The role of churches (and synagogues, mosques and other sacred spaces) is evolving rapidly as faith leaders adapt to an increasingly diverse urban environment.
While some congregations are experiencing decline, some suburban congregations are growing. The traditionally informal contribution of faith institutions to community life has become an essential part of the social safety net provided by municipal authorities. The list of questions is long and challenging. Eric Jacobsen
Rev. Eric Jacobsen is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church (Tacoma, Washington) and a PhD candidate at Fuller Theological Seminary. Eric Jacobsen previously served as the Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Missoula, MT from 1995-2004 and has taught as an Adjunct Professor at both Regent College in British Columbia and Fuller Theological Seminary.
Eric is author of the nationally-recognized book Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith (Brazos, 2003), which explores how Christians can have a positive impact in America’s cities. He is also the co-editor of Traditions in Leadership: How Faith Traditions Shape the Way We Lead (DePree, 2006), as well as numerous articles exploring connections between the Christian community, the church, and traditional neighborhoods. He has been interviewed by The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and other national media, and he has presented lectures for various secular and religious institutions including Calvin College, the University of Virginia, the Christian Community Development Association, the American Planning Institute, the American Academy of Architects, and the Congress for the New Urbanism. He has past involvement in Young Life.
Eric received his M.Div from Princeton Theological Seminary, his B.A. from the University of California at Berkeley, and additional training from the Billy Graham School of Evangelism. While at Princeton, he was awarded a Samuel Robinson Prize for mastery of the Westminster Catechism, and the E. L. Wailes Memorial Prize in New Testament for his analysis of 1 Corinthians 12:1-3.
As the Senior Partner of with BKDI Architects Peter Burgener carries broad responsibilities in the ongoing practice of the firm, since he established it in 1978. With a full time staff of over 65 architects, interior designers, landscape architects, technologists, and contract administration personnel, BKDI is one of the largest architectural and design firms in Western Canada. Peter is extensively involved in project development and has been responsible for a very wide range of projects, including: master planning, office buildings, shopping centres, hotels, multi-family residential, hospitals, and corporate interiors.
Peter has served as a Member of the Calgary Planning Commission as well as the Development Appeal Board. He is also the recipient of both regional and national awards in planning and design, has served as the President of the Alberta Association of Architects, and is a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.
Since 1999, Peter has continued to write a regular column for the Calgary Herald newspaper, entitled ‘Urban Thinking’, and focused on urban design, planning, and architecture.
In addition to his professional career, he has also been very actively involved in a broad range of community activities.
David A. Down
David Down earned a B.A. from the University of Victoria and an M.E.Des. (Architecture) from the Faculty of Environmental Design (EVDS) at The University of Calgary in 1988, receiving the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and Environmental Design Gold Medals. After working for Jenkins and Sturgess Architects, he formed in 1995 the partnership of Down + Livesey Architects with Graham Livesey and together they developed a varied and award winning practice. In 2005 David joined the City of Calgary as Senior Architect/Urban Designer, where he has worked with the Centre City Team to advocate for the importance of great architecture, urban design, and sustainable design in city building.
He is a registered member (and Past President) of the Alberta Association of Architects and a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, as well as Chairman of the Calgary Architectural and Urban Studies Alliance, regional correspondent for Canadian Architect magazine and a contributor to various design journals. He is also an Adjunct Professor in EVDS where he participates in Architecture and Urban Design studios and periodically lectures on Asian architecture.