The greatest opportunity in human life is to live with Jesus in his strong and unshakable Kingdom. As Dallas Willard said, “There is no problem in human life that apprenticeship to Jesus cannot solve.” Join us to learn about the joy we experience when we live a balanced life of discipleship to Jesus.


8:00 am/Registration opens
9:00 am/Intensive Pre-Sessions*
4:00 pm/Intensives End
7:00 pm/Opening Gathering with  James Bryan Smith and Richard Foster: The Joy of a Balanced Life
8:00 pm/aTalk #1 Christena Cleveland: The Joy of Unity in the Body of Christ

8:30 am/Morning Prayer
9:00 am/aTalk #2 Alan Fadling: The Joy of a Contemplative Life
10:00 am/aTalk #3 Gordon T. Smith: Joy and the Way of Wisdom
11:00 am/Workshops #1
12:00 pm/Lunch on own
2:00 pm/aTalk #4 Todd Hunter: The Joy of a Spirit-Empowered Life
3:30 pm/aTalk #5 James Catford: The Joy of a Word-Centered Life
5:00 pm/Workshops #2
6:00 pm/Dinner on own
8:00 pm/Apprentice Institute Reception: Dessert and Dialogue with presenters **

8:30 am /Morning Prayer
9:00 am /aTalk #6 Mae Elise Cannon: The Joy of a Social Justice Life
10:30 am /aTalk #7 Kai Nilsen: The Joy of a Sacramental Life
12:00 pm /Dismiss

Thursday, Oct. 8


Intensive pre-sessions are all day courses where you will drill deep into one topic of your choosing.  Choose one of the following sessions to attend from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.  Bob Fryling – Spiritual Formation in the Stress of Leadership Jeff Bjorck – Living as Whole Persons in a Fragmented World Mike Lueken and Kent Carlson – Reimagining Church at the End of Christendom  Richella Parham and Mimi Dixon – A Spiritual Formation Primer: a Personal Path to Spiritual Growth Matt Johnson and Adam Barlow-Thompson – Don’t Do What We’re Doing! (Follow the Spirit Instead) John Robinson – The Joy of Streaming God’s Spirit.

11 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Workshops on Friday, Oct. 9 are included in the regular conference registration. Workshop sessions are offered at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. by the aTalk speakers. Topics are the same at each time unless noted otherwise. You choose which workshop you would like to attend from the following:

Richard Foster (11 a.m. only) – Chasing the Virtues

Christena Cleveland (11 a.m. only) – Identity Wars: How Group Membership Can Be a Force for Unity and Division

Todd Hunter – The Gifts of the Spirit

James Catford – The Kingdom Comes to Town (and to the city, the culture, the arts, media, business and sports)

Alan Fadling – Attentive Leadership : The Practice of Discerning Our Thoughts

Mae Elise Cannon – Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action

Gordon T. Smith – The Ascension, the Gift of Pentecost and Holiness Tradition

Kai Nilsen – Renew Your Life

James Bryan Smith (5 p.m. only) – The Importance of Solitude in the Life of Jesus and for his Apprentices Today

Rob Hare ( 11 a.m. only ) – Cafè lyfe



Super Early Bird Registration

Register by May 1


Apprentice Reception** at the Hyatt Regency Hotel


Intensive Pre-Sessions*


Early Bird Registration
Register by August 1


Regular Registration
August 2 until Gathering

“Every year my team and I look for a way to re-engage and refocus the work of shaping and forming the souls of our congregation. For the last 4 years, that boost has come from the AINC. The speakers, the ongoing conversation and the brilliant Apprentice Institute staff make this a rich and holy experience that I look forward to every year.”
Casey Tygrett
Spiritual Formation Pastor, Chicago, IL


James Bryan Smith and Richard Foster

The Joy of a Balanced Life

Richard and Jim will explain the history of the Streams, the story of how Richard was given this vision, and how together (along with others) Richard and Jim launched Renovare. The aim of making the six streams a part of our lives is balance, and in this session they will be talking about the joy that comes when we grow and expand as we experience aspects of the Christian hitherto unknown.

Christena Cleveland

The Joy of Unity in the Body of Christ

The Psalmist tells us that it is good and pleasant when the people of God dwell in unity (Psalm 133:1). But why is it so hard to actually achieve unity and experience the joy that comes from it? Christena will draw from social psychological research and theory to help us understand why disunity is a persistent problem (e.g., why we tend to gravitate toward culturally-similar others, why we tend to view culturally-different others in overly simplistic terms, etc.) and give us practical tools for achieving unity and the goodness that accompanies it.

Alan Fadling

The Joy of a Contemplative Life

Alan will explore what it means to be still, unhurried, quiet and centered in a busy, hurried, loud world. Based on the life of Jesus, Alan will focus on the necessary rhythm of action and contemplation in the Christian life. Alan’s aim is to help the listener to find ways to arrange their days so that they would experience total contentment and joy in their everyday life with God.

Gordon T. Smith

Joy and the Way of Wisdom

Holy people are happy people; they know the fullness of joy in Christ. But more, they also know and live in the dynamic connection between wisdom and joy. There is no true and lasting joy without wisdom – without embracing life as it was designed by the Maker, without entering into the way of knowledge, righteousness and virtue. This presentation will probe and consider what it means to speak of the way of wisdom as an essential manner of being for those who seek the joy of God.

Todd Hunter

The Joy of a Spirit-Empowered Life

An ongoing, conversational relationship with God the Holy Spirit is normal for Christian living. “But wait,” some say, “Isn’t that only true for Pentecostals and Charismatics?” No. Whatever one might think about the continuation or cessation of the gifts of the Spirit, we are still left with Jesus’ stunning words in John 16: “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” How do we receive and walk in what Jesus intended? How do we find the joy of a Spirit-empowered life?

James Catford

The Joy of a Word-Centered Life

How do we get the Bible off the page and into our lives, and the lives of those around us? The Bible invites us to go deeper into God and his kingdom but it also sends us out, way beyond the confines of the church. Jesus is our example and this fast-moving aTalk looks at how we can share the life described in the Bible with those outside our doors

Mae Elise Cannon

The Joy of the Social Justice Life

When social justice is fully expressed, we have a small glimpse of God’s kingdom being manifested on the earth. These moments are cause for great joy and celebration! We rejoice in the assurance that one day every tear will be wiped from the eyes of those who are hurting. There will be no more death, mourning, crying or pain – for the old order of things will have passed away (Rev 21:4) and the kingdom of God will be here. The joy of the social justice life provides opportunity to celebrate and worship – acknowledging the character and nature of God – that He is good!

Kai Nilsen

The Joy of a Sacramental Life

The Incarnational Stream compels us to take ordinary life seriously—the goodness and the grittiness of it, the beautiful and the banal parts of it. Unfortunately we live in such a mind-numbing culture that the sacredness of the ordinary is often lost. We wonder, “Is this all there is?” Plunging in to the Incarnational Stream helps us shift from that longing cry, “Is this all there is?” to a more loving claim, “Yes. We can rejoice in All There Is!”

“Each year I have conversations with God and others that slowly, overtime have changed my life in light of what I have experienced at the Apprentice National Conference.”
Jesse Penna
Associate Superintendent of Student Ministries, EFC-MAYM


Intensive pre-sessions are offered on Thursday, Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. They offer you the opportunity to drill deep into a topic and steep in all the presenters have to offer. You choose one topic for the entire day.

 Bob Fryling

Spiritual Formation in the Stress of Leadership

Those of us called to be Christian leaders are likely to be constantly battling with the exhausting demands of our culture, the conflicting expectations of our followers and the longings of our own souls for deeper intimacy with God. Consequently, we can often feel bored and busy at the same time and wish we could experience greater joy in our leadership and ministry.

This intensive will provide insight into how we as leaders can find rest in our busyness, cope with relational conflicts and effectively lead others with grace, truth and joy. It will draw upon biblical models as well as the experiences of past and current Christian leaders. This intensive will be a combination of teaching, dialog and reflection designed to give spiritual and practical help for pastors and anyone else called to be leaders in the church and in organizational life.

 Jeff Bjorck

Living as Whole Persons in a Fragmented World

In an increasingly compartmentalized world, Christ’s call for us to love God as whole persons becomes more and more countercultural. Pressures from our scattered sound-bite society can tempt even Christians to view life as an assortment of disconnected dimensions rather than an integrated whole. Such a flawed perspective can lead to over commitment, broken relationships, isolation, fatigue, and distress. As a result, we who are called to be lights in the darkness and who are designed to overflow with living water can instead find ourselves feeling burned out, empty, and dry.

In this one-day intensive, Dr. Bjorck will propose ways to bring your whole life wholly under the loving lordship of Christ while still actively engaging with the fragmented world. To that end, you will be shown how to view relationships, forgiveness, conflict resolution, and even self-care as acts of worship. This approach will help you to present your body as a living sacrifice while remaining fully alive and fully involved in the world.

Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken

Reimagining the Church at the End of Christendom

It is becoming increasingly clear to many, if not most observers of the church in North America, that our days of being the predominant religious and spiritual force is quickly coming to an end.  This is not necessarily a terrible thing.  Most of the bible was written from the perspective of people who were exiles, oppressed, and living in a land where God’s people were the minority.  Still, the kingdom of God advanced.  Church history is filled with examples of the church thriving as an alternative community in less than ideal circumstances.

This day long intensive will explore how to help a church walk away from a success/attractional model and re-invent itself as an alternative community.  In so doing we will explore what kind of the leadership this requires, what success looks like, and how we can live out mission and formation in authentic community.

John Robinson

The Joy of Streaming God’s Spirit

Each person is fearfully and wonderfully made. A staggering feature of God’s design for us is that we are capable of hosting God’s Spirit and expressing the Spirit’s life and love in everyday ways. As vessels for God’s Spirit, it is important that we not only celebrate the great traditions of Christian Faith in Jesus’ ministry and through the history of the church, but also intentionally embody and participate in these Streams as apprentices of Jesus today. This intensive explores how the various parts of your person (heart, mind, face, gut, hands, soul) can be aligned and animated by God’s Spirit so that the wisdom, grace, presence and compassion of God can flow through you in greater measure. Each Stream of Living Water invites a conversion or awakening to take place within us – through this session we will lean into this adventure.

SoCe Intentional Community

Don’t Do What We’re Doing! (Follow the Spirit Instead)

This intensive workshop will explore the essential relationship between a compassionate, intentional Christian community and our calling as Christians to be ministers of reconciliation and address the brokenness in our world. It is often tempting to go to a workshop and learn to replicate what the presenters are doing. Not so with this workshop. Instead the SoCe Intentional Community from Wichita, Kansas will be sharing the principles behind their life together so you can go home and practice: discernment, the sacrament of failure, and trusting the power of the Spirit-led life—then see where God leads you! The SoCe group will engage your heart, soul, mind, and body with storytelling, folk music, prayer, teaching, and plenty of laughter.


Richella Parham and Mimi Dixon



A Spiritual Formation Primer: a Personal Path to Spiritual Growth

C.S. Lewis warned, “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in; put second things first and we lose both first and second things.”  Spiritual formation is currently the topic of much conversation, yet there is often confusion about the “first and second things” of the path to spiritual growth.  Using a combination of teaching, discussion, Q&A, and individual/small group experiences, the morning hours of this workshop will explore the basics of spiritual formation, while the afternoon will include a more in-depth look at spiritual practices that help us stay centered.  Each attendee will be given a copy of A Spiritual Formation Primer.

“Attending the Apprentice Annual conference has had a myriad of blessings including discovering the Apprentice Series as a life transforming tool we have been sharing with others, teaching from and fellowship with a wide variety of key leaders who have made the with-God life their priority, and an introduction to resources that have been a profound blessing in our own desire to grow in Kingdom living.”
Ross & Allison Collingwood
Salem, OR


Workshops on Friday, Oct. 9 are included in the regular conference registration.  Workshop sessions are offered at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. by the aTalk speakers.  Topics are the same at each time unless noted otherwise.  You choose which workshop you would like to attend from the following:

Richard Foster

(11 a.m. only)



Chasing the Virtues (WORKSHOP IS FULL)

In this workshop we will seek to catch a vision of a life with God which opens us to experience the virtues of the Christian life; ever ancient, ever new.  We will give detailed attention to the classical virtues in Christian moral thought through the centuries.  We will consider how such a life of virtue is actually possible for us today and how it enables us to respond effectively to the multiple pressures of daily life.  It is, in fact, a life that works!

Christena Cleveland

(11 a.m. only)

Identity Wars: How Group Membership Can Be a Force for Unity and Division

Church people are pretty “groupy.” Our identities are often wrapped up in our denominational and theological affiliations, racial/ethnic heritage, and other cultural groups. Groups can be a force for unity or division — depending on how we form them, think about them, and interact with them. In this workshop session, Christena will illuminate the ways that our “groupishness” create divisions within the family of God, and how we can begin to think about groups in a way that forges unity.

Mae Elise Cannon


Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action

Throughout history, Christians have been called by God to active engagement in society, fighting poverty and injustice and advocating for social change. But they have never done so on their own power. Their energy and zeal were fueled by inner spiritual practices that propelled them forward into the world. Anyone can do “good work” – as Christians we believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to equip and enable us to do that good work in a way that transforms lives. This workshop will look at faith practices that have been modeled for us by Christians whose lives and social action have impacted their communities for the good of the world and to the glory of God.

Gordon T. Smith

The Ascension, the Gift of Pentecost and Holiness Tradition

This workshop will consider the great dynamic at the very center of the universe – the counterpoint between the Ascended Christ and the Gift of the Spirit.  And, then view this relationship through the lens of the distinctive heritage — both is contribution and its challenge – of the Holiness Tradition.   From this theological vision, then, the workshop will explore implications for contemporary worship and piety.

Kai Nilsen



Renew Your Life (11am Workshop is full)

This workshop will help participants discover the wellspring of God’s renewing energy, available from the very creation of the universe and accessible to each of us now.  Participants will learn about the seven creative, renewable energies of God (Grace, Possibility, Paradox, Natural World, Relationships, Fruitful Work, Rest) that are embedded in the creation story in Genesis 1 and that God uses to re-create and re-energize depleted lives. The workshop will include a brief time of teaching, lots of story-telling, and various practices that help participants engage the creative, renewable energies of God.

Todd Hunter

The Gifts of the Spirit

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: an honest conversation regarding the greatness and possible weirdness of the Spirit moving in the church.

James Catford

The Kingdom Comes to Town (and to the city, the culture, the arts, media, business and sports)

The kingdom of God is alive and well and present in our world, but often Christians retreat into the ghetto of the church and hide.  Using popular culture, this workshop talks about the joy of confident kingdom living ‘out there’ where most of us actually live and work and engage with the world.

Alan Fadling

Attentive Leadership: The Practice of Discerning Our Thoughts

The scriptures invite us to set our minds on things above, and tell us that we have been given tools that enable us to take every thought captive so that it would remain under the reign of Jesus’ kingdom. This workshop will give insight and share a practical, portable tool for noticing and discerning our own thoughts so that we live and lead more in keeping with the heart and mind of Christ.

James Bryan Smith

(5 p.m. only)

The Importance of Solitude in the Life of Jesus and for his Apprentices Today (WORKSHOP IS FULL)

Solitude, according to Dallas Willard and Henri Nouwen, is one of the most impactful soul training exercises we can engage in.  It was an important part of Jesus’ earthly life.  In Luke’s gospel alone we see Jesus withdraw into solitude nine times!  Solitude is an essential practice for Jesus’ apprentices today.  In this workshop you will be given ancient wisdom from the early church, and modern application for our lives today.

Rob Hare

(11 a.m. only)

Café lyfe

It’s not quite a British pub experience, but there’s a little bit of Britain going on at the Apprentice Gathering this year.  Enjoy some music, grab yourself free coffee and join us for a lyfe Café experience! lyfe was birthed out of the long standing relationship between Bible Society and Renovaré, and is leading the way for spiritual formation in a cosmopolitan context. lyfe groups meet in pubs, cafes and coffee shops to explore Scripture, experience spiritual practices and life together. Visit lyfe or, even better, join us in the flesh to hear how we’re helping people to discover a deeper life with God.


James Bryan Smith

Dr. James Bryan Smith

Dr. James Bryan Smith (M.Div., Yale University Divinity School; DMin Fuller Seminary) is the Executive Director of the Apprentice Institute. Dr. Smith is currently a theology professor at Friends University, in Wichita, Kansas, and an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. He is the author of eight books, most notably The Apprentice Series (InterVarsity Press), which continue to shape the work of the Apprentice Institute. Dr. Smith’s other titles include Devotional Classics (with Richard J. Foster), Embracing the Love of God, Room of Marvels, and Hidden in Christ.

Richard Foster

Richard Foster

Richard is the founder of Renovaré and author of six books including Celebration of Discipline, PRAYER: Finding the Heart’s True Home, and Streams of Living Water, which effectively promote personal spiritual renewal. From his base near Denver, Colorado, where he and Carolynn live, Richard travels throughout the world, speaking and teaching on the spiritual life.

Christena Cleveland

Christena Cleveland

Christena Cleveland is a social psychologist, author, speaker and professor with a hopeful passion for overcoming cultural divisions in groups. Drawing from a vast body of research, she uncovers the underlying processes that affect relationships within and between groups and helps leaders understand how to promote an appreciation for diversity and build effective collaborations with diverse groups. She earned a B.A. from Dartmouth College and a Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Barbara. An award-winning researcher and gifted teacher, she has published numerous scholarly articles and is an associate professor of reconciliation studies at Bethel University. Beyond academic experience, Christena brings organizational experience to her efforts to build unity. She coaches pastors and leaders on multicultural issues and speaks regularly.

Alan Fadling

Alan Fadling

Alan Fadling serves as Executive Director of The Leadership Institute in Orange County, California, an organization which seeks to inspire generations of leaders who listen to God, follow Jesus’s rhythms of life and lead from the overflow. He is the award-winning author of An Unhurried Life: Following Jesus’ Rhythms of Work and Rest (InterVarsity Press 2013), honored with Christianity Today’s Award of Merit in Spirituality in 2014. He is a contributing author to Eternal Living: Reflections on Dallas Willard’s Teaching on Faith and Formation. He is currently working on his next book, An Unhurried Leader (IVP 2016).

Gordon T. Smith

Gordon T. Smith

Gordon T. Smith is the president of Ambrose University, in Calgary (Alberta), where he also serves as Professor of Systematic and Spiritual Theology at Ambrose Seminary. He is the author of a number of books, including two more recent publications with IVPress: Called to Be Saints: An Invitation to Christian Maturity, and Spiritual Direction: A Guide for Directors and Directees. Beyond this he has published on such topics as: spiritual discernment, conversion and religious experience, and the meaning of the sacraments. He is married to Joella and together they have two grown sons.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter

Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter

Rt. Rev. Dr. Todd Hunter is the founding bishop of The Diocese of Churches for the Sake of Others and founding pastor of Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Costa Mesa, CA. He is past President of Alpha USA, former National Director for the Association of Vineyard Churches and author of Christianity Beyond Belief: Following Jesus for the Sake of Others, Giving Church Another Chance, The Outsider Interviews, The Accidental Anglican and Our Favorite Sins. Todd holds a Doctor of Ministry degree and serves as an adjunct professor of evangelism, leadership in contemporary culture and spiritual formation at George Fox University, Fuller Seminary, Western Seminary, Vanguard University, Azusa Pacific University and Wheaton College. He has been a Distinguished Lecturer at several institutions of higher learning. He has written articles for study Bibles, dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as for key publications such as Christianity Today, Charisma, Outreach and Ministries Today. Todd and his wife Debbie, with two adult children, live in Costa Mesa, California.

James Catford

James Catford

James Catford is the Chief Executive of the British and Foreign Bible Society of England and Wales. He joined the organisation in 2002 having previously worked in commercial publishing – he is the only person to have been publishing director at both Hodder Headline and HarperCollins. He is a board/council member of a number of organisations including Premier Radio, LICC, University of Gloucestershire Council, the Prison Fellowship and is Chairman of RENOVARÉ Britain and Ireland. In the last year he has overseen the merger between Bible Society and two significant bodies on the UK Christian scene, Christian Resources Exhibitions Ltd (CRE) and Christian Research Association (CRA) as well as travelling extensively in his work, including visits to China, Ethiopia and Palestine, and Gaza.

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon is a minister, writer, and academic who cares deeply about God’s heart for the poor and the oppressed. She is the author of Social Justice Handbook: Small Steps for a Better World (IVP, 2009) and Just Spirituality: How Faith Practices Fuel Social Action (IVP, 2013) and co-author of Forgive Us: Confessions of a Compromised Faith (Zondervan, 2014). Cannon is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Covenant Church (ECC). Her ministry and professional background includes serving as the Senior Director of Advocacy and Outreach for World Vision-US, the executive pastor of Hillside Covenant Church (Walnut Creek, California), Director of Development and Transformation for Extension Ministries at Willow Creek Community Church (Barrington, Illinois), and as a consultant to the Middle East for child advocacy issues for Compassion International. She earned her doctorate in American History with a minor in Middle Eastern studies from the University of California – Davis, focusing her dissertation on the history of the American Protestant church in Israel and Palestine. Cannon holds an M.Div. From North Park Theological Seminary, an M.B.A. from North Park University’s School of Business and Nonprofit Management, and an M.A. in bioethics from Trinity International University.

Kai Nilsen

Kai Nilsen

Since 2005, Kai Nilsen has served as lead pastor at Peace Lutheran Church after having joined the staff in 1993. Throughout his career, Nilsen’s ministry has been motivated by a core conviction that God has planted in each of us the capability to love each other, to serve those in need, to hope during dark times, and to experience a full life in the present moment. Beyond his work at Peace Lutheran Church, Nilsen is on the Board of Renovare—an ecumenical movement focusing in spiritual formation, and he is a leader in the local ministerial association. Nilsen graduated from Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota in 1985, where he met his wife Patty. He graduated from Luther Seminary in 1989 and was then called to serve Trinity Lutheran Church in Madison, Wisconsin. In 2009, Nilsen completed his Doctor of Ministry degree through Fuller Seminary in Pasadena, California.

Jeff Bjorck

Jeff Bjorck

Jeff Bjorck is a professor of psychology at Fuller Seminary’s Graduate School of Psychology, where he has served on the faculty since 1990. He teaches in the doctoral program, conducts research which has been published in various scholarly journals, and is also a licensed psychologist in private practice. He received his B.A. in Psychology from Colgate University and his master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. Jeff is also a pianist/composer, with five CDs produced thus far ( In addition, since 2000, he has served on the Board of Directors for Jeff has traveled on behalf of Lifewater to diverse locations around the globe, and these trips fuel his passion for promoting transformational development as a tangible means of sharing Christ’s love. He and his wife, Sharon live with their two cats in the foothills of Southern CA and attend Pasadena Covenant Church.

So Cal

SoCe Intentional Community

Matt and Catherine Johnson, Ashley Prescott and Adam Barlow Thompson, and Myrna Craig are community activists that founded the SoCe Intentional Community, an intentional neighborhood community with the desire to change the world working “in their own back yard.” Matt Johnson is a spiritual director, adjunct professor at Friends University, and has been a valuable part of the Apprentice movement started by Jim Smith. Catherine Johnson is an environmentalist with a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from Friends University. She believes in integrating a Christian faith with a commitment to care for the environment. Ashley Prescott Barlow-Thompson is an ordained United Methodist Deacon, serving at First UMC of Wichita, Kansas. She has a Master of Divinity degree and a Master of the Arts in Christian Education, and is a certified Process Communication Model Instructor. Adam Barlow-Thompson is an ordained United Methodist Elder, serving at Woodlawn UMC in Derby, Kansas. He is a certified Process Communication Model Instructor, a certified laughter-yoga instructor, and a banjo picker. Myrna Craig is a certified lactation consultant and a sexual assault nurse examiner at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas. She is also certified in spiritual direction.

Bob Fryling

Bob Fryling

Bob Fryling is known for his pastoral and teaching gifts in the areas of leadership, spiritual formation and cultural engagement. He has been a senior organizational leader for many years while also being involved in his local church and serving on numerous national boards. Bob is currently Vice President of InterVarsity and Publisher of InterVarsity Press – which has received the highest rating by Best Christian Workplaces six straight times. He is the author of The Leadership Ellipse: Shaping How You Lead by Who You Are. Bob is married to Alice Fryling, a spiritual director and author of Seeking God Together. The Frylings live in Woodridge, Il.

John Robinson

John Robinson

Dr. John Robinson is a teacher, speaker and pastor from Melbourne, Australia. John is a graduate of the Renovaré Institute and is engaged in establishing a spiritual formation Institute in the Australia/Pacific region that aligns with the good work Apprentice and Renovaré are doing around the globe.

Rob Hare

Rob Hare is lyfe & Bible Engagement Manager for Bible Society (England & Wales). He has been connected with Renovaré since 2008 and graduated from the Renovaré Institute for Christian Spiritual Formation (Denver Cohort) in 2012. Over the past 8 years he has been developing lyfe ( a spiritual formation experience for small groups and individuals seeking a deeper life with God. He continues to develop new resources, lead retreats and has had the privilege of hosting events and conferences with Dallas Willard, James Bryan Smith and Nathan Foster in the UK. Rob lives in Surrey, is married to Annemieke and they have two daughters, Mischa and Marli.

Richella Parham
Mimi Dixon

Richella Parham and Miriam (Mimi) Dixon

Richella is a teacher, writer, editor, church leader, and blogger.  Her online home is; her physical home is Durham, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband and three sons. Richella is the author of the Renovaré resource A Spiritual Formation Primer.

Miriam (Mimi) Dixon is senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Golden, Colorado, where she has served since 1985. Mimi completed her graduate education at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California (MDiv, 1978 and DMin, 1984). Mimi actively promotes Christian Spiritual Formation, crediting Richard Foster and Dallas Willard for their influence in her life and ministry.

Mike Lueken
Kent Carlson

Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken

Kent Carlson and Mike Lueken are copastors of Oak Hills Church of Folsom, CA, a congregation founded by Kent in 1984.  Both men are graduates of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and both live with their families in the Sacramento, CA area.


Meeting Site


Friends University

Founded in 1898 by the Religious Society of Friends, today Friends University provides undergraduate and graduate liberal arts instruction within the context of the Christian faith. Historic Alumni Auditorium will house the primary elements of The Apprentice Gathering.


Hyatt Regency Wichita

$109/night is the rate for the conference hotel, the Hyatt Regency Wichita. A 5-minute drive from Friends University (free airport and event shuttles are available) it is located downtown overlooking the Arkansas River and features free parking. You will not find a closer hotel to the conference nor such a tremendous value (week night regular rates are $149+). This great rate is available for October 7-11. To reserve a room, visit the Hyatt website here If you need additional assistance, please call 1-888-421-1442.

Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview

$112/night is the rate for a great venue hotel, the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview. The hotel is a mere 5 minutes from Friends University and is located downtown overlooking the Arkansas River. It features free parking, hot breakfast, wireless internet and so much more. This great rate is available for October 7-10. To reserve a room, visit the Drury website here or call 1-800-325-0720 and refer to your group number 2252491 or group name Apprentice Institute / Friends University.   For a complete list of all the Drury amenities click here


Southwest, Delta, United, Et Al

Most major airlines serve Wichita. Book your flight early to ensure a good price. Contact Bonnie Parker of AAA Travel (1-316-722-6226) if you would like assistance in making your travel arrangements.

Ministry Resource Area

Become a Ministry Partner Today

The Ministry Resource Area offers participants the opportunity learn about and connect with incredible Christian spiritual formation ministries from across the globe as well as seminaries offering degrees in Christian spiritual formation. To become a Ministry Partner and help support The Apprentice Institute click here to learn more.  You can also contact Mike Clifford at


Promote The Apprentice Gathering

Follow this link to download and utilize marketing materials to help promote The Apprentice Gathering. You can utilize these images as web banners, bulletin inserts, etc. For more details contact Kara Yuza at 316.295.5061 or


The Apprentice Series and other books, including those by the featured speakers, will be available at The Apprentice Gathering. A stellar local bookstore, Eighth Day Books, specializing in classic books across the disciplines of art, science, and the humanities will be on site as well as InterVarsity Press.  You will want to make time to peruse the selections of both.

Other Details


Regular registration includes access to all aTalks and the Friday workshops. Thursday intensives and Apprentice Reception are additional costs. No meals are included with registration. Childcare is not available. Cancellation fee: $25/person. No refunds after September 24, 2015.