CONFERENCE OVERVIEW

Mission

Standing for the Church with Boldness, Zeal, and Love

In a time where the Truth of the Catholic Church is under relentless and sinister attack by a culture of relativism, atheism, hedonism, and secularism, men and women of faith need to join together, rise up, and defend the Beauty of Mother Church.

In a time when the faith and love of many of our fellow Catholics have grown cold, the Church needs modern missionaries committed to rebuilding the faith through knowledge and holy witness.

This is the heart of the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Participants learn more than how to win arguments – they learn to win souls.  They learn not only how to speak the truth, but how to pass on the faith.  They are challenged and empowered to go and take the lead in the New Evangelization with holy boldness, zeal, and love.  If you feel called to transform the Church by bringing the strength to defend the Church and witness to the people in your parish, then you will not want miss this opportunity for training, fellowship, and empowering.


2018 THEME

Running the Race: Passing the Torch

“Let us… persevere in running the race that lies before us.” – Hebrews 12:1

In the journey of our lives, we are always being called to conversion; as long as we have breath in our lungs, God is not done working on our hearts! And although we will face opposition and trials, God is with us to help us remain steadfast and set an example of faith for future generations.

Join us at the Defending the Faith Conference this summer, to be equipped for the race and to learn about how to empower your brothers and sisters in Christ on their own journeys. God has beautiful things in store for you!

REGISTRATION

Registration opens Monday, November 6, 2017!

2018 PRICING

Price per person*: Early Bird $139 (by April 6th); Regular $165 (after April 6th); 18-30yr old/Religious/Deacons: $88; Priest registrations are free in gratitude for their willingness to hear confessions (meals plan and housing charges still apply)
Meal Plan (includes 6 meals): $70
Housing: Shared non-A/C $85; Shared A/C $105; Private non-A/C $120

*For those who need financial assistance for the summer adult conferences, the Christian Outreach Office has a limited number of tickets to offset registration, room and board. Interested parties, please click here.


2018 Ministry Team
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Dr. Scott Hahn, Host, is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles are The Creed, Evangelizing Catholics, Angels and Saints, and Consuming the Word. He holds the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is also the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. Dr. Hahn graduated from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with his master’s in divinity and received his PhD in theology from Marquette University. Dr. Hahn has been married to Kimberly since 1979. They live in Steubenville, Ohio, and have 6 children and 13 grandchildren. He will be presenting at the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat, the Applied Biblical Studies Conference, and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Mark Hart, Co-Host, serves full time as executive vice president of Life Teen. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mark is a best-selling Catholic author and popular speaker. His weekly audio podcast Sunday, Sunday, Sunday (available through iTunes) is heard worldwide, and three DVD study series, Encounter, T3, and Altaration, are currently utilized by middle school and high school youth groups and in parochial classrooms across the country and beyond. Mark and his wife, Melanie, have three daughters, Hope, Faith, and Trinity, and one son, Josiah. They live in Phoenix, Arizona. He will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton, Diocese of Steubenville, was ordained and installed as the bishop of Steubenville on September 10, 2012.  Since his appointment, he has been appointed to the Board of Governors of the Pontifical North American College in Rome, November 2012, and November 2015, as a member of the development committee of the PNAC. Bishop Monforton also serves on the United States Conference of Bishops subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe, also November 2012. He serves on the Board of Regents and the Priestly Formation Board at St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA, as well as Episcopal Moderator to the Diocesan Information Systems Conference (DISC), 2017. Bishop Monforton was awarded on May 10, 2014 with an honorary doctorate in Sacred Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville.  Bishop Monforton is an adjunct faculty member at Franciscan University of Steubenville and is a regular presenter on three different Catholic radio stations heard throughout the Ohio Valley and pens a monthly article started in 2012 entitled, “Ask the Bishop” in the diocesan newspaper, The Steubenville Register.  See link to full biography below!

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Mike Aquilina is the award-winning author of more than forty books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. His works have been translated into many languages. He has hosted nine television series and several documentary films and is a frequent guest on Catholic radio. For years, served as a consultant and collaborator to scholars, artists, and Church leaders, helping them to produce books, speeches, and essays. He and his wife, Terri, have been married since 1986. They have six children, who are the subject of his book Love in the Little Things.

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Leah Darrow travels the country speaking about her experiences, her conversion, and the virtues of modesty and chastity in light of Pope John Paul II’s theology of the body, doing her small part to further the new evangelization. Before her debut on the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model and the subsequent years as a professional model in New York City, Leah earned a BA in psychology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. As a full-time apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers from 2010-2013, Leah brought her experience of both reality TV and the fashion world to the masses. She is currently working toward her MA in theology at the Augustine Institute in Denver, Colorado.

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Dr. Carrie Gress – Biographical information coming soon!

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Kimberly Hahn has been married to Scott since 1979 and became a Catholic during the Easter Vigil of 1990. She has completed a book with Scott on their journey to the Catholic Church, titled Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism. Kimberly’s other books include Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage and the four-book and DVD series on Proverbs 31 that includes Chosen and Cherished, Graced and Gifted, Beloved and Blessed, and Legacy of Love. She holds an MA in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Kimberly and Scott have 6 children and 13 grandchildren. She will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Trent Horn is an apologist and speaker for Catholic Answers, an apostolate that is dedicated to explaining and defending the Catholic faith. He specializes in teaching Catholics how to graciously defend their faith with sound arguments and persuasive communication techniques. Trent earned a graduate degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College. He is a regular guest on the radio program Catholic Answers Live, a lecturer who speaks across the country on issues related to the Catholic faith, and the author of dozens of articles, booklets, and books about apologetics. He currently lives with his wife and son in San Diego.

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Al Krest is a broadcaster, journalist and author who is, first of all, a missionary.  He is President and CEO of Ave Maria Radio and host of “Kresta in the Afternoon.”  He draws upon his unique faith background to create what is, arguably, the most fascinating — and most spiritually constructive — talk radio program on the radio today. He is the author of Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents, Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories From Well-Known CatholicsWhy Are Catholics So Concerned about Sin?: More Answers to Puzzling Questions about the Catholic Church, and Why Do Catholics Genuflect? And Answers to Other Puzzling Questions About the Catholic Faith, published by Servant Books. Al and his wife, Sally, have been married for 30 years and have been blessed with 5 children on earth and two in heaven.  See link to full biography below!

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Patrick Madrid hosts the new Patrick Madrid Show, a three-hour morning show broadcast nationally on Immaculate Heart Radio. He is a frequent guest and occasional guest host on the Catholic Answers Live radio program and has authored or edited 24 books, including the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series. Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years, where he served as vice president. He earned a BA in philosophy and an MA in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical College Josephinum. Formerly an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University, he is now an adjunct professor of theology in the Graduate Theology Program at Holy Apostles College and Seminary in Cromwell, Connecticut. Patrick and his wife, Nancy, have 11 children and 18 grandchildren. They reside in the Diocese of Columbus. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Father David Meconi, SJ, first encountered the Society of Jesus at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He joined the novitiate in 1992 and then taught Greek and Latin at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago (1994-96). From there, Fr. Meconi taught Classics and Philosophy at Xavier University (1996-2000), before being sent to the University of Innsbruck for his pontifical license in Patrology (2000-03), where he was also ordained a deacon. After priestly ordination in 2003, he was sent to Oxford University where he wrote a dissertation on St. Augustine’s theology of divinization under Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M.-Cap. and the Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology and Canon of Christ Church at that time, the Reverend Oliver O’Donovan. In 2007, Fr. Meconi came to Saint Louis University where he has been teaching and writing on issues of the early Church and Catholicism in general ever since. He is also the Director of SLU’s Catholic Studies Centre as well as the editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review.

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Holly Ordway is a Professor of English and Director of the Master of Arts in Apologetics at Houston Baptist University and teaches in the Online MA program, focusing on cultural, imaginative, and literary apologetics. Holly’s research interests are primarily in Inklings studies, where she focuses on the work of C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and J.R.R. Tolkien. She is the Charles Williams Subject Editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies, and is currently working on a book about J.R.R. Tolkien’s modern sources. She has also written a memoir: Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms. 

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Steve Ray – See link to full biography below!

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Bob Rice desires to share the love of God using every talent with which he has been blessed. He is an internationally known speaker, acclaimed musician, inspirational teacher, and innovative writer. Bob teaches at Franciscan University in Steubenville, where he lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their seven children. He will be leading worship at the Power and Purpose Conference; the Priests, Deacons, and Seminarians Retreat; the Applied Biblical Studies Conference; the Defending the Faith Conference; and all Main Campus Youth Conferences. In addition, Bob will be presenting at the St. John Bosco Conference.

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Father Paul Scalia grew up in the Diocese of Arlington and attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. He then studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Since his ordination in 1996 he has served as parochial vicar at several parishes and as pastor of Saint John the Beloved in McLean. He currently serves as the Episcopal Vicar for Clergy.  He has written for various publications and is a frequent speaker on matters of faith and doctrine.  Father Scalia’s first book, That Nothing May Be Lost, was published by Ignatius Press in 2017.


DUPLICATE: 2018 Ministry Team
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Dr. Scott Hahn, Host, is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles are The Creed and Romans: Catholic Commentary on the Sacred Scriptures. He holds the Father Michael Scanlan Chair of Biblical Theology and the New Evangelization at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where he has taught since 1990. He is also the founder and president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. After earning a masters in divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Dr. Hahn received his PhD in theology from Marquette University. He and Kimberly married in 1979. They live in Steubenville and have 6 children and 15 grandchildren. Learn more at scotthahn.com

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Mark Hart, Co-Host, serves full time as executive vice president of Life Teen, a Catholic youth ministry movement currently being implemented in 1,800​ parishes in 30 countries worldwide. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Mark is a best-selling author of over a dozen books, popular speaker and SiriusXM radio host. His wildly popular DVD study series, Altaration, Encounter, and T3 are currently utilized in homes, youth groups, and classrooms across the globe. Mark and his wife, Melanie, have three daughters, Hope, Trinity and Faith, and one son, Josiah. They live in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton is the fifth bishop of Steubenville, ordained and installed September 10, 2012. He is a member of the Board of Governors and the Development Committee of the Pontifical North American College, Rome. Bishop Monforton serves on the USCCB Subcommittee on Aid to the Church in Central and Eastern Europe. He also serves on the Board of Regents and Priestly Formation Board, St. Vincent Seminary, in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and as episcopal moderator of the Diocesan Information Systems Conference. He was awarded an honorary doctorate in sacred theology from Franciscan University, where he is an adjunct faculty member. In addition, he is a presenter on three Catholic radio stations and pens a monthly article, “Ask the Bishop,” in the diocesan newspaper, The Steubenville Register.

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Mike Aquilina is the executive vice president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He is the author of more than 50 books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. With Dr. Scott Hahn, he has hosted 10 long-running TV series on EWTN. Mike is past editor of the Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper and New Covenant magazine. He and his wife, Terri, are parents of six and grandparents of two.

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Leah Darrow is an international Catholic speaker inspiring others to embrace Christ’s mercy, reclaim beauty, and become who God made them to be. She was on the reality TV show America’s Next Top Model and later worked as a professional model before experiencing a conversion back to her Catholic faith. Leah is author of the book The Other Side of Beauty and podcast host of Do Something Beautiful, where she shares inspirational people who are truly doing something beautiful to make our world better. She is a mama to four wild saints-in-training and wife to a pretty cool dude named Ricky.

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Dr. Carrie Gress has a doctorate in philosophy from the The Catholic University of America and is a faculty member at Pontifex University. Dr. Gress is a regular blogger for The National Catholic Register and has written for various Catholic and secular publications. She is a frequent guest on Catholic radio and TV and the author of several books, including Nudging Conversions: A Practical Guide to Bringing Those You Love Back to the Church and Ultimate Makeover: The Transforming Power of Motherhood and co-author with George Weigel of City of Saints. Her latest book, The Marian Option: God’s Solution to a Civilization in Crisis, was released in May 2017. A homeschooling mother of four, Dr. Gress and her family live in Virginia.

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Kimberly Hahn married Scott in 1979 and became a Catholic during the Easter Vigil of 1990. She wrote a book with Scott on their journey to the Catholic Church titled Rome Sweet Home: Our Journey to Catholicism. Kimberly’s other books include Life-Giving Love: Embracing God’s Beautiful Design for Marriage, and the four-book and DVD series on Proverbs 31 that includes Chosen and Cherished, Graced and Gifted, Beloved and Blessed, and Legacy of Love. She holds an MA in theology from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Kimberly and Scott have 6 children and 15 grandchildren. Learn more about Kimberly at scotthahn.com

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Trent Horn earned a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville after his conversion to the Catholicism and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College. A staff apologist for Catholic Answers, Trent dialogues with atheists, pro-choice advocates, and other non-Catholic callers on the weekly radio program Catholic Answers Live. He is also the co-host of Hearts and Minds, a weekly radio program that discusses timely issues from an eternal perspective and a lecturer who travels throughout the world speaking on subjects related to the Catholic faith. Trent is also the author of four books: Answering Atheism, Persuasive Pro-life, Hard Sayings: A Catholic Approach to Answering Bible Difficulties, and his latest, Why We’re Catholic.

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Al Kresta is a broadcaster, journalist, president and CEO of Ave Maria Communication, and host of the nationally syndicated Catholic talk show Kresta in the Afternoon, heard on over 400 stations and Sirius Satellite Radio weekdays from 4-6 p.m. Eastern Time. Al’s life and spiritual journey took on a new dimension in February 2003 when he lost his left leg to a virulent infection often referred to as the “flesh-eating bacteria.” His extended recovery and eventual return to broadcasting have given him new insights into the realities of suffering and hope. Al is the author of the best-selling book Dangers to the Faith: Recognizing Catholicism’s 21st Century Opponents as well as Why Do Catholics Genuflect?, Why Are Catholics So Concerned about Sin?, and co-author with Nick Thomm of Moments of Grace: Inspiring Stories From Well-Known Catholics.

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Patrick Madrid hosts the three-hour daily Patrick Madrid Show, broadcast nationally on Relevant Radio. His 27 books include Life Lessons, Why Be Catholic?, How to Do Apologetics, and the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series. Patrick earned a BPhil in philosophy and an MA in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical College Josephinum. Formerly an adjunct professor of theology at Franciscan University, he currently serves as an adjunct professor of theology at Holy Apostles College and Seminary. Patrick and his wife, Nancy, have been married for 37 years and are blessed with 11 children and 23 grandchildren. His website is patrickmadrid.com

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Father David Meconi, SJ, first encountered the Society of Jesus at Marquette University in Milwaukee. He joined the novitiate in 1992 and then taught Greek and Latin at St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago (1994-96). From there, Fr. Meconi taught Classics and Philosophy at Xavier University (1996-2000), before being sent to the University of Innsbruck for his pontifical license in Patrology (2000-03), where he was also ordained a deacon. After priestly ordination in 2003, he was sent to Oxford University where he wrote a dissertation on St. Augustine’s theology of divinization under Fr. Thomas Weinandy, O.F.M.-Cap. and the Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology and Canon of Christ Church at that time, the Reverend Oliver O’Donovan. In 2007, Fr. Meconi came to Saint Louis University where he has been teaching and writing on issues of the early Church and Catholicism in general ever since. He is also the Director of SLU’s Catholic Studies Centre as well as the editor of Homiletic and Pastoral Review.

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Dr. Holly Ordway is a professor of English and serves on the faculty in the MA in apologetics at Houston Baptist University. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and is the author of Apologetics and the Christian Imagination: An Integrated Approach to Defending the Faith (Emmaus Road, 2017) and Not God’s Type: An Atheist Academic Lays Down Her Arms (Ignatius, 2014). Dr. Ordway is also a published poet and a subject editor for the Journal of Inklings Studies. Her academic work focuses on imaginative and literary apologetics and on the writings of the Inklings, especially C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Her current book project is Tolkien’s Modern Sources: Middle-earth Beyond the Middle Ages (Kent State University Press, 2019).

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Steve Ray is an intrepid traveler, expert on the Holy Land, popular Catholic apologist, documentary producer, Bible teacher, and best-selling author who appears on many TV and radio shows. Steve is one of the most fascinating and inspiring Catholic speakers around and is appropriately dubbed “Jerusalem Jones.” His popular film series The Footprints of God has inspired and enriched the faith of thousands around the world. Steve leads pilgrimages to the Holy Land and other biblical and Catholic sites. Steve has been married to Janet for 42 years and is the father of 4 and grandfather of 15.

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Bob Rice desires to share the love of God using every talent with which he has been blessed. He is an internationally known speaker, acclaimed musician, inspirational teacher, and innovative writer. Bob received his PhD in Evangelisation from Liverpool Hope University and currently is the director of the Master of Arts in Catechetics and Evangelization Program at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is married to his wife, Jennifer, and they have seven children. You can keep up with him at bob-rice.com

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Father Paul Scalia is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington. He studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas in Rome. He was ordained in 1996 and currently serves as the episcopal vicar for Clergy. He has written for various publications and is a frequent speaker on matters of faith and doctrine. Father Scalia’s first book, That Nothing May Be Lost, was published by Ignatius Press in 2017.


CONFERENCE VIDEOS

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