Speakers and Presenters
Our keynote speakers this year will be Steven Pemberton, youth advocate and author of the recently-released A Chance In The World, and Amy Williams, gang intervention specialist.
Reload attendees will be able to choose two workshops to attend, with the option of also attending a lunch forum. Check out the full schedule of the day and get more details about workshop offerings.
Have an idea of topic you'd like to receive training in? Contact us and let us know.
Our workshops are taught by experts and veterans in the youth ministry field. The presenters include:
Phil Jackson, Lead Pastor of The House Covenant Church and Associate Pastor of Lawndale Community Church. The House is one of Chicago's first all-youth and young adult hip-hop churches. Through The House, Phil engages 500-600 youth and young adults influenced by the hip-hop culture with the gospel of Jesus Christ, creating a culturally relevant—yet biblically accurate—hip-hop worship experience. With nearly two decades of urban youth ministry experience, Phil also trains and consults with youth leaders and youth pastors in urban communities across the country through Communications, Inc., a ministry he founded to change the way the gospel is communicated to youth.
Erica Donica is a graduate student at the University of Chicago’s Social Service Administration program and is pursuing a clinical social work degree with a focus on school social work. Erica has worked within various youth development programs in Chicago neighborhoods seeking to empower youth to become more involved within their communities. Erica is a member of the New Community Covenant Church’s Immigration Team that explores the Christian response to issues surrounding immigration and provides resources and support to undocumented individuals and their families.
Liz Jansen currently works at Northwestern University in the Office of Alumni Relations and Development where she helps strategize and implement high-level fundraising initiatives. In addition to working for Northwestern, she is (slowly) working towards a Master’s in Public Policy and Administration. Liz is a member of New Community Covenant Church’s (NC3) Immigration Team, a group that advocates for the undocumented in the Logan Square community, connects the undocumented and their families to resources, and seeks to shift the immigration conversation towards Christ-centered compassion. In addition to serving on NC3’s Immigration Team, Liz is on the Board of Directors for Logan Square Neighborhood Association (LSNA), an organization focused on keeping Logan Square diverse, safe, and affordable. As a board member, Liz works closely with LSNA’s immigration committee on policy issues and public outreach.
Israel Alex Brito is a youth ministry graduate from Kuyper College. He returned to his homeland, Dominican Republic, to serve with Youth for Christ from 2005-2010 as the campus director and later as the national ministry director. He now serves as a youth pastor at Esperanza Evangelical Covenant Church in Grand Rapids.
Ricardo Tavarez is a graduate of Kuyper College, where he studied Bible and international business. With a passion for cross-cultural ministry and developing urban leaders, Ricardo is the Director of Outreach for Madison Square Church in Grand Rapids, Mich. He’s an Emerging Cohort Leader with the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA).
Melvin Kim enjoys encouraging people involved in youth ministries to continually grow and develop as leaders. For 14-plus years, Melvin walked alongside students, volunteers, staff, and parents while leading student ministries at local churches in the western suburbs of Chicago. He has also taught and facilitated college classes on youth ministry at Trinity Christian College and North Park University. In addition to his experience in youth ministry, Melvin has been performing and teaching improv around the country for 12 years. He is the founder of Nothing New Improv, a troupe of improvisers that teaches improv to church, ministry, and nonprofit leaders as an innovative way to communicate and explain the core values of great leadership.
For more than two decades Michael Novelli’s passion has been to explore the intersection of spiritual formation and experiential learning. This drive continues to fuel his work as a church youth leader, community advocate, and content designer. Michael serves as a senior curriculum developer for Sparkhouse, creating learning-centered resources and experiences for children, youth, and adults.
Pasi Musaindapo, Student Outreach Coordinator in the Office of Career Development and Internships at North Park University. Pasi will be teaching on career and professional development.
Alison Burkhardt, Assistant Director of the Center for Youth Ministry Studies at North Park University. Alison has been involved in youth ministry for over 20 years, and is passionate about youth work, racial reconciliation, and para-church/nonprofit sustainability. She does consulting work with ministry and youth serving nonprofits, leads the Center's webinar series, and teaches workshops on racial reconciliation, soul care, and sustainability/management in youth ministry. In addition to her work of providing networking, connection, and resources for youth workers, she co-teaches North Park's Conversations on Race and Human Identity course with Marcus Simmons, who will serve as her co-presenter for a workshop on using story to change the world.
Daniel White Hodge
, PhD, Director of the Center for Youth Ministry Studies at North Park University. With over 17 years of urban youth work under his belt, he has worked for and with organizations such as Young Life and World Vision and has done work with undocumented youth in Los Angeles. He was a youth pastor for many years and continues to advocate for urban youth justice issues. As a teacher, speaker, writer, and activist he has spoken on many college campuses and teaches around the world on subjects such as Black popular culture, personality and the self, Hip Hop discourse, and race/ethnicity within religion. Dan's two current books are Heaven Has A Ghetto: The Missiological Gospel & Theology of Tupac Amaru Shakur
(VDM 2009) and The Soul Of Hip Hop: Rimbs, Timbs, & A Cultural Theology
(IVP 2010). He is currently working on a book titled The Hostile Gospel: Finding Religion In The Post Soul Theology of Hip Hop
(Brill Academic, early 2012).
Want to submit a workshop proposal?
Click here for Request for Proposals (RFP). Proposals due by December 30, 2012.