Preaching the Word

2022 Pastors Conference - Preaching the Word
Presented by CCU's Thriving Church Initiative

Friday, April 1, 2022

Come spend a day reinvigorating your love of expository teaching. The Thriving Church Initiative of Colorado Christian University is offering a free, one-day conference to refresh and equip ministry leaders in the delivery of expository sermons and messages. This conference is for pastors, ministry leaders, and others who want to learn more about expository teaching. The conference will be Friday, April 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. MDT, and a free lunch will be provided for all attendees. Registration is required.

This year's speakers bring decades of preaching experience, years of academic training, and a deep trust in the Word of God. During the morning sessions, Dr. Donald W. Sweeting, CCU president, will open with the critical need for expository preaching in healthy churches. Dr. Jerry Nelson will draw from 40 years of ministry to provide insights and encouragement on the practical fears, problems, and joys associated with faithful biblical preaching. Dr. Michael Morgan of William Tennent School of Theology will finish the morning by providing two lessons on the nuts and bolts of preparing expository sermons.

The afternoon sessions will feature Canadian pastor Dr. Mark Francois on the priority and challenges of preaching Jesus Christ from Old Testament passages, and award-winning author and evangelist Lee Strobel will provide help for evangelistic preaching in skeptical times. At the close of the conference, a panel discussion with speakers will provide an opportunity to ask questions. Don’t miss out! Register yourself and pastoral team today.

2022 CONFERENCE SCHEDULE2022 Conference Videos


Dr. Donald W. Sweeting

Dr. Sweeting portrait photo

Dr. Donald W. Sweeting has served as president of Colorado Christian University since 2016, and he was president of the Reformed Theological Seminary from 2010-2016. As an ordained minister in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC), Sweeting served as senior pastor of Cherry Creek Presbyterian Church in Greenwood Village (a Denver suburb) for 12 years and for 11 years as the founding pastor of Chain of Lakes Community Bible Church in northern Illinois. Sweeting also served as an assistant to Chuck Colson and Prison Fellowship in Washington, D.C.

Sweeting studied theology at Moody Bible Institute, earned a B.A. degree in history from Lawrence University, graduated with B.A. and M.A. degrees from Oxford University in England, and earned his Ph.D. in historical theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Today he serves on the board of the National Evangelical Association (NAE). Sweeting and his wife, Christina, have three sons and a daughter.

Dr. Jerry Nelson

Dr. Jerry Nelson

Dr. Jerry Nelson served for 31 years as the Senior Pastor (now emeritus) of the Southern Gables Evangelical Free Church (now Southwest Community Church) and was previously an associate pastor for 12 years in Minnesota and Illinois. He was ordained by the EFCA in 1972. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of Colorado Christian University. Now retired, he is involved in mentoring younger pastors, teaching grandchildren in homeschool, and more housekeeping than ever before.

Nelson earned his D.Min. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, a M.A. in leadership at Denver Seminary, and holds B.A. degrees from both the University of Minnesota and Moody Bible Institute. He and his wife, Barbara, have been married for 57 years and have four children and nine grandchildren.

Dr. Michael Morgan

Dr. Michael Morgan

Dr. Michael Morgan has worked in inner-city, prison, and urban church-planting ministries for the past twenty-two years, including fourteen years as a pastor at Calvary Wellspring. Morgan currently teaches historical theology and serves as the Academic Dean at William Tennent School of Theology. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Calvary Family of Churches and the author of  John Newton: Catalyst for Compassion.

Morgan earned a B.A. degree in humanities from the University of Kansas, a M.Div. from Gateway Seminary, a D.Min. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and is currently completing a Ph.D. on the clergy networks of William Wilberforce at the University of Leicester in the UK. He and his wife, Kate, have three amazing teenagers.

Dr. Mark Francois

Dr. Mark Francois

Dr. Mark Francois has served for more than a decade as the pastor of Calvary Gospel Church in Ontario, which is part of the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada. An expert in Semitic languages, he is also producing a comprehensive grammar of classical Syriac along with teaching videos on Old Testament textual criticism, which are available free online.

Francois earned a B.T.S. and M.Div. at Toronto Baptist Seminary, a M.T.S. from Wycliffe College, and a Ph.D. in theology (Old Testament) from St. Michael’s College at the University of Toronto. He has taught Hebrew and other courses at Toronto Baptist Seminary and Tyndale Seminary. Francois and his wife, Alecia, have two active children.

Lee Strobel

Dr. Sweeting portrait photo

Atheist-turned-Christian Lee Strobel, the former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, is a New York Times best-selling author of more than 40 books and curricula that have sold 14 million copies. Strobel was educated at the University of Missouri (B.A. in journalism) and Yale Law School (Master of Studies in Law).

After probing the evidence for Jesus for nearly two years, Strobel became a Christian in 1981. He subsequently became a teaching pastor at three of America's largest churches and hosted the national network TV program "Faith Under Fire." In 2017, Strobel's spiritual journey was depicted in an award-winning motion picture, "The Case for Christ," which showed in theaters across America and around the world and is still on Netflix.

He and co-author Mark Mittelberg recently created the Making YOUR Case for Christ video-driven small-group curriculum, which trains Christians how to share and defend their faith. Currently, he is founding director of the Lee Strobel Center for Evangelism and Applied Apologetics at Colorado Christian University. Strobel and his wife, Leslie, have been married for 47 years and have two children.

For questions, please email the Thriving Church Initiative at