Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Second Presbyterian Church Professor of Christian Education,
Dr. J. Bradley Wigger, will address "A Little Child Shall Lead Them" at the Opening Convocation of the 160th Spring Semester. Convocation will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, February 6, 2014 in the Frank H. and Fannie W. Caldwell Chapel. The public is invited to attend.
Wigger will consider in his address how Jesus welcomed children in light of Isaiah’s vision for a peaceable world. He will draw upon his research among children who have invisible friends to explore the role of imagination in child development and in faith. His address will take into account Isaiah 11: 6-9 and Mark 10: 13-16.
Wigger, ordained a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), has served churches in Colorado and Wisconsin, was a social worker working in a school of special education in Illinois, and taught at Princeton Theological Seminary and Marian College of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, before joining the faculty at Louisville Seminary in 1997.
In addition to serving on the Seminary’s faculty, Wigger directed the Seminary’s Center for Congregations and Family Ministries for nearly a decade before turning to full time teaching. As Center Director, he edited the journal Family Ministry, co-edited the Families and Faith book series (Jossey-Bass), provided leadership educational opportunities through conferences and workshops, and taught and continues to teach courses focused upon children and families, child advocacy, practical theology, writing, and the church’s teaching ministry.
Wigger has authored several articles and books, the most recent of which is the forthcoming picture book, Thank You, God (Eerdman’s) and Original Knowing: How Religion, Science, and the Human Mind Point to the Irreducible Depth of Life (Cascade, 2012). He has also written a book of table, devotional and bedtime prayers, rooted in the Psalms, called Together We Pray: A Prayer Book for Families (Chalice, 2005); a book for parents called The Power of God at Home: Nurturing Our Children in Love and Grace (Jossey-Bass, 2003); and a book based on his doctoral research in epistemology, The Texture of Mystery: An Interdisciplinary Inquiry into Perception and Learning (Bucknell University Press, 1998).
In 2009, he began conducting research in children’s cognitive development as part of Oxford University’s Cognition, Religion, and Theology project, and he is now continuing the work cross-culturally by interviewing children in other countries.