry Contexts

  • Facilitators: Gary Moon and Mimi Dixon

12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch | President's Patio, Kerrwood Hall 

1:00pm – 5:30pm Colloquium | Hieronymus Lounge, Kerrwood Hall 

5:45pm – 7:00pm Dinner | President's Patio, Kerrwood Hall 


7:00am-9:00am Breakfast available | Dining Commons

Scroll to schedules for Thursday and Friday via tabs at the top of the schedule.

Academic Participants:
  • Nijay Gupta - New Testament, Northern Seminary
  • James Samra - New Testament, Calvary Church
  • Holly Beers - New Testament, Westmont College
  • Dan Speak - Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University
  • Charity Anderson - Philosophy, Baylor University
  • David Vander Laan - Philosophy, Westmont College
  • Dave Wang - Psychology, Fuller School of Psychology
  • Tyler Greenway - Psychology, Calvin University
  • Pete Hill - Psychology, Biola University
  • Christian Miller - Philosophy, Wake Forest University
  • Brandon Rickabaugh - Philosophy, Palm Beach Atlantic University
  • Jason Baehr - Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University
  • Vince Bantu - Black Church Studies, Fuller School of Theology
  • Estrelda Alexander - Sociology, William Joseph Seymour
  • Brandon Paradise - Law, Rutgers University
  • Kristen Johnson - Theology, Western Theological Seminary
  • Kyle Strobel - Theology, Biola University
  • Trey Clark - Theology, Fuller School of Theology
  • Bruce Hindmarsh - Spiritual Theology, Regent College
  • Helen Rhee - Church History, Westmont College 
  • Alister Chapman - History, Westmont College
  • Lisa McMinn - Sociology, George Fox College
  • D. Paul Sullins - Sociology, Catholic University of America
  • Felicia Song - Sociology, Westmont College
  • Brent Slife - Psychology, Brigham Young University
  • Nicholas Gibson - Psychology, Independent Scholar
  • Jeff Schloss - Biology, Westmont College
  • Michael Austin - Philosophy, Eastern Kentucky University
  • James K. A. Smith - Philosophy, Calvin University
  • Gregg Ten Elshof - Philosophy, Biola University
  • Rebecca DeYoung - Philosophy, Calvin University
  • Steve Porter - Spiritual Formation, Westmont College
Ministry Leaders:


  • Miriam Dixon 
  • Carolyn Arends 
  • Siang Yang Tan 
  • Kurtley Knight


  • Rob Loane
  • Wesley Kouba 

Center for Christianity and Public Life

  • Michael Wear
  • Phebe Meyer 

Dallas Willard Ministries

  • John Carroll
  • Jan Johnson
  • Keith Matthews

Leadership Transformations Inc.

  • Rick Anderson

Christian Alliance for Orphans

  •  Rachel Medefind 

From Platform to Table

  • Sara Di Fuccia
Pastoral Fellows:
  • Steve Doerksen - White Rock Community Church (White Rock, B.C.)
  • Matt Robbins-Ghormley - Trinity Presbyterian Church (Tacoma, WA)
  • Daniel Kim - The Well Church (Yorba Linda, CA)
  • Bryce Hales - Trinity Church (San Louis Obispo, CA)
  • Ashley Hales - Trinity Church (San Louis Obispo, CA)
  • Daniel Long - Grace Church of Long Beach (Long Beach, CA) 
  • Caleb Maskell - Vineyard USA
  • Rachel Palmbush - New Community (Menlo Park, CA)
  • Dave Peterson - New Community (Menlo Park, CA)
  • Marcus Robinson - Purpose Church (Pamona, CA)
  • Bryan Shuler - Lifepoint Church (Delaware, OH)
  • Jenny Warner - Valley Presbyterian Church (Portola Valley, CA)
Westmont College/Martin Institute
  • Gayle Beebe - Westmont College
  • Eff Martin - Martin Institute Advisory Board Chair
  • Patty Martin - Westmont Board of Trustees
  • Gary Moon - Martin Institute
  • Mariah Velasquez - Martin Institute
  • Mike Di Fuccia - Martin Institute
  • Beth Cook - Martin Institute
  • Scott Lisea - Westmont College
  • John Ortberg - Martin Institute Senior Fellow
  • Phil Aronson - Friend of the Martin Institute
  • Susan Aronson - Friend of the Martin Institute
  • Joel Lawrence - Center for Pastor-Theologians
  • Richard Bollinger - John Templeton Foundation 
  • Joe Gorra - Fieldstead and Company

This is a limited list of hotels in the Santa Barbara area. Inquire regarding possible discounts for Westmont. The list does not include all of the hotels in the Santa Barbara area. Prices as of Summer 2021 and are subject to change.

Bath Street Inn (B&B)1720 Bath St, Santa Barbara(805) 682 - 9680   
Beach Bunny Cottage310 W Yanonali St, Santa Barbara, CA 93101(805) 968-1905
Best Western Beachside Inn336 W. Cabrillo, Santa Barbara(805) 965 - 6556      
Best Western Plus Carpinteria Inn4558 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria(805) 684 - 0473     
Best Western Plus Pepper Tree Inn3850 State St, Santa Barbara(805) 687 - 5511     
Brisas Del Mar, Inn at the Beach223 Castillo St, Santa Barbara(805) 966 - 2219 
Casa Del Mar (B&B)18 Bath St, Santa Barbara(805) 963 - 4418      
Cheshire Cat Inn36 W. Valerio, Santa Barbara(805) 569 - 1610      
Hotel Santa Barbara533 State St, Santa Barbara(805) 957 - 9300 
Inn By the Harbor433 W Montecito St, Santa Barbara(805) 963 - 7851    
Inn on Summer Hill2520 Lillie Ave, Summerland(805) 969 - 9998  
Lavender Inn By the Sea206 Castillo St, Santa Barbara(805) 963 - 4317 
Montecito Inn1295 Coast Village Rd, Santa Barbara(805) 969 - 7854   
Pacifica Suites5490 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara(805) 683 - 6722    
The Upham Hotel1404 De La Vina St, Santa Barbara(805) 962 - 0058    
Villa Rosa Inn15 Chapala St, Santa Barbara(805) 966 - 0851  


An interactive map is located here


Entry kiosks are located at each of Westmont's two campus entrances. If the gate is down, a staff member will greet you and assist you with entering campus for the conference.


Reserved lots will be indicated. For special parking needs, contact (805) 565-6050 for assistance. 


Directions to campus: Take 101 South to the Coast Village Road exit. Turn left onto Coast Village Road, and at the roundabout, turn right onto Hot Springs Road. At the stop sign, turn left onto Sycamore Canyon Road and continue for 1.25 miles. Turn right onto Cold Spring Road (you will see the fire station on your left), and continue half a mile to Westmont's Main Entrance. 


Directions to Campus: Take 101 North to the Olive Mill exit, and turn right on Olive Mill Road. Take the first left onto Hot Springs Road. At the stop sign, turn right onto Sycamore Canyon Road and continue for 1.25 miles. Turn right onto Cold Spring Road (you will see the fire station on your left), and continue half a mile to Westmont's Main Entrance. 

This workshop has been generously sponsored by: Eff and Patty Martin, 

the Grace Griffin Legacy Fund, the Phil and Susan Aronson Charitable Fund, 

and the John Templeton Foundation.