Kentucky Analytic Theology Seminar

KATS is a space for Christian academics to present work and receive thoughtful, critical, and charitable feedback.


The Kentucky Analytic Theology Seminar—since it’s the University of Kentucky and analytic theology, let’s give it the cheesy acronym of KATS—is an academic seminar that meets at Lewis House. The following is a brief overview of KATS: what it is, what to expect, and FAQs. 

What is KATS?

The idea of KATS started with a realization: a lot of folks in the Kentucky orbit are also in the analytic theology orbit. So, why not get together occasionally and talk theology? 

That’s the idea, plain and simple. KATS isn’t associated with any academic institution, but it imitates an academic seminar. In short, the goal of KATS is a space for Christian academics to present work and receive thoughtful, critical, and charitable feedback. Presenters are invitation-only, but open to nominations. Please fill out the form below if you’re interested in presenting.

Who is invited? Is it only for “analytic theologians”? 

Anyone is welcome to attend—academic or not, theologian or not, analytic or not. But, “analytic theology” gives you an idea of what to expect at KATS. We’ll discuss theology with a willingness to engage philosophy and with a deep concern for clarity and precision. That doesn’t mean, of course, that there won’t also be a deep concern for Scripture or the theological tradition or other branches of philosophy. There absolutely will be! So, we more than welcome you and your particular perspective, even if you don’t consider yourself an “analytic theologian.” 

We also invite non-academics to participate, but with this warning: the presentations and discussions will be at an academic level. So expect some jargon or technical terms. But we’d be delighted if you joined in on the discussion,  even if you’ve not had theological training. 

Since KATS is still new, we’re trying to get the word out a bit. So please do us the favor of sharing this page with anyone you think is a good fit or might be interested. 

When is KATS? 

The goal is to meet once per month, usually on the first Monday of the month (unless the academic calendar requires otherwise). The first meeting is on January 9th at 7 PM. 

Where does KATS meet and why? How do I get there? Where do I park?  

KATS meets at Lewis House. Lewis House is a non-denominational Christian study center on the University of Kentucky campus. The goal of Lewis House  is thoughtful Christian engagement at the intersection of faith and academia. You can read more about the ministry here

Lewis House is also the temporary home of Christian Student Fellowship, a large campus ministry on UK’s campus (and from which Lewis House was launched). Because of that, Lewis House currently shares the space, especially in the evenings. That means that when KATS meets (on Monday evenings), there will be other CSF events happening, too. KATS will meet in the basement of Lewis House, which should be private enough. 

Because of the other CSF events in the Spring, parking could be tricky. But we have this handy parking guide for you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Derek at [email protected] if you have questions about this.

How do I participate? 

See below for more about the typical meeting schedule. Assuming you’re not presenting, your role at KATS is simple:

  1. Read the article before the meeting 
  2. Show up
  3. Ask questions or offer feedback during the feedback time

Easy, right? We should add: you’re welcome even if you haven’t read the article. But we encourage everyone to read the article because the presenter will not read the entire paper at the meeting. 

What should I expect the meetings to be like? 

While there will likely be exceptions, a typical meeting will follow this format: 

  • Opening comments and announcements from the moderator 
  • Presenter offers a 10-15 minute summary of the paper’s argument
  • A Responder then offers a 5-10 minute prepared response to the paper
  • The moderator then opens up for the feedback session (~30-45 min). In this time, the floor is open for all who wish to ask questions or offer feedback. The presenter can respond to each question or feedback if they wish. 

The goal is to start at 7 PM and end around 8:15 PM. We’ll also have light refreshments available and you should feel free to stay late for further discussion. 

Spring 2023 Schedule 

January 9th | Jordan Wessling (Lindsey Wilson College) – God of Holy Love: Toward an Agapist Alternative to Mark Murphy’s Holiness Framework for Divine Action

Respondent: Thomas McCall (Asbury Theological Seminary) 

February 6th | Claire Peterson (Asbury University) – Species-Membership and Moral Personhood

Respondent: Scott Davison (Morehead State University) 

March 6th | David Bradshaw (University of Kentucky) – Of Essence, Energies, and Computer Programs

Respondent: Zach Porter (MA Student; Asbury Theological Seminary) 

April 3rd | Michael Austin (Eastern Kentucky University) – The Moral Theology of Sport

Respondent: Brad Barlow (D. Phil Student; Oxford University) 

Finally, if you’d like to keep in touch with KATS and stay on our email list, please fill out the form below. It puts you on the contact list so I can keep you updated about meetings. And feel free to contact Derek ([email protected]) if you have further questions.