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Conferences & Special Events


May 10–12, 2017

Drawing richly from their experiences in urban mission and ministry, plenary speakers Ray Bakke, Brenda Salter McNeil, Karen Wilk, and Eric O. Jacobsen will inspire and equip pastors, church leaders, and the whole missional people of God to bring the eye of the exegete—one who critically interprets—to the context of the local neighbourhood. You will leave this conference equipped to address questions like these:

  • How does my faith bear upon the places where I live, work and play?
  • How is God present in my neighbourhood, and what does he want me to do about it?
  • How can I equip my church to meaningfully engage with those closest to us, our neighbours?

Join us and be re-inspired to live, love, and serve right where you are.

Find out more information or register by using the menu bar on the right.

Costs & Registration

Lunch is included in the registration cost.  

Early Bird Rates (until March 31, 2017)

Individual $340
Senior (60 years and above) $270
Alumnus/alumna $270
Full-time student $250
Spouse $310
*Church groups $320

Full Price Rates (after March 31, 2017)

Individual $380
Senior (60 years and above) $310
Alumnus/alumna $310
Full-time student $290
Spouse $310
*Church groups $320

Daily rates

Not able to make the whole conference? You can register for just one of the three days for a discounted rate. 

Individual $150
Senior (60 years and above) $125
Alumnus/alumna $125
Full-time student $100
Spouse $125

All rates are per person, in Canadian dollars, and include all applicable taxes.
(GST #107881039)

*Church group rates apply to three or more individuals from the same church. Contact to register.

Registration deadline

The registration deadline is April 23, 2017. You can still register after that date, but your lunch will not be included, since final numbers will already have been provided to our caterer.

Requests for cancellations or refunds (minus a $25 processing fee per registration) must be received before the registration deadline.

Register Now

Keynote Speakers


Ray Bakke

Senior Associate, Ray Bakke Associates; Professor, Ray Bakke Centre for Urban Transformation, Hong Kong

Ray Bakke is a pioneer in urban mission, who has spent his career studying the cities of the world. He has pastored in inner city Seattle and Chicago, and is a life-long academic. Dr. Bakke has taught at Trinity College, McCormick Theological Seminary, Northern Baptist Seminary (Chicago), and Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Philadelphia). He co-founded the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) in Chicago. He then founded the International Urban Associates (IUA) which animated a global network of 100+ urban church and mission leaders. He served as Senior Associate for Large Cities with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelism from 1979 to 1995. In this capacity, Dr. Bakke lead or consulted in urban ministry consultations in hundreds of large cities. In 2002, Dr. Bakke was part of the team that gave birth to Bakke Graduate University which offered doctoral and master degree programs to ministry practitioners and leaders around the globe. Two-week plunge courses were delivered in cities throughout Asia, Africa, Central/South America, including across the US. Since his retirement in 2011, Dr. Bakke formed Ray Bakke Associates (RBA), through which he continues to invest in the next generation of urban ministry leaders. RBA strategically partners with those who are passionate about empowering the church to be creatively missional in an urban world. Ray Bakke is the author of many books including the ground-breaking works The Urban Christian and A Theology as Big as the City.


Brenda Salter McNeil

Associate Professor of Reconciliation Studies and Director of the Reconciliation Studies program, Seattle Pacific University

Rev. Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil is a dynamic speaker, author and trailblazer with over twenty-five years of experience in the ministry of reconciliation. Her mission is to inspire, equip and empower emerging Christian leaders to be practitioners of reconciliation in their various spheres of influence around the world. She is an Associate Professor of reconciliation studies in the School of Theology at Seattle Pacific University, where she also directs the Reconciliation Studies program. She previously served on the staff of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for fourteen years as a Multiethnic Ministries Specialist. She earned a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary, a Doctorate of Ministry from Palmer Theological Seminary and was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from North Park University. She is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church and is on the pastoral staff of Quest Church in Seattle. In addition, she serves on the Board of Directors for Wycliffe USA and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA. Dr. Brenda is recognized internationally as one of the foremost leaders of reconciliation and was featured as one of the 50 most influential women to watch by Christianity Today in 2012. She is also the coauthor of The Heart of Racial Justice and the author of A Credible Witness and Roadmap to Reconciliation. Dr. Brenda is married to Dr. J. Derek McNeil and they are the proud parents of two young adult children.


Karen Wilk

Missional Team Leader, Christian Reformed Church in North America and National Team Member, Forge Missional Training Network

Karen Wilk is a missional team leader with the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) as well as a National Team Member of Forge Canada’s Missional Training Network, leading their Neighbourhood Life initiatives and Edmonton hub. She is also a neighbour, wife, mom, and pastor of N.E.W. (Neighbourhood Engagement Workers’) Community and President of her neighbourhood Community League. She has been a vocational pastor in Edmonton for over 30 years and has a Doctorate in Missional Leadership from Northern Seminary (Chicago). Along with preaching and teaching in numerous places, Karen has written a number of books including Don’t Invite Them To Church: Moving From a Come and See to a Go and Be Church. Recently she was included in the Bridgeway Foundation’s list of “100 fantastic Canadian Christian women leaders."


Eric O. Jacobsen

Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma

Rev. Eric O. Jacobsen, PhD, is the Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Tacoma, WA where he lives with his wife (Liz), four children (Kate, Peter, Emma, and Abe) and 8 chickens. He is the author of The Space Between: A Christian Engagement with the Built Environment, Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith, and a number of articles exploring the connections between the physical aspects of neighborhoods and our experience of community. He has a Masters of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Doctorate in Theology and Culture from Fuller Theological Seminary.


Conference Host

Dr. Ross Hastings

Sangwoo Youtong Chee Associate Professor of Theology

Ross Hastings, a Zimbabwean Scot, holds PhDs in organometallic chemistry (Queen’s University, Kingston) and theology (University of St Andrews, Scotland). His teaching interests include Trinitarian theology, pastoral theology, theology and spirituality of mission, ethics, and the interface between science and theology. In addition to teaching theology and chemistry, he has served as a senior pastor in several churches, most recently pastoring Peace Portal Alliance Church in White Rock, BC for 11 years.

Workshop Speakers


Karen Reed

Pastor, Urban Worker, Community Shaper

Karen Reed works as a community builder in East Vancouver. Rooted in this neighbourhood to work for shalom and the flourishing of her community, she lives a shared life at Parker House, a six-bedroom home that is oriented around radical hospitality to the stranger. In all of her roles, Karen has sought to celebrate a Christian life which embraces community and cherishes creation. She was a pastor in the Lower Mainland for 21 years. She is currently on a taskforce that has developed a Christian Food Network, and serves on the Executive Board of World Vision.


Jonathan Bird

Founder and Director of CityGate Leadership Forum

Jonathan lives in east Vancouver with his wife and three children. As founder and executive director of CityGate Leadership Forum, he delights in fostering synergy among congregations, charities and change-makers who are working with the poor for the shalom of the people and places of metro Vancouver. Jonathan has laboured in parish community development, construction, cabinet-making, municipal affordable housing development, and academia. With graduate degrees in biblical studies and literature, he is keenly interested in why the story of redemption has an urban conclusion – and therefore how the built form and culture of the city shape human identity as well as Christian spirituality.

2017 Tentative Schedule

Day 1—Wednesday, May 10, 8:30-4:00pm

Plenary Session 1
Plenary Session 2
Plenary Session 3
Small Group Discussion
Panel Discussion
Closing Worship

Day 2—Thursday, May 11, 8:30-4:00pm

Plenary Session 1
Plenary Session 2
Plenary Session 3
Small Group Discussion
Panel Discussion
Closing Worship

Lectures begin for those taking Dr Ray Bakke's Urban Immersion course 

Day 3—Friday, May 12, 8:30-1:00pm

Plenary Session 1
Communion Service & Send Off

Optional bus tour of Vancouver in the late afternoon

Application for Admission

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