YWC - Schedule

Friday, January 24

5-7:00 pmRegistration open - Conference Center Entry Level
(From the front door, walk straight in and turn right after the elevators.)
6:45 pmBus leaves Hyatt Regency to NPU/NPTS from Conference Center Entry Level
(From the hotel front door, walk straight in and turn right by the elevators.)
7:15 pmDessert at NPU (Anderson Chapel)
7:45 pmWorship in Anderson Chapel: Amanda Kingry
9:30 pmHead back to Hyatt

Amanda Kingry is a former Covenant youth pastor with more than 12 years of experience. She has a deep passion for youth ministry and those who faithfully step into their call as youth pastors. She and her husband, Joe, are currently building an unconventional church to reach and disciple people in new and unique ways. They live in Colorado with their three little girls.

Saturday, January 25

8:00 amBus leaves Hyatt Regency to NPU/NPTS from Conference Center Entry Level
8:30 amHamming Hall Breakfast and Worship
10am – noonTracks for Youth workers

10am - noon: Youth Ministry Deep Dive Tracks

Option #1: Youth Ministry 101: What the heck are we doing? And why the heck are we doing it?   (Hamming Hall)

Dr. Seversen will connect the dots between research and praxis on adolescent and faith development among Generation Z to help youth leaders "do more and do better" to help students trust and follow Jesus for the long-term and love his church and mission to the world.

Beth Seversen is the Associate Professor of Youth and Christian Ministries Studies at North Park University and loves helping the church connect to students and young adults.  She delights in helping students and young adults connect to the church and God’s mission.



Option #2:  Mercy and Justice Track: Changing the Narrative (Johnson Center 314)

Drawing from his most recent book, Unsettling Truths, co-authored with Navajo pastor and Independent Presidential candidate, Mark Charles, Dr. Rah will lead us through an example of how narratives and the social imagination forms in our current cultural reality and how we might offer counter narratives to the existing dysfunctional narratives that may shape our youth.

Soong-Chan Rah is Milton B. Engebretson Professor of Church Growth and Evangelism at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL.  Rah is formerly the founding senior pastor of the Cambridge Community Fellowship Church (CCFC), a multi-ethnic, urban ministry-focused church committed to living out the values of racial reconciliation and social justice in the urban context.



Option #3: Bible Track: "Marys of the Bible: The Original #MeToo Movement." (Anderson Chapel)

Dr. Johnson will be taking youth workers through a deeper Biblical conversation related to the root meaning of Mary – suffering bitterness.  In his book, The Marys of the Bible: The Original #MeToo Movement? Dr. Johnson engages the complex issues of suffering in society then and now.  The Bible addresses these issues during the times of Abraham, Moses, David….It was the voice of the #MeToo movement that has defined culture – and this culture impacts Gen Z even still today.  This deeper dive into the Bible is aimed to give youth workers a chance to go further in their Biblical understanding of such important cultural conversations.

Boaz Johnson is Professor of Hebrew, Bible and Theological Studies at North Park Theological Seminary. He walks with students grappling with their own big questions. He treasures the diversity of thought and experience within North Park’s biblical and theological studies department. “It is a joy to mentor students and see them develop their own skills, which incorporate their faith journey with their academic learning,” he says.


Noon - 2pmConference Lunches

Noon-2:00: Conference Lunch Locations: The NPU team will distribute pizzas, salad, and drinks in Bickner Bistro (located on the first floor of the Johnson Center).

    • Johnson Center 155 – Alaska Conference
    • Johnson Center 209 – Central Conference
    • Johnson Center 210 – East Coast Conference
    • Johnson Center 211 – Great Lakes Conference
    • Johnson Center 208 – Midwest Conference
    • Johnson Center 314 – Northwest Conference
    • Johnson Center 206 – Pacific Northwest Conference
    • Johnson Center 013 – Pacific Southwest Conference
    • Johnson Center 207 – Serve Globally
    • Bickner Bistro – Midsouth, Canada, Southeast Conferences
2:00 pmBus returns to the Hyatt
3:00 pmFree time
7:30 pmWorship: Steve Argue (Hyatt) - Rosemont Ballroom

Steve Argue is the associate professor of youth, family, and culture at Fuller Theological Seminary and the applied research strategist at the Fuller Youth Institute. He serves on the board of the Association of Youth Ministry Educators, and he researches, speaks, and writes on topics surrounding adolescence, emerging adulthood, spiritual development, and spiritual struggle. Steve has a PhD from Michigan State University and recently co-authored two books: Growing With: Every Parent’s Guide to Helping Teenagers and Young Adults Thrive in Their Faith, Family, and Future, and 18 Plus: Parenting Your Emerging Adults. You can find Steve training for marathons, tweeting #RunningThoughts, and eating vegetarian food in Southern California. www.StevenArgue.com

After worship - DFWMERGE Ice Cream Social

Join Merge for an ice-cream social as soon as the Saturday evening session ends for information and conversations to help your youth grow deeper in their missional discipleship through short term trips. FREE ICE CREAM!!!

Sunday, January 26

9am - 11am - Rosemont BallroomWorship with Children’s Workers Connection
Speaker: Jean Cheng Gorman

Jean Cheng Gorman
After graduating from Brown University, Jean Cheng Gorman began her career in elementary education but quickly moved into the field of psychology in which she earned her doctorate from New York University. As a California-state licensed psychologist, Jean developed a specialization in working with children with special needs as reflected in her publications (several professional journal articles and two books for educators), clinical practice, and as a lecturer. She completed her master’s of divinity at Fuller Seminary and is ordained to Word and Sacrament in the ECC. As director of ministerial health for the Pacific Southwest Conference, Jean develops resources to invest in leaders and strengthen church systems, oversees care for clergy and ministry spouses, and supports churches in conflict resolution and transition. She has been married to Michael for 25 years. They have three children and a really big Great Dane.

11am - 1:30 pmLunch on your own
1:30 - 5:00 pmAfternoon Seminars- Midway (lobby level)

1:30-3 pm: Preparing World Class Seminars (Midway)

One of the great gifts that you can bring to your church, to your community, and even to this family of Covenant Youth Workers, is to leverage your unique passions, gifts and insights in the form of a presentation or seminar.  You have spent your ministry career growing in your competencies by attending them, and now might be the time for you to develop one of your own.

This seminar will walk you through a systematic approach for putting together a world class seminar that will be a blessing to your church and to the Kingdom.  In this workshop you will brainstorm your unique passion and perspective and harness that into a one-hour seminar, complete with working bio, abstract, form, media, and questions.  By the end you will be ready to bless your community with the best that God is doing in and through you!


Jessica Jackson works with her husband, Brandon, as co-youth directors at OnRamps Covenant Church in Fresno, California. Jessica has a passion for downtown Fresno and for reaching the students in her community. She is passionate about following Jesus and wants to follow him wholeheartedly and encourage everyone around her to do the same. She and Brandon have three daughters.


Justin Tomscak works for the Pacific Southwest Conference as a staff member of the Youth Initiative. He has served in youth ministry for more than 10 years as a youth pastor and workshop director. Justin loves working with youth pastors, helping them to live into their calling of serving and loving all students.

3:30-5pm: From Chaos to Clarity: Managing Your Youth Ministry (Midway)

Youth workers are wired for relationships, not reviewing budget reports. Yet any strong youth ministry requires that you use administrative skills as well. Get tips on the basics of ministry management, especially finances, program mapping, risk management, productivity and event planning.

Ginny Olson is a youth ministry speaker, consultant and the co-author of Youth Ministry Management Tools 2.0 as well as the Director of Youth Ministry for the Northwest Conference of the Covenant Church.

6:00 - 9pmFun night out at Kings Dining & Entertainment
5505 Park Pl, Rosemont, IL 60018

Map to Kings or plug 5505 Park Pl, Rosemont, IL 60018 into your phone.

YWC Participants – Let’s celebrate a great weekend!  Bundle up and meet us over at KINGS Dining and Entertainment for a night of fun, food, and friends!

GET YOUR BOWLING SHOES HOPPING – and let’s have a night of bowling, gaming, and fellowship together – can you say UNLIMITED SODA, JUICE AND TEA! Meet us there at 6pm – we will finish up by 9pm.


Monday, January 27

9am - noon - Rosemont CDSuper Seminar with Mark Oestreicher

Super Seminar with Mark Oestreicher

We have the gift of having ministry veteran leader Mark Oestreicher join us this year, and with him comes decades of experience set to encourage and challenge us all in our own context of leadership.  Mark will be presenting on two different topics during his time with us – a conversation surrounding “Leading Without Power” and also a deeper dive into something he calls “Personal Vocational Values”.  This bonus session is for all youth workers, children’s workers, associate pastors, ministry leaders, early arriving Midwinter leaders/pastors who would like to attend – pretty much anyone who serves in a ministry context.  Bring your computers for taking notes as this will be a working seminar.


Mark Oestreicher (Marko) is a veteran youth worker and founding partner in the Youth Cartel, providing resources, training, and coaching for church youth workers. The author of more than 70 books, including What’s Right About Youth Ministry, Marko is a sought-after speaker, writer, and consultant. He lives in San Diego with his wife, Jeannie, and two young adult kids. Twitter: @markosbeard