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2017 College Conference at Montreat

Beyond Babel

January 2 - January 5, 2017

Online registration for College Conference is now open! Please note: Conference housing is FULL for groups! Registration is still available for commuters! For more information and to register, please click on RATES & REGISTRATION. For more information about private housing, please click on the MORE INFORMATION tab above.

One people with one language become scattered and multilingual. A united community finds itself confused and scattered. Clarity becomes babble. Construction on a tower stops. In 2017, join us for the College Conference at Montreat as we visit the Tower Of Babel in Genesis 11. What does this Tower show us about God? What does it show us about ourselves? What can the church learn from this halted construction project? In 2017 we will we see how God gave an ancient people a holy nudge towards diversity, and we will consider how God is nudging us today too. Join us as we go Beyond Babel.

Genesis 11 (NRSV) The Tower of Babel
Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. 2 And as they migrated from the east,[a] they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. 3 And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. 4 Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” 5 The LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 9 Therefore it was called Babel, because there the LORD confused[b] the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

“Young people don’t have to be taught about diversity; that is the landscape in which they live. They need to be taught how to relate positively to that diversity, to approach it with a bridge-building ethic drawn from their tradition.” –Eboo Patel, Engage, The Institute for Youth Ministry, Princeton Theological Seminary

Workshop Presenters

For the 2017 College Conference at Montreat we will not have Discussion Groups and, therefore, we will not be accepting Discussion Group Leader Applications. This application is for Workshop Presenters only. In 2017 we will engage conferees in a new programing model. Conferees will be placed in one of three Critical Conversation Groups for discussion and processing of material presented in keynote presentations. These Critical Conversation groups will be led by three, paid professionals who are experienced in group leadership and cross-racial dialogue. We are excited for this new platform and we appreciate your support of the conference.

Seminarian Track

We are no longer accepting applications.

Registration Information

New this year! We will offer online registration to request your conference spaces and housing. (No more faxing!) Housing requests will be processed in the order that we receive them until our facilities are full. After registering, participants can either mail a check within 10 days of registering or provide credit card information when contacted by the conference registrar.

For more information about conference fees, accommodations, and the registration process, please click on the RATES & REGISTRATION tab above.

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Conference housing is now FULL for groups!  Online registration for College Conference is still available for commuters! For more information about private housing, please click on the MORE INFORMATION tab above.

What You Need to Know Before You Register

New this year! We will offer online registration to request your conference spaces and housing. (No more faxing!) Housing requests will be processed in the order that we receive them until our facilities are full. After registering online, participants can either mail a check within 10 days of registering or provide credit card information when contacted by the conference registrar.

Attention Group Leaders: Here are a few things you will need to know before you register online…

  • Basic contact information for your church, campus ministry, etc.
  • A head count. How many students and chaperones do you have? (Please note that the special comprehensive rate is available to all college students and the first two adults in your group.  Additional adults will be charged an extra $100.)
  • If possible, the number of female students, male students, female chaperones, male chaperones, and/or couple chaperones. This is helpful to us when placing you in our housing.
  • Any special needs your group may have.

Conference Rates

The PER PERSON rates are as follows:

  • Comprehensive rate: $203* – includes room, meals (Monday supper to Thursday Breakfast), conference fee, and $3 community services fee. Rates will increase to $213* after November 1st (if housing is still available at that time). The comprehensive rate is available to all college students and the first two adults in your group.  Additional adults will be charged $303* per person. Montreat Conference Center housing is assigned with full-occupancy in mind. To maximize our capacity, all rooms that can be tripled will be tripled using an Aerobed, a bed-height deluxe air mattress. 
  • Commuter rate: $140* – includes conference fee plus $3 community services fee. Rates will increase to $150* after November 1st, and to $160* after December 1st. Housing and meals are not included. 

*$50 of this per person fee is a non-refundable deposit.

Register Online for the Conference Now!

If you are a leader registering a group…

  1. Register online using the Group Registration Form. Please note: Conference housing is now FULL for groups! Registration is still available for commuters.
  2. At a later date, you will receive a confirmation email with login and password for use on MyMontreat.org to enter your students’ information. Students do not need to fill out an individual registration form. Have your students (and adults) complete the covenant & medical form and return them to you. Gather them up and bring with you to Montreat on January 2.

If you are a student registering on your own…

Please note: We only have one space left in conference housing for a female participant!

  1. Register online using the Individual Registration Form
  2. Complete the covenant & medical form and bring it with you to Montreat on January 2. That’s it!

If you are a student coming with a group…

Your group’s leader will register you, so you don’t have to worry about that. However, do be sure to download the covenant & medical form, type in your info, save it, and email it to your group leader. Or you may print it, fill it out, and give it to your group leader prior to check-in on January 2.

Need to Make Changes?

If your group is already registered and you need to make changes, please download the Additions/Cancellations Form, fill it out and return it to us!

Refund Policy

Before December 1, 2016, your fee(s) will be refunded less the $50 per person non-refundable deposit. After December 1, 2016 no refunds will be issued.

Contact the Registrar

Questions about registration? Please contact the registrar, Hope Barker, at hopeb@montreat.org.

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference CenterValarie Kaur (keynote leader) is an American interfaith leader. As a lawyer, filmmaker, and Sikh activist, she helps communities channel their stories into movements for social change. She has made award-winning films and led multimedia campaigns on a wide range of issues: hate crimes against Sikh and Muslim Americans, racial profiling, gun violence, marriage equality, immigration detention, and solitary confinement.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Dr. Betty Deas Clark (keynote leader) is a pastor, author, global strategist, advocate, and philanthropist. In 2016, Dr. Clark was appointed the first female pastor in the 198 year history of Mother Emanuel AME Church, a historic institution steeped rich in tradition located in Charleston, SC. Following the tragic events surrounding June 17, 2015, Dr. Clark has been hailed as “America’s Pastor.” As a global strategist, Dr. Clark advises leaders in the public, private, and faith sectors on leadership development, poverty, health, education, and faith in today’s culture. She is often sought after by media as a resource on various religious issues. She was nominated and selected to attend the inaugural United State of Women Summit hosted by the White House for her contributions to make the world a more gender equitable place. In addition, she served on the Democratic National Committee Faith Council during the historic 2016 Democratic National Convention. Dr. Clark is a native of Awendaw, SC. She earned a BA from Limestone College and made history by becoming the first to graduate with a MDiv from the Charleston Extension Program of Erskine Seminary where she later earned a DMin with a concentration in personal and family spiritual renewal. Dr. Clark currently serves as the pastor of Bethel AME Church in Georgetown, SC.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Paul Roberts Sr. (preacher) is president of Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA, a position he has held since the spring of 2010. Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary is one of ten theological schools of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and the only one that is historically African American. Prior to his career in ministry, Paul worked for eight years in advertising in New York City. Paul is a contributing writer to Pastoral Care: A Case Study Approach ( Orbis Books,1998), and to Feasting on the Gospels (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2013).

Montreat Conference CenterSam Burchfield (music leader) grew up in Seneca, SC, where he attended Fort Hill Presbyterian Church. He participated in Montreat Youth Conferences each year of high school and then worked on Montreat summer staff during college as the ʺMusic Manʺ for Clubs. He graduated from the University of Georgia with a BA in public relations and music business and moved to Atlanta in 2014, where he is pursuing his career as a performing artist, songwriter, and full-time musician. Sam has written, recorded, and co-produced two independent records, and tours heavily up and down the east coast. His favorite pastimes include building Legos, playing basketball, eating Mexican food, and hiking around Montreat. Legend has it that he currently holds the world record for rock-hopping.

Montreat Conference CenterZach Wells (music leader) is a musician and songwriter based out of Dallas, TX, where he is an associate director of music at Preston Hollow Presbyterian Church. Between his years at Presbyterian College, Zach spent his summers working on summer staff at Montreat Conference Center. In his free time, you can find Zach writing at the piano, traveling to new places, or searching for the best pizza in town.

Montreat Conference CenterThe Rev. Andrew Wilkes (critical conversation leader) is an ordained minister, democratic socialist, writer, and the Principal of Wilkes Advocacy Group. A native of Atlanta, GA, Andrew is a proud graduate of Hampton University and Princeton Theological Seminary. He currently serves as an Associate Pastor at the Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York, NY. He is a writer for The Guardian, The Huffington Post, Mic.com, Democratic Socialists of America, and more. Andrew resides in Harlem, NY with his wife, Gabby Cudjoe-Wilkes. Follow him on Twitter @AndrewJWilkes.

Montreat Conference CenterJessica Vazquez Torres (critical conversation leader) is a proven leader with 15 years experience in anti-racism, anti-oppression, and cultural competency workshop development and facilitation. She is active in peace and justice concerns, including worker justice, immigration reform and anti-racism. Jessica is deeply committed to addressing social structures and cultural dynamics that marginalize and minoritize communities and limit their access to resources. Jessica, a 1.5-Generation ESL Queer Latina of Puerto Rican descent, holds a Bachelors degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Central Florida, a Master of Divinity from Christian Theological Seminary, and a Master of Theological Studies from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. 

Montreat Conference CenterDavid LaMotte (critical conversation leader) is an award-winning songwriter, speaker, author, and activist. He has produced 11 CDs and performed 2500 concerts on 5 continents. He has published two illustrated children’s books, S.S. Bathtub, a rhyming book for small children based on his award-winning song of the same name, and White Flour, a whimsical introduction to nonviolence, based on true events. David’s most recent projects include his 2014 book Worldchanging 101: Challenging the Myth of Powerlessness (already in its 2nd printing), and PickOne.org, a web site that nourishes positive change by inspiring and empowering people to take action on issues they care about.

Beyond Babel Gig Poster [click here]

Private Housing

Additional housing is available in private rentals:

Meals for Commuters

Please check out the Black Mountain Chamber of Commerce as well as our Business Patrons web page for a list of restaurants in Black Mountain.

Conference Scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are available. Please contact Hope Barker at hopeb@montreat.org for an application.

Conference Exhibitors

All exhibitor slots are filled at this time.