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Conference Keynote Speakers

Dr. Joel Oesch  - Plenary Bible Study Leader

Dr. Oesch holds a PhD from Concordia Seminary and is a graduate of Yale University. He is Director of the Graduate Programs in Theology. Professor Oesch served as Director of Christian Education for 10 years. His research interests are embodied theology, the writings of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and contemporary culture. Joel is also the creator and Director of The Crosswise Institute of Concordia University Irvine which endeavors to engage high school students in meaningful dialogue on contemporary cultural issues that challenge their worldview and that calls them from comfort to something risky, but rewarding. Together, students are invited to develop their ideas, refine their thinking, and examine how the church community might respond to current and relevant topics as informed by Scripture. Ultimately, we want to bring these conversations to bear on the real lives of friends and neighbors as students go out with a thoughtful Christian perspective on current events, ethical concerns, and social trends. Joel has served Concordia since 2012.


Rev. Dr. Tim Ahlman “You are Not Alone nor Stuck: Discover, Develop and Deploy YOUR Lay Leaders
Dr. Ahlman is one of the pastors at Christ Greenfield Gilbert, AZ. (christgreenfield.church) Tim has been married to Alexa for 17 years and they have three children – Adalyn (14), Malachi (13) and Nyleah (12). Tim has served at Christ Greenfield for 8 years. Jesus has transformed the CG family of ministries to have a voracious passion for discipleship multiplication. This passion is best displayed on their two campuses (Gilbert and East Mesa), La Mesa Resource Center (lamesaministries.org), school (Pre-K – 8th grade) and through the Unite Leadership Collective (uniteleadership.org). Tim just completed his doctoral thesis that focused on the traits and characteristics of pastors who collaborate in mission. Tim boldly believes pastors and churches are simply better when they work together.

Rev. Dr. Alfonso Espinosa - “Engaging with The Word in a Changed World



Rev. Dominic Rivkin “Congregations Engaging in Partnerships” - A Partnership Panel with Dominic Rivkin

Rev. Rivkin currently serves as the Mission and Ministry Executive for the Pacific Southwest District of the LCMS. Rev. Rivkin was the founding pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Temecula CA and the urban mission development agency LINC Los Angeles. Pastor Rivkin and his wife Cassie live in Los Angeles and enjoy spending time engaging in outdoor adventures as part of their personal ministry of mentoring young adults in the city.


Rev. Dr. Scott Seidler - “Engaging the On-line Church





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