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Montreat Conference Center


Your Calling; Our Commitment

April 18 - 21, 2016

Trent@Montreat is an event about practical ministry. It is perfect for pastors in their first five years of ministry, those looking to improve in particular areas of their ministry, or those who are just wanting to pick up some new skills. Come to be inspired and learn helpful ways to deal with some of the most challenging aspects of any ministry. Each participant will pick one track that will have a particular focus and leave with a network of support, resources, and ideas in that area of interest.

Trent Website Graphic

To see a list of tracks available, please click on the WORKSHOPS tab above.

Offered by Union Presbyterian Seminary, Montreat Conference Center, NEXT ChurchMacedonian Ministry, and the Trent Fund of Second Presbyterian Church of Roanoke, VA

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Comprehensive Rates

Comprehensive rates below include conference fee, room in Assembly Inn, meals in the Galax Dining Room (Monday supper through Thursday breakfast), plus a $3 community services fee.* Rooms are assigned on a first come, first served basis.

  • Double Occupancy, Private Bath: $317.00 per person
  • Single Occupancy, Private Bath: $450.50 per person
  • Double Occupancy, Connecting Bath: $287.00 per person
  • Single Occupancy, Connecting Bath: $390.50 per person

Commuter Rate

  • $103 per person (includes $3 community services fee*)

Optional meal packages for the Galax Dining Room may be requested when you register online. (These additional charges will be added separately by the registrar.)

  • $80.50 per person for Monday supper thru Thursday breakfast
  • $19.00 per person for lunches only on Tuesday & Wednesday

Refund Policy

Cancellations must be received by March 7, 2016 in order to receive a full refund less a $25 service charge. Cancellations received after March 7, 2016 but on or before April 11, 2016 will receive a 50% refund of the conference fee and payments made toward room and meal charges (if applicable) less $40. No refunds will be issued after April 11, 2016. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax, or U.S. mail.

Contact the Registrar

If you have any questions about the registration process, please email the registrar at SusanA@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

*Community services fee of $1 per night per adult is charged for public services provided by the Town and the fire district.

Key Leadership

Montreat Conference CenterDecaffeinated Christianity: Exegeting Your Community
The Rev. Dr. Thomas K. Tewell
has been an ordained Presbyterian minister for over 35 years and has served congregations in Bethlehem, PA and New Providence, NJ, as well as Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston, TX and Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City. Each of the congregations Tom has served has experienced significant numerical, spiritual and financial growth and has become deeply involved in ministry to the local community. Currently, Tom is the Founder and Executive Director of Macedonian Ministry, a position he has held since 2008. This ministry gives Tom a unique opportunity to serve as a pastor to pastors. His sermons and articles have in published in Christian Century, Christianity Today and numerous clergy journals, as well as in books on preaching. Tom is a graduate of Muskingum University in Ohio, Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey and earned his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Drew Theological School in New Jersey.

Montreat Conference Center

Tradition and Innovation in Worship
Theresa Cho 
grew up in Reno, NV, and graduated from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago with awards in preaching and theology. Before coming to St. John’s in 2003, she completed a full-year chaplain residency program at UCSF Medical Center, where she provided spiritual care to patients, families, and staff. She is active in all levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), including youth conferences, women leadership conferences, peacemaking conferences, General Assembly committees, and recently served as moderator for the Presbytery of San Francisco. She has published articles and written blogs in Christian Century, Sojourners God’s Politics, Christians for Biblical Equality, ecclesio.com, the Presbyterian Leader, and other blog sites.

Montreat Conference CenterTradition and Innovation in Worship
Eric Wall 
is the Conference Center Musician at Montreat and Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church, Asheville, NC. Eric serves a congregation committed to a hospitality of worship and music and has worked with many gatherings at Montreat in singing a depth and breadth of congregational song.


Montreat Conference CenterStewardship as a Spiritual Practice and Recovering Boldness in Talking to Church Folks about Money
Ed McLeod 
has been senior pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Raleigh, NC, since August 2004. Prior to his move to Raleigh, he served three churches in South Carolina: Eastminster Presbyterian in Columbia, First Presbyterian in Greer, and First Presbyterian Church in Sumter. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA, and received his doctor of ministry at Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA. He has served on the Board of Trustees at both Union Presbyterian Seminary and William Peace University.

Montreat Conference CenterStewardship as a Spiritual Practice and Recovering Boldness in Talking to Church Folks about Money
Joe Miller
 is well acquainted with the building industry. At the age of 15, he began working summers and holidays on the job sites for his father until his graduation from Virginia Tech. Upon graduation with a BS in Civil Engineering, Joe worked for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a geotechnical design engineer for four years. With the goal of owning his own company, Joe returned to school and received his MBA from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, VA . In 1985, Joe returned to Roanoke and went into business with his father at E.J. Construction Company, Inc. He bought the company in 1987 and has served as president and owner to date. He currently serves as church treasurer at Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA.

Montreat Conference CenterWritten on Our Hearts: Reclaiming the Vitality of Christian Education
Elizabeth Link
is the associate pastor for Christian education at Second Presbyterian, Roanoke, VA. She attended Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC, where she majored in Christian education and in history. Following graduation, she served First Presbyterian Church of Delray Beach, FL, and subsequently recognized the call to ordained ministry. In 2009, Elizabeth earned a Master of Divinity degree from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond. Afterwards, she served as a Lake Fellow in Parish Ministry at Second Presbyterian Church, Indianapolis, IN. She joined the staff of Second Presbyterian at Roanoke in August 2011.

Lori Raible 150x200Written on Our Hearts: Reclaiming the Vitality of Christian Education
Lori Archer Raible
is a pastor at Selwyn Avenue Presbyterian Church. Focusing a large portion of her ministry in the areas of congregational life and Christian education, Lori often describes herself as a conduit of relationships both within her community and beyond. Lori is a graduate of Wake Forest University, where she ran track and cross-country. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Charlotte in 2006. Lori enjoys running, photography, and writing. She has contributed to the Journal of Preachers, The Presbyterian Outlook, and a few of her favorite blogs. Lori serves on the UPSEM dean’s advisory board and is passionately involved in the leadership of NEXT Church. Lori has also led several church retreats and conferences, and has enjoyed collaborating in the planning of Trent@Montreat.

Montreat Conference CenterStaff as a Gift Instead of a Headache
Millie Snyder
earned a bachelor of arts degree with honors in psychology from Davidson College; a master of divinity with a concentration in preaching from Princeton Theological Seminary; and a doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. She has served congregations in Rochester Hills, Michigan and in Matthews, NC. Millie was called to Myers Park Presbyterian Church in August of 2004. She serves as executive pastor there and is responsible for overall coordination and implementation of the church’s ministries.

Montreat Conference CenterCaring Deeply Without Going Under
Pete Peery and Margaret Barnes Peery
met in Greek School, at what then was Union Theological Seminary in Virginia. After their first year in seminary, they married, and have served the Presbyterian Church for more than forty years. Margaret, from Charlotte, NC, and educated at Queens College and then Union Seminary, served in parish ministry focused in pastoral care. She later specialized her ministry in pastoral counseling which she practiced for twenty eight years. Margaret also served on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches for seven years. She was vice moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1993-94. Pete, from Tazewell, VA, was educated at St. Andrews Presbyterian College and then Union Seminary. He served in parish ministry for thirty years, fourteen as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Asheville. For six years, he served as president of Montreat Conference Center. Margaret and Pete also served two years as peace associates in Europe for the Presbyterian Church. In that role they lived in London. Pete begins as interim pastor at Myers Park Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC on May 1, 2015.

Montreat Conference Center

Leadership in Times of Conflict
Ernie Thompson
currently serves as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, NC. He has served churches of various sizes in Moblie AL, Colonial Heights VA, Charlotte NC, and Lancaster SC. Ernie is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, Union Presbyterian Seminary, and Columbia Theological Seminary.


Montreat Conference CenterThe Relentless Return of Sunday: Good Preaching through the Year
The Reverend Dr. Agnes W. Norfleet
is pastor of Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church in Bryn Mawr, PA, since January, 2013, having previously served as pastor of Shandon Presbyterian Church, Columbia, SC, North Decatur Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA, and as associate pastor at Central Presbyterian in Atlanta. She is a graduate of Davidson College, and Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, VA, where she was awarded a W.T. Thompson scholarship for promise of excellence in ministry. She received her doctor of ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary. Agnes has sermons and articles published in The Abingdon Women’s Preaching Annual, The Presbyterian Outlook, Interpretation: A Journal for Bible and Theology, Lectionary Homiletics, and is a regular contributor and associate editor of Journal for Preachers. Currently a Trustee of Union Presbyterian Seminary, Agnes has also served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a Director of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation Board, Moderator of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, and as guest preacher for many special occasions and conferences.

Montreat Conference CenterDr. William “Bill” Lee received his BS in special education from Virginia State University with honors (cum laude) in 1974, his MDiv from the Divinity School at Duke University in 1978, and his DMin from Ashland Theological Seminary in June 2009. Lee serves a member of the Board of Trustees of Lexington Theological Seminary and Duke Divinity School’s Board of Visitors. He has served with great pride and joy as the pastor for over 34 years of one of the cutting edge churches in America, the Loudon Avenue Christian Church.

Conference Directors

George Anderson 300x400

George Anderson, pastor and head of staff, Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA

Montreat Conference Center

Elizabeth Link, associate pastor, Second Presbyterian Church, Roanoke, VA

Montreat Conference Center

Ken McFayden, dean of the Leadership Institute and professor of ministry and leadership development, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA


Track Descriptions

You may attend one track during the conference.  Each track is limited to 15 participants and is assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. When you register, you must provide your first, second, and third choice.

Decaffeinated Christianity: Exegeting Your Community Every person wants to be involved in a mission greater than themselves. The challenge for the Christian church in this time in history is to find creative ways to empower lay people for their ministries in society and to mobilize congregations to “take on trouble” in their local communities. This track will help the participants to “ exegete their local community” so their congregation can respond to the radical call of the Gospel that gives meaning and purpose to our lives!  —Tom Tewell

Tradition and Innovation in Worship
As demographics change, churches need to change the ways they worship. Discover how your church can successfully experiment with worship, balancing tradition and innovation.Theresa Cho & Eric Wall

Stewardship as a Spiritual Practice and Recovering Boldness in Talking to Church Folks about Money In this track, we will think together about Stewardship as a sign of congregational health and vitality.  We will work at broadening our congregations’ understandings of Stewardship as a spiritual discipline, and think about how our approaches to Stewardship need to adapt to a changing culture.  A pastor and a veteran church treasurer will want to hear about your own successes and struggles in this area, and we’ll work toward developing confidence in this vital dimension of pastoral ministry. Ed McLeod & Joe Miller

Written on Our Hearts: Reclaiming the Vitality of Christian Education 
How does your church tell God’s story? How do you as a leader create pathways for your community to live that story in practice? Our Reformed tradition is known for its depth of theology and learning. Yet today our lives do not always align with traditional models of Christian Education. It was John Calvin who said faith is “revealed to our minds and sealed upon our hearts.” Come prepared to create blueprints and build an intentional program of Christian Education for your particular context. Equip and engage members of your church with the passion and joy of “faith seeking understanding,” that is integrated into the unique life of your church.  Elizabeth Link & Lori Raible

Staff as a Gift Instead of a Headache Few seminaries dig deeply into leadership skills, yet it is these skills that can make or break a pastor and a congregation. In this track, two experienced leaders will walk you through pragmatic leaderships skills in dealing with church staff. The relationships with staff (such as musicians, administrative assistants, youth workers and educators) are crucial for your success in ministry and for the health of your congregation. In this track, you will learn skills that can be used on day one when you get back to your church.  —Millie Snyder

Caring Deeply Without Going Under Help! The needs of others are so great. So, how can I dive deeply into pastoral care with parishioners and not drown while in the midst of it? The day to day duties and demands of ministry can be all-consuming. Add to that the ministry of pastoral care, and sometimes it is hard to keep from being swallowed up by it all. In this track we will explore pastoral care for those nearing death and the topic of pastoral care in crisis and conflict situations. We will also address premarital counseling, a specific arena of pastoral care. Join us for “Caring Deeply Without Going Under” and discern ways you can care for yourself and the relationships closest to you while also caring for the congregation you serve. Margaret & Pete Peery

Leadership in Times of Conflict In Acts 15 we’re told that Paul and Barnabas got into an argument with certain individuals, and that “there was no small dissension and debate.” The first church council was called to sort it all out. And so it goes in the church. The question is not whether there will be conflict, but rather how we handle it when it comes. Ernie learned about conflict the hard way, by living through it, but also discovered how conflict can lead to growth and even grace. We’ll look at how good leadership can make a difference, and discuss concrete strategies for when conflict comes.Ernie Thompson

The Relentless Return of Sunday: Good Preaching through the Year 
Living into the joyous call to preach is a weekly discipline and a long term adventure. What practices help us proclaim a fresh Word as the year unfolds? We’ll talk about imaginative Bible study, good conversation partners, lectionary helps and pitfalls, ideas for series, the rhythms of pastoral and prophetic preaching, and whatever else participants might bring to the shared joy of proclamation.  —Agnes Norfleet

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