Jeffrey Eisenberg, the Institute’s Coordinator for New Media, Communications, and Events, attended the Inaugural Global Congress on Sports and Christianity (IGCSC) at York St. John University in York, England, from August 24-28.
Aimed at encouraging global collaboration between academics, practitioners, politicians, clergy, administrators and athletes, the Congress brought together 178 delegates from 24 nations. The Vatican, Athletes in Action, The John Paul 2 Foundation 4 Sport, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and Universities from around the world were represented, among others.
In a talk titled “A model for transforming perspectives and inspiring behavior,” Eisenberg presented an overview of the Intitute’s work at the Congress. Focused on bringing Neumann University’s Catholic Franciscan values into the world of sport through the Institute’s five core pillars, the presentation illuminated how team chaplaincy and ongoing reflection and leadership formation opportunities impact Neumann student-athletes in a mission-centered environment.
Set within larger conversations of team chaplaincy, sports ministry, and theological discussions on sport, the Institute’s presentation both contributed to and benefited from the work of sport chaplains and practitioners around the globe.
“The Congress was an excellent opportunity for practitioners and researchers to engage in meaningful conversations on the evolving role and importance of sports ministry both locally and globally,” Eisenberg said, reflecting on the conference. “While we all do similar work, it’s important to step outside ourselves and learn from the lessons and successes others have experienced in their specific contexts. And, in fact, conversations at the Congress reinforced the importance of the Institute’s emphasis on a ‘Prayer, Support, Presence’ mentality when working with our student-athletes, as delegates repeatedly emphasized these elements in their own work.”
The Second Global Congress on Sport and Christianity is already slated for October, 2019 at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a plan to continue the conversations and build upon relationships formed in York. Contact Brian Bolt (firstname.lastname@example.org) for questions or information about the 2019 Congress.