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Sirico Parables book

Developing Economic Leadership in Ministry


How do we shepherd the flock in the search for economically healthy and socially just communities? What is the role of the local church in sustainable human development? Join us to explore how moral and economic clarity give direction in our mission to be true disciples, fostering effective charity, empowering our congregations and creating a context for human flourishing. 

Conference participants will envision a new framework for examining complex problems facing today’s church, founded in a theologically robust economic perspective. Participants will network with other leaders in their community, ground discussion in continued emphasis on real world applications of Biblical principles, and develop leadership capacity through the resources offered for each session.

NOTE: Conference participants must currently live and work in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington). Participants will represent a variety of religious traditions and backgrounds. All attendees must share a commitment to religious values and a respect for the rights of individuals.

What: The objective of the learning community is to provide a laboratory for pastors and lay leaders toward a richer integration of faith, work, and economics for ministry that produces human flourishing. 

Who: Pastors and lay leaders from 10-15 churches of varying denominations and sizes from around the Pacific Northwest. Each church will send at least two representatives to the learning community. One must be a member of the pastoral staff. The other should be a highly engaged lay leader committed to faith-work integration. Churches may apply for three “slots” (adding a second staff person); we will review those requests on a case-by-case basis. We may not be able to accommodate all requests for church teams of three.

Where: We will be meeting in beautiful Walla Walla, Washington. Our conference will include an in-depth tour of Broetje Orchards, a business that models faith integration that has led to innovation in its business practices as well as well-being for their employees.

Dan Churchwell, M.A.

Dan Churchwell, M.A.

Dan Churchwell is the Assistant Director of Program Outreach for the Acton Institute. Prior to Acton, Churchwell was an instructor and administrator at MBI-Spokane, teaching courses in philosophy, apologetics, and philosophy of education. He also directed the office of Field Education, working closely with student volunteers as they served both locally and internationally. Before coming to Moody, he taught for three years in the School of Global Commerce and Management at Whitworth University, teaching courses in business, social ethics, and non-profit management. Dan also has extensive experience in a Fortune 100 logistics company, a commercial real estate investment firm, as executive director of an international medical non-profit. He holds an M.A. from Central Seminary and also has further graduate study in Philosophy of Religion and Ethics from Talbot School of Theology at Biola University.

Dean Sieberhagen, Th.D.

Dean Sieberhagen, Ph.D.

Dr. Sieberhagen is Assistant Professor of Missions and Islamic Studies, and Director of the Master's in Islamic Studies Program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. Sieberhagen was born and raised in South Africa where he completed a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He joined the family retail business, and because of a love for teaching also joined the Commerce faculty at Rhodes University teaching business and accounting. As part of a call to reach the nations he completed a Master of Divinity degree in international church planting at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. His particular calling has been to those who have never heard and this led to his family serving overseas in an unreached, restricted access area. He was blessed to see how the Lord is making Himself known among the unreached and  is passionate about training others to help complete the task that remains. His Doctor of Theology studies have been through the University of South Africa, with a focus on the issues of contextualization and globalization in relation to the starting of churches amongst the unreached. He was and remains an active sportsman, having played soccer, rugby, tennis, cricket, and golf at a competitive level.

Mark Ismond

Mark Ismond

Mark has served with Partners Worldwide since 2012 as part of the resource engagement team. Prior to answering this call, Mark worked in the private equity world, acting as Vice President of Investor Relations and Director of a “boutique” (translation-small) firm from 2008-2012.  Preceding this he spent 21 years with Amway Corporation, working exclusively in Business Development and Distribution Relations.  Prior to Amway, Mark spent 4 years managing live music productions. His graduate studies were done at Wheaton College and Western Michigan University in Counseling and Small Group Dynamics and he has a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Psychology from Calvin College. Mark and his wife Pattie live in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area and love spending time with their two teenagers, overseeing the family tree farm and upon occasion will race on their tandem mountain bike.


Conference Fee and Covered Expenses

There is no conference fee for Pacific Northwest leaders in ministry selected to attend the conference and no fee to apply.

Lodging and meals for the duration of the conference will be arranged and paid for by the Acton Institute.

A financial aid request is included in the application form for those in need of travel assistance to and from the conference. Travel funding is limited.

Application Process and Conference Fee

The conference is limited to pastors and ministry leaders in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States (Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, or Washington). Though there is no required deposit to attend, all confirmed participants commit to participating fully in the event.

Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and responses can be expected in 10 to 14 days.

Conference Dates and Location

August 17-19, 2017
Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
Walla Walla, Washington

Participants should arrive at the hotel in time to check-in, register, and attend the opening reception at 5pm. Lodging for out of town participants, and meals for the duration of the conference will be paid for by the Acton Institute.

Reasons to Attend

Network: Explore solutions to today’s critical issues with pastors, non-profit practitioners and other community development leaders from around the country.

Knowledge: Expand your personal “idea bank” through dialogue in economics, leadership, and the dignity of the human person.

Resources: Connect conference content to provided tools and resources for use in your own continuing ministry.

Capacity: Grow in the effectiveness and transformative capacity of your work by exploring ideas both in alignment and in tension with what you see happening in your ministry and community.

Event Details

Start Date

End Date


Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center
6 West Rose Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
United States

Length of Event
3 days

August 17-19, 2017

Thursday 3pm Check-in | Saturday Early AM - Departure

Marcus Whitman Hotel | Walla Walla, Washington 


View a sample schedule of events here:



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