Vibrant Faith MasterClasses

GROW IN YOUR PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS FOR FAITH FORMATION AND DISCIPLESHIP WITH OUR MASTERCLASS FORMAT

Explore themes and issues central to transforming the way we envision and design faith formation for all ages and generations in the 21st century.

If you have questions or need more information, please contact Amber Tracy at atracy@vibrantfaith.org

What is a Vibrant Faith MasterClass?

A Vibrant Faith MasterClass is a focused look at one aspect of lifelong faith formation, presented by an expert teacher, that incorporates both the Why? and How? of the subject. Our goal is to enhance your knowledge, skills, and confidence for leading faith formation that transforms people and communities.

Each Vibrant Faith MasterClass is taught by a nationally recognized leader in Christian faith formation who is an experienced educator, author, consultant, and program designer.

What does a MasterClass include?

Each Vibrant Faith MasterClass includes:
• Two 90-minute sessions with live, interactive presentations by the MasterClass Instructor. These sessions mix research, practice, and experience together into a “hands-on” environment.
•Following the second session, each Instructor holds an Office Hour for additional (and specific) questions and dialogue.
• Resources for your ministry including articles, examples, and tools posted on the Vibrant Faith MasterClass “Course Page”—on our Catalyst site.

How much does a MasterClass cost?

You can purchase a 6-month Season Pass for your whole ministry team for just $299—the pass gives your team FREE access to every course in our upcoming or current MasterClass season (Winter/Spring or Summer/Fall). You can also purchase access to individual courses for $69 each—individual purchases do not extend to your whole team. Just click on the “Buy Now” button below to make your choice (you’ll need to join our Vibrant Faith Catalyst site first—it’s simple, quick, and free).

What do I need to participate?

Each MasterClass is offered online with recordings and resources provided at Vibrant Faith Catalyst. You can join Catalyst (free) and enroll in your MasterClass (registration link below). Joining Catalyst will allow you to access the resources provided in the MasterClass. You will need access to high-speed internet and a computer, laptop, or tablet with audio and a video camera for the two online sessions. Recordings of the live sessions will be made available to registered participants.

Our Summer/Fall 2021 MasterClass Season Pass

For only $299, a Season Pass gives you access to ALL of the MasterClasses offered in July – December 2021 for you and your team! (That is a savings of more than $600!)

Click the link below to register. You will receive a special Pass “code” to enroll in the Classes that support your own ministry, or use it to encourage others from your church ministry volunteers or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility.

The MasterClass Season Pass puts staff training right at your fingertips – without breaking the budget! The one time fee of $299 includes unlimited participation from your team in MasterClasses offered this upcoming season!

We hope you will join us for one (or all) of our upcoming MasterClasses!

summer/fall 2021 MasterClass Schedule

A Master Class Summer/Fall 2021 Season Pass offers you free access to all of the MasterClasses offered between July and December 2021. Use it for your own development and to encourage others from your church ministry volunteers or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility. You will receive a promo code for your team to be able to register for courses without charge. This season of MasterClasses includes the following offerings:

  • Helping Parents Pass On Their Faith to Children and Teens, Teacher: Dr. Christian Smith
  • Guiding People to Discover & Live Out Their Calling In Community, Teacher: Dr. Nancy Going
  • 5 Transformational Faith-Forming Strategies Modeled by Jesus, Teacher: Rick Lawrence
  • – Community Outreach That Leads to Transformational Impact, Teachers: Dr. Dave Rahn and Ebonie Davis 
  • Digital Tools & Resources for Deepening Discipleship, Teacher: Brandon Early 
  • Play-Therapy Ideas That Fuel Faith Formation, Teacher: Dr. Andi Thacker
  • Skills for Coaching Ministry Leaders, Teachers: Jim LaDoux and Coaching Panel 
  • The New Normal: 8 Ways to Care for Gen Z In a Post-Pandemic World, Teacher: Dr. Josh Packard
  • A Practical Guide to Reconciliation In Equality & Unity In the Church, Teachers:  Fred Oduyoye & Chris Cox 
  • Intergenerational Worship: Engaging All Ages & Stages, Teacher: Sarah Bentley Allred
  • Leading Hard Conversations With Students In Ministry Settings, Teacher: Rev. Fred Lynch
  • Volunteers In a Post-Pandemic Age: Recruiting & Training In a Hybrid Setting, Teacher: Rev. Dr. Tanya Eustace Campen
  • The Future of the Digital Church, Teacher: Rev. Dr. Mark Slaughter

Benefits

  • Includes unlimited participation from your church community in the 13 MasterClass topics offered between July-December 2021
  • Access to MasterClass session recordings and course materials for a full year
  • Save more than $1,000 by purchasing a season pass versus individual courses

Guiding People to Discover & Live Out Their Calling In Community

Teacher: Dr. Nancy Going

Helping People Discover & Live Out Their Calling In Community offers a vision of lifelong faith formation that begins with calling. Our increasingly secular and disconnected world has left people of all ages searching for meaning and purpose outside their faith. Ministry with people of all ages requires ministry leaders to make an intentional commitment to this important work. Vibrant Faith has been involved in a three-year project, helping 24 churches to “create a culture of calling in and through their congregational life. This MasterClass will take a look at how calling impacts a life of faith; identify the important role that a “calling spirituality” plays in this process; invite leaders to discover ways to support people of all ages in this work; introduce resources; and encourage creativity as we discover the best ways to assist people in the work of claiming a life of meaning and purpose.

Learn More About Dr. Nancy Going

Dates of Live Sessions

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 12:00 -1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, July 14, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Skills for Coaching Ministry Leaders

Teacher: Jim LaDoux and Coaching Panel

Skills for Coaching Ministry Leaders is designed to help leaders use coaching principles and practices to accelerate learning and transformation in people’s lives and ministries. The course will provide leaders with the skills and tools to frame conversations in ways that lead to new awareness, new actions, and new learnings. Participants will learn what coaching is and isn’t, how to set appropriate norms and expectations for coaching, and how to facilitate coaching conversations that address what’s most important in people’s lives. This course involves reading portions of a coaching manual, experiencing two coaching demonstrations, and additional training videos.  

Learn More About Jim LaDoux

Dates of Live Sessions

Thursday, July 22, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Thursday, July 29, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Intergenerational Worship: Engaging All Ages & Stages

Teacher: Sarah Bentley Allred

 

The Intergenerational Worship MasterClass will explore a process for worship preparation and practice that seeks to actively engage and equally value the gifts of all ages within the worshiping community. While many churches have different generations present together in worship, this MasterClass explores how to actively engage all generations. Leaders will create their own definition of intergenerational worship and discern what aspect of worship for all ages matters most in their context. The MasterClass will provide resources for engaging many generations in online worship, as well as planning ahead for a more intergenerational return to in-person worship for the whole community. 

Learn More About Sarah Bentley Allred

Dates of Live Sessions

Wednesday, July 28, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, August 4, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Digital Tools & Resources for Deepening Discipleship

Teacher: Brandon Early

In the Digital Tools & Resources for Deepening Discipleship course, we’ll embrace the reality that we don’t need technology to do ministry, but it’s a language our world understands. Our goal is to leverage apps, digital downloads, and other tech resources to more effectively drive home the message of Jesus. In this MasterClass, you will discover that technology does not have to be expensive and intimidating. Together we will discover resources that will help you look like a tech master—they will streamline your productivity and make connecting with children, youth, and adults fun and easy. Come with a blank screen ready to engage; leave feeling tech-savvy.

  • Break from the fear of using technology in ministry
  • Discover how to create content that makes you look like a pro
  • Learn about technology that will create shortcuts so you have time to do what matters most
  • Explore tools that will help you be a better communicator
  • Experience resources to make ministry fun
  • Take away incredible graphic design shortcuts
  • Learn a few video editing skills that will make you look like a guru
  • Discover amazing free content that is buried online
  • Unearth a few apps that will trim your prep time and enhance your communication

Learn More About Brandon Early

Dates of Live Sessions

Wednesday, August 11, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, August 18, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

The New Normal: 8 Ways to Care for Gen Z In a Post-Pandemic World

Teacher: Dr. Josh Packard

The New Normal: 8 Ways to Care for Gen Z In a Post-Pandemic World MasterClass walks you through 8 Exercises in Empathy to help you create the head and heart space necessary for effectively caring for Gen Z young people in a post-pandemic world. Drawing on Springtide Research Institute’s data and cuttingedge social science, Dr. Josh Packard will show you why it’s important to intentionally care for young people, and guide you through exercises designed to help you understand what young people are experiencing and how you can help them with impactful skills. These same exercises can then be used with the young people you work with.  

Learn More About Dr. Josh Packard.

Dates of Live Sessions:

Thursday, August 12, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Thursday, August 19, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

5 Transformational Faith-Forming Strategies Modeled by Jesus

Teacher: Rick Lawrence, Executive Director of Vibrant Faith

In the “5 Transformational Faith-Forming Strategies Modeled by Jesus” MasterClass we’ll explore Jesus’ life-changing and transformational impact on people, translating His “secret sauce” into ministry practice. In the last five years the decline in church membership and participation has steepened, especially among teenagers and young adults. The church is worried about this decline, but what if it’s a prophetic gift to us—a season of pruning that is long overdue? What if the reasons behind this decline are actually pointing us back to the example Jesus has given us for creating transformational growth environments? Author Paul Tough says that young adults need spaces marked by autonomy, relatedness, and competence.” Translation—they gravitate to environments that value their voice and ability to pursue truth. They are…

  • entrepreneurial by nature
  • insistent on hands-on participation
  • both the artist and the subject of the art
  • participants in activism, not observers
  • “micro-interactors”
  • craving “authentic” experiences, not scripted ones

Together we’ll “taste and see” 5 upending ways Jesus invited depth in His relationships, and practice these skills so we can translate them into our ministry priorities for all ages.

Learn More About Rick Lawrence.

Dates of Live Sessions:

Wednesday, September 1, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, September 8, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Skills for Coaching Ministry Leaders

Teacher: Jim LaDoux and Coaching Panel

Skills for Coaching Ministry Leaders is designed to help leaders use coaching principles and practices to accelerate learning and transformation in people’s lives and ministries. The course will provide leaders with the skills and tools to frame conversations in ways that lead to new awareness, new actions, and new learnings. Participants will learn what coaching is and isn’t, how to set appropriate norms and expectations for coaching, and how to facilitate coaching conversations that address what’s most important in people’s lives. This course involves reading portions of a coaching manual, experiencing two coaching demonstrations, and additional training videos.  

Learn More About Jim LaDoux

Dates of Live Sessions

Thursday, September 2, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Thursday, September 9, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Helping Parents Pass On Their Faith to Children and Teens 

Teacher: Dr. Christian Smith

The “Helping Parents Pass On Their Faith to Children and Teens” MasterClass focuses on groundbreaking new research from Dr. Christian Smith’s work as one of the leading sociologists of religion in the world. Ministry leaders have known for years that the most important influence shaping the religious and spiritual lives of children and teenagers is their parents. This parental impact continues well after their kids leave home, and often for the rest of their lives. But though we know the facts, we’ve struggled to find strategies that actually help parents live out this crucial role. Dr. Smith—professor of sociology at the University of Notre Dame and the lead researcher behind the seminal National Study of Youth and Religion—explores the actual beliefs, feelings, and activities of parents who are skilled in the “intergenerational transmission of religious faith and practice.” We’ve paired a panel of Vibrant Faith Coaches with Dr. Smith to help you translate his insights and research into practical expression in your ministry.

Learn More About Dr. Christian Smith.

Dates of Sessions

Thursday, September 16, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Thursday, September 23, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Community Outreach That Leads to Transformational Impact

Teacher: Dr. Dave Rahn and Ebonie Davis

In the Community Outreach That Leads to Transformational Impact course, we’ll reckon with a culture wary and weary of religion. But inhospitable resistance is an opportunity for churches to prove they can move among others with the “unforced rhythms of grace” Christ promised to teach us. Learn in this course how engaging others with consistent authenticity opens the possibilities for deep transformation anchored in Christ’s joyfully disruptive presence… and how to shape realistic and impactful strategies aligned with this powerful reality.

More About the Teachers.

Dates of Live Sessions:

Thursday, October 7, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Thursday, October 14, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Stepping Into Courageous Conversations 

Teacher: Rev. Fred Lynch

The Stepping Into Courageous Conversations MasterClass guides you in learning how to facilitate a safe, attentive, and transformative space for courageous conversations between individuals and families who struggle with difference and division. How do we mend and build bridges over relational gaps in the church—with people who may not see things the way we see them? This course equips you with the skills to remain genuinely curious, remain within healthy tension, and remain kind to “the other.” The goal is to change people’s heart position toward each other. Stepping into 3C-Conversations (Courageous, Compassionate, and Curious) is a practice that develops emotional muscles because, honestly, we’re all out of shape when it comes to really hearing others outside of our own echo chambers! When we promise to stay curious, stay in the room, and stay generous, amazing space is generated, hearts connect, and our church culture thrives! 

More About Rev. Fred Lynch.

Dates of Live Sessions

Wednesday, October 13, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, October 20, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Volunteers In a Post-Pandemic Age: Recruiting & Training In a Hybrid Setting

Teacher: Rev. Tanya Eustace Campen

In the Volunteers In a Post-Pandemic Age: Recruiting and Training In a Hybrid Setting, we’ll explore the essential reality that committed and invested volunteers are central to a strong and effective ministry. And yet, finding and keeping volunteers often presents one of the main challenges for faith formation ministry leaders. How can you create a positive culture of volunteerism that supports and sustains impactful ministry in your context? How do you recruit, train, and support ministry volunteers in today’s world? How do you create a volunteer team that can lead ministry in a hybrid setting? Recognizing the importance of strong volunteer ministry, this master class will reflect on these questions as we consider how to ensure our ministries are led and supported by volunteers equipped for and committed to the ministry we invite them to lead.

Learn More About Rev. Dr. Tanya Eustace Campen.

Presentations

Tuesday, October 19, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Tuesday, October 26, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

A Practical Guide to Reconciliation In Equality & Unity In the Church

Teachers: Fred Oduyoye & Chris Cox

The Practical Guide to Reconciliation In Equality & Unity In the Church MasterClass equips you, the practitioner, in establishing and implementing reachable reconciliation strategies in your church. Unity and Equality are central to the story of Jesus as we respond to his commandments and commission. The 5 “R’s” of reachable reconciliation will lay the groundwork for your church to live in a reconciled community with one another. You’ll get practical ways to advance your emphasis on reconciliation in your church, along with hands-on coaching and a framework for deepening the impact of your work among congregation members.

Learn More About the Teachers: Fred Oduyoye & Chris Cox.

Dates of Live Sessions

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Future of the Digital Church

Teacher: Rev. Dr. Mark Slaughter

The Future of the Digital Church MasterClass embraces an important premise—online church is here to stay, so ministry leaders need to invest in it. We have an amazing opportunity to expand the reach and impact of our church and the Gospel by creating a strong and compelling online presence. There is no doubt that COVID-19 will leave a lasting impact on the world; however, there is also an opportunity for the Church to harness the energy created from our online presence to establish online congregations. In this webinar we will explore…

  • How to establish a vision for online worship and congregational connectivity,
  • How to create purposeful engagement that leads to spiritual formation,
  • How to develop dynamic content especially designed for the online audience, and
  • How to master practical and tactical skills and resources to maximize your online presence. 

Come prepared to learn and engage with others, and together let’s discover the future of the digital church!

More About Rev. Dr. Mark Slaughter

Presentations

Thursday, November 4, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Thursday, November 11, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Play-Therapy Ideas That Fuel Faith Formation

Teacher: Dr. Andi Thacker

 

The Play Therapy Ideas That Fuel Faith Formation Masterclass guides you in learning how play is developmentally necessary for optimal growth across the lifespan, and how specific play techniques help facilitate faith formation. This course equips you to apply play therapy skills to connect with children on a deeper level and facilitate conversations about God. We will not only learn play therapy strategies and discover new insights about how we’re God-wired to learn, but we’ll practice with these skills and translate them into everyday ministry activities. 

Learn More About Dr. Andi Thacker.

Dates of Live Sessions:

Wednesday, November 10, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, November 17, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

A Practical Guide to Church Reconciliation

Teachers: Fred Oduyoye & Chris Cox

The Practical Guide to Reconciliation In Equality & Unity In the Church MasterClass equips you, the practitioner, in establishing and implementing reachable reconciliation strategies in your church. Unity and Equality are central to the story of Jesus as we respond to his commandments and commission. The 5 “R’s” of reachable reconciliation will lay the groundwork for your church to live in a reconciled community with one another. You’ll get practical ways to advance your emphasis on reconciliation in your church, along with hands-on coaching and a framework for deepening the impact of your work among congregation members.

Learn More About Fred Oduyoye

Learn More About Chris Cox

Dates of Live Sessions

Wednesday, December 1, 2021 12:00 -1:30 PM EST

Wednesday, December 8, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

Guiding People to Discover & Live Out Their Calling In Community

Teacher: Dr. Nancy Going

Helping People Discover & Live Out Their Calling In Community offers a vision of lifelong faith formation that begins with calling. Our increasingly secular and disconnected world has left people of all ages searching for meaning and purpose outside their faith. Ministry with people of all ages requires ministry leaders to make an intentional commitment to this important work. Vibrant Faith has been involved in a three-year project, helping 24 churches to “create a culture of calling in and through their congregational life. This MasterClass will take a look at how calling impacts a life of faith; identify the important role that a “calling spirituality” plays in this process; invite leaders to discover ways to support people of all ages in this work; introduce resources; and encourage creativity as we discover the best ways to assist people in the work of claiming a life of meaning and purpose.

Learn More About Dr. Nancy Going

Dates of Live Sessions

Thursday, December 2, 2021 12:00 -1:30 PM EST

Thursday, December 9, 2021 12:00 – 1:30 PM EST

masterclasses-season-pass

A Master Class Summer/Fall 2021 Season Pass offers you free access to all of the MasterClasses offered between July and December 2021. Use it for your own development and to encourage others from your church ministry volunteers or team to enhance their skills and understanding in their areas of responsibility. You will receive a promo code for your team to be able to register for courses without charge. This season of MasterClasses includes the following offerings:

Benefits

Meet OUr Instructors

MasterClass-Coach-Dr.Nancy-Going

Dr. Nancy Going is one of the directors of Vibrant Faith’s Creating a Culture of Calling Initiative. She has spent her career in ministry leadership with youth, and she still loves working with kids as a volunteer any chance she gets. Nancy came on board the Vibrant Faith team in 2014 after teaching and providing leadership at Luther Seminary in the Children Youth and Family Ministry Masters Degree Distributed Learning Program. She has authored articles, curriculum, and contributed to books. Nancy lives in Durham, North Carolina with her husband Art, an Anglican priest. They have launched two new families from their children. You can connect with Nancy at ngoing@vibrantfaith.org

MasterClass-Coach-Jim-LaDoux

Jim LaDoux serves as Vibrant Faith’s Director of Coaching and Consulting Services. He oversees and helps facilitate Vibrant Faith’s Coaching School. He has been on staff of Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian congregations and has been coaching individuals, groups, and congregations for over 20 years. He’s passionate about developing the next generation of church leaders, helping congregations thrive, and helping people navigate transitions in their lives and ministries.

MasterClass-Coach-Sarah-Bentley-Allred

Sarah Bentley Allred received her MDiv. from Virginia Theological Seminary in May 2019. She now serves as the Editor for Building Faith and the Associate for Christian Formation and Discipleship for Lifelong Learning at VTS. Sarah is passionate about children’s spirituality, intergenerational worship, and small church formation. She loves local coffee shops, board games, the beach, and exploring new places with her husband, Richard, and their dog, Grace.

MasterClass-Coach-Brandon-Early

Brandon Early has been serving in youth ministry for more than 25 years. Brandon and his wife Keri have been married since the year 2000 and have three incredible boys. Today Brandon is the Christian Life Director at Valley Church in West Des Moines, IA. In addition to his role as a pastor, Brandon regularly speaks at conferences, churches, and retreats. Four of his favorite things are Jesus, his wife, Chicago Style Pizza, and fighting off his three boys with sweet ninja moves.  

masterclasses-dave-rahn-ebonie-davis

Ebonie Davis and Dave Rahn are co-authors of Disrupting Teens with Joy: Helping Youth Discover Jesus-Focused Gritty Faith. Eb is a veteran youth pastor in a Maryland suburb outside of Washington DC. She’s contributed to a number of youth ministry publications and is part of the Arbor Research Group. Dave has spent over 45 years co-mingling research, writing, Youth For Christ leadership, and serving as an academic and professor. He’s now a retired grandpa living large in Northern Indiana.

MasterClass-Coach-Dr.Fred-Lynch

Rev. Fred Lynch is an Ordained Elder and serves as the Conference Evangelist for The River Conference of the Free Methodist Church. At the age of 18 Fred helped found P.I.D. (Preachers in Disguise), one of the first gospel rap acts, and went on to record six albums. Fred has been involved in youth advocacy for over 25 years in multiple roles as a motivational speaker, youth minister, rap artist, lead pastor, mentor, and life-coach. Fred earned a Masters of Divinity from Grand Canyon University. He lives in Dallas, Texas and is currently releasing a documentary called Mic Drop: The Origin and Culture of Christian Hip Hop.

MasterClass-Coach-Rev.Tanya-Eustace-Campen

Rev. Dr. Tanya Eustace Campen is an ordained deacon in the Rio Texas Conference and currently serves as Director of Intergenerational Discipleship for the Rio Texas Conference Office. She has a Masters of Divinity from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Christian education and congregational studies from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Her research focus is children’s spirituality. She has more than 20 years of experience as a Christian educator, youth director, and minister to children and families in the local church. She regularly teaches faith formation courses, webinars, and workshops for ministry leaders.

MasterClass-Coach-Rev.Dr.Mark-Slaughter

Rev. Dr. Mark Slaughter serves as the Minister of Worship Arts at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, MN. Before moving to Minnesota, he served as the Minister of Music and Worship at First Baptist Church in Owensboro, Kentucky. He has also served in churches in Virginia and Tennessee. In addition to his 35+ years of ministry, he received a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary, Master of Divinity and Church Music from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and a Bachelor of Music from Belmont University. Mark is a “calculated adventurist” who loves to have his eyes wide open and his mind filled with new experiences. Mary Jo (Jody) Slaughter has been his partner in most of these adventures, and his wife for 29 years. They have two young-adult children, Wesley and Mary Katherine.

MasterClass-Coach-Josh Packard

Dr. Josh Packard, Executive Director of Springtide Research Institute, is an accomplished researcher with an expertise in the sociology of religion and new forms of religious expression. A talented speaker and writer with over 10 years of teaching experience, Josh has been a guest on numerous radio shows and podcasts, and has been an invited speaker at many conferences, events, and workshops. He has been published widely in both academic and popular outlets, including Christianity Today, The Aspen Institute, The Huffington Post, Desert News, and Christian Science Monitor, among others. Josh earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Vanderbilt University and did his undergraduate work in English at Texas Lutheran University.

MasterClass-Coach-Rick-Lawrence

Rick Lawrence is Executive Director of Vibrant Faith and is an award-winning author, journalist, cultural researcher, editor, and national speaker. For 33 years he was executive editor of GROUP Magazine, winner of the Folio Award for magazine excellence. He led Group Publishing’s Youth Ministry Resourcing Team and helped launch its “Jesus-Centered” adult ministry area. He’s an experienced researcher, conducting large-scale social science research projects in the ministry community. He creates and leads interactive learning experiences and trainings for church and cultural leaders, parents, and teenagers. And he’s an innovator in online learning—he developed, created, and helped launch a series of professional ministry courses that use “virtual tools” for interactive, experiential, and deeper-learning growth. He also leads a “home church” for young adults with a crazy-long name: Pursuing the Heart of Jesus, Not His Recipes. He’s host of the podcast Paying Ridiculous Attention to Jesus, now in its 6th year.

MasterClass-Coach-Dr.Christian-Smith

Dr. Christian Smith is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Society at the University of Notre Dame. Smith is well known for his research focused on religion, adolescents and emerging adults, and social theory. Smith received his MA and PhD from Harvard University in 1990 and his BA from Gordon College in 1983. He was a Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for 12 years before his move to Notre Dame.

MasterClass-Coach-Dr.Andi-Thacker

Dr. Andi Thacker is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Registered Play Therapist. Andi serves on the faculty of Dallas Theological Seminary as a counseling professor. She earned a Master’s Degree in Biblical counseling from DTS and a PhD in counselor education and supervisor with a specialization in play therapy from the University of North Texas. She has worked in various settings with clients of all ages. She and her husband Chad married in 2003 and have three children, Emerson, Will, and Webb.

MasterClass-Coach-Fred-Oduyoye

Fred Oduyoye lives in Cincinnati Ohio and is the Founder of Reachable Reconciliation, Inc, an organization and national movement designed to help people integrate into unfamiliar spaces of conversation and relationship. He has been working with and coaching leaders since 2007. He was a National Urban Training Director at Urban Youth Workers Institute for nine years. Fred has also worked as the National Director of Partnerships/Networking for Youth Specialities for four years and is an Advisory Committee Member of the National Network of Youth Ministries.

MasterClass-Coach-Chris-Cox

Chris Cox has been serving with Back2Back Ministries for 13 years. In 2018, Back2Back opened an eighth site focusing on vulnerable children, youth, and families in Cincinnati, where Chris serves as the director. Prior to launching this site, Chris served as director of One21—an effort to resource emerging generations. The pursuit of equality and unity for all people drives Chris. He continues to train, speak, and lead in multiple platforms both locally and nationally.