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A Necessary Conversation:

A Theology of Marriage

Denver Seminary

Friday, October 25, 2019


For the first time in history, the future of marriage is punctuated with a question mark.

Is Our Marriage Theology in Crisis?

Divorce rates are falling due only to the rise in cohabitation and other forms of avoiding marriage. It is more than a social crisis or a political debate. It is a theological quandary. As the foundation of marriage is being disassembled, the Church overlooks the cry for a reason to pursue God’s design, a lifelong “sacrament” reflecting the image of God and the beauty of the love of Christ for his bride, the Church.

There is not a robust, compelling theology of marriage for our day to adequately equip this generation and the next. We too often respond to cultural marriage issues reactively, playing catch up to the culture.

There is a need for calling people back to God’s design for marriage, ideologically, relationally, socially, in its ecclesiological, and doxological implications—casting a vision for the future.

Every couple, every church, every family, every community needs a conversation leading to a conviction of what marriage is. This conference offers the groundwork for such a conversation.

The future of marriage rests on a conviction, a theology grounded in scripture and informed by the truth of a God’s design in the social disciplines. It is time for A Necessary Conversation: A Theology of Marriage.

This ongoing conversation will be based on the book, Marriage: Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission in a Changing World, by Moody Publishers. Information about the book, as well a sample chapter download, are available at:


It’s time to have this conversation and it’s time for you to be a part of it.

CONFERENCE PRESENTERS (listed alphabetically by last name):

Lynn H. Cohick, PhD, Provost/Dean, Denver Seminary

Fr. Stephen Freeman, St. Anne Orthodox Church, Oak Ridge TN

Deborah Gorton, PhD, Gary Chapman Chair of Marriage and Family Ministry and Therapy, Moody Bible Institute

Doug Groothius, PhD, Professor of Philosophy, Denver Seminary

Curt Hamner, MA, Founder of A Necessary Conversation: Theology of Marriage; Director, Between Two Trees Ministries

Carolyn Custis James, MA in Biblical Studies, author and leading voice of Missio Alliance

Marcus Johnson, PhD, Professor of Theology, Moody Bible Institute

Reed Jolley, Former Pastor, Santa Barbara Community Church

Craig and Coletta Smith, Lead Pastor, Mission Hills Church of Littleton

Scott Stanley, Ph.D., Research Professor and Co-Director, Center for Marital and Family Studies at the University of Denver

Glenn Stanton, Director, Global Family Formation Studies

Donna Thoennes, PhD, Professor, Torrey Honors Institute, Biola University

Erik Thoennes, PhD, Chairman of Biblical and Theological Studies Department, Biola University

John Trent, PhD, author and founder of Strong Families

Mark Young, PhD, President Denver Seminary

Priscilla Young, contributor to Marriage, Its Foundation, Theology, and Mission


$95 per conference attendee, $135 for a married couple, $50 per Denver Seminary student/alumni.

Five TEDTalk-style presentations, discussions following

Friday, October 25th 2019 from 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Denver Seminary Chapel – Denver, CO

Detailed Conference Schedule

A Necessary Conversation: A Theology of Marriage – October 25, 2019, Denver Seminary

Format: Five TEDTalk-style presentations, followed by on-platform conversations with leading theologians and practitioners.

Cost: $95 includes a copy of the book Marriage Its Theology, Purpose and Mission in a Changing World, AM refreshments and lunch. Spouse registration, additional $40.


8:00 Welcome - Mark Young

8:05 Orientation to the Day - Curt Hamner

8:15 Foundations for A Theology of Marriage (Trinitarian Thought, Genesis 2:24) -

Marcus Johnson, Curt Hamner, Deb Gorton, Lynn H. Cohick

9:20 A Matter of Union: Distinctions and Partnership -

Reed Jolley, Carolyn Custis James, Erik Thoennes, Cheri Washington

10:30 BREAK

11:00 Fidelity, Commitment and Exclusivity -

Erik Thoennes, Scott Stanley, Curt Hamner, Deb Gorton

12:00 LUNCH

1:00 A Time to Mourn and a Time to Dance: Lament and Happiness in Long-Term Marriage -

Doug Groothius

1:20 An Overdue Conversation; Looking to the East and to Rome -

Glenn Stanton, Marcus Johnson, Stephen Freeman

2:25 Marriage - Community, Union and Oneness -

Donna Thoennes, Stephen Freeman, Carolyn Custis James, Brandon Washington

3:30 The Mission of Marriage -

Mark & Priscilla Young, Erik & Donna Thoennes, Craig & Coletta Smith, Cheri & Brandon Washington

4:30 Conclusion - Curt Hamner and Mark Young


Lastly, there will be a fun “hangout” following the conference on Friday evening. It will be a great opportunity to continue conversations with some of the presenters and conference attendees as we all work to sharpen our iron (Proverbs 27:17). Please join us.

5:30 Post Conference Pub Night at:

ViewHouse Littleton - 2680 W Main St, Littleton, CO 80120

Area Hotel offering conference rates:

Courtyard Marriott

3056 W County Line Road

Littleton, CO 80129

303.791.3001 (make reservations directly with hotel)

$119 (does not include breakfast)

This conference is Hosted by:

Mark and Priscilla Young_10YearAnniversary.JPG

Mark & Priscilla Young

Denver Seminary


Curt & Rhonda Hamner,

Between Two Trees Ministries

Do you have questions about this conference? 

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