Rooted and Grounded:
A Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship

Oct. 14–16, 2021

Student in the prayer labyrinth on the AMBS campus. Credit: Peter RingenbergA people’s identity is intertwined with the land — soil, water, plants, animals and seasons. The geography of home-place generates meaning and spiritual connection to Creator-God. Our relationship with land has been — and is — repeatedly broken by empires, doctrinal systems, climate change and injustices like forced migration. When generative ties to the land are severed, the vitality of our psyche and soul diminishes.

This year, Rooted and Grounded will be a gathering where we contribute to the work of forming regenerative connections, essential for the reorientation of our beings and communities. Working with the gifts of imagination — theologically and socially — will yield a vision and course of actions towards healing and renewal.

What to expect

The three days will weave together worship, theology, biblical study and praxis. In addition to keynote presentations, papers and workshops, participants will join in several worship services. An afternoon of immersion experiences will give participants opportunities to explore conservation and restoration efforts in the region. Download a draft of the schedule (PDF).

Keynote speakerWillie James Jennings

Willie James Jennings, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology and Africana Studies at Yale Divinity School. He is working on a major monograph provisionally entitled Unfolding the World: Recasting a Christian Doctrine of Creation

Conference location

Current plans are to offer the conference in a hybrid format. Some elements will be available only to in-person participants, and some will be available to participants joining via livestream. Our keynote speaker will be presenting remotely. Rates for virtual participants are yet to be determined but will be posted when registration opens.

In normal years, the AMBS campus, with areas of native grass and wildflowers, rain gardens, a prayer labyrinth and a walking path, provides opportunities for learning, recreation and meditation.

Call for papers and workshops

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is pleased to issue this call for proposals for the fifth gathering of Rooted and Grounded: A Conference on Land and Christian Discipleship to be held Oct. 14–16, 2021 (begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday and ends at noon Saturday, with optional immersion experiences on Thursday afternoon).

Rooted and Grounded logo

Gathering schedule

Download a draft of the schedule


Registration opens May 1, 2021. Rates include lunches.

Regular rates: $110 entire conference; $40 for Thursday or Friday; $30 for Saturday only;
Student rates: $35 entire conference; $15 for Thursday or Friday only; $5 for Saturday only.

If three or more undergraduate students register from the same college or university, their registration is free.


The Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions and Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, Goshen College

Contact us

For more information, email [email protected]