Rise of the Nones: How Declining Religious Affiliation Is Changing Civil Society
Tuesday and Wednesday, November 7 and 8, 2023
ABOUT THE CONFERENCE
Hosted by the Center for Civil Society, this conference for Givers, Doers, and Thinkers will take place in Scottsdale, Arizona, on November 7th & 8th . This daylong conference is the third in a series of events that will convene donors and civil society leaders to discuss and to develop ways to strengthen American civil society. The purpose of this conference series is to advance a robust vision for charitable giving that is grounded in the Judeo-Christian understanding of charity, to champion local giving, and to share ideas on how to conserve the natural and cultural goods of our communities and our nation.
The theme of this specific conference is Rise of the Nones: How declining religious affiliation is changing civil society. Leading scholars, philanthropists, and nonprofit leaders will discuss the rise in secularism, decline in church attendance, and other related trends, and what those trends mean for civil society and America’s future. Attendees will also have ample opportunity for conversation and community with friends new and old.
WELCOME RECEPTION — 5:30pm - 7:30 pm
Jack Fowler & Shelby Steele Fireside Chat — 6:15-7:00 PM
REGISTRATION & BREAKFAST — 7:30-8:30 AM
Opening REmarks — 8:30-8:40 am
Morning Featured Speaker — 8:45-9:15 am
- Featured Speaker Michael Matheson Miller, Chief of Strategic Initiatives and Senior Research Fellow at the Acton Institute
BREAK — 9:15-9:30 AM
Opening Session — 9:30-10:30 AMWHAT’S THE LAY OF THE LAND FOR RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION AND WHAT HAS CONTRIBUTED TO ITS DECLINE?
- Panelists: Ray Pennings, J.P. De Gance, and David Trimble.
This session will explore the broad-level trends related to worship attendance, including the growing number of young people who identify as “spiritual but not religious” or as having no belief system, and some of the factors that may have led to this state of affairs.
EXTENDED BREAK — 10:30-11:00 AM
Panel Discussion Two — 11:00-12:00 PMWHAT DOES DECLINING RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION MEAN FOR REligious Liberty?
- Panelists: Andy Gould, Jeremiah Galus, and John Pinheiro
LUNCH — 12:00-1:15 PM
KEYNOTE SPEAKER: MARY EBERSTADT — 12:15-1:15 PM
- Mary Eberstadt, Panula Chair in Christian Culture at the Catholic Information Center in Washington DC and Senior Research Fellow at the Faith & Reason Institute
BREAK — 1:15-1:30 PM
Panel Discussion Three — 1:30-2:30 PMHOW ARE RELIGIOUS MINISTRIES RESPONDING?
- Panelists: Ericka Andersen, David Hogg, and John Zimmer
This panel discussion will feature ministry leaders from a variety of faith traditions discussing how they have adapted their ministries to meet new realities, and what reasons they see for hope.
BREAK — 2:30-2:45 PM
Panel Discussion Four — 2:45-3:45 PMHOW ARE EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS RESPONDING?
- Panelists: Toyin Atolagbe, Sr. Mary Jordan, and Mark Gottlieb
This panel discussion will include educational leaders discussing the role schools can play in developing virtue, the remarkable rise in new educational institutions with a focus on character formation, and the opportunities and challenges in front of these schools and their leaders in the years ahead.
BREAK — 3:45-4:00 PM
Panel Discussion Five — 4:00-5:00 PMHOW GIVERS SUPPORT RENEWAL OF FAITH THROUGH GIVING
- Panelists: John Coleman, Fred Clark, and Tim Macdonald
This panel of institutional and individual donors will explore why they give to inspire and deepen religious faith, how they have selected the causes they support, and the causes and results they are most encouraged by.