GA 2017 Leadership Institute

37th General Assembly "Generation to Generation"

The EPC endeavors to create a culture that supports leadership development for all ministries of the church, and our third annual Leadership Institute is designed to encourage you and offer practical ways to further that mission. Pastors, elders, church staff, and church members are encouraged to join us on Tuesday, June 20, for any of these 11 leadership development tracks, each running from 1:00-5:00 p.m.:

  1. Building a Culture of Generosity
  2. Building a Philosophy of Youth and Family Ministry
  3. Leaders Who Matter
  4. Mobilizing People and Making Ministry Happen 
  5. Multiplying Leaders: Internships and Residency Programs
  6. Reaching the Next Generation
  7. Reclaiming the Joy of Evangelism and Discipleship in the Local Church
  8. Strategic Church Planting in 21st Century America
  9. Strengthening the Small Church
  10. Ten Practical Tools for Reaching Muslims in America
  11. Transformational Family Ministries

Our plenary sessions will be held on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9:00-11:45. On Wednesday, renowned church historian Dr. Mark Noll will address "The Reformation, Then and Now." On Thursday, David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group, will speak on "Good Faith," in which he will discuss ways Christians can offer loving, life-giving friendships in the midst of potentially divisive conversations about race relations, sexuality, politics, and more.



Greg Gibbs

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Room 12 (First Floor)

This workshop focuses on the teachings of Jesus about money and possessions. It offers practical steps for planting seeds into Christian hearts that go beyond talking about church budgets to offering ways to create cultures of generosity in the local churches. Greg Gibbs outlines steps to move discussions about money from finance to one of discipleship.  

In this way, they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life (1 Timothy 6:19).

Greg Gibbs is a Lead Navigator for Auxano, a consulting group that focuses on Vision Clarity and Generosity in the church. He holds an Executive Position at Kensington Church in Southeast Michigan as the Director of Organizational Advancement.

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Joey Stewart

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Room 9 (First Floor)

Why do you do what you do in ministry? What drives you? What guides you? This workshop offers a way to do youth and family ministry that provides both focus and freedom. It presents a philosophy of ministry—“a ministry decision-making grid”—that is theologically driven, biblically rooted, contextually reflective, and methodologically flexible. It will help you discern not only what to do but also why and how to do it. The workshop also will give special attention to covenant theology and explore how it can shape ministry to students.

Joey Stewart serves as the Executive Director of Reformed Youth Ministries (RYM). He and his wife Connie have four children ranging in age from 15 to 25.

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Sharon Beekmann, Bill Enns, Erik Ohman

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Nelson Hall Choir Room

Leaders influence people toward change. Effective biblical leadership is a dynamic process whose mission and purpose are inspired by God. Christian leadership is about creating environments and structures that fulfill His good will. In essence, we look to the Trinity as our biblical model for leadership. This seminar will discuss leadership principles and conflict management, and offer helpful techniques and other practical considerations for small and large group leadership that are applicable in small and large churches.

Sharon Beekmann serves on the EPC’s National Leadership Team, is chair of the EPC Women's Resource Council, and Director of Discovery Workshops for the Presbytery of the West. She is author of Enticed by the Light and Silencing Satan: Handbook of Biblical Demonology.

Dr. Bill Enns is the Associate Executive for Collaborative Ministries for the EPC Office of the General Assembly. In this role he oversees the EPC’s four strategic initiatives: Global Movement (World Outreach and International relationships), Transformation (Church Revitalization), Multiplication (Church Planting), and Effective Biblical Leadership. 

Dr. Erik Ohman serves as Pastor of Warsaw Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Warsaw, Ind., and is a former member of the EPC National Leadership Team.

You can support the ministries of the EPC by purchasing books through When you login to your Amazon account (or set up a new account), use and select "Evangelical Presbyterian Church" as your preferred charitable organization. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the EPC. Thank you!

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Ken Priddy

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Family Life Center, Conference Room C

The GO Center, the EPC’s ministry for revitalization, is offering eight timely and succinct GO Talks. Patterned after popular TED Talks, GO Talks zero in on important HOW-TO ministry matters, providing information and inspiration to equip our leaders for effective ministry. In rapid-fire, 20-minute presentations, the GO Center Team cuts to the heart of vital topics, leaving ample time for Q&A. The selective variety of topics includes discerning and developing vision, casting vision, creating ownership, reaching and discipling millennials, Great Commission disciplines, strengthening the small church, what “going” (the Great Commission) looks like, and more.

Dr. Ken Priddy is an author and Executive Director of the EPC’s GO Center. Ken is also president of the Ken Priddy Group, based in Richmond, Va. In that capacity, he provides revitalization training for other denominations and teaches as an adjunct/guest professor with several evangelical colleges and seminaries. Ken and his wife, Sharon, have four adult children.

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Nicole Unice

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Room 11 (First Floor)

All leaders know that one of the most important tasks of leadership is the ability to multiply yourself. But how does that practically work in your context? This workshop will provide an overall theory of leadership development following the Praxis model, a ministry residency program at Hope Church in Richmond, Va. Part One will speak to working with millennial leaders, and Part Two will cover practical components of implementing a residency or internship program in your church. 

Nicole Unice is a teaching elder and ministry director of Hope Church where she directs Praxis, a ten-month ministry residency program that focuses on meaningful work, personal spiritual formation, and practical leadership development. Nicole is an author of several books, including Start Here: Beginning a Relationship with Jesus (co-authored with David P. Dwight, senior pastor at Hope Church). She teaches and leads retreats internationally on practical spiritual formation and leadership development.

You can support the ministries of the EPC by purchasing books through When you login to your Amazon account (or set up a new account), use and select "Evangelical Presbyterian Church" as your preferred charitable organization. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the EPC. Thank you!

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Vince Burens

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Kids Assembly Room (First Floor)

Of the 20 million college students in the U.S., only 2 percent are reached by campus ministries—and the majority of them will leave the church during their college years. Through God's power and blessing, a growing number of EPC churches are partnering together with the Coalition for Christian Outreach (CCO) to write a new story. Join CCO President Vince Burens and other leaders from the EPC’s college ministry partner and discover how your church can reach and cultivate college students into the next generation of Christian leaders advancing Christ's Kingdom in the world.

Vince Burens is President and Chief Executive Officer of CCO. While a student at the University of Pittsburgh, Vince was connected to CCO by a local youth pastor. As a result, he heard the gospel and became a lifelong disciple of Christ. Vince graduated with a degree in urban development and political science, and began working for CCO by ministering to students at Robert Morris University in suburban Pittsburgh. Vince has served as Director of Recruiting, Director of Staff Services, and for eight years was Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. In 2016 he became President. 

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Nader Awad, Bill Senyard

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, High School Assembly Room (Second Floor)

Session 1: "Discipleship" led by Bill Senyard
Churches are aging, 60 percent of Millennials have left the church, and 80 percent of churches are in decline or flatlined. This workshop relies on the writings of Calvin and Luther to teach church revitalization to today’s Jesus-follower. The workshop also addresses stemming this drift through dynamic discipleship.

Session 2: "Practical ways to Evangelize and Disciple" led by Nadar Awad
Believers can learn the art of fulfilling Jesus’ Great Commission and how to share the gospel with people of other religions, specifically Mideast countries. This workshop offers practical ways to hone the personal gift of evangelism and to sponsor local evangelistic events. 

Dr. Bill Senyard was a pastor for 21 years, and currently serves on the GO Center Revitalization Team. He is passionate about discipleship that ignites the love of Jesus-followers and so revitalizes the church.  

Nader Awad is an evangelist in the Presbytery of Florida and coach on the GO Center Revitalization Team. He previously served as a pastor in Egypt, Canada, and the United States for 26 years. He is passionate about evangelism and making disciples.

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Tom Ricks, Mike Moses, Richard Rieves, Rufus Smith

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Room 8 (First Floor)

Church Planting in underserved areas of our communities sounds daunting. Planting multi-ethnic churches may seem even more difficult if not impossible. However, the challenge may not be as big as it appears, and the opportunities could be boundless! You may be much closer to being an active church planting congregation than you realize! Join church planting leaders Rufus Smith, Tom Ricks, Mike Moses and Richard Rieves for an in-depth conversation about EPC church planting in 21st century America. 

  • Gain important insights on demographic shifts taking place today that must inform our church planting efforts
  • Find out how to learn the best way for your church to engage in church planting
  • Learn from current EPC church planters and share with us insights you have on effective church planting!

Tom Ricks is pastor of Greentree Community Church in Kirkwood, Missouri, and leads the EPC’s Church Planting Team.

Mike Moses is pastor of Lake Forest Church in Huntersville, North Carolina, and Moderator of the 35th General Assembly.

Richard Rieves has planted six EPC churches, including Greentree Community Church, and currently serves as lead pastor of Downtown Church in Memphis, Tennessee.

Rufus Smith is pastor of Hope Presbyterian Church, Cordova, Tennessee.

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Rob Buchanan, Ed McCallum

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Jr. High Assembly Room (Second Floor)

The majority of churches in the U.S. and around the world are small congregations. “Strengthening the Small Church” is designed to encourage and equip those who lead or assist leaders of these small churches. The workshop addresses four key topics for 50 minutes each, with presentations and group interaction. Topics include: 

  • Understanding and Appreciating the Small Church
  • Hope for the Small Church: From Church Growth to Missional Thinking
  • Embracing the Strengths and Strengthening the Weaknesses of the Small Church 
  • Next Steps for Leaders and Small Churches

Rob Buchanan serves as Assistant Stated Clerk for the EPC Presbytery of the Mid-Atlantic and has a D. Min. in leadership from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. From 2001 to 2016 he served as the Pastor of Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Elkton, Va. Rob and his wife Karen have three children: Ian, Hannah, and Karis.

Ed McCallum has served as Assistant Stated Clerk of the General Assembly since 1997 and previously was pastor of a small EPC church. In July 2017, Ed will complete his term of service and (with his wife, Nan) will begin serving with the International Theological Education Network of EPC World Outreach. One of Ed’s long-term interests has been to strengthen and promote missional thinking and action in small churches. Ed and Nan reside in Phoenix, Ariz., near their two sons and their families.

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World Outreach

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Family Life Center, Conference Room B

Muslims are coming to America as students, immigrants, and refugees fleeing oppression. This workshop offers practical tools for reaching Muslims right where you live—right here, right now, and in America. Come hear testimonies and a panel of experts. Learn about the Muslim faith and best practices to reach its adherents. Learn what is available in print, DVD, and other resources that speak to how to encounter Muslims with the love of Christ.

Mark and Mary are U.S. Muslim Outreach Coaches for EPC World Outreach. They served in pastoral ministry for 25 years before God called them to missions. They talk with Muslims on university campuses, restaurants, gas stations, fruit and vegetable markets, homes, barber shops, and mosques, and take trips to the Middle East. They speak in churches to educate, equip, and energize Christians to share the love of Christ with Muslims.

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Martha Daniel

Tuesday, June 20
1:00-5:00 p.m.
Kids and Youth (KAY) Center, Room 10 (First Floor)

Family ministries are an excellent way to bring people to Christ, develop faith, and impart knowledge of the Bible. Church leaders desire congregations to experience life-changing and ever-growing relationship with Christ and one another. They encourage biblical literacy and a dynamic relationship with Jesus Christ. The workshop will explore the critical connection between church and home by addressing the following:

  • What the church can do
  • What good programs and curriculum can do
  • What the family can do

Please bring resources you currently use to impact lives of children and youth. 

Martha Daniel serves as Minister to Families at Memorial Park Church in suburban Pittsburgh, Pa., and has served as Director of Children’s Ministries in three other churches. She also was on the staff of Young Life for 10 years. Martha is passionate about creating cutting edge ministries that reach families of the Next Generation.

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Mark Noll

Wednesday, June 21
9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Worship Center

Mark Noll is one of the leading Christian historians in the United States today. He currently is Research Professor of History at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia. From 2006-2016 he was the Frances A. McAnaney Professor of Church History at the University of Notre Dame, and previously was Professor of History and Theological Studies at Wheaton College, where he co-founded the Institute for the Study of American Evangelicals. He has taught courses on American religious history, world Christianity, Reformation theology, Puritanism, historiography, 19th-century British evangelicalism, and American intellectual history.

He has written and edited numerous books, including In the Beginning Was the Word: The Bible in American Public Life, From Every Tribe and Nation: A Historian’s Discovery of the Global Christian Story, Jesus Christ and the Life of the Mind, and Clouds of Witnesses: Christian Voices from Africa and Asia (co-written with the EPC's own Carolyn Nystrom). He has served on the editorial boards for Christianity Today's "Books & Culture" and "Christian History," and as co-editor of “Library of Religious Biography” for Wm. B. Eerdmans. 

In 2005, Noll was named one of the 25 most influential evangelicals in America by Time Magazine. In 2006, he received the National Endowment for the Humanities medal at the White House. He and his wife, Maggie, live in South Bend, Ind.

You can support the ministries of the EPC by purchasing books through When you login to your Amazon account (or set up a new account), use and select "Evangelical Presbyterian Church" as your preferred charitable organization. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the EPC. Thank you!

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David Kinnaman

Thursday, June 22
9:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Worship Center

David Kinnaman is the author of the bestselling books Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You're Irrelevant and Extreme, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church and Rethinking Faith, and unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity...and Why It Matters.

He is president of the Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with nearly one million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies. He and his wife live in California with their three children.

You can support the ministries of the EPC by purchasing books through When you login to your Amazon account (or set up a new account), use and select "Evangelical Presbyterian Church" as your preferred charitable organization. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the EPC. Thank you!

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