The following list will give you a good idea of what to expect and will help you prepare for the extensive training opportunities you've come to expect at Citygate Network's Annual Conference and Exposition.

Please Note: This list of seminars is subject to change, and the most up-to-date list can be found on the schedule page.

Client & Culture

Generating 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!

How Ministries Might Respond to Critical Race Theory

Critical Race Theory has emerged as a controversial issue. Some ministries embrace it as essential to respond to demographic changes happening in their communities. Others view it as something to be avoided in its entirety as a secularization threat. Still others learn from aspects of it, while rejecting parts that are inconsistent with the Gospel. This workshop explores this topic to help you think about how your ministry might respond.

Innovating Recovery with Artificial Intelligence Tools

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

Personalized Charity Through Categorization and Discernment

Different needs call for different charitable responses, so why does charity so often look the same, in spite of different situations? Learn the crucial importance of distinguishing different types of need and responding accordingly. Discerning between behavior modification and life transformation can bring us closer to helping people resolve poverty, addiction, and many other challenges in their lives.

In Search of Image-Bearing: Using an Asset-based Approach to Ministry

A needs-based approach looks to identify and fix what’s wrong with an individual or community. An asset-based approach, however, starts off with what’s right with the people we serve. In this approach, solutions come from the individual or community as much as possible, as we seek to restore people to flourishing image bearers. Come and hear why the asset-based approach may be more effective, and learn what that approach can look like in your ministry.

Strategic Thinking

Leading an Intergenerational Workforce

Organizations involved in transformative work attract a wide diversity of people interested in ministry: those who have served for many years; millennials interested in beginning a career in ministry; and retirees who want to sunset in a meaningful way. In this session, we’ll discuss the challenges that face an intergenerational workplace and describe how to build communication and work systems that maximize collaboration and effectiveness.

Maximizing the Benefits of Your Strategic Plan

Some of our organizations may not have a strategic plan, or perhaps we have one that is getting dusty sitting on a shelf. A current, well considered strategic plan can be a game changer for your ministry. It can enhance your brand, your public relations, your fundraising, and it can even help build staff morale. In this session, we’ll explore how to write a plan and how to maximize its benefits.

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.

More Board for Your Buck

Many experts try to optimize board governance by ensuring compliance with a board policy manual. While a BPM is a critical document, it falls short of empowering the fundamental board role of value-added leadership. This workshop will help you frame your plan for developing the board you’ve always wanted.

Transformational Leadership During Times of Change

Transformational leadership takes ministries from good to great. The height of the pandemic made it more important than ever to know how to be flexible and change-ready. In this session we’ll share how leaders can smoothly navigate change and empower teams (including themselves!) across departments with morale-boosting, productivity-enhancing strategies. You’ll leave inspired to lead your ministry confidently into whatever lies ahead.

Transformational Programming I:

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.

Serving Homeless Homeschoolers

One of the ways the pandemic stretched families is in schooling. Many families found out that they really could homeschool their kids. But what can homeschooling look like when you don’t have a home? Is there a place for homeschooling in rescue missions and kindred ministries? This session will explore: homeschooling compatibility, benefits, legal considerations, requirements, curriculum, structure, and more.

Power and Control: Men and Healthy Relationships

Negative models of power and deep-seeded misunderstandings of what control means twists the lives of so many men today. Do you find the men you serve making good progress in their recovery, yet their relationships remain in shambles? Gain a better understanding of why that is and learn ways to combat the obstacles that stand in the way of making healthy relationships a reality.

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.

Battling Gas Station Dope

They’re readily available in gas stations, yet some are considered as addictive as heroin, with equally severe withdrawal symptoms. Some, such as Tianeptine, promise enhanced motivation and focus, while others, such as Phenibut, are said to ease anxiety and cure insomnia. However, these are dangerous, unregulated supplements that can have profoundly negative effects on your clients. In this session, we’ll discuss what your ministry can do to address these harmful substances.

Transformational Programming II:

Female Aggression—What's that About?

Do you have women in your shelters that seem to never get along with others, who have no conflict-resolution skills or who want to control everything? This is the seminar for you. Learn how to hold them accountable, provide the kind of help they need, and also address the trauma that may be lurking just below the surface of their tough exterior.

Permanent Stable Housing for Homeless Families

Think it’s hopeless to try to house at-risk or homeless families long-term? The Family Rescue Ministry at Denver Rescue Mission partners with community agencies and churches to place hundreds of families into stable housing with a success rate of over 90 percent one year later. Learn how to establish this scalable program in your community.

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.

Transformed on the Trail: How Outings Changed Our Clients and Team

Learn how rock climbing, trail hikes, and contemplative retreats have transformed the lives of clients and staff alike. In this practical and inspiring seminar, we are sharing nitty gritty details about logistics, partnerships, and funding, as well as an effective vision for grace-saturated offsite experiences.

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.

Resource Development I:

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.

Women's Philanthropy and Why It's Important

With more money and increased control and influence over how it’s spent, more women than ever are making philanthropic investments to help address and solve the problems of our time. But women give differently than men do, so the all the same rules don’t apply. This seminar will offer research, a model to consider, and practical steps you can take to capitalize on women’s philanthropy.

The New Norm in Capital Campaigns

Our world changed overnight and now we face a new reality—shorter campaigns and project-driven campaigns. To fund the critical 3 P’s of your ministry—programs, personnel, and property—you must strategically pivot, plan, and phase your capital campaign. Come learn how to begin your next campaign in the new normal.

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.

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.

Resource Development II:

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.

Development and Programs: Building a Partnership that Produces Results

While development and program teams should work together to achieve the mission, from time to time, most nonprofits experience tension between the two. Tension can be helpful because it causes leaders to rethink their approaches and priorities. However, when the relationship becomes adversarial, everybody suffers. Listen in as a development chief and a program chief discuss ways to maximize synergy for optimal impact.

The Organized Development Director

Stuck in overwhelm? Drowning in piles? Development is a fast-paced, pressure-filled occupation where putting out fires can leave no time for planning. Join a veteran development professional as she shares the tips, tricks, systems, and routines that have rescued her as she took on more significant leadership roles throughout her 14-year development career. This seminar is packed with practical strategies to keep you focused on what matters most.

Fundraising Trends in 2021 and Beyond

Drawing from lessons learned during the pandemic, we will discuss the mid-level and major donor fundraising strategies that are getting results in 2021. This session will detail what works best digitally to acquire new donors today and how to lead your development team through times of uncertainty. If you need to raise more money for ministry, you will not want to miss this session.

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.

Operations & Administration I:

Succession and Next Generation 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; strategies for grooming talent you already have; and how to select and contract the services of an outside consultant.

Getting Your Staff Transition Back on Track

How do we effectively manage change when onboarding 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.

Bringing Back Volunteers with New Purpose and New Energy

More and more people want to be part of the life transformation and hope made possible by ministries, but how do we invite volunteers back post-pandemic and lead them forward with renewed purpose? Come learn how to establish a new vision for re-engaging volunteers through thoughtful intentions, creativity, calculated recruiting, and an investment in the onboarding process so they see their volunteer efforts as an act of worship.

Ministry Continuity Strategies for Uncertain Days

Too often ministries operate from a reactionary posture that leaves leaders scrambling during a crisis. A business continuity strategy asks the “what if/when” questions before the urgent occurs. In this session, we’ll discuss scenarios such as workplace violence, natural catastrophes, and other events, and we’ll help you think through the strategies and measures to have in place to help ensure that ministry can continue in the face of immense challenges.

Keys to Healthy Employee and Volunteer Engagement

Maximizing the engagement levels of employees and volunteers adds purpose to their roles while decreasing absenteeism and attrition. Investing in individuals leads to stronger commitments, healthier teams, and excitement about roles. Learn to use proven, practical tools produced by global leaders to help you recognize individual strengths, communicate core values, and build the trust necessary to enhance the engagement of your staff and volunteers.

Operations & Administration II:

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.

Creating a Strengths-Based Culture in Your Ministry

You can lead your staff (as well as your clients) into discovering, developing, and deploying their strengths in order to increase engagement, productivity, and purpose at all levels. We have a GALLUP-Certified Strengths Coach on-hand who will show you how to maximize your ministry’s greatest resource.

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.

Organizational Development: Table Stakes & Game Changers

Do you spend a lot of time managing employee issues instead of focusing on strategic priorities? Learn how to use a simplified, layered approach to organizational development that will ensure you have the right foundations in place. We’ll also unpack how to translate those “table stakes” into game-changing strategies to develop your workforce into a high-performing community of believers, focused on measurable outcomes.

Inspire Your Organization—With Data!

Every donation committed to your ministry spends time under a microscope. Are you employing financial data initiatives to drive insights and promote organizational growth? Learn how to collect key financial data, then use it to translate the story of life transformations taking place in your ministry in ways that invite donors to see their contribution as a “kingdom investment” that produces influence and change.

Social Enterprise & Retail

Measuring What Matters in Your Thrift Operation

The secret to success is keeping score. It requires identifying the right metrics, tracking them consistently, and viewing the scoreboard regularly. These ideas extend to every social enterprise. Come see how measuring what matters can catapult the funding for your ministry and expand awareness of your brand.

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.

Social Enterprise: Funded Revenue Made Easy

Contemplating the development of a social enterprise program that’s not just self-sufficient, but funds other programs as well? It’s possible to access funding in ways you never thought doable while building life skills and creating careers. Come learn the methods that can bring this programming to your ministry from an innovative leader that’s credited for delivering two such programs successfully.

Defining Work, Promoting Healing

Scores of ministries with work therapy programs are being criticized or sued for program components that may too closely resemble employment relationships, yet without commensurate remuneration or protections. Compassion ministries must fully understand and navigate this area in an exemplary way. Come hear about the laws and best practices to help you structure healing programs while also managing various work relationships in a fair, legal, and God-honoring way.

Down on the Farm: Food Production and Life Transformation

Have you ever considered that your ministry may be able to supply fresh, organically grown produce and other foods, not only for your own guests, but also for area food banks and community members in need? What’s more, farm and garden operations can support work therapy and skill development. Join in a panel discussion with members who lead farming operations, and learn how you can start a similar program at your place.

Public Image & Branding

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.

Creating a Podcast for Your Ministry

You witness so many beautiful stories of life transformation, but how best to share them? Podcasts are more popular than ever, and they’re more intimate and more versatile than a newsletter or a social post. You’ll leave this seminar with a simple plan for starting your podcast (for less than $100!) and an introduction to the tools that make it easy to transcribe and edit your episodes.

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 Life-Transformation Ministries are Rebranding

Life-transformation ministries are evolving—both in the services they provide and in the way they identify themselves. Because of this, the way they present their story to donors must evolve, too. Organizations that fail to clearly express their identity may lose out on building meaningful relationships with their donors. We’ll lay out strategies to ensure that your brand can grow with your ministry.

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 Foundations

Loss and Trauma: Adjusting to the World's Challenges, Unfairness, and Opportunities

Loss and Trauma are at the root of so many issues affecting the clients we serve. 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.

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.

Counseling and Coaching Clients through Anxiety

Anxiety is a normal human response that we all deal with in varying degrees. The challenge is when anxiety negatively impacts our everyday functioning and relationships. This seminar will explore anxiety from a biblical and psychological perspective. Special attention will be given to cognitive and practical strategies to assist ministry leaders and counselors when working with this population.

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.

Hot Topics I

Things to Know Before Diversifying Your Board

It’s important that your organization is a mosaic of the people you serve, and your board needs to reflect this. But before you attempt to recruit black, brown, or other minority leaders, there are several principles you need to understand, and important steps you need to take. Hear two leaders who have consulted on this topic explain the dos and don’ts and help you adjust your expectations.

Positive Partnerships with Law Enforcement

Police in many cities are being maligned and are coming under attack (and some are losing their lives). More than ever, Citygate Network members need to have positive relationships with law enforcement. Our two presenters—one a former cop and one who recently needed the cops—will talk about how to best engage with police and how to be an example of collaboration that sets the standard.

Employee Engagement: Building Strength from Within

Staff members of rescue missions and kindred ministries deeply desire to see lives transformed. This deep connection to the work, while good, can also be a factor in burnout, leading to personal and professional dysfunction. In this session we’ll pinpoint the major elements you can focus on to safeguard your team against this destructive phenomenon, fortifying your staff for long, effective ministry, as well as healthier lives.

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.

Why and How to Create Transgender Accommodations

This is something that only a few missions/ministries would have considered in past years, but it’s getting quite a bit of attention in 2021. We’ll start by talking about spiritual perspectives and the philosophical reasons for doing this, including minimizing guest placement tensions in a changing culture. We’ll look various layouts and designs that are being used by a few different organizations, including some Citygate Network members.

Hot Topics II

From Nevermore to More than Ever

It’s a different world. Practices that once seemed normal have all but disappeared. Our ministries have morphed before our eyes. In this unique session we will be hearing from a panel of individuals who have radically changed what they are doing in their organizations and how it has been working. And you will hear what else they think the future will require us to do.

Eight-Minute Mental Health Screening: Too Good to be True?

An eight-minute mental health screening can be done on any smartphone or tablet. It will return results of the screening instantly in layman’s terms for the client, as well as a clinical report for staff. You’ll have an opportunity to test it out yourself in this session and discover how this incredible tool can help you better minister to your homeless clients.

Taking Trauma to the Cross: How Gospel-Centered Groups Help Heal

Trauma often plays a major role in the lives of those we serve. One way the team at Helping Up Mission addresses client trauma is through trauma healing groups, which use a biblically-based, clinically-informed curriculum developed by the American Bible Society. In this experiential session, group leaders, former group participants, and ABS staff will show how and why these groups have been so effective.

Transforming Homelessness Policies in Your City

Our presenter is a warrior against homelessness—one of the new voices with a clarion message—who is getting a lot of attention these days. She will explain the underlying problems that are still causing America’s homeless numbers to rise, and she’ll expound on why current HUD policies are making the problem worse. Her talking points are what you need to help turn the tide in your city.

Building and Sustaining a Beneficial CoC Relationship

Making real progress toward homelessness solutions take a community approach, and that often means working, in some way, with a local Continuum of Care. Rescue missions and kindred ministries have, at times, had a rollercoaster relationship with CoCs, but when the relationship works, it can really move the needle of life transformation. We’ve assembled a panel, with both ministry representatives and a CoC leader, to offer insight and field questions about how to create and maintain synergy between your organization and your CoC.

Times, descriptions, and personnel shown throughout these pages closely parallel the actual program but are for general planning purposes only. The final program may differ slightly in multiple areas.