Student Leadership Conference

360 Student Leadership Conference

"Our students were blown away by the quality of speakers and ideas at the Student Leadership Conference! spending time with leaders who are making real change in the world challenged and inspired our student-leaders, which has proven to be blessing to our entire student ministry." — Adam Mearse, Naperville Church of Christ, Naperville, IL

"We sent our high school student leadership team to the EKL conference and they loved it. They still talk about staying in the dorms with college students, hanging out at the coffeehouse, learning about leadership, and of course the Tom's party! We plan to always send our student leaders to this excellent retreat!"
— Daniel Riemenschneider, Bloomingdale Church, Bloomingdale, IL

TIU Student Leadership Conference 2014

Want to grow in leadership and have a blast at the same time? Join us for the TIU Student Leadership Conference!

The annual TIU Student Leadership Conference is designed for high school students to engage with each other as they learn about leadership and their relationships with God. Students will be challenged to think deeply about what scripture says about leadership and how it applies to their lives. Our hope is that students will leave the event with a better understanding of who God is, what their individual leadership skills are and how God will use them as leaders wherever they are in life. There is also a track for youth pastors in attendance. Workshop content and networking opportunities make this a great event for youth pastors as well as students.


This years conference will be held: Friday-Saturday, April 25-26, 2014

Main Speaker // Andrew Arndt

Andrew Arndt & Wife

Andrew Arndt hails from central Wisconsin (Marshfield, to be exact). Upon graduating high school, he went on to earn a
B. S. in Business Management from Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK, and an M. Div. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, IL in 2006. After serving as an associate pastor at Sanctuary Church in Tulsa, Andrew and his family moved to Denver, CO, where he's been serving as the Lead Pastor of Bloom Church: a network of house churches and an unlikely collection of hippies and hipsters. 

Andrew and his wife Mandi are parents to four children--Ethan, Gabe, Isabella, and Liam--and hope that Denver is the last stop in their journey.

Youth Pastor Session Speakers // Adam Mearse & Donald Guthrie

Adam Mearse has been working in student ministry for 16 years in Japan, Oklahoma, and now in Naperville, IL. After his undergraduate work in psychology and biblical studies, he completed Master’s degrees in ministry and counseling and is currently in the final stages of his PhD work in education at TIU. Following his PhD, Adam hopes to pursue training in auto mechanics (seriously). Adam lives in the western suburbs with his wife Christina and their three children.  They are “that family” that eats organic food and brings quinoa to potlucks.

Donald Guthrie, prior to joining the TEDS faculty, worked in campus ministry for twelve years with the Coalition for Christian Outreach and served on the faculty of Covenant Theological Seminary. During his fifteen years at Covenant, he directed the Field Education, Doctor of Ministry, and Distance Learning programs and also served as Vice President for Academics. Dr. Guthrie is a member of the North American Professors of Christian Education and has enjoyed serving as a ruling elder in several local churches over the past twenty-five years. He is a frequent teacher at conferences and retreats, often addressing cultural trends, intergenerational ministry, calling and vocation, and adult learning. He and his wife, Mary, have two young adult children.

2014 Conference Schedule

Friday, April 25, 2014
Time Student Youth Pastor
4:00–5:45 pm Check-In (Melton Hall)
5:45–6:45 pm Dinner
6:45–7:00 pm Break
7:00–8:30 pm Main Session I: God Brings It
8:30–8:45 pm Break
8:45–10:00 pm Friday Night Frenzy* Youth Pastor Networking
10:00 pm–12:00 am TIU Coffee House
Saturday, April 26, 2014
7:30–8:30 am Breakfast
8:30–10:00 am Main Session II: We Bear It
10:15–11:05 am Workshop 1 Session 1
11:05–11:20 am Break
11:20 am–12:10 pm Workshop 2 Session 2
12:10–1:25 pm Lunch
1:25–2:15 pm Workshop 3 Session 3
2:15–2:30 pm Break
2:30–4:00 pm Main Session III: We Share It
4:00–6:00 pm Art from the Heart: CAUSEGEAR/TOMS
6:00 pm Students Picked up Outside the Meyers Sports Complex
*Bring active wear and warm clothes for this outdoor activity, weather permitting.

Parents: If you need to reach your child while at the conference and are unable to reach them directly, please call emergency number at 847-317-6401.

Workshop Sessions

During the conference, you will have the opportunity to supplement the Main Sessions with more specific topics tailored to what interests you most! A few sessions from the 2013 conference included:

The Well-Rounded Woman

Well-Rounded Relationships

Well-Rounded & Globally-Minded

Centering Your Circle: Reliance on God

Social Media: Spheres of Influence

Mentorship: Speaking into the Circle

2014 Youth Pastor Sessions

Session 1: Resilient Self—Loving God, neighbor, and self
Session 2: Resilient Family—Cultivating healthy family relationships
Session 3: Resilient System—Navigating the church system with wisdom

Free TOMS or CAUSEGEAR bag/bracelet

Receive a free pair of TOMS or CAUSEGEAR bag and bracelet just by coming to the conference. On Saturday afternoon you will have the opportunity to paint them however you like at the Art from the Heart: A 'Sole Cause' Party!


The price for attending the 2-day conference is:

This fee includes meals, lodging, pair of TOMS or CAUSEGEAR bag and bracelet, and conference t-shirt. Group registration is available to groups of 10 or more. Groups will receive a $10 discount per registration off the current list price! One group leader will be admitted free with a group of 10 or more students.


Registration has closed for this year's conference, but save the date for next year's conference on April 17-18, 2015! 

Group Registration

Have a group of 10 or more looking to join us at next year's conference? Keep your eye out for how you can receive a group discount for the 360 Conference in 2015!

Win a Free Ticket to the Conference!!!

The conference team has created an Instagram Contest that gives you the opportunity to win a free ticket to this year's TIU Student Leadership Conference!


For questions regarding the overall conference, please contact Katherine Jeffery at or 847-317-7032.

For questions regarding conference registration, please contact Brittany Niequist at or 847-317-7150.

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Plan Ahead!

If you are a youth leader, start planning ahead now to bring your whole youth group to an EKL Leadership Conferences in the future. If you will still be in high school next year, you can start planning ahead on how to invite all of your friends to an EKL Leadership Conference too! Either way, the dates are as follows:

Future Dates
April 25-26, 2014
April 17-18, 2015
April 15-16, 2016

Kingdom Impact Grant Opportunity

Trinity International University is pleased to offer Kingdom Impact Grant opportunities for qualified students who demonstrate vision in a particular area of service. The purpose of Kingdom Impact Grants (sponsored by Trinity International University) is to empower high school youth to plan, conduct, and evaluate a service project that promotes human flourishing in God’s kingdom. Learn more