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Track Seminars  |  Super Seminars

Optional Early Sessions


Professional counseling is quickly becoming a cornerstone of the life transformation process at member ministries, so we’ve dedicated six hours over two days to help counselors clarify your roles and bring clarity into the hearts of your clients. On day one, the counseling faculty will focus on providing sound instruction, uncovering important research, and giving you tools for your counseling toolbox. After a breakfast together the next morning, we’ll help counseling staff apply the training through role playing and diving into real-world case studies. CEUs will be available. Here are course descriptions:

Day 1 (3 hours, 3 CEUs)
Foundational Counseling Skills: The Caring Helper as a Person, Healer, Teacher and Guide

This seminar will discuss how to respectfully join up with others in their life journeys in a way that communicates their value, challenges their self-destructive choices, and inspires personal change.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will assess their role in the therapeutic process and how it affects them personally.
  2. Participants will list key ingredients that need to be manifested in the change process in order to truly assist others.
  3. Participants will apply self-awareness, as many of the life processes others struggle with influence our own development.

Day 2 (3 hours, 3 CEUs)
Loss and Trauma: Adjusting to the World’s Challenges, Unfairness, and Opportunities

This seminar will explore the common experiences of loss and trauma as well as their effects on the individuals experiencing them. We will also discuss effective methods to assist others in adjusting to pain in healthy ways.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Participants will describe the various necessary losses that must be processed throughout life.
  2. Participants will identify trauma and how it influences those who experience it.
  3. Participants will list principles of recovery to help them not only grow through and process their own trauma but also to help others do the same.


The rules of resource development are changing radically, but we want to help you fortify your fundraising strategy with six hours of intensive education and sharpening. On day one, expert fundraisers will prepare development staff by analyzing the key trends you must understand and detailing techniques that are getting results. Following a fortifying breakfast the next morning, we’ll give development staff opportunities for role playing, creating or honing a development plan, and other hands-on activities. You’ll leave with a new comfort level for interacting with donors and a strategy you can build on.


Track Seminars

The sessions are listed in order by group. The days/times for each group are:


  • Group 1: Wednesday, May 27, 2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Group 2: Thursday, May 28, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.
  • Group 3: Thursday, May 28, 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Group 4: Friday, May 29, 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.


Client & Culture

Stand In for Homeless Children: Turning Awareness into Action
Tragically, studies show the numbers of both unsheltered students and unaccompanied students are on the rise. One mission in a community greatly affected by the epidemic developed a campaign and event to build awareness and support community-wide. That ministry's staff will be with us to outline how you can replicate this initiative in your community.

Embracing Challenges and Opportunities in Taking the Reins of a Storied Ministry
Leading change within a ministry boasting a long, colorful history demands a unique tack. When celebrating history while also casting a new vision, it’s important to bring along the community, partners, and your team. Whether you’ve recently stepped into a leadership role at a venerable ministry or you’re wondering how you can refresh the vision of such an organization, this session offers lots of guideposts and inspiration.

Growing Legal Threats to Religious Liberty
In the heat of another election cycle, politicians will volley important issues to gain support. This session will help you identify the issues you should be tracking and show you how to fortify your ministry against the most serious attacks and potential threats. You’ll leave more informed and better equipped to handle whatever changes come out of D.C.

The Balancing Act: Ethical Storytelling that Promotes and Protects
How do we, as compassionate caregivers for the broken and wounded, tell our clients’ stories in an honest and compelling way without undermining the healing and future opportunities of the people we serve? Psalm 107:3 says, “Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story.” This seminar will explore the how-to’s of telling stories accurately and sensitively while protecting your ministry and your guests.

Strategic Thinking

How to Measure Outcomes
Measuring outcomes answers the “so what” question for funders—that is, what is the impact of your activities upon the people that you serve? What’s more, outcomes data helps you increase the effectiveness of these activities. This seminar will bring outcomes into focus and equip you to develop a common sense outcomes measurement plan using both quantitative and qualitative measurements.

One Cause, Three Stakeholders: Understand, Unite, Win
The church, civic, and business communities all have a stake in your outcomes. Those interests overlap and can even reinforce one another—if you can lead them into real teamwork. More than ever, our communities need missions to lead, as well as serve. Join in as we describe how your ministry can win with each group.

Leadershift: 11 Essential Changes Every Leader Must Embrace
What if you could gain the ability to make leadership changes that will positively enhance your organizational and personal growth? Today’s leaders must learn how to shift their leadership to keep innovating, improving, and influencing others in today’s fast-paced world. This session will teach you how to rethink your perspective, adapt your style, challenge your team, and get on your way to becoming a transformational leader.

Better Together: Team-Building for Kingdom Impact
Leaders need teams in order to accomplish the mission, but it’s not easy. Many teams struggle. So what do high functioning teams do that dysfunctional teams don’t? In this seminar you’ll discover the leadership secrets of Nehemiah, applied to team-building. Bring your co-workers. This workshop will nurture personal, spiritual, and emotional health among your team members, leading to better outcomes.

Radical Hospitality

Perils and Possibilities of Clinical Provider Partnerships
Have you considered bringing community partners onto your campus to more effectively serve your clients or had experiences that caused you to avoid such partnerships? You can benefit from the lessons that one mission learned in building and maintaining a partnership with a Johns Hopkins University clinic, which provides on-site substance use disorder and mental treatment to residents who participate in a one-year recovery program.

Victimology and Recovery Stages for Trafficking Survivors
Using data collected from The Samaritan Women's experience providing residential care to victims of domestic sex trafficking, this session offers a victim-centered way of looking at the trauma of trafficking. Through statistics, case studies, and anecdotal analysis, we’ll help you understand what renders an individual vulnerable to sexual exploitation, what traumas are most common in trafficking, and what challenges survivors face in social re-entry.

Motivation and Behavioral Change
Motivation is a critical element of behavioral change that predicts client abstinence and reduction. You cannot give clients motivation, but you can help them identify their reasons and need for change and facilitate planning for change in regard to health-risk behaviors. You'll leave this session with an understanding of motivational interviewing, the stages of change, and tools for inspiring your clients.

Informal Supports—A Vital Part of Rebuilding Lives
Most of us can overcome challenges because of the support network we’ve grown over time. People preparing for re-entry during recovery need similar support systems. In this workshop we’ll help you discover the social capital at your disposal and the role it can play in rebuilding lives. We’ll also discuss solutions to challenges, including how to engage, screen, and train volunteers.

Transformational Programming 1

Permanent Stable Housing for Families that are Homeless
Homeless families have unique challenges when it comes to procuring permanent, stable housing. How can we help them find long-term housing more efficiently? What role can the Church play in outreach to families that are experiencing homelessness? These questions and others will be answered in this seminar.

The FASTER Scale: Catching Relapses Before They Happen
The FASTER scale by Michael Dye is a tool that allows individuals to self-monitor their recovery. If used correctly it can increase success rates of all program outcomes. This seminar will cover the biblical and clinical foundations of the FASTER scale, as well as offer practical tips for using it in a program.

Scripture and Recovery: Moving Beyond Chapter and Verse
Quite often in our ministries, we proof-text much of what we say with Bible verses. While proof texting is a valid use of Scripture, the Scriptures are rich with imagery, metaphors, narratives, testimonies, the drama of redemptive history, and larger paradigms and themes. This seminar will introduce each participant to a more robust and creative use of the Bible in order to produce a fresh Spirit-induced power in our ministries.

Principles-Driven, Results-Based Addiction Recovery Programs
Before identifying and developing programs, you must first understand what you want to accomplish and why it is important to do so. Identifying and integrating core principles enables you to develop results-based programs, consistently evaluate performance of clients and staff, and achieve desired results. Within the bounds of an emotionally safe, stable, and structured environment, those struggling with life-controlling addictions can find lasting sobriety.

Transformational Programming 2

Fortifying Families: Helping Dads be Dads
How do we help homeless dads build healthy relationships with their kids? This seminar will look at some of the barriers to godly fatherhood that many non-custodial dads in our programs face. We’ll also discuss biblical, practical tools to help men grow in this area as they look to our Heavenly Father as their model.

Hope for Real Change
Do you ever wonder if anyone really changes? In the face of relapses and falls back into old habits and sin patterns, we sometimes wonder if real change is even possible. But thankfully, in Christ, it is! This session looks at how we can recognize, nurture, and celebrate the real life-changing work of Christ in our own lives and in the lives of those we serve!

Intimacy with a Purpose
Manipulative, dysfunctional relationships are at the center of many problems our clients face. Intimacy is not an issue we can side step if we desire for our clients to flourish in life. This session will lay the foundation for discussions with clients about healthy intimacy and God’s incredible design. We’ll also point you toward some stellar tools you can employ in your programs.

Peer Support Specialists: Effective, Affordable, Evidence-based
In the rescue mission world, it's common for program graduates to be used later in the program in various capacities. Now the "peer support specialist" position is a rising best practice in other types of agencies: behavioral/mental health clinics, homeless shelters, addiction recovery centers, and hospitals. This session will give an overview of the Peer Support Certification, present the Peer Leader pilot program at Denver Rescue Mission, and discuss other iterations of peer support across the network.

Resource Development 1

Crafting Your #GivingTuesday Campaign for Success
This seminar will share best practices for building a #GivingTuesday campaign that enhances your brand and fundraising season, rather than distracts. You'll learn from a team that crafted an award-winning #GivingTuesday campaign and you'll leave with the tips and tools for picking a goal, branding, and developing marketing materials to engage new and current donors.

Will You be Ready when an Estate Gift Comes Calling?
Most donors keep about 10 percent of their wealth in a savings or checking account and draw from these funds to support some of their favorite charities, like your ministry. But what about the other 90 percent, consisting of major non-cash assets? Come learn how to equip your ministry to have a planned giving presence, so your donors know you’re capable of handling these types of gifts.

Managing Our Expectations toward Millennials
We all face the challenge of a shrinking and aging donor file, and our bosses are telling us to do something about it by reaching out to younger donors. But what should we expect from younger donors? Learn about a 2019 study to determine the giving habits of various generational groups and gain insights into reaching them. Also, learn how one mission is attracting younger donors through proven strategies.

Courageous Fundraising: Doing the Unthinkable to Do the Extraordinary
In 2018 a Citygate Network member turned its resource development activities outside-in. These changes necessitated some restructuring, new hires, and other adaptations, resulting in some impressive gains. These moves are not for the faint of heart, and they’re not for everyone. Come hear what they did, how it’s working out, and what lessons they’ve learned.

Resource Development 2

Personalization in the Age of Automation
The Fundraising Effectiveness Project has continued to report bad news. Overall revenue dropped in 2019; the number of donors is down; the number of new donors decreased, etc. As a result, nonprofits must find new and innovative ways to connect to donors. This session will demystify personalization and showcase how two organization have used variable content in web experiences to drive higher acquisition volume at lower costs.

How to Knock the Socks Off Your Donors
What if you never lost a donor, volunteer, or other stakeholder? Just think about how many more people could be served by your ministry. It’s time to think differently about the experience we provide our donors. In this session, you’ll take away actionable ideas you can immediately implement into your donor experience.

Avoiding Election Year Pitfalls
The political season is in full force, and the number of political ads will tighten up inventory for advertisers, nonprofits included. The competition for dollars is ever-present, but during an election year there is an added layer of noise in every advertising channel that can impact advertising budgets and ROI. This session will offer key advice on how to overcome election year pitfalls and fully prepare your ministry.

Unleashing Generosity by Uncovering Your Highest Value Donors
Within your circle of supporters are individuals who are poised to make their very first huge gift to your ministry. But how do you get them to raise their hand? This session will show you the practical steps for identifying and serving your “hidden” high value donors.

Operations & Administration 1

Volunteer Management Silos
Do you feel volunteers are valued within your organization? This seminar will discuss ways volunteer managers can help break down misconceptions that staff and leadership may have when it comes to volunteers and the impact they make. With more buy-in from your ministry as a whole, you can advocate for more resources.

Building a Sustainable Volunteer Program
Building and growing a sustainable volunteer program takes passion, perseverance, skill, and influence, but all the effort can lead to a thriving volunteer force that adds tremendous value to your ministry and community. This session will demonstrate in a practical way how to construct a solid volunteer program that will bless everyone involved.

Managing Staff Transitions Gracefully
How do we effectively manage change when on-boarding new team members, especially c-suite leaders? This session will uncover the stages of team development, help you learn to define and redefine roles in changing circumstances, and integrate new staff members in an intentional, effective way.

How to Recruit and Hire Senior-Level Leaders
Rescue missions and kindred ministries are seeing increased turnover in senior-level positions, ramping up competition for top talent. In this seminar you'll learn about an effective recruiting and hiring process for c-level leaders, and you'll also hear about how to select and contract the services of an outside consultant.

Operations & Administration 2

Budget Boot Camp
Many organizations struggle with how to prepare a budget that facilitates proper financial management, provides an accurate fiscal position, and utilizes a process that works well for the organization. This interactive session will demystify the budgeting process and prepare you to deftly and confidently plan and manage your ministry's money.

Acquire Property Cheaper through a Section 170 Bargain Sale
One of the best, yet little-known techniques in real estate transfers is the IRS' Article 170 Bargain Sale. In this session, you'll learn the ins and outs of using this method to acquire property at significantly lower costs, while also benefiting the seller.

Navigating the Maze of Medical Accommodations
It’s confusing to know when to grant an employee accommodation for medical issues. Other related questions include: When does FMLA apply? When does ADA apply? How do they interact? How long should an employer retain an employee? How does legal compliance reconcile with ministry compassion? This seminar will answer these questions and more, plus you'll gain a systematic approach to handling these situations.

Preventing Sexual Abuse on Your Campus
For organizations that serve children and others who are vulnerable, the risk of sexual abuse is real, and the costs can be high. The best solution is prevention. You'll leave this workshop with a better understanding of the issues, steps to identify and address risks, and knowledge of resources for prevention and protection.


Social Enterprise: How It Can Change Everything
In 2017, Charlotte Rescue Mission made the bold decision to embrace social enterprise by opening the Community Matters Cafe. Come hear the story of how the planning, program, construction, fundraising, and subsequent operation of the cafe have changed everything the ministry does. You'll gain inspiration, talking points for building your case for social enterprise, and valuable insights.

Culture Inside a New Enterprise
The success of your social enterprise hinges on the people you employ and the culture of your enterprise. You have to get this right. This seminar will draw on the victories and failures realized through the creation of two enterprises. You'll learn how to build a winning team and create a culture that drives success.

Leverage Social Enterprise to Go Deep and Wide
Social enterprise presents the opportunity to both expand funding and broaden your ministry's brand awareness. To do so successfully, four components must work together. Join the discussion as we detail how people, location, product, and brand can combine to deliver on both.

Options for Structuring Your Enterprise
While enterprises have potential to accelerate ministry, grow revenues, and increase awareness, they also come with risks and, possibly, a tax bill. Some ministries create enterprises as programs within the organization, while others structure enterprises as separate entities. The path you choose depends on many factors, and both routes come with important caveats. This session will help you analyze your options and determine the best fit.

Public Image

10 Integrity Tips to “Headline-Proof” Your Ministry
Your ministry is under the microscope. Especially in today’s era of soundbites and social media, perceptions have the power to bring your ministry’s mission to a screeching halt. Participate in this interactive discussion and gain 10 integrity tips to help fortify your ministry and demonstrate the highest standards in board governance, financial management, and stewardship.

25 Best Practices of Social Media
In this fast-paced, interactive session, you’ll learn the best ways to leverage each social media platform. Each platform has its strengths, weaknesses, and most effective uses. The influence of social media has never been greater. Understanding its role in your digital and overall fundraising strategy is important to your success.

The Media and the Ministry
In a time when celebrities drive the day’s conversation, ministries can leverage influencers and the mainstream press to amplify its voice and maintain a high level of awareness. With the right approach, a ministry can even change the national conversation around homelessness. In this seminar, you'll hear from a mission leader who’s done just that, as well as from a marketer who knows how to turn media buzz into financial support.

How to Work with Your Nonprofit Neighbors
Your community relies on a large number of nonprofits to serve the needs of the least of these. Together, your impact is greater than your reach alone, but you still need to promote your unique services. Discover ideas to help you collaborate with other nonprofits around issues that impact us all and discuss how to make your messages stand out in a crowded space.

Counseling (1.25 CEUs per session available)

Personality Styles: Common Perceptual Patterns and the Behavioral Choices that Result
We all interpret the world in different ways, based on our own personalities and life experiences. This seminar will explore the various ways others emotionally and cognitively organize their world in order to help participants learn to listen accurately to others, despite their own perceptual framework.

Serious Mental Illness: A Ministry Challenge
This seminar will continue to build upon previously discussed personality styles as well as how serious mental illness interacts with one’s ability to live productively. We will not only look at the various problems prevalent on the streets of life, but we’ll also discuss helpful interventions.

Cognitive Distortions, Emotional Filters, and Other Forms of Resistance to Change
Every human wants to change while also desiring to remain the same, motivating them to establish and cling to certain patterns of behaviors, despite their self-destructive nature. This seminar will explore the change process and various techniques for encouraging others to embark on it.

Addiction: Its Nature, Effects, and Principles of Recovery
There are numerous ways people become involved with both biological and behavioral compulsivity. This seminar will discuss how such choices negatively affect the individual’s emotional, physical, mental, and spiritual lives.

Association of Christian Thrift Stores

New to the Thrift Industry
Are you new to the thrift Industry or are you thinking about starting a store? Whether you’re an old pro, thrift newbie or just kicking the thrift tires, this session will expose you to or remind you of the basics. We’ll talk about what you can expect, how to get started, and all the things you must know in order to start the right way. Bring your questions and ideas.

The Journey: Growing Pains and Gains
Join us as we look back at a thrift store journey that began 10 years ago, highlighting the key decisions and strategic adjustments that have been made to get the store where it is today. You can benefit from the lessons learned and apply those principles to your own operation. Growth hasn’t been easy, but it has been worth it.

Central Processing: Lessons and Struggles
Learn about one mission store’s transition from on-site donation processing to a central processing operation. We’ll discuss the highs, the lows, and how they work to use program students and volunteers to maximize production and efficiency. You’ll gain insights to help you make important decisions.

Creating and Leading Self-Managed Teams
In this time marked by a tight, competitive staffing environment, you don’t want to miss this session as we detail how to recruit, train, develop, and lead a thrift store team. The strategies you’ll learn can go a long way toward helping you build a staff full of self-managed members.


Super Seminars

Saturday, May 30, 7:45 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Fortifying All Aspects of Campus Security

James Sang Lee

Safety for your guests, students, staff, and volunteers is becoming more and more of a concern—not only because of addictions and mental illness all around, but because violent retaliation and political divisiveness is part of our culture. Learn from an expert—who advises governments and religious organizations—where the holes in your safety net are and how to have multi-layered protection that doesn’t stand up and announce itself.

Taking the 'Limits' Off Your Leadership

Jo Saxton

This is not necessarily about empowering leaders with tools to lead projects and people effectively; it’s about calling them out of hiding, helping them find their voices, and reminding them that they were created and commissioned to lead. Answer important questions about what’s happening in your life and what is shaping you. Learn how to raise your game as a leader to overcome the next obstacle you face and maximize the next opportunity you discover.

Answering the What-If Questions for Religious Hiring

All-Pro Panel

Adherence to Christian beliefs and biblical standards has always been a bona fide occupational qualification for 501(c)(3) faith-focused organizations in America. But we could be one election away from seeing that change (just like it did in Canada). We’re going to talk about the likelihood of the Religious Freedom Reformation Act crumbling and answer questions and discuss options now, rather than waiting until it happens.

How Technology Will Forever Change Addiction Recovery

Ed DeShields

While still embracing conversion and the Holy Spirit’s work in recovery, we’ll show you some new tech tools being used to help people move from destructive behaviors to healthy choices. One particular tool employs a peer-driven community to encourage interactions between substance abusers, missions, and professionals. It’s powered by an AI system that measures recovery and suggests the best next steps for treatment.

Constructing the Perfect CEO for the Next Decade

Search Firms and HR Panel

We are in the midst of a massive turnover of leadership in Christian organizations. Some boards are looking for a new version of their last CEO ... without success. The forces that have molded current generations are producing leaders very different from who’s been at the helm in the past—but there are ways to ensure that core competencies aren’t lost and values don’t change. See how to ensure you have a great next leader.