Family Track at PBL
Empowering the church to be a voice of wisdom in relationships, marriages, and families.
The Family Track at Bible Lectures addresses relevant relationship issues couples, families, and individuals face. Nationally known and recognized speakers are chosen each year to provide top quality information and practical guidelines equipping Christian leaders to help influence the population they serve.
WEDNESDAY, 8:30–9:30 am
Connie Horton, PhD, is the vice president for student affairs at
Pepperdine University. As a psychologist whose previous roles
include university counseling director and psychology professor,
Horton enjoys teaching church classes, retreats, and workshops
for Conejo and beyond on subjects of mental health, parenting,
marriage, and women's issues. She and her husband of 31 years
attend the Conejo Valley of Church of Christ.
MENTAL HEALTH CONCERNS: THE CHURCH'S RESPONSE
Christians are not exempt from mental health concerns, yet many ministers and
church communities are unsure how to think and speak about these issues. They
also feel unsure about how to best minister to those who are struggling. This
session will provide a framework to help understand psychological concepts from
a Christian worldview and suggest practical tips for ministry.
WEDNESDAY, 2–4:15 pm | FEATURED SPEAKER
Kara Powell, PhD, is the executive director of the Fuller Youth
Institute (FYI) and a faculty member at Fuller Theological
Seminary. Named by Christianity Today as one of "50 Women
to Watch," Powell serves as a youth and family strategist for
Orange and also speaks regularly at parenting and leadership
conferences. Powell is the author or co-author of a number of
books including Growing Young, The Sticky Faith Guide for
Your Family, Sticky Faith Curriculum, Can I Ask That?, Essential Leadership, Deep
Ministry in a Shallow World, and the Good Sex Youth Ministry Curriculum.
GROWING YOUNG: HELPING TEENAGERS AND YOUNG
ADULTS DISCOVER AND LOVE YOUR CHURCH
In the midst of the discouraging reports about the aging and decline of churches
today, how can you help teenagers and young adults discover and embrace your
church? Through a landmark investigation of more than 250 diverse congregations
loving and serving teenagers and young adults, the Fuller Youth Institute
uncovered the core commitments that are key to reaching and retaining young
people. This seminar explores those findings as well as stories of real-life churches
that are thriving. As a church leader, you'll leave with a host of doable ideas to help
your church change young people—and help young people change your church.
THURSDAY, 8:30–9:30 am
Kelly Maxwell Haer, PhD, is the director of the Relationship
IQ program at the Boone Center for the Family. She received
her doctorate in family therapy from Saint Louis University, a
master's degree in counseling from Covenant Theological
Seminary, and a bachelor's degree from Furman University.
She has a wealth of experience working with young adults in
a variety of contexts including counseling sessions,
undergraduate and graduate classrooms, and the church community.
HELPING YOUNG ADULTS CONNECT WITH FAMILY AS ADULT
Young adulthood is a time for significant transitions—especially in the parent-
child relationship. Help young adults to reflect on their families of origin and take
ownership and responsibility to strengthen healthy relationships with their
families. Specifically, leaders will learn to help young adults discover how
childhood memories have shaped them, develop new insights about their parents,
consider the impact of birth order on their own development, understand family
dynamics, communicate with their parents, and form their own families when
away from home.
THURSDAY, 9:45–10:45 am
Susan Giboney is a recently retired professor of education at
Pepperdine University. She has a master's degree in child and
family studies and is a certified family life educator. She
enjoys teaching premarital couples and college students and
teaches in a women's prison. She also serves on four boards
including the advisory board of the Boone Center for the
Carrie Wall, PhD, has her doctorate in education and
currently serves as the program director for the teacher
preparation program at Pepperdine. She thoroughly enjoys
working with college students and teacher candidates.
Jessica Wall will graduate in the spring of 2018 with a degree
in English and a single subject teaching credential in English
and plans to teach high school English. When she's not in the
classroom teaching students how to read and write, she's the
one doing the reading and writing and aspires to publish her
REACHING ACROSS THE GENERATIONAL AISLE:
THREE GENERATIONS REFLECT ON FAMILY AND FAITH
A grandmother, mother, and granddaughter reflect on their generational
distinctiveness and how churches and families can nurture healthy
intergenerational relationships. Strategies for bridging understanding and
cultivating appreciation among generations will be explored.
THURSDAY, 11 am–Noon
Ben Houltberg, PhD, is an associate professor in the
Department of Marriage and Family at Fuller Theological
Seminary and conducts research through the Thrive Center
for Human Development. Houltberg's research highlights the
importance of healthy identity development within high
achieving contexts that leads to youth thriving. He is a
licensed marriage and family therapist and is widely
published in the area of parenting as it relates to the emotional health of children.
PURPOSE-ENHANCING PARENTING: EMPOWERING
CHILDREN TO THRIVE UNDER PRESSURE
Parents may differ in their views of success and techniques to motivate children,
but all parents desire for their children to be successful. Parents can have a
difficult time knowing when to push their children without creating major
emotional disruption and tension in the relationship, and performance under
stressful circumstances is more likely for children as they move into adolescence.
So how do parents help their children strive for excellence in healthy ways? How
does our Christian faith inform the ways we approach performance? This talk will
highlight important developmental insights about how children deal with stress
and provide many practical tips for parents and church leaders.
THURSDAY 2–4:15 pm | FEATURED SPEAKER
Les Parrott, PhD, is a psychologist and #1 New York Times
best-selling author. He and his wife, Dr. Leslie Parrott, are
co-founders of the game-changing SYMBIS Assessment.
Parrott's books have sold more than 3 million copies in more
than two dozen languages and include the award-winning
Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts. Parrott has been
featured in USA Today and the New York Times. He has
appeared on CNN, FOX News, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The View,
and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
SYMBIS ASSESSMENT: A GAME CHANGER FOR
You want the very best for the couples in your care and you want a system that
makes it personal, profound, and easy. Say hello to the SYMBIS+ Assessment.
Helping couples—whether engaged or married for decades—just got easier and
more effective. Learn the ins and outs of this revolutionary tool from its
creator—award-winning author of Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts Dr. Les
Parrott. Grounded in research and infused with biblical wisdom and practical
applications, SYMBIS+ guarantees edge-of-your-seat engagement with couples,
in both one-on-one or group formats. You will leave this session with the
opportunity to be fully trained and certifi ed to use SYMBIS+ starting immediately.
FRIDAY, 8:30–9:30 am
Ed Gray, PhD, has been professor of counseling at Harding
University since 1993 and, as a licensed therapist, has
counseled individuals and couples for more than 35 years. He
is the author of several "12 Conversations" programs
including marriage mentoring and later-adult life issues,
which help individuals utilize the power of stories to support
one another as they face various transitions in their lives.
NAVIGATING SENIOR JOURNEYS THROUGH THE POWER OF
STORIES: EMPTY NESTING, CAREGIVING, AND GRIEF
The church has a tremendous opportunity to shift its focus from "ministering to
seniors" to "equipping seniors" for meaningful outreach and service. Moving
beyond entertainment activities and luncheons, seniors have talents to be tapped
as they serve one another and others. This workshop focuses on empowering
seniors to serve as they move through transitions and challenges in fi nishing a
This session will provide new and practical ways to engage seniors. Seniors and
their families will be blessed through conversations including topics such as
health, family, friendships, life purpose, lifelong learning, caregiving, grief, and
FRIDAY, 9:45–10:45 am
Sharon Hargrave, LMFT, is the executive director of the
Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University. She is a
licensed marriage and family therapist in both California and
Texas and is the founder of MarriageStrong at Fuller
Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Hargrave and
her husband, Terry, speak nationally and internationally on
issues pertaining to couples in ministry, marriage,
intergenerational relationships, parenting, and the Restoration Therapy model.
She is the author of the MarriageStrong and RelateStrong curriculum and
co-author of 5 Days to a New Self with her husband.
FEELING SAFE IN AN UNSAFE WORLD
Statistics tell us anxiety and depression are on the rise. The daily news of
shootings, hurricanes, earthquakes, and human suffering reminds us of our own
lack of control over our future and the future of the ones we love. As Christians,
how do we think about safety and security, not only for ourselves, but for those
we lead and serve?
FRIDAY, 11 am–Noon
Rev. Chris Adams, PhD, is currently serving as the executive
director of the Azusa Pacifi c University Center for Vocational
Ministry. Adams is a consultant to a number of
denominations and seminaries in the areas of clergy
candidate assessment, clergy health, and pastoral leadership
formation. He is currently participating as a consultant and
researcher with the Duke Clergy Health Initiative, Profi les in
Ministry Project for the Association of Theological Schools, and the Flourishing In
Ministry project at the University of Notre Dame. Adams teaches and speaks at
seminaries, pastors retreats, and conferences.
FLOURISHING IN MINISTRY
The "Flourishing in Ministry" study is a Lilly-funded research project focused on
the well-being of clergy and their families. This seminar will examine what
motivates pastors to be engaged in ministry and what disrupts them from
experiencing well-being in their work. The research explores how clergy, often
working with lean resources, can give so much to others while also experiencing
a sense of fulfi llment and growth in their daily work lives. The seminar will focus
on factors that lead to well-being among clergy and the types of relationships all
pastors need in order to flourish in ministry.
FRIDAY, 2–4:15 pm | FEATURED SPEAKERS
Greg Smalley, PhD, serves as the vice president of marriage
and family formation at Focus on the Family. In this role, he
oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage,
strengthen and nurture existing marriages, and help couples in
marital crises. He is the author of 17 books including Fight Your
Way to a Better Marriage, The DNA of Relationships, and The DNA
of Parent and Teen Relationships.
Erin Smalley is a marriage strategic spokesperson at Focus
on the Family and develops content for the marriage
department. Mrs. Smalley is the author of Grown Up
Girlfriends and The Wholehearted Wife, and co-author of Crazy
Little Thing Called Marriage with her husband, Greg.
Prior to joining Focus on the Family, the Smalleys worked for
the Center for Relationship Enrichment at John Brown
University. Together they have led marriage seminars around the world and
trained pastors, professionals, and lay leaders on how to effectively work with
married and engaged couples.
CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED MARRIAGE
A great marriage doesn't happen by accident. We need to invest in our spouse
and relationship every day, but this can be challenging as ministry couples with
full and busy lives. Thus, we will focus on simple and practical ways to build a
marriage that both can enjoy—even in the midst of busyness.