Inaugural Reformed House of Studies Conference - Reforming the Church: Learning from the Westminster Divines

Reformed House Conference 2023


Saturday, June 3, 2023 - 9:30am to 3:30pm


Wycliffe College, 5 Hoskin Ave, Toronto (in-person and livestream)



"Ecclesia reformata, semper reformanda" ("The church reformed, always reforming")

In this conference, Chad Van Dixhoorn will relate the reform of the church today to a period of reform from the past, namely, the Westminster Assembly of the seventeenth century, with a focus on three areas of concern: the reform of worship and government, the reform of the heart, and the reform of doctrine. 



1. Reforming the Church: The Westminster Assembly and the Church of England in the 1640s

The first lecture approaches the subjects of worship and government through an historical event: the attempt by the Westminster Assembly to renovate the Church of England according to the Word of God. 

2. Reforming People: Piety for the Church of England in the 1650s

In the second lecture, we move from the reform of a church to matters of the heart: we follow one member of Westminster, William Strong, as he asks how it is that Christians can have communion with God. 

3. Reforming Doctrine: Creeds and confessions in the long Reformation tradition

The third lecture discusses a third aspect of reform: that process of confession-writing in the long Reformation. Here we ask what it has meant both to have and to hold a confession in the long presbyterian tradition. 

Each lecture will be followed by a period of questions and answers as together we consider the continuing reform of Christ’s church today — according to God’s Word.



9:30 am - arrival and check in with coffee and light refreshments

9:50 am - invite everyone to take their seats

10:00 am - welcome from +Stephen Andrews 

10:05 am - lecture 1 with q&a

11:05 am - break

11:30 am - lecture 2 with q&a

12:30 pm - break for lunch

- find your own lunch

2:00 pm - lecture 3 with extended q&a

3:30 pm - close in prayer 


About the Speaker

Dr. Chad Van Dixhoorn (PhD, Cambridge University) is professor of church history and director of the Craig Center for the study of the Westminster Standards at Westminster Theological Seminary. He also serves as an honorary research fellow at the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK.

Van Dixhoorn has held a number of additional teaching positions and has also served as associate pastor at Cambridge Presbyterian Church (UK) and also at Grace Presbyterian Church (Vienna, VA) for nine years.

Dr. Van Dixhoorn’s academic interests include the historical documents of the Westminster Assembly, English Puritanism, and Presbyterian history. He has been widely recognized for his publication of a five-volume work on the Westminster Assembly, The Minutes and Papers of the Westminster Assembly, 1643–1652, and has published numerous articles on a variety of theological topics. He is currently working on a major monograph on the Westminster Assembly, as well as a complete edition of John Lightfoot’s journals. Both volumes are to be published by Oxford University Press.


The RHS Annual Conference is generously supported by the Priscilla and Stanford Reid Trust. You can "meet the Reids" here.