Conference Sponsor

With Grateful AppreciationThe timothy Group

Conference Pricing

Early Bird Deadline: September 1, 2021

Members (On-Site): $475 per person ($425 Early Bird)
Members (Virtual Via Zoom): $150
Non-Members (On-Site): $675 per person ($625 Early Bird)
Non-Members (Virtual Via Zoom): $300


Virtual Pricing Includes:

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


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 nearby SpringHill Suites by Marriott
7 meals & refreshments
Access to all conference resources

Program Overview


Download Program Schedule

Presenter: Tommy Smith, President — Johnson University (TN)
Overview: The demands and pressures of presidential leadership can significantly erode the best of leaders.  The starting point for authentic leadership that endures the ebbs and flows of the leadership journey begins with your personal walk with the Lord.  Learn the importance of establishing a strong spiritual foundation on which your leadership ethic can be built.

  • Understand how to align your spiritual and leadership realities
  • Learn strategies that you can use to stay spiritual sharp
  • Discover the value of developing meaningful accountability relationships
  • Recognize the connection between personal spirituality and a theologically grounded leadership ethic

Presenter: Charles Ware, Executive Director, Grace Relations — College of Biblical Studies-Houston (TX)
Overview: As a senior leader, you must lead with truth, training, and transformation through the confusing and divisive conversations about race relations on your campuses and community.  Engage with a former college president and leader at one of ABHE’s most diverse colleges who is passionate about providing a proper response to racial tensions grounded in biblical and theological principles.  Explore . . .

  • A Grace Relations dream – God’s mind, heart, and vision for unity with diversity   
  • Ways to assess the challenges and realities within your campus and community regarding race relations    
  • Internal and external expectations as we pursue unity with diversity, how to have “us and us” conversations that form
    collaborations to develop solutions for personal and communal change
  • Brainstorm applications within different campus contexts   

Presenter: Dennis Bielfeldt, President  — Institute for Lutheran Theology (SD)
Overview: The function of the president carries with it a broad range of leadership responsibilities.  Learn how one president adapted business acumen to the office of president in the establishment of a synchronous online institute of biblical higher education, offering degrees from the AA through the PhD level.

  • Understand business principles that translate well into higher education
  • Identify strategies to think outside the box of traditional approaches to biblical higher education
  • Research and identify revenue streams to increase cash flow for your institution
  • Learn how to anticipate the needs of the market and position your institution to meet those needs

Presenter: Lisa Beatty, Director – ABHE Commission on Accreditation (FL)
Overview: Quality assurance and improvement is at the core of ABHE accreditation.  Part of your responsibility is championing the accreditation process.  Hear from ABHE’s new Commission on Accreditation Director, Lisa Beatty as she unpacks strategies that you can use as president of your institution.  Consider . . .

  • Effective strategies to build positive momentum around the accreditation process
  • The relational dynamic between quality assurance and improvement
  • How to connect your quality assurance and improvement activities into budgeting and planning
  • Strategies to avoid falling into a 10-year cyclical pattern of quality assurance and improvement activity

Presenter: Mark Pettus, President — Highlands College (AL)
Overview: Several of ABHE’s newest members are colleges started within the context of the church for the church.  This trend resembles the founding of the Bible college movement over 140 years ago.  Hear from a college president who is leading a college in this renewed wave of biblical higher education.

  • Understand the critical connection between biblical higher education and the Church
  • Learn how to position your college in such a way that it serves the Church
  • Discover ways that you can establish a stronger link with the Church
  • Identify tensions that work against a strong college-Church connection

Presenter: Mark Griffin, CEO — In His Name HR (PA)
Overview: One of the more significant tensions on your campus revolves around the role of your HR department.  Do they represent the interests of the institution or are they advocates for employees?  Consider how a proper understanding of the HR department’s role within the institution leads towards a healthy management of complex personnel tensions, including . . .

  • An ideological approach for your HR department that contributes to a healthy understanding of the HR department role
  • The full spectrum of what an HR department is legally and ethically bound to manage
  • Key personality and professional HR leader traits conducive to a healthy context for complex and tension-filled conversations
  • Techniques that you can use to foster a positive relationship with your HR department

Presenter: Todd Williams, President — Cairn University (PA)
Overview: The role and responsibilities of the president are usually well defined. The expectations for presidents from the variety of constituents served are also usually well understood. Presidents set direction, promote the mission and vision, shape the ethos, raise money, etc. But when there is serious change to navigate, a crisis to manage and weather, and criticism to absorb and address regarding personal or institutional actions and decisions, something more is required of the president. Discover . . .

  • How to apply biblical wisdom in carrying out the president’s calling
  • Lessons learned in how to navigate institutional change with internal and external constituencies
  • How to absorb criticism in healthy ways

Presenter: Angela Richey, President — Life Pacific University (CA)
Overview: Theoretically, there’s not a function within a college or university that the president can’t influence.  Practically, there’s no way the president can equally distribute his or her time across all departments.  Instead, the President must pick and choose how to invest his or her time for maximum impact.  One of the most important (if not THE most important) functions that needs presidential engagement is the recruitment of students.

  • Learn why the president’s connection with the recruitment team and the recruitment process is so important
  • Discover the most impactful strategies the president can use to recruit mission fit students
  • Understand how to leverage presidential influence over the recruitment process
  • Capture the value of presidential engagement in retaining students through to completion

Conference Faculty

LIsa Beatty


Commission on Accreditation

Dennis Bielfeldt


Institute for Lutheran Theology

Mark Griffin


In His Name HR

Mark Pettus


Highlands College

Angela Richey


Life Pacific University

Tommy Smith


Johnson University

Charles Ware


Executive Director
Grace Relations
College of Biblical Studies

Todd Williams


Cairn University

Frequently Asked Questions

Is lodging included in the registration fee?
YES, for on-site attendees3 nights, including arrival the evening before the conference begins.
Can I request for additional hotel nights?

YES The ABHE group rate is $110/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 7 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 Presidents 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.
Hilton 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.


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 Dibble
Director of Communications & Events



Darby BlanchardDarby Blanchard
Digital & Administrative Services Coordinator