Annual Meeting Workshops

Annual Meeting Workshops

In addition to the twelve Pre-Convention Forums, there are 72 workshops offered during the regular Annual Meeting schedule on Thursday & Friday – all designed to sharpen your leadership skills and expand your leadership capacity. Consider the wide array of issues to be addressed and topics to be covered. These are all designed as part of the Executive Training Program for each of the six chief officer positions of an institution and those who would like to prepare for these roles of service in the future.


Look through these as you register for the Annual Meeting and choose the most relevant workshops for your professional growth and institutional responsibilities.  Admission to workshops will be first for those who sign up through registration. Let’s grow together for the glory of God.

Thursday & Friday 1-Hour Workshops:

Why Help Your Employees Plan for Retirement? 

Presenter:  Jim O’Bold, President; Jeff Jenness, Chief Strategy Officer; Ellen Daniels, Director of Engagement – Servant Solutions
Location: Salon 1
Target Audience: CFO’s, Presidents, Academic Leaders 

Overview:  Research tells us people live an average of 25 years in retirement. A powerful recruitment and retention tool for all levels of employees is to provide a low-cost retirement plan to help them better prepare now for retirement years. Each decade of life has its unique challenges and opportunities for writing one’s own financial success story. Enrich service to all your employees by providing . . .

  • A low-cost retirement plan with investment options that fit all types of investors
  • Education regarding appropriate smart money moves all through one’s career
  • Free financial planning and family legal documents for all members
  • Wisdom from the investment industry regarding risk & reward, starting early, investment options, . . .

Ensuring the Health & Safety of Your Campus Community – During Cultural & Social Tumult

Presenter: Rick Swift, Dean of Student Life — Columbia International University
Location: Salon 2
Target Audience: SDO’s

Overview: Often we’ve heard, “We didn’t see this coming.” The pandemic and other social tumult were a serious test of an SDO’s capacity to respond to crises.  Well beyond the normal, recent social and health issues have called for new measures and protocols where campus concerns have soared. Learn from one veteran campus leader how he navigated these uncharted waters to care for his campus, including . . .

  • Staying nimble and responsive to changing realities
  • Tapping resources commensurate with the need and demand – reaching out
  • Assessing risks while assuming responsibilities – a thoughtful balance
  • Lessons learned and finding the path forward – What’s coming next’?

The Institutional Financial Audit – From Getting Ready to Reporting

Presenter: Dan Campbell, Partner – CapinCrouse
Location: Salon 3
Target Audience: Presidents, CFO’s

Overview: Securing an audit is a core responsibility of the institution. This includes getting the information ready and representing the institution with clarity and understanding. What are the essential steps in preparation and what should you expect from your auditor? What are the deliverables in a sound audit and how do you understand and report the audit to institutional leaders? Review these vital aspects with an experienced auditor, including . . .

  • Best practices for audit preparation – getting ready
  • How to best work with your auditor – expectations and requirements
  • Understanding the audit – data and interpretation
  • Reporting the audit – to whom, by whom, and when

Moving from a Culture of Survival to Excellence & Innovation

Presenter: John Derry, President Emeritus – Hope International University
Location: Salon 4
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, Academic Leaders

Overview: Headlines abound that describe the difficulties experienced by higher education over the past ten years and those projected for the next fifteen. Sometimes leaders feel overwhelmed and aren’t sure where to turn.  A renewed focus on excellence and innovation can be the catalyst that will mean the difference between struggling to survive and a sustainable future. Let’s think forward to . . .

  • Identify factors that contribute to a survival mentality
  • Offer a framework to assess how your college has managed stressful conditions
  • Provide practical examples of innovation to stimulate creativity
  • Challenge leaders to establish standards of excellence that honor God

Religious Freedom Under Attack: Understanding and Responding to the Challenges

Presenter: Gregory S. Baylor, Senior Counsel & Director of the Center for Religious Schools, Alliance Defending Freedom
Location: Salon 5
Target Audience: Presidents, Board Chairs, Trustees, Academic Leaders

Overview: The freedom of Christian educational institutions to live out their beliefs about marriage, sexual morality, and the distinction between the sexes is under attack. Governments at all levels seek to use their power to punish—even destroy—schools that dissent from the rapidly solidifying new sexual orthodoxy. How should your institution respond? Hear from an expert about . . .

  • The ultimate goals of those who reject biblical truth and oppose religious freedom
  • Efforts to punish faithful Christian schools through legislation, administrative action, and litigation
  • How Christian colleges and universities should both resist these efforts and prepare for various scenarios

Stop Writing Strategic Plans and Start Thinking Strategically

Presenters: Brad Layland, President; Scott Rodin, Chief Strategy Officer/ABHE Sr. Fellow – The Focus Group
Location: Salon 6
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, Academic Leaders

Overview: Why are so many strategic plans ineffective or fail? Why are they on the shelf instead of guiding daily decisions? Why do we try to run our college without any plan at all? Let’s tackle them straight on and explore keys to create an agile, relevant plan for your college that emerges from a strategic thinking culture. Let’s . . .

  • Understand what’s wrong with so much of what is called ‘strategic planning’
  • Define strategic thinking in a new way that must shape our planning
  • Five keys we know are critical to creating a strategic thinking culture
  • Develop the next steps to take back at your school to move in the right direction

Fast-Tracking Online Education Development 

Presenter: Erik Ireland, Director of Kingswood Extended – Kingswood University
Location: Salon 7
Target Audience: Presidents, Academic leaders 

Overview: Kingswood University had experience in online education but did not have a robust implementation plan for moving entire degree programs online. Of options which exist (course buying, course sharing, outsourcing, etc.) none seemed to fit our unique identity or required outcomes. Learn how we developed a partnership with a sister university whose cooperation meant the near-impossible task could be met. Learn about…

  • Essential components of the plan
  • The partnership details
  • Challenges and triumphs along the way
  • The mutual benefit this project has produced for both institutions

Using Strategic Data to Improve Your Recruiting Effectiveness

Presenter: Gerald Stanley, President – Inroads Analytics 
Salon 8
Target Audience: Enrollment Leaders 

Overview: Have you integrated the strategic data from your target markets into your enrollment management? Are you able to make intelligent decisions from the keen insights it provides? Walk through the process with industry experts and get in the game of data-informed recruiting. Consider . . .

  • What you should know about your prospective student market
  • How the right data sharpens your recruiting focus and changes the results
  • What smart institutions are doing with strategic data
  • Practical steps to integrate data analysis into your enrollment management

Team Chair Training 

Presenter: James Lanpher, Provost – Columbia International University; Shane Wood, COA Associate Director
Location: Salon 9
Target Audience: Veteran and New Commission Team Chairs

Overview: How should a team chair prepare an evaluation team for the on-campus visit? What are best practices for overseeing the visit and developing the team report? This session will explore strategies and tools to foster an effective team visit.

  • Agenda for the team orientation meeting
  • Communication protocols for the evaluation team and the institution (from pre-visit to post-visit)
  • Overseeing the team visit
  • Managing team report development

Engaging in the Self-Study Process

Presenter: James Estep, Vice President for Academics – Central Christian College of the Bible
Location: Salon 10
Target Audience: Accreditation Liaisons, Academic Leaders, Presidents 

Overview: So, it’s time to begin the self-study process on your campus. What are the essentials of conducting a self-study? What pitfalls of self-study should be avoided? This workshop discusses a workable approach to conducting an effective and efficient self-study process.

  • Organizing the self-study process
  • Involving the right people
  • Making the self-study process a positive experience for your institution
  • Identifying and addressing challenges that can arise during a self-study

The Substantive Change Process 

Presenter: Michael Jackson, COA Substantive Change Officer
Location: Salon 11
Target Audience: Accreditation Liaisons, Academic Leaders 

Overview: In the ever-changing environment of higher education, successful institutions need to be agile and innovative while maintaining and enhancing quality. Substantive change processes assist institutions to achieve these ends. When should you submit a substantive change to the Commission on Accreditation? What are common mistakes? Consider ways to make the substantive change process seamless and effective!

  • Identify the kinds of changes that trigger the substantive change process
  • Pick up valuable tips for an effective substantive change submission
  • Learn to avoid common mistakes
  • Review the COA decision-making process for substantive change

Ethnic Diversity Within ABHE:  A Roundtable Discussion with ABHE President Phillip Dearborn

Moderator: Jason Koppen, President – Indian Bible College
Location: Salon 12
Target Audience:  Presidents, Academic Leaders

Overview: ABHE has a distinct commitment to be an ethnically diverse association.  ABHE President Phillip Dearborn will interact with workshop attendees on the important matters of diversity within the association, such as:

  • Understanding the personal stories of Association leaders re: to matters of racial justice and inclusion
  • Brainstorming how to develop a more ethnically inclusive association
  • How to view school diversity through the homogeneous vs. heterogenous contrast
  • Perspectives on ABHE’s goals through the eyes of People of Color higher education leaders

Library Leadership – Trends, Opportunities, Roles & Responsibilities 

Presenter: Nancy Olson, Director of Library Service – TCM International Institute
Location: Salon 13
Target Audience: Librarians, Directors of Learning Resources, Academic Leaders 

Overview: For those leading the learning resource services in higher education, this time presents an unusual window of opportunity and change. The massive shift to online education plus the growing percentage of adult learners requires a new strategy and approach. Thus, the library can no longer be just a physical destination and must exist in a world of collaboration. Consider . . .

  • Emerging trends in library leadership
  • Shifts in roles and responsibilities
  • New opportunities for delivering services
  • Merging physical destination with a virtual presence

Building Bridges to the Gap Year Market

Presenter: Josh Beers, Executive Director – OneLife Institute
Location: Salon 14
Target Audience: Enrollment leaders

Overview: There’s a growing movement for students to take advantage of a gap year program following high school graduation. These are highly focused and motivated students with incredible mission-fit potential. How do you tap this market pool and build the right relationships to gap year programs? Consider . . .

  • The purpose and nature of gap year programs
  • Understanding articulation and academic credit arrangements
  • Building the right relationships, the right bridges
  • Marketing to gap year students – what’s the message?

Seizing the Potential of Planned Gifts

Presenter: Terry Munday, VP for Advancement (retired) – Indiana Wesleyan University
Salon 15
Target Audience: Presidents, Advancement Leaders

Overview: The trust is compelling – the largest gifts an institution will receive are almost always estate or planned gifts. So why do most institutions give this so little attention and effort. The tyranny of the urgent . . . or lack of discipline? Consider practical steps to move into this extraordinary aspect of fundraising with a distinguished veteran. Consider . . .

  • The wealth transfer that happening – what’s at stake
  • Making the decision to get engaged – now
  • Planning a strategy – identifying prospects and crafting your case
  • Making the ask – the ultimate test

Tapping the Potential of the ABHE Online Course-Sharing Consortium

Host: Scott Cathcart, Regional VP, Academic Partnerships – Acadeum; Presenters: Panel of ABHE CAOs
Location: Salon 16
Target Audience: CAO’s, Deans, Presidents

Overview: New educational opportunities have expanded during the pandemic, including the potential impact of academic collaboration. Are you tapping into a course-sharing consortium and reaping the benefits? Hear the stories from ABHE members that have generated revenue, reduced costs, and strengthened students’ success through course-sharing. Topics include:

  • The nature and benefits of an academic consortium
  • The current status of the ABHE Online Consortium
  • Using course-sharing to meet ABHE accreditation requirements
  • The journey from decision to implementation

Setting & Achieving Annual Fundraising Goals

Presenter: John Savage, President – The Savage Group
Salon 17
Target Audience: Presidents, Advancement Leaders

Overview: The capacity to set and consistently achieve annual fundraising goals is priceless. It’s a core competency of a strong advancement leader and a golden gift to your institution. So how do distinguished fundraisers do this? Think through the process with an expert and make this a part of your legacy, including . . .

  • Setting goals by a clear grasp of past results – a reality check
  • Increasing and diversifying donor revenue streams – optimizing your potential
  • Building the team that will cross the finish line together – leverage and momentum
  • Planning and communicating for consistent execution – weekly and monthly

Making Your Website an Effective Gateway to Enrollment Growth 

Presenter: Bart Caylor, President – Caylor Solutions, ABHE Sr. Fellow 
Location: Salon 18
Target Audience: Enrollment leaders, Presidents

Overview: There is no substitute for the importance and significance of an effective website for enrollment growth. It’s simply a must and an effective enrollment-focused website can fit your budget. Review the basics and grasp what makes a website highly effective. Expand the front door of your enrollment funnel with the counsel of an expert.

  • Assessing your current website for relevance and effectiveness
  • Getting the right things in place – planning, design, messaging, content
  • Integrating the website into the enrollment strategy and communications plan
  • Managing your website – troubleshooting and automation

Finessing Federal Financial Compliance Circa 2022

Presenter: Dave Moja, President – Moja & Company, ABHE Sr. Fellow
Location: Salon 1
Target Audience: Financial officers, Presidents

Overview: In the ever-changing environment of government regulations, it’s no small feat to stay abreast of requirements our meet compliance demands. Survey the compliance waterfront and update your check list and priorities . . . thanks to an expert serving ABHE as the watch dog for US regulation compliance. Consider . . .

  • Changes in effect for 2022 – and what’s likely coming
  • Risk assessment and mitigation – what the feds are doing now
  • Prioritizing compliance issues for an institution – what’s most important
  • Reporting insights – what’s essential and optional

The Blessings of Intercollegiate Sports to Biblical Higher Education

Presenter: Dan Wood, Executive Director – National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA)
Location: Salon 2
Target Audience: SDO’s, Athletic Directors, Campus Leaders, Presidents

Overview: For many institutions, intercollegiate sports make a major contribution to campus morale, student leadership development, enrollment growth, and institutional brand recognition – in a word, mission achievement. How does this happen and what can we learn from where it’s done well . . . or not? Consider . . .

  • The blueprint for well-conceived and well-lead athletic programs
  • How to make the right decisions – to get started . . . and make corrections
  • Effective campus management of intercollegiate sports – from the president to the locker room
  • Prudent counsel from the current realities – looking ahead

Knowing Your Academic Programmatic ROI

Presenter: James Heugel, Provost – Northwest University
Location: Salon 3
Target Audience: Presidents, CFOs, CAOs

Overview: Delivering academic programs are at the core of our business model.  Often, colleges are quick to add programs to attract new students, but rarely do they go through the rigorous process to anticipate a functional ROI.  Even rarer are colleges that assess and make decisions on programmatic ROI.

  • Learn the importance of having a process through which data informed decisions are made to add, keep, and/or terminate academic programs
  • Discover tools you can use to assess a program’s ROI
  • Understand strategies to create a campus culture that values data informed decisions

The Role of Prayer in Movements of God 

Presenter: Gary Stratton, Professor of Spiritual Formation and Cultural Leadership, Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences – Johnson University; ABHE Sr. Fellow
Location: Salon 4
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, Academic Leaders

Overview: Even a cursory review of past spiritual movements and awakenings highlights the vital role of prayer. Whether prelude, concurrent or overflow – prayer is present. Walk with a religious historian and scholar who has been part of spiritual awakenings on four campuses as he guides us through the principles and practices most often associated with past movements of the Spirit of God and consider the implications for our current realities.

  • History lessons from college leaders who experienced movements of God – what would they say to us?
  • The distinctives of prayer in spiritual movements – fostering a worldview awash with the presence of God
  • Implications for campus decision makers – the indispensable role of college leaders
  • Warnings and encouragements – avoiding past mistakes and building faith for our bright future

Expanding Academic Programming Without Changing Your Mission

Presenter: Dr. Mark Smith, President – Columbia International University
Location: Salon 5
Target Audience: Presidents; Academic Leaders

Overview: One way to advance biblical higher education is through offering academic programming beyond ministry preparation degrees.  The ultimate aim of biblical higher education is captured in the fulfillment of the Great Commission.  Disciple-making has no occupational constraints.  Learn how to add academic programming without compromising your mission of producing Gospel-centric graduates, called to go and make disciples.

  • Learn how to engage the campus community in the development of new academic programming
  • Capture the importance of tying academic programs to mission fulfillment
  • Understand how to proactively avoid mission drift

Rekindling your Call to the Presidency

Presenter: Dr. Steve Lennox, President – Kingswood University
Location: Salon 6
Target Audience: Presidents

Overview: The call to shepherd your campus community is a high calling.  The job of the college president demands your full attention and application of your skills and spiritual gifts.  Left unchecked, the sharpness of your call becomes blunted by the rigorous churn that comes with the college presidency.  Rekindling your call is an important exercise that maximizes your leadership impact.

  • What drew you to the presidency in the first place and are you living out that call?
  • Learn skills that you can use to keep your leadership edge sharp
  • Identify the greatest enemies that rob you of the joy of fulfilling your call
  • Rekindle God’s call to shepherd those you lead

Disturbed Disruptions: The Change We Need in Christian Higher Education

Presenter: Joshua Fischer, President – InterLearn
Location: Salon 7
Target Audience: Academic leaders, Presidents

Overview: “Disturb us, Lord. . .” was the prayer of Sir Francis Drake, an English Sea Captain in the 1500s. Today, the prayer in our institutions of Christian higher education should be no different. We must let God disturb the status quo of our institutions to carry out His plan that will disrupt the world with His message. As leaders called to Christian higher education, we should . . .

  • Recognize patterns of being disturbed
  • Understand the innovative mindset and the Source of innovation
  • Analyze cases of higher education market disruption
  • Implement “disturbed disruptions.”

Top 10 Reasons to Choose a Christian College

Presenter: Steve Henderson, Executive Consultant – Christian Consulting, ABHE Sr. Fellow
Location: Salon 8
Target Audience: Presidents, Enrollment leaders, Advancement leaders

Overview: College choice remains one of the most significant decisions a prospective student and their parents will make. It’s hard to overstate the import and impact of good vs poor decisions. Consider some compelling reasons why attending a Christian college makes such a wise choice.

  • Mining insights from college choice data – getting the facts
  • Weighing the real costs – an investment or expense
  • Unpacking priorities and motivations – a frank discussion
  • Protecting the treasure of a student’s future – what’s at stake

Lessons to Be Gleaned from ABHE’s 75-Year History

Presenter: Larry McKinney, former Executive Director – ABHE
Location: Salon 9
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, Academic Leaders

Overview: A careful study of ABHE’s history offers important insights from institutional histories – some who have flourished, some who are no longer part of biblical higher education, and others that have entered the dustbin of history. At this 75th Anniversary, let’s consider the important lessons of our history, including . . .

  • Observations about growing institutions – common characteristics
  • Insights from institutional mission shift and drift – important warnings
  • Enduring principles and characteristics of thriving institutions – buoy markers
  • Looking to the future with hope and fresh vision – surveying the horizon

Executive Leadership – Getting Started Well

Presenter: David Gyertson, former President – Asbury, Taylor & Regent Universities
Location: Salon 10
Target Audience: Presidents, Board Chairs, Trustees, Academic Executives

Overview: Whether president or other institutional executive, the 1st 100 days of leadership will set the pace for what’s to come. This is no time to stumble, send false signals. What are prudent lessons learned from the journey of many institutional executives that can help you launch well into a long-lasting journey of success. Consider . . .

  • Principles of effective beginnings – blueprints to consider
  • Typical missteps and mistakes to avoid – learning from others
  • The value of wise counsel – drawing from the wells of experience
  • Building momentum and not resistance – practical steps that work

Retention Basics That You Should Get Right

Target Audience: SDO’s, Retention Leaders, Academic Leaders
Presenters: Matt Boisvert, President; Rachel Philips-Buck, VP for Student Success – Pharos Resources
Location: Salon 11
Target Audience: Retention Leaders, Student Development Leaders, Academic Leaders

Overview: Low retention stats should raise alarms on any campus. Even more, it should prompt change and an effective focus on retention essentials that help more of your students graduate. Consider these basics that should not be ignored.

  • Learning how to identify leading & lagging indicators of at-risk students – seeing clearly and early
  • Student retention and success at its heart is about connection – becoming intentional and effective
  • Solving student success problems will the key to better results – creative, proactive solutions
  • Every campus must measure retention data – using this to change and celebrate

Recruiting and Retaining Minority Students for a More Diverse Bible College:  A Panel Discussion

Moderator: Jason Koppen, President – Indian Bible College
Location: Salon 12
Target Audience:  Presidents, Academic Leaders, Admissions Staff

Overview: Presentations from Black, Asian, Hispanic, and Native American enrollment officers on:

  • Identifying “recruiting pools” of POC’s
  • Overcoming obstacles to college admission
  • Thinking creatively about Accreditation standards for non-Western learners
  • Meeting the unique cultural needs of POC students to encourage longevity and retention

There’s Nothing Virtual About an Online Library       

Presenter: David Patterson, Dean of Library & Research – Institute of Lutheran Theology
Location: Salon 13
Target Audience: Library Directors, Academic Leaders

Overview:  I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor 9:22a-23) The library in higher education has seen tremendous change in the last 10 years.  Significant numbers of students will never set foot on our campuses.  Online learning has forced librarians to rethink what it means to support the information and information literacy need of their students wherever they might be. Consider . . .

  • Priorities of the Online Christian Academic Library
  • Academic Librarians as gatekeepers to learning success.
  • Understand the importance of anticipating student research needs
  • Learn how to curate robust virtual collections

Worth It!  Assessment that is Useable is Worth Doing

Presenters: Sheri Popp, Director of Professional Development – Weave
Location: Salon 14
Target Audience: Academic Leaders, Assessment Leaders

Overview: The path to powerful assessment processes often begins with the pain points and burning questions about student learning.  When we ask the right questions, identify the right measures, and collect data that can directly inform our instructional decisions, assessment becomes both doable and usable. Learn strategies for building assessment processes that . . .

  • Answer the questions faculty and staff have about student success
  • Yield actionable data
  • Are manageable
  • Are based on best practices for assessment in higher education

Essential Qualities of a Great Admissions Leader

Presenter: Daniel Webster, Director of Enrollment Services – Welch College
Location: Salon 15
Target Audience: Presidents, Enrollment officers, Admissions team members

Overview: Are great admissions leaders made or born? Both are surely important! Whether natural gifts or well-honed qualities, becoming a successful admissions leader is not by accident. Sharpen your gifts and expand your capacity to serve with distinction including . . .

  • Knowing what makes an admissions leader successful – defining the target
  • Developing the disciplines that will set you apart – habits of greatness
  • Distinguishing between mediocre and greatness – the edge that makes the difference
  • Tapping motivations that endure and thrive under pressure – rising to the challenge

Vital Insights from Fall 2021 ABHE & Beyond Enrollment Data 

Presenter: Tim Fuller, Founder – Fuller Higher Ed Solutions; ABHE Sr. Fellow
Location: Salon 16
Target Audience: Presidents, Enrollment Leaders

Overview: The data is in for Fall 2021 and it’s time to take a careful look into what has really happened through the pandemic. Compare your stats with other ABHE and CCCU institutions. What should we learn and be alert to? Are there new realities and trends emerging? Listen to our data guru, learn the facts you need lead well. Consider . . .

  • The Fall 2021 numbers and what they mean
  • Significant changes and emerging trends
  • Thoughtful observations and implications
  • Perspectives about action steps to take as a result

Who’s That on Our Campus & Do They Support Us?

Presenter: Dan Flatt, Enterprise. Sales Manager/EFP Solutions – Blackbaud
Location: Salon 17
Target Audience: Advancement Leaders, Presidents

Overview: In this session, learn how to create high-level engagement with your institution’s constituents and donors.  Through data analytics and an advanced communication plan, build relationships that will support and expand the reach of your college’s mission.  Leave this session armed with best practices and educated on CRM technology that will help you efficiently cultivate your supporters. Consider . . .

  • Mining the gold from your communications data analytics
  • Effective use of communications to be higher-level engagement
  • How CRM can better serve your communications strategy

Seizing the Potential of Collaboration 

Presenter: Eric Currie, VP of Sales, Darren Campbell, CEO – CampusEDU
Location: Salon 18
Target Audience:  Presidents, Provosts, CFO, Enrollment

Overview: A growing number of proactive institutions are seeing the value of collaboration in offering academic programs. Empowered by a new technology platform and enhanced by articulation agreements for credit sharing – these new venues of opportunity rapidly expand an institution’s market and capacity to deliver excellent programs. while driving down cost.

  • Understanding collaboration protocols and agreements
  • Reviewing the enhancements of marketing
  • Tapping the wellspring of course sharing
  • Realizing the financial benefits of collaboration

Why You Should Never Defer Maintenance 

Presenter: Joe LaPaglia, Director of Cost Modeling and Strategic Planning; Jack Strong/Matt Rodgers, Project Target Developers – Aspen Group
Location: Salon 1
Audience: CFO’s, Academic Leaders, Campus Leaders, Presidents

Overview: Stories are legend of institutions that deferred maintenance until too late. As the saying goes, “If your expenses exceed your income, your upkeep will be your downfall.” The Bible college movement is no exception. Can we talk frankly about what this means for responsible management of institutional resources, about our stewardship of God’s resources? Think through these complex issues with distinguished experts, including . . .

  • Realistically counting the stewardship costs – now or later
  • Dealing with acquired properties – look before you leap
  • Partnership with advancement initiatives – working together to get the right results
  • Heeding the warnings from our own history – we should know better

Standards Review Process Listening Session 

Presenters: Kevin Hester, COA Chair; Lisa Beatty, COA Director
Location: Salon 2
Target Audience: Institutional Leaders, Team Evaluators, Accreditation Liaisons

Overview: In preparation for our 10-year review of Standards for Accreditation in 2022-2023, we want to hear from you! How are the current standards supporting quality at your institution? What changes would you like to see in the ABHE Standards moving forward?

  • Provide direct input to the process through conversation with the Commission Chair & Exe. Director
  • Tell us what needs to be retained as we embark on our Standards review
  • Highlight areas for needed improvement in the Standards/Essential Elements
  • Share your best ideas for reducing the number of Standards without affecting their utility for assuring institutional and program quality

Leading Change in an Age of Tumult

Presenter: Drumm McNaughton, CEO – The Change Leader
Location: Salon 3
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, Academic Leaders

Overview: Beyond the pandemic, leaders in higher education must grapple effectively with change. Facing headwinds, crosswinds, and unexpected turbulence has become the rule of the day. Leading in such an environment is high risk for any leader. Consider vital insights from a change leader guru that can help you lead through change with finesse & strength, including . . .

  • Understanding the nature and dynamics of organizational change
  • Charting a prudent path through chaos – clear compass bearings
  • Finessing the communications challenge – enhanced relationships
  • Addressing issues, building cohesion, solving problems – proactive leadership

Accreditation – What Board Members Need to Know

Presenter: Ralph Enlow, Former President – ABHE
Location: Salon 4
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees

Overview: Board members’ ignorance or misunderstanding about accreditation can place them at personal risk and their institutions in substantial peril. This session surveys the Commission on Accreditation’s (COA) underlying principles, processes, and key standards pertaining to board governance.

  • Why do board members need to understand accreditation basics?
  • What are the key principles on which institutional accreditation is grounded?
  • What should board members know about accreditation processes and COA decisions?
  • What are the key ABHE Accreditation Standards by which institutional boards are measured?

Cyber Security & Higher Education – A Strategic Conversation

Presenter: John Pistole, President – Anderson University
Location: Salon 5
Target Audience: Presidents, CFO’s, Academic Leaders, Trustees

Overview: Are cyber-attacks on institutions of higher education a real threat – today? In what way and what is the level and nature of this risk? How can institutions prepare and mitigate the risks? Consider professional insights from a practitioner with years of national security and cyber security experience, now president of a sister institution of higher education, including . . .

  • A survey of the current cyber-attacks reality and security breaches – a reality check
  • Understanding how these happen and the institutional risks – a risk audit
  • Thinking through prevention and mitigation measures – getting ready
  • Preparing for the worst – exigency plans

Digital Marketing – Now More Than Ever

Presenter: Bart Caylor, President – Caylor Solutions, ABHE Sr. Fellow
Location: Salon 6
Target Audience: Enrollment leaders, Advancement leaders, Presidents

Overview: Are you taking advantage of the power and potential of digital marketing? If not, you’re simply missing the boat. Whether for enrollment or advancement – you must be fully engaged in the wide world of digital communications that effectively connects your prospective students or donors to your institution. Consider . . .

  • The current state of digital communications – what the marketplace is doing
  • Understanding the components of digital marketing – a comprehensive blueprint
  • Reviewing the tools available for institutions – building your toolbox
  • Taking the initiative – getting started or going to the next level

Four Key Components of Fundraising for Presidents

Presenter: Pat McLaughlin, President – The Timothy Group
Location: Salon 7
Target Audience: Presidents, Advancement Leaders

Overview: Presidents must set the pace for effective institutional resource development. To grow and prosper, presidents need to address these four issues in this complex, post-covid environment.

  • Knowing the essential qualities of an effective development team
  • Setting expectations and goals with your team – annual, capital, and endowment
  • Maximizing your trustee’s involvement with major donors
  • Setting the example with presidential engagement

Increasing Student Engagement & Retention Through Formative Feedback

Presenter: Patrick Burke, Co-Founder/CEO – BoxScore
Location: Salon 8
Target Audience: Academic Leaders, Assessment Officers, Student Development Officers

Overview: Staying connected with students and tracking their class-by-class engagement is harder than ever in this new COVID-19 mixed/virtual environment. Great teachers always want to know how well they are connecting with and supporting their students. Connected and supported students stick around and graduate. A semester-end course evaluation is too little – too late.

  • Formative feedback is the magic behind engagement and retention
  • How to simply and seamlessly implement a formative feedback process
  • Best practices & benchmarking
  • Case study

Team Member Training – Part I 

Presenter: Heather Shalley, Vice President and Dean for Student Enrollment Services – Moody Bible Institute
Location: Salon 9
Target Audience: Accreditation Evaluation Team Members 

Overview: The peer-review process is at the heart of the accreditation. Well-prepared team members are an essential part of this time-honored system. This workshop is ABHE’s high-value experience to help new evaluation team members become proficient. Learn how to prepare for serving on an evaluation visiting team. Learn about each of these steps in the preparation process:

  • Reviewing the team evaluator’s responsibilities
  • Reviewing the institution’s self-study documents
  • Understanding and using the Standards for evaluation
  • Organizing the logistics of travel, time commitment, and expenses

Writing & Submitting an Effective Self-Study Report 

Presenter: Teddy Bitner, Vice President of Academics – Calvary University
Location: Salon 10
Target Audience: Accreditation Liaisons, Self-Study Coordinators, Academic Leaders

Overview: Part of the process of engaging in self-study is writing the report of your findings. What are some strategies for writing an effective self-study report and submitting it to the Commission? How can you ensure that the self-study serves the needs of the evaluation team? This workshop presents effective strategies to complete and submit your required self-study documents.

  • Develop a self-study report that serves institutional needs
  • Present self-study materials for optimal evaluation team understanding
  • Make plans that allow for the unforeseen challenges that can arise during document development
  • Understand requirements for submitting self-study documents to the Commission on Accreditation

Managing Enrollment Growth Through Athletic Programs 

Presenter: Tim Fuller, Founder – Fuller Higher Ed Solutions; ABHE Sr. Fellow
Location: Salon 11
Target Audience: Presidents, Enrollment Leaders

Overview: To what degree does your institution rely on athletics to attract students and meet new student goals? How is that working out for you? Are your athletes mission-fit students? What is the ROI of a strong athletic program, directly and indirectly, and does your coach meet roster goals for enrollment? What part does winning play in all this mix? Consider enrollment implications of a solid athletic program, including. . .

  • Setting the right goals for each athletic program
  • Engaging coaches effectively to grow enrollment
  • Choosing wise metrics for assessment and planning

Accreditation Challenges for Serving Under-Prepared/Resourced Minority Students – A Panel Discussion

Presenters:   Martin Harris, Frank Smith, Coreen Esplin, and Jason Koppen
Location: Salon 12
Target Audience: Presidents, Academic officers, Institutional Effectiveness Officers, Student Development Leaders

Overview: What are the unique issues and challengers facing institutions serving minority students? What insights have been learned and systems developed to enhance the effectiveness of institutional programs and services? Let’s learn from each other during this invigorating discussion of these pertinent issues, including . . .

  • Student preparedness & remedial assistance
  • Retention initiatives that make a difference
  • Campus environment initiatives the enrich student life
  • Measuring outcomes assessment within a minority culture

Keys to Running a Successful Capital Campaign in a Turbulent Age

Presenters: Brad Layland, President; Scott Rodin, Chief Strategy Officer/ABHE Sr. Fellow – The Focus Group
Location: Salon 13
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, Advancement Leaders

Overview: So much of what we do as a Bible college has changed to adapt to the present pandemic age and cultural chaos. The same is true for capital campaigns. We cannot run campaigns in the future the way we have ‘always done them’. Consider what’s changed and how you should adjust to ensure success. We will . . .

  • Define what’s changed and why it matters
  • Consider keys to a successful campaign and how each needs to be adjusted for success
  • Hear stories and case studies of how ministries and schools are making these changes
  • Evaluate tools to assess your own campaign (or planning) so you can make the same adjustments

Hello, Competency-Based Education Meets the Online World

Presenters: Verna Lowe, Academic Director and Associate Dean for Initial Licensure  in Teachers College  – Western Governors University
Dale Hale, Dean of the College of Adult Professional Studies & Center for Digital Instruction – Christian Brothers University

Location: Salon 14
Target Audience: Academic Leaders, Online Ed Leaders, Presidents

Overview: The post-pandemic environment creates new opportunities for the higher education landscape.  Competency-based education (CBE) provides a refreshed framework for the educational process and partners easily with multiple delivery models.  Join the excitement around the partnership with CBE and online education in shaping the next generation of higher education learning.

  • What are the structures and benefits of CBE?
  • What are the possibilities with online education?
  • What are the advantages of the partnership with CBE and online education?
  • Explore the potential of the combined effort of CBE and online education at your institution.

Transforming Campus Communications with a Mobile App 

Presenter: Jamie Giblett, Sales Manager – Digistorm LLC.
Location: Salon 15
Target Audience: SDO’s, Provosts, Presidents

Overview: Every campus leader knows this well – the morale of any campus is enhanced by timely and effective communications. Digital technology has empowered this exponentially and smart campus leaders are plugged in and digitally astute. What are best practices, emerging trends, technology options and creative ideas that can help you connect your campus community? Consider . . .

  • The potential impact of a well-organized and deployed mobile app
  • How a campus app works – and doesn’t
  • The options provided by a campus mobile app
  • The role of leadership is setting the pace

ECFA Standards – Protect & Strengthen Your Value-Proposition

Presenter: Jake Lapp, VP of Member Accountability
Location: Salon 16

Target Audience: Presidents, Advancement Leaders, CFO’s 

Overview: Credibility is slowly gained but quickly lost. It’s a priceless part of every institution’s value proposition. ECFA enhances trust in Christ-centered churches and ministries through its annual accreditation of organizations based on Seven Standards of Responsible Stewardship, drawn from scripture. Consider how these strengthen your position in the public market, protect your financial integrity, and make your institution more trustworthy, including . . .

  • Understanding the purpose and spirit of the Standards
  • Unpacking the Standards for institutional accountability and credibility
  • Learning from case studies – typical mistakes and warnings
  • Integrating the Standards into your financial operations 

Matching the Library Collection to the Curriculum 

Presenter: Nancy Olson, Director of Library Services – TCM International Institute
Location: Salon 17
Target Audience: Librarians, Directors of Learning Resources, Academic Leaders 

Overview: As required by accreditation standards, institutions are charged with the responsibility of providing appropriate learning resources for all the programs they offer. So how do institutions accomplish supporting ever-changing curriculum and modalities of instruction?  Consider . . .

  • Effective ways to engage faculty in learning resource development
  • Systematic plans to audit the learning resources for all programs
  • Collaboration with faculty on curriculum planning and course development
  • Selecting appropriate learning resources

Costs & Benefits of Doctoral Education – Offering Lean and Strong Programs

Presenter: Kevin E. Lawson, Director of Consulting, Co-chair of Doctoral Initiative Steering Committee – ICETE
Location: Salon 18
Target Audience: Presidents & Academic Leaders

Overview: Doctoral education programs are expensive to offer, but they can be worth the investment. What can be done to offer a quality program while keeping costs under control? A veteran doctoral program director and researcher will discuss:

  • The potential value of doctoral programs in light of a school’s mission
  • Differences between research and professional doctoral degree programs
  • Program design features that can limit costs
  • Key issues to address in launching or revising a program at your school

Emerging HR Practices Post Pandemic

Presenter: Mark Griffin, CEO – In His Name HR
Location: Salon 1
Target Audience: Presidents, CAOs, CFOs

Overview: Post Covid-19, our campuses are settling into a new reality. Some of how we conducted business during the pandemic has persisted and become normalized.  Learn how HR must adapt to support a new normal.

  • Recognize the importance of establishing work patterns that promote student engagement instead of what may be easy or convenient for the employee
  • Understand how to build team cohesiveness when not all employees can be F2F
  • Identify how policies and procedures must be added or changed to reflect current practices
  • Learn how to manage a distributed workforce

Rescuing Children from Sex Trafficking: How Your Students Can Join The Fight

Presenter: Amy Johns, Director of Partnership Impact – Destiny Rescue USA
Location: Salon 2
Target Audience: Student Development Leaders, Academic Leaders, Presidents

Overview: At least one million children are trapped in sexual exploitation and human trafficking. Imagine the impact of Bible college and seminary students engaging in the fight by bringing freedom and justice to survivors. Is this not a part of the gospel mandate? Consider . . .

  • An overview of human trafficking and its prevalence in the world – the sobering reality
  • A biblical viewpoint and value of campus engagement – students on mission
  • Providing resources to empower students to join in the fight against sexual exploitation and trafficking – action
  • Telling “her” story – the stories of hope from brave survivors – the power of testimony

Equality Act & Biblical Truth – What Colleges Need to Know

Presenter: Kathleen Turpin, Vice President, Human Resources – Brotherhood Mutual
Location: Salon 3
Target Audience: Presidents, Trustees, CFO’s, Academic Leaders

Overview: The federal Equality Act presently being considered by Congress could create several challenges for religious organizations, including Christian colleges and universities. Learn how it could affect such areas as employment, facility use, and athletics. Consider . . .

  • The past year of legislation surrounding the Equality Act and where it stands today
  • The Equality Act’s continuing potential impact on Christian colleges and universities
  • The financial impact of the proposed new legislation — both to your institution and to your students
  • How to update organizational and governing documents to prepare for future challenges

A Biblical Response to Critical Race Theory:  A Panel Discussion

Moderator: Jason Koppen, President – Indian Bible College
Location: Salon 4
Target Audience:  Presidents, Academic Leaders, Student Development Leaders

Overview:  There is no denying the fact that Critical Race Theory (CRT) has greatly impacted Western culture, including the church.  This workshop will address both CRT from both a practical and personal perspective, including an opportunity for attendees to LISTEN to presentations from ABHE POC leaders regarding events from the last 15 months that have greatly impacted their people group.  This workshop will address:

  • The historical background of CRT
  • Understanding CRT through the lens of scripture
  • The urgency of listening for the purpose of greater understanding in matters of diversity and justice
  • How to engage with the questions POC’s are asking

Managing Executive Leadership Transitions

Presenter: David Gyertson, former President – Asbury, Taylor and Regent Universities
Location: Salon 5
Target Audience: Presidents, Board Chairs, Trustees

Overview: Executive transitions are fraught with complexity and nuance. Getting it right is vital for the stability and forward momentum of the institution. Consider keen insights from a distinguished board governance coach’s journey helping many institutions chart a wise and smooth course forward, including . . .

  • Understanding executive transition dynamics – on campus and beyond
  • Getting transition plans organized and in place – in advance
  • Creative ideas for communications – with all stakeholders
  • Making wise decisions – testing pros & cons

Christian Life Coaching in Biblical Higher Education

Presenter: Don Hawkins, Chief Content Officer – Master Life Coach Training Institute
Location: Salon 6
Target Audience: Presidents, Institutional Executives

Overview: Many people today are looking for a positive tool to provide direction, motivation, and accountability. Rooted in Jesus description of how He discipled His men, (John 17) faith-based life coaching presents a biblically relevant strategy to equip those who are trained in coaching to see the lives of those they coach transformed.

  • The uniqueness of faith-based life coaching, distinct from counseling & positive in focus
  • The Biblical foundation for coaching, six steps Jesus used identified in John 17
  • The skills and processes, including Jesus’ use of tools such as listening and asking cultivating questions
  • The ultimate value of Christian life coaching for ABHE institutions and constituents

What’s New in Digitally Enhanced Biblical/Theological Research 

Presenter: Michael Meiser, Director, Academic Solutions – Faithlife
Location: Salon 7
Target Audience: Academic leaders, Presidents

Overview: With the massive shift to online ed driven by the pandemic, digitally enhanced biblical/theological research tools are more than ever a vital resource for student learning. Survey the expanding range of digital tools and take your institutionally provided biblical/theological learning resources to a new level, including . . .

  • Understanding how digitally enhanced biblical/theological research can work at your school
  • Building an awareness of the options for your students – tailored for each level and program of study
  • Making a cost/benefit analysis of the investment
  • Creating integration plans for your pedagogical framework – setting up your students/faculty for success

Rebuilding the Value Equation for Christian Higher Education

Presenter: Phil Cook, Executive Director – NACCAP
Location: Salon 8
Target Audience: Enrollment Officers, Presidents, CAOs

Overview: Skepticism continues to increase in America regarding the value of higher education. Christian colleges face even more challenges due to rising costs, student debt aversion, free public school education, and the return on investment. Families of faith are wrestling with the question, “Is the value of a Christian college experience worth the cost, sacrifice and commitment?” This session will focus on helping attendees to:

  • Identify the seminal strengths of Christian Higher Education across the academic enterprise
  • Recognize the challenges facing our campuses in today’s post-Christian world
  • Create a new or revised value equation and case statement specific to each leader and institution

Team Member Training – Part II 

Presenter: Josiah Stephan, Executive Vice President, South Florida Bible College and Seminary
Location: Salon 9
Target Audience: Accreditation Evaluation Team Members

Overview: Peer-review is at the heart of the accreditation process. The focus of the on-campus visit involves investigation and reporting. This session will offer guidance on the team’s onsite activities.

  • Developing an effective evaluation visit schedule
  • Reviewing the team visit preparation materials
  • Conducting effective interviews
  • Writing your section of the team report
  • Crafting team commendations, suggestions, and recommendations

Reversing the Trend of Biblical Illiteracy – Restoring Deep Biblical Engagement

Presenter: Dru Johnson, Associate Professor & Center for Hebraic Thought Director – The King’s College
Location: Salon 10
Target Audience: Presidents, CAOs, Faculty

Overview: American Bible Society’s State of the Bible assessment has demonstrated a growing trend of biblical illiteracy and engagement.  Beyond formal biblical higher education, many organizations exist committed to informal biblical and theological education and engagement.Join us to  . . .

  • Understand the growing trend of biblical illiteracy
  • Hear about recent efforts to retrieve and restore deep engagement with biblical literature
  • Consider how biblical higher education can best contribute to the efforts of the Bible Literacy Coalition

Q & A with Commission Leaders 

Presenters: Kevin Hester, Chair; Lisa Beatty, Executive Director – ABHE Commission on Accreditation
Location: Salon 11
Target Audience: Accreditation Liaisons, Academic leaders, presidents

Overview: Join us for a conversation with the Commission on Accreditation. The Commission Director will provide a brief update on “What’s New?”, and then you set the agenda for the rest of the discussion.

  • Hear about the higher education policy discussions taking place at the national level
  • Receive up-to-date information on ABHE policy and process changes
  • Hear an update on current COA projects
  • Get your accreditation questions answered

Stretching Your Financial Aid Dollars for Enrollment Growth

Presenter: Rocky Christensen, Director of Financial Aid – Johnson University
Location: Salon 12
Target Audience: Enrollment Leaders, Financial Aid Directors, CFO’s

Overview: Every financial aid officer feels the pressure, the pull, the stress. Stay within budget. Don’t give away the store. Respond to student financial need. Make every financial aid dollar count. So how does this magic work? Listen to the astute counsel from a passionate financial aid director who thrives under pressure and loves the major contribution his office makes to institutional growth. Consider . . .

  • Understanding the role and responsibilities of the financial aid director – get your bearings
  • Thinking through the options for leveraging financial aid for enrollment growth – proactive partnership
  • Staying abreast of government regulations and compliance obligations – no surprises
  • Reporting well to whom, how and when – sharing the results

Free & Low-Cost Library Resources & Tools 

Presenter: Jon Jones, Director of Library and Academic Services – Baptist Bible College
Location: Salon 13
Target Audience: Librarians, Directors of Learning Resources, Academic Leaders

Overview:  In a season of budget reductions, responsible library leaders are utilizing the ever-increasing number of free and low-cost library resources and tools. Why not consider other options and creative opportunities, like . . .

  • Open access and open educational resources
  • Free and low-cost library tools
  • Low-cost learning resources
  • Ongoing discovery of hidden treasures

Leading a Highly Productive Enrollment Team

Presenter: Eric Currie, VP of Sales – CampusEDU
Location: Salon 14
Target Audience: Enrollment leaders, Presidents

Overview: Growing an institution is a team sport; it takes a campus to recruit a student. There’s also no substitute for leadership. Recruiting, training, and leading the enrollment team – if done with excellence, brings extraordinary results. Learn from the journey of a distinguished enrollment leader some of the secrets and principles that have made a big difference. Sharpen your own leadership competency – to help your school grow. Explore . . .

  • Competencies and capacities to look for in admissions leaders
  • Keys to a highly motivated and successful enrollment team
  • How successful enrollment leaders think, plan and execute their strategy
  • Creative ideas about building team synergy – the over and above power thrust

Tapping the Treasures of the Common App

Presenter: Keith Mock, VP Enrollment Marketing Consulting – Liaison International
Location: Salon 15
Target Audience: Enrollment leaders

Overview: Wise enrollment leaders are seizing the opportunity presented by the wide-spread use of the Common App across higher education. So how does this work and what can it mean for your marketing efforts? Consider . . .

  • How the Common App works for students planning to attend college
  • The enormous pool of prospective students found in the Common App
  • Finding mission-fit students through the Common App
  • Integrating the Common App date into your enrollment strategy


We’ve Submitted Our Self-Study: Now What? 

Presenter: Tim Cooley, Sr., Academic Dean – Penn View Bible Institute
Location: Salon 16
Target Audience: Accreditation Liaisons, Institutional Leaders

Overview: Submitting your self-study is the first step in the review process, but what happens next? This workshop prepares institutions for the rest of the process, from hosting the evaluation team visit to developing an institutional response to the team report.

  • Plan for hosting an effective Evaluation Team Visit
  • Learn how to respond to evaluation team recommendations
  • Review the accreditation process timeline
  • Keeping your momentum for continuous improvement

Making Your Website User-Friendly 

Presenter: Mike Deraco, Director of Creative & UX – YDOP
Location: Salon 17
Target Audience: Presidents, Enrollment & Advancement Officers, Marketing Leaders

Overview: The institution’s website is its most important marketing tool, impacting enrollment, advancement, parent relations, and public facing communications. Developing your website with a user-experience architecture rather than with an information or organizational framework may be your most significant marketing exercise this year. Learn about User-Experience design and conversion optimization best practices from Nielsen Norman certified U/X designer. Under Mike’s leadership, YDOP was recently awarded 1st place from the Evangelical Press for web design of LBC.EDU.

  • What makes a website user-friendly – understanding how this works
  • What research shows about website effectiveness – learning from the best
  • The impact a user-friendly website can have on your marketing – enrollment and advancement
  • How to integrate your website into your marketing strategy

Inspiring and Facilitating FUNDING Your College: From Dream to Reality

Presenter: Clay Perkins, Executive Vice President – Financial Planning Ministry
Location: Salon 18
Target Audience: Advancement Officers, Presidents

Overview: Who doesn’t love dreaming about raising all the necessary funds for your college? A successful planned giving ministry can enable that dream to come true! A planned giving program is paramount to supplement your annual funds and capital projects. But planned giving is different. Invest now so that in the future, your college will have the funds necessary to thrive.

  • Understand what NOT to do – avoid the myths
  • Understand what to do – have a plan
  • See what success looks like – you can do this
  • Consider a successful case study