Wheaton College to Host Symposium on Christ and Trauma

August 22, 2023

The event is primarily designed to help Christians in the Wheaton area learn and discuss how to serve those in their communities who have experienced trauma and abuse.

Wheaton College IL Billy Graham Hall

All symposium events will take place on Monday, September 11, from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. in Barrows Auditorium, located in the East Wing of Billy Graham Hall. Free and open to the public, the symposium is co-sponsored by Wheaton College’s Chaplain’s Office, Trauma Certificate Program, Humanitarian Disaster Institute, and the Center for Applied Christian Ethics (CACE).

Featured panelists and experts include Rachael and Jacob Denhollander and Dr. Preston Hill. The Denhollanders have been internationally prominent since 2016 when Rachael became the first woman to press criminal charges and speak publicly against Larry Nassar, the USA Gymnastics team doctor at the time. Now, Rachael works as an attorney, author, advocate, and educator who is recognized as a leading voice on the topic of sexual abuse. Jacob is a theologian, author, and advocate. Dr. Hill is an assistant professor of integrative theology at Richmont Graduate University, an ordinand in the Anglican Church in North America, and a clinical pastoral therapist.

“We’re thrilled to bring this incredible team of scholar-practitioners to campus to engage in deep reflection on the injustices of our times and the grace of the Lord for the challenges of our contemporary moment,” said Eric Larson, Ministry Associate for Discipleship in the Wheaton College Chaplain’s Office.

Featured guests will be joined by several Wheaton faculty, including Dr. Vincent Bacote, Professor of Theology and Director of CACE, and Dr. Tammy Schultz, Professor of Counseling and Trauma Certificate Co-Coordinator. They will engage topics including the neurobiology of trauma, theologies of justice and forgiveness, justice in survivors’ recovery, #MeToo and #ChurchToo, and best practices for Christian leaders. There will also be time for audience Q&A.

“This event is not only timely but also vital because abuse is endemic within our society and the Church,” Dr. Schultz said. “The credibility of the Church’s witness in this generation will be determined by its ability to grapple with historic and ongoing injustice and abuse—humbly and honestly.”