Fine-Tuned Leader

Emily Bisset

Emily Bisset is a graduate of Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA. She received her Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was ordained in the PC(USA) in March 2000. After serving at North Shenango Presbyterian Church in Pennsylvania, she came to Toronto to pursue her Doctorate of Theology (Th.D.) in homiletics (preaching). She served Knox (Oshawa) Presbyterian Church as their minister for 5 years before coming to Calvin Presbyterian Church in 2012. Emily teaches preaching at Knox College (Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto). She leads workshops and preaches for national events in the Presbyterian Church in Canada, such as the Canada Youth Conference, as well as more local events, retreats, and seminars. She is married to the Rev. Alex Bisset.

Peter Holmes

The Rev. Dr. J. Peter Holmes has served on the ministry team of Yorkminster Park Baptist Church in Toronto since 1995 and as the Minister of the Congregation since 2001.  Peter was raised and educated in Victoria, B.C. and holds degrees from the University of Victoria, Wycliffe College (U. of T.), and Acadia Divinity College (Acadia University).  Peter’s D.Min. thesis work was in the area of preaching at funerals and was done under the supervision of Dr. Paul Scott Wilson.  Peter has contributed to two recent series of commentaries, Feasting on the Word, and, Feasting on the Gospels. He has also been published in Joel C. Gregory’s, Baptist Preaching, A Global Anthology, and contributes a weekly entry to Walking Together, Yorkminster Park’s weekday online devotional.

Gail Ricutti

Rev. Gail Ricciuti (Presbyterian Church USA) is Professor Emerita at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, where she taught preaching and practical theology for 23 years. During the 25 years preceding her teaching career, she and her husband (the Rev. Anthony Ricciuti) pioneered the field of co-pastoring in Byron, New York and at the Downtown United Presbyterian Church in Rochester. A native of the Pacific Northwest, she earned degrees from the University of Puget Sound and Princeton Theological Seminary, with an honorary Doctor of Divinity conferred by Keuka College. She co-authored the two-volume Birthings and Blessings: Liberating Worship Services for the Inclusive Church.

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Guest Leader

Katie Givens Kime

The Rev. Dr. Katie Givens Kime is the Vital Preaching Program Director for Day1/Alliance for Christian Media.  Most recently, as the Director of Religion and Civic Engagement for the faith-based media non-profit Odyssey Impact, Rev. Kime envisioned, launched, and obtained external sustaining funding for the international Odyssey Fellows Program, which equips faith leaders with new media skills. In addition to her sermons broadcast on Day1 and published in the Journal for Preachers, Rev. Kime served as teaching assistant for 6 semesters of Intro to Preaching at Candler School of Theology, with Rev. Dr. Thomas G. Long and Rev. Dr. Ted A. Smith. She holds a M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary (NYC) and a Ph.D. from Emory University and was a member of the Post-Doctoral Teaching and Research Faculty at the Universität Bern in Switzerland in 2017 and 2018, and served as the Associate Pastor for Mission, Adult Education and Young Adults at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Atlanta, Ga., for six years. Before that, she worked at Marble Collegiate Church and at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, both in New York City. Rev. Kime and her spouse Haddon Kime co-lead Kime Media, which has consulted on media across the Lilly Endowment ecology since 2013. Rev. Kime and her family live in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Das Sydney

The Rev. Dr. Das Sydney is the President of the Canadian Council of Churches. He was born in India, grew up in Africa, and had his university education in Ghana, Canada and the U.S. He is a past president of the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec and has taught as an adjunct at Acadia Divinity College and McMaster. He has served in churches in Ontario and Nova Scotia and is currently the Minister Emeritus at Highland Baptist Church in Kitchener, ON and in Interim minister at Westview Baptist in London, ON.  He is married to Angela, a graduate nurse and they have three adult children and four grandchildren.

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Keynote Speaker

Sarah Han

The Rev. Dr. Sarah Han is Assistant Professor of Pastoral Ministry and Director of the Tyndale Centre for Pastoral Imagination at Tyndale University Seminary and brings practical ministry experience as an ordained minister and theological expertise as an academic. Dr. Han considers herself to be “third culture” Canadian-Korean-Chinese and her formative theology was shaped on the mission field abroad. She has provided leadership in the Canadian immigrant church context for over a decade and has diverse experience in the Canadian public and private sectors. Dr. Han’s vocational commitment and theological passion are to critically observe and reflect on how ecclesiology shapes and informs missiology and her research focuses on an intercultural, intergenerational, missional ecclesiology for Canada.

Karoline Lewis

The Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis is a theologian, speaker, teacher, scholar, author, and preacher. She answered a calling to pursue theology, preaching, and teaching 25 years ago. Her experiences ignited a passion to empower leaders in the church to find fulfillment in their calling, too. The heart of her work is helping church leaders realize or rediscover their true voices and joyfully embody their roles as spiritual leaders. She offers personalized consulting and coaching toward a deeper grounding in theology and practice to enhance preaching and leadership skills. Karoline is committed to advocacy, accompaniment, and affirmation for leaders who seek to lead others with compassion, integrity, and confidence. Karoline is the Marbury E. Anderson Chair in Biblical Preaching at Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, where she has taught since 2007.

Ken Shigematsu

The Rev. Dr. Ken Shigematsu has served as the Senior Pastor of Tenth Avenue Church in Vancouver since 1996. Sunday after Sunday, Ken’s energetic and creative communication style brings his sermons to life, setting the congregation at ease while challenging them with the gospel. Ken is a global thinker whose leadership style draws on both eastern and western leadership philosophies and his outward energy is fed by a deeply contemplative personal life. He enjoys reading spiritual classics and pursuing monastic ideals. Before entering the ministry, he worked for the Sony Corporation in Tokyo. Ken loves exploring nature through sailing and hiking. He received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, and a World Vision Ken McMillan Hero for Children Award in 2017. Ken is the author of the award-winning, international bestseller, God in My Everything, and Survival Guide for the Soul, which was named the 2019 Christian living book of the year by the Word Guild. His most recent book is Now I Become Myself: How Deep Grace Heals our Shame.

William Willimon

The Rev. Dr. William H. Willimon is an American theologian and retired bishop in the United Methodist Church. He is Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry and Director of the Doctor of Ministry program at Duke Divinity School. He is former Dean of the Chapel at Duke University and is considered by many as one of America’s best-known and most influential preachers. A  Pulpit & Pew Research on Pastoral Leadership survey determined that he was one of the two most frequently read writers by pastors in mainline Protestantism alongside the Roman Catholic writer Henri Nouwen. His books have sold over a million copies. He is also Editor-At-Large of The Christian Century. His 2019 memoir Accidental Preacher was released to wide acclaim, described by Justo L. Gonzalez as “An exceptional example of theology at its best.”

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Workshop Leader

Casey Barton

The Rev. Dr. Casey Barton serves as Assistant Faculty and Director of the Pastoral Ministry Program at Lancaster Bible College | Capital Seminary and Graduate School, in Lancaster, PA. He is Ordained to Word and Sacrament in the Evangelical Covenant Church and, before joining the faculty of LBC|Capital in 2022, served in various roles in pastoral ministry in Mississauga, ON, San Jose, CA, and Hilmar, CA. He is the author of Preaching Through Time: Anachronism as a Way Forward for Preaching (Cascade, 2017), and various articles focused on preaching hope and lament, preaching and eschatology, and preaching with courage. Mostly, Casey enjoys spending time with his wife Sarah and two sons, Eugene and Theo, snowboarding, riding bikes and kayaking. He also enjoys loudly rooting for the Red Sox, especially against the Yankees.

A California native, Casey attended college at Briercrest College; then Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (MDiv, ThM: Homiletics); earned an MTh in Practical Theology (Homiletics) at New College, University of Edinburgh, Scotland; and a PhD in Homiletics from Emmanuel College of Victoria University, in The University of Toronto, in 2010.

Stuart Blythe

The Rev Dr. Stuart Blythe is the John Gladstone Professor of Preaching and Worship at Acadia Divinity College, in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Previously he served as a pastor in two congregations in Scotland. These were Springburn Baptist Church and Kirkintilloch Baptist Church. He describes them as a small urban Church and a large suburban Church. He has also taught and held leadership positions at the Scottish Baptist College in Paisley near Glasgow and as the Rector of the International Baptist Theological study centre in Amsterdam. His current research interests include rhetoric, preaching as public speaking and Tommy Douglas. Stuart is married to Susanne, and they have two grown up children who live in Glasgow Scotland. For much of their married lives they have owned one rescue dog or another. The current one is called “Japie.” This is a Dutch name meaning “little Jacob” and belongs to a rescued Romanian street dog. A quirky fact is that Stuart has played at the World Pipe Band Championship in Glasgow Scotland with a Dutch Pipe Band.

Laura de Jong

The Rev. Laura de Jong is a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church of North America with a passion for worship and ecclesiology. She served as pastor of Second CRC in Grand Haven, Michigan, for four years before returning home to Southern Ontario where she now serves as Pastor of Preaching and Pastoral Care at Community CRC in Kitchener. Laura is a regular contributor to the Reformed Journal Blog, and enjoys reading, writing, and watching the Jays. Laura is a graduate of Calvin University (History and Congregational Ministry Studies) and received her M.Div from Calvin Theological Seminary.

Terry Fallis

Terry Fallis is a two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. He is the author of eight national bestselling novels – including five #1 bestsellers – all published by McClelland & Stewart. The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. It was adapted as a six-part CBC-Television miniseries, and a stage musical. The High Road was a Leacock Medal finalist in 2011. Up and Down was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award and was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal. His fourth novel, No Relation (2014) won the 2015 Leacock Medal. His fifth, Poles Apart (2015) was a Globe and Mail bestseller and a finalist for the 2016 Leacock Medal. One Brother Shy (2017) and Albatross (2019) were both national bestsellers. His latest, Operation Angus (2021) was a national bestseller and a CBC Best Books of 2021 selection. His ninth novel, A New Season (2023) will be released in August 2023. He’s given over 1,000 book talks across Canada and beyond, since his debut novel was released in 2008. In 2013, The Canadian Booksellers Association named Terry Fallis the winner of the Libris Award as Author of the Year. Terry has written for many publications including Maclean’s, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Toronto Life, The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Toronto Star. He also teaches in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies.


Overlapping his writing life was a 40-year career in politics and communications consulting, which included providing media and presentation skills training to hundreds of business executives, community leaders, and cabinet ministers. In 1995, he cofounded Thornley Fallis Communications a full-service communications agency from which he recently retired to write full-time, though the firm carries on.

Scott Hoezee

The Rev. Scott E. Hoezee is an ordained pastor in the Christian Reformed Church in North America and has served two congregations. He was the pastor of Second Christian Reformed Church in Fremont, Michigan, from 1990-1993. Then from 1993-2005 he was the Minister of Preaching and Administration at Calvin CRC in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In the spring of 2005 Scott accepted the Seminary’s offer to become the first Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching. He has also been a member of the Pastor-Theologian Program sponsored by the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton, New Jersey, where he was pastor-in-residence in the fall of 2000. From 2001-2011 Scott served on the editorial board of Perspectives: A Journal of Reformed Thought and was co-editor of that journal from 2005-2011.  He blogs regularly for The Reformed Journal and along with Darrell Delaney is the co-host of the Groundwork radio and podcast program from ReFrame Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church in North America.

Rev. Hoezee is married to Rosemary Apol and they have two children. He enjoys birdwatching, snorkeling, and exploring the beauties and wonders of God’s great creation.

Rev. Hoezee is the author of several books including The Riddle of Grace (1996), Flourishing in the Land (1996), Remember Creation (1998), Speaking as One: A Look at the Ecumenical Creeds(1997), Speaking of Comfort: A Look at the Heidelberg Catechism (1998), Proclaim the Wonder: Preaching Science on Sunday (2003), Grace Through Every Generation (2007), Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons That Matter (2014), and Why We Listen To Sermons (2018).

Wanda Malcolm

Dr. Wanda Malcolm has recently retired from her position as Professor of Pastoral Psychology at Wycliffe College where her teaching focused on the knowledge and skills essential to forging a sustainable life of faithful ministry. She continues to write and speak about the crucial roles prayerful self-responsibility and self-understanding have in sustaining practices that replenish spiritual and psychological resilience.

Wanda continues to work as a clinical psychologist in private practice, and takes joy in being a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and her husband especially enjoy family gatherings at their cottage, where kayaking, gardening, crafting, reading fiction, and playing board games are among Wanda’s favourite restorative pastimes.

Thérèse Samuel

The Rev. Thérèse Samuel was born and raised in the Canadian prairies. She identifies as Black, but her ancestry is also European, Carib and South American Indigenous, with racial mixture on both sides of the family going back several generations. Here on Turtle Island, she experiences colonialism and racism in ways that are very different from the relative privilege her family experiences in Trinidad. It is from these complex intersections of oppression and privilege that she engages in ministries of decolonization, anti-oppression, and right relations.

Thérèse has undergraduate degrees in physical education and physical therapy from the University of Alberta, a MA in Spirituality and Liturgy from St. Stephen’s College, Edmonton and an MDiv from St. Andrew’s College, Saskatoon. She is ordained in The United Church of Canada and serves as Minister, Right Relations and Social Justice for southwestern Ontario. She and her wife live on the territory of the Anishnabek nation and Treaty 18 of 1818, in Thornbury, ON.

Susan Sparks

The Rev. Susan Sparks spent ten years as a trial lawyer, and now more than twenty years as a professional stand-up comedian and ordained minister. She is America’s only female comedian with a pulpit. She attended Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and wrote an honours M.Div. thesis on humour and religion. In May 2007 Susan was installed as the 15th Senior Minister of the historic Madison Avenue Baptist Church in New York City. She was the first woman pastor in its 175-year history, and she remains there to this day.

An internationally known preacher, speaker (including TEDx), and comedian, Susan is also an award-winning, nationally syndicated columnist and the author of five books. Her work with humour, healing, and spirituality has been featured in O (The Oprah) Magazine, the New York Times, and on such networks as ABC, CNN, CBS, and the History Channel.  Susan is also the recipient of numerous awards. Most importantly, Susan and her husband Toby love to fly-fish, ride their Harleys, eat good BBQ, and root for North Carolina Basketball and the Green Bay Packers.

Andrew Stirling

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Stirling is the Ambassador for the Canadian Bible Society. Prior to that appointment in 2022, he served as the Senior Minister of the historic Timothy Eaton Memorial United Church in Toronto from 1998 to 2021. Born in the UK, he received his education in England, Bermuda, Canada and South Africa. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Comparative African Government and Law from the University of Cape Town (South Africa), a Master of Divinity from the Atlantic School of Theology (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and a Doctor of Ministry in preaching from Acadia Divinity College (Wolfville, Nova Scotia).

In 2008 Wycliffe College (Toronto), recognized his contribution to preaching with an honorary Doctor of Divinity. In 2016 Dr. Stirling was appointed a Lifetime Fellow of Acadia Divinity College. He has written over 60 articles and essays and has edited and written 3 books.

For fun, for the past 15 years, he has been an Indycar Chaplain and loves sportscars, playing with his black Labrador Retriever, Oban and is fanatical about Manchester United F.C.

R.H. Thomson

Canadian stage and screen actor RH Thomson was awarded the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award and is a Member of the Order of Canada. He has appeared in theatres across Canada and has filmed in Canada, the US, Greece and the Czech Republic. He has earned multiple awards for his work as an actor. He directed the award-winning production of The Crucible at Theatre Calgary and performed in The Message by Jason Sherman and This Was The World by Ellie Moon, both directed by Richard Rose at the Tarragon Theatre Toronto. He played Matthew Cuthbert in the CBC/NETFLIX series Anne With An E for which he received two Canadian Screen Awards. As well as being an advocate for the arts, Mr. Thomson has worked on many history/education/arts projects. He has built The World Remembers-Le Monde Se Souvient, an international WWI names Commemoration exhibit with twenty-one participating nations, that is now installed at the Canadian War Museum –

Paul Scott Wilson

The Rev. Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, Professor Emeritus of Homiletics at Emmanuel College in the University of Toronto, is the author of many books including The Four Pages of the Sermon. His common emphasis is putting God at the centre of preaching.

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