KATS Conference 2024

Individuals and Communities: Social Ontology for the Church

February 16th, 2024 – 9 AM – 4 PM – Asbury University – Reasoner Hall 214

The one-day KATS conference is free and open to the public. The papers will be academic, but all are welcome to ask questions and participate. No reading is required ahead of time. Our theme is the relationship between individuals, communities, and the church. The conference starts at 9 AM and will run until approximately 4 PM.

Lunch is not provided, but we will break for lunch and there are several lunch options within walking distance.

Please reserve your spot by signing up on the form below. Even if you only plan to attend one or two of the talks, this gives us a better idea of how many people to expect.


9:00 – 10:15 AM – Joshua Cockayne – Does individualism undermine the doctrine of the church?
Respondent: Jordan Wessling

10:30 – 11:45 AM – D. T. Sheffler – Growing Up in Church: Development of the Person in the Presence of the Holy
Respondent: David Bradshaw

11:45 AM – 1:00 PM – Lunch Break

1:00 – 2:15 PM – Koert Verhagen – How New in Christ Am I Really? Exploring Ecclesial Identity
Respondent: Thomas McCall

2:30 – 3:45 PM – Jonathan Rutledge – Who Dealt With Sin: Jesus or Humanity? Group Forgiveness and Substitutionary Atonement
Respondent: Preston Hill

Joshua Cockayne is the Director of Mission and Evangelism at Cranmer Hall, Durham. He is also the Director of the Centre for Church Planting Theology and Research, a center aiming to bring church planting and theology into dialogue. His research focuses primarily on issues related to mission, spirituality, liturgy, and the nature of the Church. He has published or edited several books, including his recent Explorations in Analytic Ecclesiology with Oxford University Press in 2022.

Koert Verhagen is a professor of philosophy and religion at Taylor University in Indiana. After graduating with a philosophy degree from Taylor, he earned a Masters from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of St Andrews. Among other prominent publications, his book—Being and Action Coram Deo—was published with T & T Clark in 2021. His current research focuses on gratitude from a theological and philosophical perspective. 


Jonathan C. Rutledge is a John and Daria Barry postdoctoral fellow with the Human Flourishing Program. He has held postdoctoral fellowships previously at the University of Notre Dame (Center for Philosophy of Religion) and the University of St Andrews (Logos Institute for Analytic and Exegetical Theology). After receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Oklahoma (2016), Jonathan completed a second Ph.D. in theology at the University of St Andrews (2018). Unsurprisingly, then, his primary areas of research interest are at the intersection of those two fields—analytic philosophy and contemporary theology—with a focus on issues in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

D.T. Sheffler is a Catholic philosopher who specializes in the history of ideas, especially beauty, personhood, and conservatism. He is particularly interested in the history of the Platonic tradition and the personalism of Dietrich von Hildebrand. He is an associated scholar with the Hildebrand Project, and teaches philosophy at Memoria College. He is passionate about classical education, and writes about topics such as beauty, virtue, truth, education, and sanctity.