charleston Conference

Plenary Sessions

  • location for plenary talks

    All Plenary Sessions will be held in the Chapel on campus. This is located very close to the cafeteria and the Dewey Center where the breakout sessions will be hosted. A beautiful location for certain! We are pleased to partner with Charleston Southern University Dewey Center for Chaplaincy. 

  • Session 1: The state of christian chaplaincy

    9:00am - 10:00am Thursday August 8

    Chaplain Jim Kirkland, MTS, BCC, CPES Executive Director of Christian Chaplains & Coaching

    What is Chaplaincy? How will it be defined? We see a disturbing trend in modern professional chaplaincy that is trending more and more toward secular humanism and new age thought. Chaplaincy, in a growing number of settings, is increasingly non-Christian and is also becoming anti-Christian. What shall we who hold to Biblical Christianity do about this trend? The answer is to restore Chaplaincy to it's Christian roots while loving and serving everyone regardless of their beliefs. We follow the common standards and qualifications for all Chaplains but do so from an unapologetically Biblical worldview. Consider the state of Chaplaincy in our country today and join us to learn how to honor Christ and serve well in secular settings. 


  • session 2: faith in motion; Belong - believe - become

    11:00am - 12:00pm Thursday August 8

    Dr. Ron Harvell, Brigadier General Airforce Retired, Professor, Director of The Dewey Center for Chaplaincy

    This is a dynamic presentation on the importance of living a life that encourages others to expand their journey with the Lord. Learn how you can help others be established in their faith. You will receive training in how to help yourself and others become more aware of the positive impacts of Jesus in your life. The expected results is for you to become "Salt and Light!" 

  • Session 3: Healing the trauma scarred heart

    1:00pm - 2:00pm Thursday August 8

    Chaplain Steve West, Colonel Airforce Retired Director of the National Association of Evangelicals Chaplain Commission

    This presentation will present a series of important steps required for healing from trauma: Awareness, understanding, acceptance, affirmation, and ultimately healing. 

    Healing is seen as both a process and a promise. It's a journey with God, walking through valles and shadows with the assurance of His presence (Psalm 23). It involves practical steps like forgiveness, community support, and often professional help, coupled with faith-based practices like prayer, meditation on scriptures, and reliance on the Holy Spirit. Ultimate healing comes from the hope of eternal life and restoration in Christ. His promise transcends the world. The road to recovery after trauma is more than just acknowledging the pain and toughing it out. It is about embracing God's timing and His will for recovery. It may seem daunting, but learning to surrender to His plan can build deep trust in His unwavering abilities. When we surrender to God, our scars from trauma can become powerful symbols of His boundless love and miraculous ability to heal.

  • session 4: Incarnational ministry: listening and loving our neighbors and the poor in community chaplaincy

    3:45pm - 4:45pm Thursday August 8

    Chaplain Mary Flin Director Seminary of Urban Leadership (SOUL) and TUMI Topeka

    In 2012 I moved to a high poverty neighborhood as a missionary. Like many urban leaders, I was bi-vocational, leading an urban seminary and also working second jobs serving those impacted by poverty, incarceration, homelessness, domestic violence, human trafficking, mental illness, and addiction recovery. Then, something happened that moved me from being a "passive listener and helper" of people to being a much more intentional spiritual care provider. I became a Chaplain with Christian Chaplains & Coaching. I discovered the impact of chaplaincy first hand in my missional setting. In this talk I will share thoughts, ideas, stories, and illustrations to help you become more missional in urban settings too. Chaplaincy can make a tremendous difference if we simply learn to think as community, the body of Christ, the family of God. 


    9:00am - 10:00am Friday August 9

    Evan Owens Executive Director of REBOOT Recovery

    Trauma leaves deep wounds, but with the right approach, healing is possible. There is an epidemic of trauma, anxiety, post traumatic stress, and grief in our country. As Christians we bring a unique ministry of presence and the love of Christ to heal. This presentation will explore the five wounds caused by trauma and you will learn practical steps to initiate the healing process. 

  • session 6: carpe diem-the case for christian higher education

    1:00pm - 2:00pm Friday August 9

    Dr. Philip Dearborn Ed.D. President of The Association of Biblical Higher Education

    We find ourselves at a unique moment, where the radiance of biblical higher education can illuminate the shadows of our ever-darkening culture and social landscape. In a world yearning for a remedy, only the transformative influence of the Holy Spirt can provide a solution. Chaplains stand as frontline emissaries, bridging the divide between pain and recovery. The question is, will we seize the day and step into this opportunity? 

  • session 7: Keynote address "FAITH AND HUMAN FLOURISHING"

    7:00pm - 8:00pm Friday August 9

    Dr. Harold Koenig

    This Plenary Session will examine the impact of faith on human flourishing, based on latest available evidence from research. Measurable outcomes of Christian Spiritual Care in Secular Settings are, without doubt, overwhelmingly positive. In this session, Dr. Koenig will present compelling evidence of the impact on human flourishing by Christian people who care. The stats are in. We now have measurable evidence of the positive results produced by people of faith.