Academic Leaders Conference

Conference Sponsor

With Grateful Appreciation


Sponsor: Campus

Conference Pricing

Early Bird Deadline: August 18, 2023

Members (On-Site): $400 per person ($350 Early Bird)
Members  (Virtual Via Zoom): $150
Non-Members (On-Site): $600 per person ($550 Early Bird)
Non-Members (Virtual Via Zoom): $250


Virtual Pricing Includes:

Full engagement in 1 1/2 program, including Q&A
Access to video recordings of presentations post-conference
Access to all conference resources


On-Site Pricing Includes:

Full engagement in 1 1/2-day program, including Q&A
Networking/Fellowship with attendees & presenters
Access to video recordings of presentations post-conference
Two night’s lodging at the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn
6 meals & refreshments [Begins with dinner on 9/18, ends with lunch on 9/20]
Access to all conference resources

Program Overview

 Download Program Schedule


Presenter: Jeff Sherrod, Academic Dean, The Institute for G.O.D.
Overview: Sometimes, leadership is perceived as actions taken during moments of crisis, pushing initiatives, or managing change. However, most of our leadership occurs in the mundane. Academic leaders must be faithful with the little things in order to be entrusted with greater responsibilities. This requires discernment, the correct mindset, and prayer.

  • Reassess the perceived needs of the college community and identify the real needs
  • Learn approaches to leading in liminal times and spaces
  • Commit to prayer as a central part of your leadership development



Presenter: Dennis Allen, CEO | Private Equity Turnaround; Author of The Disciple Dilemma
Overview: Learn lessons from a Wall Street turnaround CEO about organizational culture and how to apply them to your institution’s strategic future. This talk unpacks trends and causes adverse to Christian Higher Education and explores how the biblical model of discipleship claims to hold the answer for modernity’s challenges. Welcome to the disciple dilemma.

  • Understand how historic dysfunctional discipleship has contributed to adverse Christian higher education trends
  • Recognize how dysfunctional discipleship impacts you personally in your leadership role, your campus, and your church
  • Consider a suggested biblical path forward



Presenter: Cliff Churchill, Academic Dean | Hobe Sound Bible College
Overview: What does a chief academic officer (CAO) do? A “back to the basics” of academic responsibilities reveals that the CAO is perhaps one of the most pivotal people in the administrative structure, responsible for broadly overseeing teaching and learning within an institution. They lead the development of effective teaching, learning, and assessment, managing governmental requirements, and monitoring programmatic and policy effectiveness.

  • Understand the varied and broad roles of academic leadership
  • Learn keys to effectively setting up creative ideas, and promoting teamwork
  • Discover how to effectively organize and manage the academic demands of an institution



Presenter: Daniel Ruarte, Provost & Vice President of Academic Affairs | Life Pacific University
Overview: Leading the Academic Affairs of the institution is a complex endeavor and requires a lot of energy in day-to-day operations. This leaves little to no time for additional tasks such as grant writing, however, faculty and academic administrators are suited to lead successful grant initiatives. It is important to collaborate across campus and set a vision for academic engagement in grant writing.

  • Learn how to collaborate with other departments to develop proposals and submit grants
  • Understand the value of faculty and academic affairs engagement in grant writing
  • Acquire proven practical tools that could help your institution secure external grants



Presenter: Andy Miller III, VP/Academic Affairs | Wesley Biblical Seminary
Overview: Like it or not, denominations and networks are the prime way for seminaries and bible colleges to serve emerging ministry leaders. As academic leaders we can ‘dig our heals in’ with standard systems or see new ways to engage key groups with the tools of our time.   

  • Learn keys to finding and leveraging existing program components for denominational needs
  • Understand the opportunity of scaling course experiences
  • Discover the power and flexibility of poly-synchronous environments for serving the church



Overview: Discuss the most pressing academic issues you are facing with both the panel of presenters and attendee affinity groups. Create a draft of your Personal Action Plan on the most significant and urgent issues you should address following the conference.

Conference Faculty

Dennis Allen


Private EquityTurnaround
The Disciple Dilemma

Cliff Churchill


Academic Dean
Hobe Sound Bible College

Andy Miller


VP/Academic Affairs
Wesley Biblical Seminary

Daniel Ruarte


Provost &
VP/Academic Affairs
Life Pacific University

Jeff Sherrod


Academic Dean
The Institute for G.O.D.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lodging included in the registration fee?

YES, for on-site attendees2 nights, including arrival the evening before the conference begins.

Can I request for additional hotel nights?

YES The ABHE group rate is $120/night.  You can qualify for our group rate three days prior and three days post conference.  You can request and pay for your additional hotel nights during the registration process.  All reservations must be made and managed by the ABHE office as it is part of a group reservation.  This includes changes to existing reservations.  Email with any questions or updates to existing reservations.

Is airport shuttle service available?
YES! Complimentary shuttle service is available from the Orlando International Airport (MCO). To request the complimentary shuttle to the Hilton Garden Inn:

  • Call the hotel for shuttle pickup – 407-240-3725
  • Take airport elevator to level 1 – ground transportation
  • Go through the sliding doors
  • Stand at either A4 (A Side) or B4 (B Side) for pickup

Where is the hotel located in relation to the ABHE Conference Center?
The Hilton Garden Inn is directly across the street from the ABHE Weber Center (located in the Citadel I Building – Suite 130).

Are meals included in the registration fee?

YES for on-site attendees, including 6 meals and all snacks/beverages.

Are scholarships available?
YES for on-site attendees – limited scholarships are available.  Please email your request to with an explanation of your financial need.

What is your Cancellation Policy?
In the event of either virtual or on-site registration cancellation, fees paid in advance are refundable – less a $50.00 service charge per person, provided written notice is received by ABHE no later than three weeks prior to the event. No refunds will be granted after that date. E-mail notification will suffice. Please e-mail to request a refund. There are no refunds provided for no-shows.

How do I CANCEL a person on my registration?
You may log back into your registration form at any time with your confirmation number to make any cancellations, or contact to have your registration cancelled.

Executive Leadership Training Logo Growing institutions are led by growing leaders. Consider engaging in the Executive Training Program specifically designed for academic leaders in ABHE. Delivered over two years including over 36 workshop presentations in seven areas of leadership competency and capacity. You can review the certification program details HERE. Enroll in the program today! Questions regarding the certification program can be directed to David Medders, Executive Vice President.

Hilton Garden InnFor those attending the Conference On-Site, the ABHE staff will make a hotel reservation for you. Please indicate your room type/preference when you register for the conference. The Hilton Garden Inn is located 1 mile from the Orlando International Airport.

Hilton Garden Inn – Orlando Airport
7300 Augusta National Drive
Orlando, FL 32822
(407) 240-3725


To request complimentary shuttle service:

  • Call the hotel for shuttle pickup – (407) 240-3725
  • Take airport elevator to level 1 – ground transportation
  • Go through the sliding doors
  • Stand at either A4 (A Side) or B4 (B Side) for pickup

Conference Staff

David MeddersDavid Medders
Executive Vice President



Carol Dibble

Carol Dibble
Chief of Staff & Director of Communications-Events



Darby Blanchard

Darby Blanchard
Digital & Administrative Services Coordinator