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Wesley Conference

Date: Friday, February 1-2, 2018.

Northwest Nazarene University’s 2018 Wesley Center Conference takes a fresh look at what it means to communicate the great news of the gospel today. Our upcoming conference will be held on Thursday and Friday, February 1-2, adjacent to NNU’s campus at College Church of the Nazarene in Nampa, Idaho.

Geared for both veterans and young preachers alike, next year’s conference is directed by Dr. Jay Richard Akkerman, professor of pastoral theology at NNU. Our 2018 conference invites experienced ministers to explore together what it means to preach today, while encouraging new preachers to discover more about themselves as young ministers and how to faithfully communicate the message of Scripture.

Our 2018 conference includes a unique partnership with the Academy of Preachers. Founded in 2009 by Dr. Dwight A. Moody and supported by a generous grant from the Lilly Endowment, the AoP exists to identify, network, support, and inspire the Church’s next generation of young preachers. In 2018, NNU will host the first-ever National Festival of Young Wesleyan & Holiness Preachers, inviting women and men from all Wesleyan and Holiness traditions together.

On Thursday, young preachers across the country between the ages of 14-28 will prepare and preach biblical sermons around the common theme, “God Still Calls.” All young preachers will deliver their sermons in smaller conference venues, will be mentored, and will also receive one-on-one evaluative coaching in the AoP Preaching Studio. These sermons will also be streamed on the AoP website following the conference. Experienced preachers at the conference are encouraged to serve as mentors and evaluators, as well as the pastors of the home churches from which each young preacher comes. One outstanding young preacher will be awarded a scholarship to the AoP’s Festival of Young Preachers in Washington, D.C. in January 2019.

On Thursday and Friday, veterans and young preachers alike will participate in a variety of large- and small-group opportunities. Thursday night will include the AoP’s Preachapalooza, a celebration of preaching for men and women of all ages. In addition to offering an encouraging challenge, Dr. Moody will welcome all young preachers into the AoP’s membership on Thursday evening. On Thursday and Friday, new and experienced preachers will also take advantage of engaging plenary sessions, MasterClass workshops featuring NNU faculty members and other leading- edge practitioners, as well as the kind of engaging dialogue for which the NNU Wesley Center Conference is well- known. A special track for First Parish Preachers, ministers between 28-35 who are in their first lead pastorates, will also be offered. Again in 2018, all preachers are invited to prepare and present 7/21 Talks: seven-minute messages that will be delivered against the scrolling backdrop of 21 preacher-selected PowerPoint slides. The conference will conclude with our annual banquet on Friday evening/

Special emphasis will be made on recruiting NNU “Call Conference” -type youth, as well as encouraging faculty and students from our peer Nazarene institutions, other Wesleyan and Holiness seminaries, as well as those from CCCU member schools in our theological tradition. As part of Friday’s events, young preachers may also learn more about ministerial education opportunities offered at NNU. Young preachers in middle and high school may wish to take advantage of this conference as a campus visit and engage with NNU’s admissions staff. Parents are encouraged to join these younger students and participate in an NNU Friday Escape. Older participants may also learn more about NNU’s fully online Master of Divinity, Master of Arts, and Bachelor of Arts programs in Christian Ministry; Missional Leadership; Pastoral Ministry; Spiritual Formation; and Youth, Children & Family Ministry.

Dr. Akkerman is currently assembling a roster of other plenary speakers, session leaders, and conference support personnel. For additional questions or suggestions, please contact him at jakkerman@nnu.edu.