Keynote Speaker

Lennett J. Anderson

The Rev. Dr. Lennett J. Anderson is the Senior Pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church (The Meeting Place) a growing, multigenerational community of worshippers from diverse geographic, ethnic, cultural, and denominational backgrounds.
Pastor Anderson is a highly sought-after communicator and is a recognized voice at events throughout the country. He is blessed with influence that extends beyond the local church. He serves on the faculty of Acadia Divinity College as Lecturer in Leadership and Racial Justice.

Pastor Anderson is a passionate advocate for community transformation and development. His passion for community is evident through his contributions as consultant for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, a member of the Halifax Regional Municipality Chief of Police Roundtable on Diversity and Race Relations, Past Moderator of the African United Baptist Association of Nova Scotia, an Advisory Council Member, Dalhousie University African Nova Scotian Strategy, Corporation Board Member for Promise Keepers Canada, Member of the African Nova Scotian (DPAD) Decade for People of African Decent Coalition, Regional Ambassador for Teen Challenge Atlantic Men’s Centre, and as a former board member of the Nova Scotia Chapter of the Children’s Wish Foundation.

A retired commissioned Officer in the Canadian Forces where he served as Unit Chaplain for HMCS Scotian, Rev. Anderson has been recognized with numerous awards including the Medal of Excellence from the Navy League of Canada, the Canadian Forces Decoration Medal, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Citizenship, the Platinum Jubilee Community Hero Award, The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal, and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity from St. Thomas Christian College.

Maclean’s magazine named Rev. Anderson as “one of five Canadian pastors who are breathing new life into their communities”. In 2016 he received the ADC Alumni Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions to ministry in his community and beyond. Rev. Anderson has worked tirelessly to promote racial justice with organizations.

Lennett is married to Dr. Késa Munroe-Anderson. They have three children and live in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia.

M. Craig Barnes

The Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes was raised on Long Island, New York. After graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary, he received a Ph.D. in the History of Christianity from The University of Chicago.

He served as the pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church in Madison, WI, until 1992 when he became the pastor of The National Presbyterian Church in Washington D.C. In 2002 he became a chaired professor at Pittsburgh Seminary while also serving as the pastor of the Shadyside Presbyterian Church. In 2012 he was elected president of Princeton Theological Seminary and became the president emeritus in January 2023.

He has nine published books including When God Interrupts, Pastor as Minor Poet, and most recently Diary of a Pastor’s Soul. He is the director of a new project of the Association of Theological Schools on “Theologies of Pastoral Ministry,” funded by the Lilly Endowment.

He is married to Dawne Hess Barnes who is an interior designer. They have three fabulous children, four delightful grandchildren, and a frisbee-addicted Bearded Collie.

Paula Gooder

Paula Gooder is a speaker and writer on the Bible, particularly on the New Testament. She began her working life, teaching for twelve years in ministerial formation first at Ripon College Cuddesdon, Oxford and then at the Queen’s Foundation for Ecumenical Theological Education in Birmingham. Following this she spent around eight years as a speaker and writer in biblical studies travelling the country and seeking to communicate the best of biblical scholarship in as accessible a way as possible, after that she spent six years working for the Bible Society as their Theologian in Residence and then for the Birmingham Diocese as their Director of Mission Learning and Development. She is currently the Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral in London.

Her engagement in wider church life led her to be a member of the General Synod of the Church of England (2005-2015) and as a part of that to be a member of the Women in Episcopacy drafting group and steering committee (2006-2014). She is passionate about ecumenism and is a current member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Commission (ARCIC III, 2011-present day).

She has a strong vocation to lay ministry and is a Reader in the Church of England.

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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.

Emily Bissett

The Rev. Dr. Emily Bisset has been the minister at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Toronto for 11 years. As a graduate of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania, Emily also received her Master of Divinity degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Kentucky. She was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and served a small rural congregation. She came to Canada to do her Doctorate of Theology in homiletics (preaching) at Knox College (Toronto School of Theology), University of Toronto. She was received into the Presbyterian Church in Canada (PCC) in 2007 and served Knox Presbyterian Church (Oshawa) for 5 years before coming to Calvin in 2012.

In addition to congregational ministry, Emily teaches preaching at Knox College. She leads workshops and preaches at national events in the PCC as well as local events, retreats and seminars. She has been married to the Rev. Alex Bisset for 14 years.

Jason Byassee

The Rev. Dr. Jason Byassee is the senior minister of Timothy Eaton Memorial Church in Toronto, Ontario. He previously served as the professor of Homiletics and Biblical Hermeneutics at the Vancouver School of Theology. His primary vocation is to reinvigorate today’s church with the best of ancient and contemporary wisdom for creatively faithful living.

Jason is the author or editor of a number of books, including, most recently, Northern Lights: Resurrecting Church in the North of England, with Ross Lockhart, Better than Brunch: Missional Churches in Cascadia (both with Cascade) and Surprised by Jesus Again (Eerdmans).

He was previously senior pastor of Boone United Methodist Church in Boone, North Carolina. He has also served as pastor of a small, rural congregation in NC, as interim preacher at First Baptist Vancouver, and as preacher to the English-speaking congregation at Chinese Presbyterian in Vancouver. He is married to Jaylynn and together they have three boys.

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 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.

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.

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 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).

Michael Knowles

The Rev. Dr. Michael Knowles is a graduate of Wycliffe College and the Toronto School of Theology, Dr. Knowles retired in 2024 from the George Franklin Hurlburt Chair of Preaching at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario, where he now serves as Professor Emeritus. His most recent book-length study, Third Voice: Preaching Resurrection (2021) addresses the spirituality of preaching in light of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Dr. Knowles is ordained within the Anglican Church of Canada

HyeRan Kim-Craig

The Rev. Dr. HyeRan Kim-Cragg is the 14th Principal of Emmanuel College and Timothy Eaton Memorial Church Professor of Preaching. She is the first racialized person to be appointed as principal and achieve full professorship in Emmanuel’s history.

She has published 15 monographs and numerous articles. The most recent and the first of its kind published work is on the United Church Preaching, entitled, Moments in Time: Sermons in the UCC, 1910-2020. This book will be out as a UCC centennial celebration in 2025.

Her current research is on ecological preaching. Kim-Cragg presented her research at the Engle Institute of Peaching at Princeton Theological Seminary as the keynote speaker.

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.

Jennifer McKenzie

The Venerable Jennifer McKenzie, a 2004 graduate of VTS, has been a priest in The Episcopal Church since 2005. As a parish administrator and lay youth worker in the 1990’s she served churches in California and Virginia. As seminarian, transitional deacon and priest, she served churches in Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia. In 2015 she was collated as Archdeacon of Wigan & West Lancashire, a senior cleric in the Liverpool diocese (UK), where she oversaw the mission and ministry of 60 parish churches and missions and was a canon at Liverpool cathedral  She returned to the US permanently in 2021 and is serving part time as Dean’s Advisor for New Initiatives at Virginia Seminary and is the founder of Church Re-Imagined, LLC, a church consulting firm that works to transform churches and strengthen leaders.

Jennifer’s husband Ken serves on the vestry of All Saints in Sunderland, MD. They are parents of three young adults, and two giant Leonberger dogs.

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 – www.theworldremembers.org.

Jerome J. Washington

The Rev. Dr. Jerome J. Washington is Pastor of the Mount Vernon Baptist Church in Durham, NC.  He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Apex School of Theology, Durham, NC.  He has done postdoctoral studies at Christ Church College of the University of Oxford and Harvard Divinity School.  Dr. Washington is an inductee into the Martin Luther King, Jr. College of Ministers and Laity at Morehouse College.

Dr. Washington’s sermons and articles have appeared both in print and online in numerous journals including the journal African American Pulpit. Prior to becoming a minister, Reverend Washington performed as a classical singer throughout the United States and Europe.

He serves as a board member of the Durham Anti-Gang Commission. He has one daughter, Janel Valerie and a grandson, Avery Lee.

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