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Conference Faculty

Eric Brandt


Executive Vice President
Northwest Seminary
Langley, BC | Canada

Joanne Jung


Sevensided Consulting
Sioux Falls, SD

Kevin Mahaffy


Associate Academic Dean 
Initial Licensure Programs
Western Governors University
Lexington, KY


Mary Lowe


Executive Director
Orlando, FL

Conference Pricing

Early Bird Deadline: March 24, 2023

Members (On-Site): $650 per person ($600 Early Bird)
Non-Members (On-Site): $850 per person ($800 Early Bird)

On-Site Pricing Includes:

Full engagement in two-day program, including Q&A
Networking/Fellowship with attendees & presenters
Access to video recordings of presentations post-conference
Three night’s lodging at the adjacent Hilton Garden Inn
Conference meals & refreshments
Access to all conference resources

Workshop Overview

Adding competency-based theological education (CBTE) programs to your institutional offerings is very much like undertaking a home renovation. It’s exciting — and intimidating. It’s important to figure out what you need, what you want, what systems are necessary, and what’s achievable in your situation. While you can do much of it yourself, having some help can go a long way! This two-day, hands-on intensive workshop allows you to play with a blueprint for your institution — exploring what a CBTE solution might look like for you.

Work together with CBE and CBTE experts to collaboratively design a basic blueprint for a CBTE program that uses backwards design to build a competency-based curriculum with a decentralized supervision model while anticipating systemic factors.

 SESSION 1: Articulate the Vision and Promise of CBTE

Overview: Blueprints start with a vision. CBTE is a philosophy and approach to education, and your operational model will be shaped by your institutional values. In this session, we lay the groundwork for how to talk about CBTE with your institutional leaders and influencers and practice preparing a CBTE vision and value proposition for your school. You will . . .

  • Articulate the promise of CBTE for your institution
  • Identify how the core values of CBTE align with your school’s missional needs
  • Apply common terms related to competency-based education
  • Discuss ABHE’s spirit of accreditation and the Commission’s stance with regard to CBTE program development
  • Build a CBTE vision presentation for your institutional leaders and influencers

 Session 1: Workshopping

  • Practice applying session one concepts to build a presentation on how CBTE can help your institution fulfill its mission.

Session 1: Questions, Reflection and Discussion

  • Share insights, questions, and reflections after working on your presentation.

Session 2: Rethink Program Outcomes and Assessments

Overview: Vision is necessary, but it must be broken down into tangible requirements before a blueprint can be created. With the goal firmly in mind, the designer begins an iterative process of balancing wants with needs and practical realities to arrive at clear articulation of the required ends. Competency-based program design differs from conventional program design in that the ends and means—the curriculum—of the entire program are defined prior to program launch. In this session you will . . .

  • Practice applying the backwards design process to an existing or new program
  • Identify the elements of a master curriculum that could be integrated into your first program
  • Write competencies and design assessments for each domain of learning
  • Integrate competencies and credit hours

Session 2: Workshopping

  • Practice applying backwards design to a program in your institution, and then articulate ends and means for the achievement of competencies in the cognitive, psychomotor, and affective domains.

Session 2: Questions, Reflection and Discussion

  • Share insights, questions, and reflections after working on your program design and competencies.

Session 3: Decentralize Supervision and Student Support

Overview: New construction introduces the opportunity for innovation. Learn how other schools and organizations are taking innovative approaches to decentralized instruction, assessment and student supports, and explore ideas for a model that might work for your proposed program. In this session you will . . .

  • Unbundle the supervisory and assessment role
  • Identify required student supports
  • Recommend a decentralized supervision model for your program

Session 3: Workshopping

  • Diagram a model for decentralized supervision and student support and integrate it as a recommendation into your program presentation.

Session 3: Questions, Reflection and Discussion

  • Share insights, questions, and reflections after working on your program design.

Session 4: Connect to Existing Structures

Overview: Renovation requires connecting to or working within an existing structure and ethos, and your blueprint cannot be completed until you identify and accommodate dependencies and constraints imposed by that structure. Hidden or overlooked requirements can quickly balloon project scope, and even grind it to a halt. Which systems, values, roles, or relationships are sacrosanct in your institution? What needs to be renovated, and what can be left alone for this first project? The leaders of this session will draw on their collective experience to share common challenges and connection points other schools have encountered with a view to helping you identify the same for your school. You will . . .

  • Identify systemic connections, dependencies, and constraints for implementing a CBTE program in your institution
  • Integrate transfer credit, prior learning assessment and student aid considerations into CBTE program design
  • Practice cultivating a collaborative team spirit

Session 5: Create a Plan

Overview: Once you have communicated your vision and translated it into a blueprint for building, you and your decision-makers will need a construction plan. The primary focus of this last session will be to pull your design together and consider the high-level steps, sequencing, and timeline needed to successfully implement the new or revised program. This is primarily a workshopping session during which you will . . .

  • Map a high-level implementation sequence for your program
  • Update your CBTE vision presentation to incorporate identified dependencies and an initial plan for construction

Wrap-Up: Questions, Reflection and Discussion

  • Share insights, questions, and reflections after working on your program design.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lodging included in the registration fee?

YES – 3 nights, including arrival the evening before the conference begins.

Can I request for additional hotel nights?

YES The ABHE rate is $120/night.  You can qualify for our 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, including 7 meals and all conference snacks/beverages.

Does this Conference provide credits for the Academic Leaders Certification Program?

YES, this two day conference will provide 20 points toward certification.  You must attend the entire conference to receive credit.

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. There are no refunds provided for no-shows.

Are scholarships available?

YES – limited scholarships are available.  Please email your request to with an explanation of your financial need.

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.

For those attending the Conference On-Site, the ABHE staff will make a hotel reservation for you.

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



The Hilton Garden Inn is located 1 mile from the Orlando International Airport. The ABHE staff will make your hotel reservations for you.  Please indicate your room type/preference when you register for the conference.

Complimentary shuttle service is available from the Orlando International Airport (MCO) to the Hilton Garden Inn. To request the 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 DibbleCarol Dibble
Chief of Staff & Director of Communications



Darby BlanchardDarby Blanchard
Digital & Administrative Services Coordinator