Breakout Sessions

NEW! This year...
When you register for the Summer Institute you will get an
email from to sign up for 6 Breakout Sessions.
Breakout Session Registration Deadline - Noon, July 1st

Bear One Another's Burdens: A Study in Galatians 6
Scott Risley: Xenos Pastor

God calls us to bear one another's burdens but what does that mean? How can we bear one another's burdens, teach people to carry their own load and to carry the burdens of others too? What is the difference between codependency and taking responsibility for one another? We will explore these topics and more as we study Galatians.

Covenantal Love and the Jewish People
Eric Chabot: Director of Ratio Christi Student Apologetics Alliance at The Ohio State University and CJF Ministries Midwest Representative

The Shema is one of only two prayers commanded in Torah. The first part of the Shema begins with one of the best-known, most fundamental expressions of Jewish belief and the one from which this prayer gets its name: Shema Yisra'el (Hear, Israel). Jesus also taught the Shema in His own ministry. We will look at the Shema and how Christians can apply this profound truth to their love for Israel and the Jewish people. 


Developing Compassionate Communities
Amy Moreno: Counselor and Clinical Director at WellSpring

God is compassionate toward us and strongly desires that His people be compassionate and humble toward one another.  Too often though, suffering members of the body of Christ experience the least compassion when they need it the most. This workshop will identify pitfalls we can slip into when trying to love others and share practical ways to build compassionate and humble communities.

Handout | Slides

Encouragement: Words that Motivate
Patrice McCormac: Xenos Class Instructor

We have all experienced words spoken by a friend that God used as motivation to keep us pressing on.  However, we have had similar words spoken in a different situation with little or no impact.  Why do some words have such impact and others fall short?  We will consider why the Bible repeatedly tells us to encourage one another and what is key in communicating encouraging words. 


Evangelism:  Heart Issues & Practices
Phil Franck: Xenos Support Services Director | Sherri Fojas:  Xenos Staff

Come hear the creative ways individuals and groups at Xenos reach people for Christ.  These tools are not magical solutions, but practices rooted in key biblical attitudes.  Topics include courage, love, prayer and practical suggestions.

Exploring Eternity:  A Three-part Workshop
James Rochford: Xenos Pastor

Part 1 - Exploring Eternity: What will Heaven be like? Will we float on the clouds, strumming harps for all eternity? In this workshop, we will explore the common questions and objections to the biblical view of Heaven.

Part 2 - The Afterlife in World Religions: Have you ever wondered how major world religions think of the afterlife? In this workshop, we will explore the basic tenets of the major world religions and compare them to the biblical picture of Heaven.

Part 3 - Minds Fixed on Eternity: We often hear the expression, "you only live once." But the Bible tells us we live forever. In this workshop, we will consider how the eternal perspective changes our hearts and minds in radical ways.

Fighting For Friendship: Practical Wisdom for Building and Maintaining Friendships
Conrad Hilario: Xenos Pastor

Over the last few decades Americans have grown more isolated. Nearly 50% of Americans report discussing important matters with either no one or just one person.  Our inner circle of friends continues to shrink yet, we yearn for deep friendships. Join us as we examine both the biblical basis and practical tips for building spiritual friendships.

Forgiveness: God's Key to Unlocking Love
John Cleary: Xenos Class Instructor

Most of us know that we have been forgiven much by Christ but can have a difficult time in extending that type of forgiveness to others.  This workshop will consider some of the challenges we all face in forgiving one another and focus on keys to unlocking this area of our lives.

A Fresh Way of Appropriating the Bible's Truths
Ryan Weingartner: Xenos Schools, Jr. High Bible Instructor

Spiritual growth comes through acting on truths of the Bible. However, have you ever considered which truths apply best to specific situations? Should we differentiate these truths? This workshop will teach you how to identify types of God's promises and get the most out of them, whether in prayer, counsel, or personal application.

Handout | Slides

God's Truth about the World's Oldest Oppression
Judge Paul M. Herbert: Franklin County Municipal Court

Judge Herbert will describe his amazing journey in discovering the hidden truth behind prostitution that resulted in the creation of a restorative justice program, CATCH Court.  CATCH has gained a broad reputation by changing the way prostituted women are treated.  He will explain the differences and similarities between prostitution and human trafficking, how to recognize the signs, and how to have God's heart and response to this complex issue. 


How to Keep Loving in Difficult Relationships
Bev DeLashmutt: Xenos Biblical Counselor

Christ's love bears, believes, hopes and endures all things. This seems impossible in difficult relationships and we are tempted to give up rather than keep loving. Bev will give biblical and personal insight into how God enables us to love in this way.

Humility and Love
Lee Campbell: Xenos Biblical Counselor and Class Instructor

There is a relationship between having a proper view of our self and our capacity to love. This has been well described in scripture but more recently by psychological studies. Let's take a look at this relationship and at how to cooperate with God's interest in our humility.

Handout | Slides

James 4:  A Self-Diagnostic Tool in Conflicts
Cathy Treyens: Xenos Class Instructor

Do you know why you have conflicts with other people? What is happening in your inner life during a conflict and can others be to blame?  James 4 is a helpful examination tool in identifying our source of conflict and helping restore us to Christ-like love for others. 


Leading Dynamic Discussion
John Ross: Xenos Staff

A practical look at some crucial dos and don'ts of exploring God's truth through small-group interaction.

Handout | Slides

The Life of Watchman Nee
Mike Sullivan: Xenos Class Instructor

In 1920, Watchman Nee became a Christian in mainland China at the age of seventeen. Soon he began leading prayer meetings, teaching the Bible, and organizing churches. In 1952 he was detained by the Chinese government and remained in prison until his death in 1972. We have much to learn today from Nee’s passion to build local churches around New Testament principles, his description of life in the Spirit and his drive to equip every member for ministry. 

Love Can be Polarizing
Chris Risley: Xenos Home Group Leader

Jesus held a high bar for His followers while still being patient with their weaknesses. Christian workers also need to balance patience with Jesus' high call to discipleship. This workshop will explore a bold love that helps motivate believers who seem to be stuck.

Love Jesus but not the Church? - Why Loving the Church is Difficult Yet Important
Brandon Grant: Youth Ministry Director, Urban Concern

How can we love the church more like Jesus did? In this workshop we will discuss curbing our expectations on what we think the church should be, how to deal with conflict within the church and what to do if you feel burned by leadership. 

Handout | Slides

Love Therapy: A Little Known Approach to Counseling
Dennis McCallum:  Xenos Lead Pastor

Dr. Ralph Ankenman, a former missionary and later psychiatrist, developed the Love Therapy approach to counseling in the early 1970's. He also taught the theory and method at Xenos. As a result Xenos leaders have incorporated this approach in their leadership training with excellent results. In this workshop, Dennis explains the general theory and some of the methods involved in this highly effective way to address people's relational deficiencies. 


Love: Labor, Joy and Glory
Lindsey Tobin: Xenos Home Group Leader

Sometimes love seems more like work than joy and glory. How was Paul able to maintain such a strong vision for people and churches? As we look through God’s eternal view of people, our excitement to labor in love will be ignited.


Loving Individuals with Disabilities
Danielle Shaffer, Carol Tufano: Xenos Access Ministry Leaders

Christians are called to love but can be fearful of unfamiliar situations.  We often look the other way  when we encounter people with disabilities.  People with disabilities and their families make up a large number of unreached people. This workshop will help equip you to overcome fears and welcome people with disabilities into your Christian community.


A Loving Life
Jon Hori: seeJesus Director, West Coast & East Asia

Most of us want to be more loving; but have you found the harder you try the harder it seems to get? Why is love so hard? How can we grow in love for others especially with those who are the most challenging? We will explore these questions and more in our time together. This seminar is based on the book, “A Loving Life” by Paul Miller, Executive Director of seeJesus.  

Loving Muslims in an Age of Terrorism: A Three-Part Workshop
Fouad Masri: President Crescent Project

Part 1 - Violence and Hope in the Middle East: ISIS, Islam and Jesus: Who are the Jihadists and why do we need to know about militant Islam? What does Islam say about the violence in the Middle East? Despite the crushing realities happening in this part of the world, God is working. Find out what Jesus is doing among Muslims and discover your role in sharing the story of hope to Muslims.

Part 2 - The Quran, Islam and the Gospel: Learn about the Quran, the Holy Book of Islam and its relationship to Muslims. Learn how you can tell the story of Jesus in an effective way.

Part 3 - Speaking Like Jesus: Sharing Your Faith with Muslims: Communication between Christians and Muslims tends to hit a dead end. Learn from our Savior’s example about how to tell the story of salvation to Muslims.

Loving Our Cities
Jason Wing: Teaching Pastor, Apex Community Church

People often leave their cities to pursue a better life but God has a great purpose for our cities and the people in them. In this session we will learn to see our cities through the eyes of God.  If you find yourself thinking, "my life would be better if I could leave my city" or "how I can help my church catch a vision for our city?" then this session is for you!

Handout | Slides

Loving Real People: Lessons from 1 & 2 Corinthians
Kelsey Shannan: Xenos Student Ministries Staff

One of the biggest challenges we face in Christian ministry is simply that we are working with real people, and real people have real problems. In 1 & 2 Corinthians we see how Paul interacted with a church that had many problems. We'll consider a number of important keys from Paul as we wade into peoples' lives and attempt to present them mature in Christ.


The “Me” Syndrome
Clive Calver: Senior Pastor, Walnut Hill Community Church

Throughout the story of the church there have often emerged groups of “radical” Christians. Sadly, these have often been more radical in words than deeds. Today’s cry for a radical group of believers must return to a passion for Jesus, which changes not just our vocabulary, culture, or thought forms, but also results in lifestyles that clearly differentiate us from everyone else. Such people are called "disciples" and will no longer live “me” first.

Ministry Houses:  Building Loving Communities
Kate Mizelle: Xenos Home Group Leader

Men's and Women's ministry houses help single, committed Christians learn how to live and love sacrificially. Whether you're interested in learning more about how to start a ministry house or looking for ways to improve the leadership of one, this workshop will provide helpful principles for a spiritually vibrant and unified community!

Motivating Disciples to Become Faithful Evangelists
Catrina Feeney: Xenos Home Church Leader | Doug Patch: Xenos Pastor

Personal discipleship is the engine that drives evangelism and sanctification, but how do we disciple younger Christians to become faithful evangelists motivated and empowered by God's grace? This workshop will combine practical principles and methods with the spiritual dynamics of grace that should motivate all Christians to be faithful evangelists.

Handout | Spiritual Crush Handout

Overloaded: Prioritizing Love in a Fast-Paced Culture
Brian Adams: Xenos Student Ministries Staff

Everyone's life is busy. Feeling overloaded with so many responsibilities often short-circuits our ability to live out the greatest commandment Jesus gave us - to love Him and people. This workshop will teach you how to balance loving others with your busy lifestyle. 

The Paradox of Love in Justice
Pat Reeder: Xenos Equipping Director

How could God be loving if he sends people to Hell?  This question of how God can be both just and loving is vexing.  In this workshop we will explore the Bible’s teaching on justice and how love fits into it.


Patience: A Two-Part Workshop
Ajith Fernando: Teaching Director, Youth for Christ, Sri Lanka

Part 1 - Patience with Weakness: One of the counter-cultural features of Christianity today is that biblical Christians are committed to people even when it is inconvenient. This seminar explores how Christians have patience with the weaknesses of the people we live and work with, and how this lifestyle of commitment is a way to personal security.

Part 2 - Patience with Sin: People are often deprived of joy by the memory of past hurts. It seems to be so unfair to ask wounded people to forgive and forget. This seminar explores how to achive justice and liberation by following the Christian ethic of love.

Portraits of Love: Scriptural Stories of Hospitality
Rich Mendola: Executive Director, International Friendships Inc.

Hospitality and love are linked in the Bible.  To show love to strangers is a mark of a follower of Jesus. What is a good plan for hospitality? In this session we will look at 4 classic Bible stories and learn how we can excel at love and why much of God's power is released through hospitality.  

Handout | Slides

Praying for Stuck Christians
Gary DeLashmutt: Xenos Lead Pastor

Many of us have believing friends, family and home group members who are spiritually stuck in sin, unbelief, doubt, discouragement, etc.  What does the Bible say about praying effectually for such people and what practical steps can we take to help?

The Role of God's Sovereignty in Loving Others
Liz Sweet: Xenos Home Group Leader

As we try to love people we can find ourselves struggling with fear, a desire to control and at times hopelessness. These feelings impact our relationships. As we learn to think rightly about God, He enables us to move toward confronting our fear, releasing our control and experiencing the hope that comes from trusting Him. This workshop will focus specifically on how understanding God's power and sovereignty enables us to love more effectively. 

Outline | Verse Handout

Sharing Jesus with Hindus
Danny and Cheryl Walker:  Xenos Staff

India is the second most populated country of the world and immigration to USA is increasing at a faster rate than any other nation! In this simple practical workshop you will learn how to engage Hindus in your neighborhood, workplace, and school. You will learn what pitfalls to avoid and most importantly you will learn everyday ways to share Jesus and the Gospel message.


Speaking the Truth in Love
Ben Foust: Xenos Class Instructor

Paul tells us that when we speak the truth in love to one another, the Body of Christ will be built up. This is a lot harder in practice than it sounds, especially in a culture that increasingly values love without truth, and truth without love. This workshop will explore the biblical principle of bringing God's truth to bear for good in one another's lives and provide some practical ideas for speaking the truth in love among our friends, families and fellow Christians.

Handout | Slides

The 6:8 Assignment
Derek Sanford:  Lead Pastor, Grace Church McKean, PA

Micah 6:8 is one of the most recognized passages in the whole Bible. It’s been called the Great Commission of the Old Testament. It’s a simple and straightforward statement that answers the question, “What is our responsibility in the world?” In this session we will explore what it means to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God in today’s culture. Maybe God will challenge you to notice the invisible people around you? Maybe God wants you to respond to a social cause? Maybe God has a 6:8 assignment for you to consider?

Three Directions of God’s Love: Up, In and Out
Dr. Rod Dempsey: Director, Liberty University School of Divinity

Three Directions of God's love:  Loving God, loving one another, and loving our neighbors is loosely based on Jacob Spenner’s work.  It also draws on John Wesley’s contribution to discipleship and accountability circles and Neil Cole’s work on Life Transformation Groups.

Handout | Slides

What Makes a Man?
Joey Francisco: Xenos Home Group Leader

It’s clear that masculinity has been discolored by a variety of issues.  Is there more to being a man than our culture’s current portrait?  Does the Bible have anything to say on this topic?  In this workshop we will look at the problems facing men today and uncover how close love relationships can transform men into influential leaders for Christ. 

Who is Like Yahweh?: The Old Testament God and the New Testament Faith
Jim Leffel: Xenos Pastor

The purpose of this workshop is to explore the Old Testament's central affirmation of who God is and how it relates to all that God does.  We will trace the hesed theme (loving-kindness of the Lord) through the Old Testament and how it is fulfilled in Jesus Christ.  Participants will gain a deeper appreciation of the continuity between Old and New Testaments, and fuller understanding of Old Testament theology.