"Not Ashamed of the Gospel"

2016 National Preaching Conference

September 8-9, 2016


Speakers  |  Schedule  |  Conference Details

Registration  |  Exhibits/Sponsors  |  Share This Event

Plenary Speakers

Ken Shigematsu is senior pastor of Tenth Church (www.tenth.ca) in Vancouver, British Columbia, one of the largest and most diverse city-center churches in Canada. Before entering pastoral ministry, he worked for the Sony Corporation in Tokyo, Japan. 

The intense work schedule at Sony led him to explore personal disciplines that could bring order to his life -- from those of his samurai ancestors to the rule St. Benedict developed for Christian communities.

His first book, God in My Everything: How an Ancient Rhythm Helps Busy People Enjoy God (Zondervan, 2013) describes how a rule of life that weaves spiritual practices into our daily rhythms of relationships, study, work, and play serves as a trellis to support the growth of a God-filled life. It was selected as the Word Guild 2014 Christian Living book of the year, and has become an international bestseller available in both Danish and Japanese translations.

Ken lives in Vancouver, Canada with his wife Sakiko and their son Joey. Proceeds from his writing support the work of World Vision and similar organizations around the world. 

For more on Ken, click here.

John Acuff is the New York Times Bestselling author of five books including his most recent, Do Over: Rescue Monday, Reinvent Your Work and Never Get StuckFor 18 years he’s helped some of the biggest brands in the world tell their story, including The Home Depot, Bose, Staples, and the Dave Ramsey Team. Most recently he’s spoken to hundreds of thousands of people at conferences, colleges, companies and churches. Featured regularly on national media, Jon has been seen on CNN, Fox News, Good Day LA and several other key outlets. 

In addition, Jon is also a big proponent of social media with blogs that have been read by 4 million people and more than 250,000 twitter followers. In 2010 he used his influence with his tribe to build two kindergartens in Vietnam. Jon lives with his wife Jenny and two daughters in Franklin, TN.

For more on Jon, click here.

Mark Acuff is the Lead Pastor of The Gathering Church in Dunham, NC. He grew up in Charlotte and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Philosophy. He then served for seven years as a Campus Staff member for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Duke and NC State.

Upon graduating with an M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Mark was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Sudbury, MA. and then appointed by the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention to be a Church Planter in Marlboro, MA. Grace Baptist Church (located in Hudson) was established, and Mark served as its pastor for fifteen years. He was then invited to become the Teaching Pastor of the Chapel Hill Bible Church, in Chapel Hill, NC, where he served for eight years. In 2009, a group of families and single adults launched the Gathering Church where he currently serves as the Lead Pastor. 

Mark and his wife, Libby are proud to have four children and six grandchildren. 

For more on Mark, click here.

Bryan Wilkerson has served as Senior Pastor at Grace Chapel since September of 2000, having previously served for 16 years as Senior Pastor at Shelter Rock Church in Manhasset, New York. Bryan is a graduate of Wheaton College and Denver Seminary. Additionally, he holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Bryan is a frequent contributor to Preaching Today and enjoys speaking at Camp of the Woods and other conferences.  He serves on the Board of Denver Seminary, and is a founding leader of the Greater Things for Greater Boston church network.

Bryan’s life mission statement is “to lead as many people as possible to a joyful and growing relationship with Jesus Christ and His Church.” He is passionate about communicating God’s truth with clarity, warmth, and relevance to our daily lives. He enjoys the challenges of leading a large, vibrant church, and of working with a gifted, dedicated staff.

When he isn’t in meetings or preparing messages, Bryan can be found running or biking the back roads and trails of New England. Bryan and Karen have enjoyed 35 years of marriage and have four grown children and a growing number of grandchildren.

For more on Bryan, click here.

Duffy Robbins is Professor of Youth Ministry at Eastern University in St Davids, PA and is a 35 year veteran of youth ministry who is widely respected as one of the leading voices in youth and family ministry. 

His ministry has given him platforms to speak at hundreds of pulpits and college campuses around the world. His international ministry has ranged from youth conventions, Men's retreats and training conferences in Australia, New Zealand, throughout Europe, parts of Asia and all over North America and the Caribbean. His long association with Youth Specialties has allowed him to touch the lives and ministries of thousands of youth workers and teenagers around the world.

Duffy graduated magna cum laude with a M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in S. Hamilton, MA, and completed his D.Min. in Youth and Family Ministry at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, CA.

Duffy is the author of over seventeen books and hundreds of articles. His titles include: Ministry of Nurture: A Youthworkers Guide to Building Real-Life Disciples, Everyday Object Lessons, Youth Ministry Nuts and Bolts: Mastering Ministry Behind the Scenes, There's a Teenager in My House (ed. Wayne Rice), Speaking to Teenagers: How to Think About, Create and Deliver Great Messages, Enjoy the Silence: A Thirty Day Experiment in Listening to God and , This Way to Youth Ministry: An Introduction to the Adventure and Building a Youth Ministry That Builds Disciples.

Duffy lives in Valley Forge, PA with his wife and best friend, Maggie. They have two grown daughters, Erin and Katie.

For more on Duffy, click here.

Becky Pippert is a speaker, evangelist and author of eleven books. Out of the Saltshaker & into the World. released more than 35 years ago, remains the definitive guide to personal evangelism. Becky is in demand internationally to speak on living life as an effective witness for Christ. Her other books include titles on spiritual formation, renewal and discipleship. She speaks frequently to evangelistic events.

Becky and her husband, Dick, established Saltshaker Ministries in 2001, with the aim of helping Christians to become confident disciple-makers. The demand for her to speak at evangelistic events grew rapidly, and Becky and her husband spent most of the following decade traveling the world, training and teaching.

In 2009 Becky and Dick felt a call to base themselves in the UK, to spend a season of ministry focused on Europe... where some said that “the lights had gone out for the gospel.” But Becky and Dick had been surprised and excited by a new generation of young adults who were eager to share the gospel. Becky and Dick have spent six years based in Europe, seeing remarkable fruit as they have equipped churches and student groups to share the gospel effectively.

Today Becky divides her time between North America and Europe as she continues her worldwide ministry, which has spanned nearly four decades on all six continents.

For more on Becky, click here.

Crawford Loritts serves as Senior Pastor at Fellowship Bible Church in Roswell, GA. He has traveled throughout the US, Caribbean, Asia, Canada, South America, Africa and parts of Europe preaching in churches, evangelistic outreaches, conferences, in colleges and seminaries. He has also been the featured speaker at Super Bowls, NCAA Final Four Chapel, and the Pentagon with senior military officers.

Crawford attended Cairn University in Philadelphia, PA graduating with a B.S. in Bible with an emphasis on pastoral studies. He and his wife, Karen, married in 1971, and Crawford was ordained to the ministry the year after in 1972. Crawford has a Doctor of Divinity from Biola University, a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Cairn University, a Doctor of Divinity from Moody Bible Institute, a Doctor of Letters from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and a Doctor of Divinity from Columbia International University. He holds several board positions and is a visiting professor at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Crawford is the host of two national radio programs, the weekend program Living a Legacy, and the daily program Legacy Moments.

Crawford has written 8 books including newly released, UnshakenHe and his wife Karen are featured speakers at Family Life marriage conferences. They are co-authors of Developing Character in Your Child. They have 4 married children. Bryan, Heather, Bryndan and Holly, and have 10 grandchildren.

For more on Crawford, click here.

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Workshop Speakers

Jeffrey Arthurs is Professor of Preaching and Communication and is the Chair of the Division of Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He was raised in western PA in a nominally Christian home and came to saving faith in Christ when he was 14 years old. His life was turned upside down as he soon became deeply involved in the life of the church, receiving a call to preach at age 16. To this day his passion is preaching, and he uses his wide ranging communication experience as a teacher, missionary, director, announcer, and consultant to equip others for more effective proclamation of the Word. Jeff has taught on all levels from grade school to grad school, having taught preaching and communication in a dozen colleges and seminaries in the U.S. as well as in the Philippines, Singapore, and Indonesia. He is currently professor of preaching and communication, and chair of the Division of Practical Theology at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

In the past he served as teaching pastor in Portland, OR. Currently, Jeff is teaching elder at his home church, North Shore Community Baptist, Beverly Farms, MA. He and his wife also lead the Alpha ministry there. He carries on an active ministry of pulpit supply and conference speaking. Dr. Arthurs is a past-president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and an active scholar, regularly presenting papers at conferences and writing articles for periodicals such as the Journal of Communication and Religion, Preaching, Leadership, and Preaching Today on-line. His two books are both published with Kregel Publishers, Preaching With Variety and Devote Yourself to the Public Reading of Scripture. Jeff has been married for more than 30 years and is father of one son. He enjoys traveling, and playing tennis and disc golf with his wife. 

For more on Jeff, click here.

Patricia Batten is Ranked Adjunct Assistant Professor of Preaching at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She has been an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell since 2007, teaching homiletics and creating preaching electives for students.

Patricia studied preaching for a year in Edinburgh, Scotland, as a recipient of the Parish Pulpit Preaching Fellowship from Gordon-Conwell. She is an ordained minister in the American Baptist Church USA and has been active in pastoral ministry since 2002. Until 2007, she was the full-time pastor of a church in Maine, where she increased attendance at the weekly service and Bible study program and created a Sunday school curriculum. Currently, she provides pulpit supply at area churches and preaches regularly at Hope Community Church in Newburyport, MA. She is also experienced in other facets of church ministry and has coordinated VBS, led a youth mission trip to Russia, taught a weekly group for high school students and participated in a leadership development initiative.

Patricia's scholarly interests include narrative preaching, creativity in preaching and preaching with relevance. Her personal interests include creative writing and walking by the water with her children.

For more on Patricia, click here.

Scott Gibson is the Haddon W. Robinson Professor of Preaching; Director of the Haddon W. Robinson Center for Preaching; Director of the Th.M. Program in Preaching and the Director of the A.J. Gordon Guild at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary.

Scott joined Gordon-Conwell in 1992 and has brought with him both academic and experiential knowledge of preaching. An ordained Baptist minister, he has served as a pastor and interim pastor in four churches in Pennsylvania and New York since 1985: First Baptist Church, New Bethlehem, PA; Harmony Baptist Church, New Castle, PA; First Baptist Church, Clarion, PA; and First Baptist Church, Lockport, NY; Watertown Evangelical Church, Watertown, MA; and First Baptist Church, Boston, MA.

At Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Scott directs the Center for Preaching and the A.J. Gordon Guild, the Ph.D. program in association with London School of Theology. Dr. Gibson is past president and co-founder of the Evangelical Homiletics Society and is a member of several professional and ecclesiological organizations. These include the Academy of Homiletics, the Evangelical Theological Society and the National Association of Evangelicals.

Scott's scholarly interests include contemporary issues in preaching, pastoral ministry concerns, the history of preaching, the history of evangelicalism and discipleship. His personal interests include fishing, various sports, reading, writing, art, theater, films, antiques, books, and traveling. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Beverly, MA.

For more on Scott, click here.

Matthew Kim is Assistant Professor of Preaching and Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Before joining the Gordon-Conwell faculty as Assistant Professor of Preaching and Ministry in 2012, Dr. Kim served as an adjunct professor (2006) and the Burnett H. and Dorothy F. Sams Visiting Professor (2008) at the Hamilton campus, and mentored the Doctor of Ministry track, Pastoral Skills: The Pastor as Preacher, Caregiver and Person at the Charlotte campus.

Matthew brings over 10 years of preaching and teaching experience to his role at Gordon-Conwell. Most recently, he served as senior pastor of Logos Central Chapel in Denver, CO. He was also previously an adjunct professor at Denver Seminary and the youth pastor at Korean Church of Boston in Brookline, MA.

Matthew is the author of 7 Lessons for New Pastors: Your First Year in Ministry and Preaching to Second Generation Korean Americans: Towards a Possible Selves Contextual Homiletic. A past president of the Evangelical Homiletics Society, Matt's scholarly interests include pastoral ministry issues, racial reconciliation, preaching within different cultures, and the Asian American church. He and his wife, Sarah, have three children.

For more on Matthew, click here.


Please find below the conference schedule and note that some portions are subject to change. For clarification or confirmation, please email us.

Thursday, September 8
11:00 a.m. Registration Opens
1:00 p.m. Session 1
2:30 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Session 2
4:15 p.m. Break
4:45 p.m. Session 3
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Session 4
Friday, September 9
8:00 a.m. Doors Open
8:30 a.m. Session 5
10:00 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. Workshops
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:30 p.m. Session 6
2:45 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. Session 7

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Conference Details

Please read the following for details about the conference. If you have any questions please email us.


Please note that rates below include conference meals, materials and snack breaks. Rates without meals are not available. Please indicate during the check-out process if you are an alumni and if you plan to attend the special Alumni Lunch during the conference. 

  • Early General Registration (until June 30): $105
  • Early Alumni Rate and Spouse Rate (until June 30): $85
  • General Registration (after July 1): $130
  • Alumni Rate and Spouse Rate (after July 1): $110

Click here to register for the conference. 

Special rates are available for the Gordon-Conwell Community. 

Confirmation and Cancellations:

You may consider your cancelled check or credit card statement to be confirmation of your registration. Online registrations will receive an email confirmation. Due to planning, please note our following cancellation policy:

  • All cancellations are subject to a $20 processing fee, and must be received before June 30, 2016. Cancellations after June 30 will not be refunded. 

  • Gordon-Conwell Community registrations are non-refundable upon purchase.


The following room blocks have been secured for conference guests. Please call the hotel to make a reservation.

Boston Marriott Peabody
8A Centennial Dr., Peabody, MA 01960  |  978-977-9700
Rates: $126/night standard room (plus tax)
Cutoff Date: Reserve on or before Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Request: Gordon-Conwell Preaching Conference Block

Courtyard Boston Danvers
275 Independence Way, Danvers, MA 01923  |  978-777-8630
Rates: $126/night king room (plus tax)
Cutoff Date: Reserve on or before Wednesday, August 24, 2016
Request: Gordon-Conwell Preaching Conference Block

Time, Location, Maps:

Location: Kaiser Chapel, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Hamilton, MA

This seminar will take place in the Kaiser Chapel, located in the Academic Center. Registration will open at 11:00 a.m. in the Academic Center. To confirm location, please contact us at ockenga@gcts.edu or (800) 294.2774.

Click on the following for maps of our campus: Academic Center |  Kerr Building  |  Campus Map


Take Rte. 128 North (toward Gloucester) to Exit 17 (Grapevine Road). Turn left off of the exit ramp and continue past Gordon College. Take your first right onto Rte. 22 (Rubbly Road). Turn left at the first stop sign (Essex Street). The entrance to Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary will be 200 yards ahead on the right. Follow Billy Graham Way to the Academic Center or follow the conference signs.

For additional directions to campus, click here.


Guests are responsible for providing their own transportation to and from the seminary. We are not able to provide rides from the train station or neighboring towns. We thank you in advance for planning your trip accordingly.

The closest commuter rail stops are on the Newburyport/Rockport Commuter Rail Line at North Beverly or Hamilton/Wenham and from there you may contact a taxi service to provide a ride from the train station to Gordon-Conwell. Click here for a link to the MBTA.

Exhibits and Sponsorship

We look forward to your organization participating in this conference as a Conference Sponsor, as an Exhibit or notebook advertiser. Please email us if you are interested in participating. 

Share This Event

We are excited that you will be joining us and hope that you will share this event with your church and friends! Click on the links below to download the posters and postcards (PDF) for the seminar. If you prefer paper copies, please email us or call 800-294-2774.

Postcard (5"x7") - Coming Soon!
Poster (8.5"x11") - Coming Soon!
Poster (11"x17") - Coming Soon!

Like the Ockenga Institute Facebook page and share the conference event page with your friends! Tweet about the conference @Ockenga_GCTS!


Click here to register for the conference. 


Email us or call: 800-294-2774

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