Conference update

The International Advisory Board and the Local Organisation Committee of the 8th International Conference for Research in Diaconia and Christian Social Practice are very aware of the unpredictable situation regarding the spread of Covid-19.

The pandemic has turned many lives upside down and ruled out most of conference planning in 2020. At the same time, the need for two components of the conference have become more apparent. Firstly, Christian social work is needed both during and in the aftermath of the pandemic crisis. Secondly, it is important that the responses of diaconal practice to the crisis use research-based knowledge for their work. Against this background, it is more important than ever that researchers all over the world in the field of Christian Social Practice and Diaconia meet to exchange their ideas and knowledge. Because of this, and to give a sign of our global togetherness, the hosts of the conference and its International Advisory Committee have decided to arrange a digital one-day conference with the theme Diaconia as Gamechanger? Leadership of Service in Times of Crisis, Complexity and Transformation on 17 September 2020.

The conference is also supported by the World Council of Churches and they will be among the hosts.


Together with the Board of the International Society for the Research and Study of Diaconia and Christian Social Practice (ReDi) it has been decided to turn the conference plans into a digital conference on the 17th of September. The formal business meeting of ReDi and the International Advisory Board VID Specialized University has decided to turn the planned conference into a digital conference on 17th of September 2020. The formal business meeting of ReDi will take place as part of this digital conference.

A physical ReDi conference is planned to take place in Oslo in 2021, when hopefully we are able to travel again. We will get back to you with further information about the planning in September.

About the theme of the conference

The development of society on both global and local level is increasingly described in terms of crisis. First and foremost, climate change is becoming more and more perceptible and posing new problems and challenges for humanity, to stakeholders and all those who bear responsibility. Neoliberal globalisation and economic policies have somehow contributed to increasing social inequalities and injustice, and a growth in unemployment and in precarity of income from employment. Furthermore, demographic developments and forced migration undermine solidarity and lead to tension between generations. The extent and speed of the changes has created fears that materialise socially and politically as radicalisation and right-wing popularism.

The agents of Diaconia observe these developments and the practice of Diaconia is itself part of them. How do diaconal organisations and churches meet these challenges? Do they contribute to finding new answers or are they afraid of losing what they are used to have? What does diaconal leadership look like in times of crises and change? How can diaconal leadership be re-imagined based on faith, hope and love? How can research contribute to innovate diaconal practices? How can learning from each other across the continents be stimulated in order for diaconal agents to become vital gamechangers? How can prophetic Diaconia contribute in advocacy efforts in order to prevent urgent needs in today’s world?

Abstract and Call for Papers

The organizing organizations of the 8th International Conference for Research in Diaconia and Christian Social Practice want to express their gratitude for all submitted abstracts. The abstracts have now been evaluated by the International Advisory Board and the evaluation and the evaluations have been sent to the proposers.

The Third Call for Papers is open for the submission of abstracts until 29 June 2020. The call asks for papers related to eight thematic sessions and invites specifically contributors from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Australia/Oceania.

See the call for papers here (pdf).

Please submit an abstracts of maximum 200 words until 29. June 2020 to

Updated information

This website will publish continuously information about the digital conference on 17 September 2020, about the program and about the technical tools for contributing and participating in the conference.

Registration and contact information

The registration for conference will open HERE on 1 July 2020 and close on 5 September 2020. The conference fee is 150 NOK and has to be paid when registering.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with the organisers at ReDi at or at VID at

The opera house in Oslo. Photo: Vichaya Kiatying-AngsuleeThe opera house in Oslo. Photo: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

Keynote Lecturers

  • Prof. Dr. Bosela Eale
  • Dr. Theresa Chong Carino