Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session 1 (Saturday, 10:45 a.m. – 11:45 p.m.)

Terry-Glaspey-webA Cloud of Creative Witnesses: A Celebration of Our Creative Heritage

Terry Glaspey – (this session is also for non-writers) Any creative (writer, painter, musician, etc.) who wants to reflect their faith in their work is part of a rich heritage of Christian creatives. With a multi-media presentation we’ll explore and celebrate some of the great artists, musicians, and writers who have gone before us, and embrace our place in the continuing cultural conversation about faith.


Learning from the Poems You Love: Photo of Malcolm Guite: Copyright Lancia E. Smith & C.S. Lewis Foundation
How your Your Favourite Poems Can Also Become Your Best Teachers

Malcolm Guite – For this session, we ask that you please bring and be ready to discuss your favorite poems from your favorite poets. Together we will explore techniques and tools of poets, past and present, who are often the best teachers regarding our own poetry.


Photo of Junius Johnson
World &Worldview: Crafting Fictional &Theological Realities

Junius Johnson – Creating a cohesive fictional world is a task that is analogous in multiple ways to the task of creating a cohesive theological worldview. This session will consider both types of projects and how the two can interact with one another.



Photo of David DowdyReally Hearing Sonny’s (& Everyone Else’s) Blues 

David Dowdy – What started as an attempt to open up alternatives to the Judeo-Christian worldview that defined most of western culture has now become a full-court press to replace that worldview decidedly not defined by Judeo-Christian presuppositions.  Mandates, not suggestions, are the new modus operandi.  Gaining or preserving power— one side or the other.  Can the Christian offer a third way?  In this roundtable discussion, we’ll consider “Sonny’s Blues” by James Baldwin that suggests an alternative to the power ploys that are devastating our culture.   

Brad Gornto editTurn Your Love for Lewis into a Legacy – Charitable Planning & Biblical Stewardship Ideas

Brad Gornto – In this breakout session, we will explore how all of us, as devoted admirers of C.S. Lewis, can transform our “mere” love for Lewis into something more substantive, that is, a legacy in Lewis’ honor.  A legacy that can serve as a tangible “signpost” that will direct the minds and souls of others to Christ through Lewis’ wisdom and unparalleled imagination.  Establishing such a legacy will allow you and your family members to personally participate alongside Lewis in his desire to thrust Christianity back into the public square and institutions of higher learning, which is the very purpose of this conference. Regardless of the level of your personal financial net worth, there are numerous ways by which you can create such a legacy for Lewis through the CS Lewis Foundation, the Study Center at Northfield and CS Lewis College Foundation.  In this purely informational session there will be no solicitations for gifts.  Rather, Brad Gornto (who is an estate planning attorney and Christian whose conversion was greatly influenced by Lewis) will walk attendees through various charitable planning concepts by which such a legacy can be established during one’s lifetime or after one’s death.  This will not be a technical tax or financial planning session, however, attendees will take away a basic understanding of the immediate and significant income tax savings that these strategies can generate for a taxpayer. Biblical concepts of stewardship and giving found throughout the scriptures will be woven into the discussion. A few Lewis quotes on charitable giving might find their way into the discussion as well.


Paul SorrentinoEngaging Beliefs and Values on a Secular Campus

Paul Sorrentino – In this breakout session, Paul Sorrentino will share some of his experiences in reaching out to people of varying faiths and no faith on college campuses over a 35 year period. Most of his work has been at Amherst College. There will be time for people to share their own experiences with having conversations about beliefs and values in their own setting.



Breakout Session 2 (Saturday, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m.)

Photo of Terry GlaspeyEmily Dickinson: A Conversation between Faith & Doubt 

Terry Glaspey  – Emily Dickinson is one of America’s greatest and most enigmatic poets. Her short poems are gem-like statements of her unique perspectives on life, love, suffering, faith, and eternity. In this talk we’ll examine her life and her poems for clues about her spiritual journey. We’ll trace the route hinted at in her poems of faith and comfort, as well as in the poems where she wrestles with a God she is not sure she can trust. Perhaps along the way we’ll get some perspectives for our own journey


Photo of Paul VitzPsychology & Christianity & the Present Situation: Mostly Good News

Paul Vitz – I will list some 8-10 big factors in the present cultural, intellectual and psychology situation that favor a Christian approach to psychology with only one or two negative factors.



Photo of Mary PoplinFaculty Forum Luncheon: Finding “Calcutta”:  Time to Huddle in the Upper Room

Mary Poplin – I was 44 years old, a tenured professor, and only four years a Christian when Mother Teresa sternly told me I needed to find my “Calcutta”.  Well, 20 years later, it is still unraveling through a long periods of intellectual and spiritual crises and comforts while searching out the differences between secular and Christian knowledge and action.  Finally I think I know what should be done, but how and with whom and where?



Kirk Manton 2Living Beyond the Daily Devotional – Thriving in the times between our spiritual disciplines.

Kirk Manton – As Christians, it is easy to get into the habit of relegating our faith to prescribed sacred times – church services, Bible study groups, our daily devotionals, etc. But are we not meant to experience a spiritually fulfilling life in the in-between times as well? After over four decades of striving to experience the abundant Christian life and coming up short, I found what I was missing was not necessarily more understanding of God, but more understanding about me – about the nature of humans and how we were created and designed to live. That has made all the difference in my goals, expectations, and what I measure for success in my personal journey. If the Christian life has not lived up to all your expectations and you want to experience a fuller, more abundant faith then this breakout is for you.


melanie-authorC.H.A.N.G.E & Every Writer

Melanie Stiles – Join life coach and award-winning author, Melanie Stiles, in an interactive session dedicated to helping you reach your full potential as a writer with God-given gifts. Every life journey has ups and down.  Success as a writer depends on the ability to adapt to circumstance, develop positive and strategic mindsets and overcome whatever obstacles present themselves. Together, we’ll examine what it takes for writers to survive and thrive. Through the acronym, C.H.A.N.G.E., and gain a stronger awareness of what, where and how we can navigate change!

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