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.


2017 Ministry Team
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Dr. Scott Hahn, Host, is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles include 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.  Dr. Hahn will be hosting and presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Michael Hernon, Co-Host, is the Vice President of Advancement at Franciscan University of Steubenville. This role oversees the University’s Development, Alumni, Community Relations, and Pilgrimages. Michael is also the host for Franciscan University Presents on EWTN with regular panelist Dr. Scott Hahn and Dr. Regis Martin.  Prior to this, he used his talents in politics as the director of the Catholic Outreach for the Republican National Committee and as campaign manager for Ken Blackwell’s campaign for governor of Ohio. He also served as councilman at large on the Steubenville City Council. In January 2007, he became founding president of The Catholic Association, a Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization that represents lay Catholics and organizes them into an effective advocacy movement, responding to the call of the Catholic Church to apply Catholic teaching, wisdom, and principles to the issues of the day.  Michael and his wife, Alicia, are proud parents of ten children.  He will be co-hosting the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Father Andrew Apostoli, CFR, is a member of the Community of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen in 1967. He has been active in teaching, preaching retreats and parish missions, and in giving spiritual direction. He is an adjunct faculty member of Saint Joseph’s Seminary in Dunwoodie, Yonkers, New York. In his community, he has served as Community Servant and Novice Director. He was instrumental in 1988 in helping to found the Community of the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. Currently, he is serving as a Vice-Postulator for the Cause of Canonization for Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Jeff Cavins returned to the Catholic Church after serving as a Protestant minister for 12 years. He received his MA in theology from Franciscan University and then developed The Great Adventure: A Journey Through the Bible, a Bible study program that enables students to understand the chronological flow of Scripture. A former radio and television host, he’s a prolific author and the co-editor of the Amazing Grace series, which includes Amazing Grace for Those Who Suffer, Amazing Grace for the Catholic Heart, and Amazing Grace for Married Couples. Jeff currently works as director of the Archbishop Harry J. Flynn Catechetical Institute in St. Paul and resides with his wife, Emily, and their three daughters in Minnesota.  He will be presenting at the Applied Biblical Studies Conference and the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Bryan Cross was raised in the Pentecostal tradition, then became Reformed shortly after completing his bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular biology at the University of Michigan. He then received an M.Div. from Covenant Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Saint Louis University. In 2003 he and his wife and two daughters became Anglican. In 2006 he and his family were received into full communion with the Catholic Church. He has previously taught at Saint Louis University, Lindenwood University, and Kenrick-Glennon Seminary. He co-founded and contributes to the website CalledToCommunion.com. He is presently an assistant professor of philosophy at Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and has published articles on St. Thomas Aquinas and Alasdair MacIntyre.  Dr. Cross will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Kimberly Hahn has been married to Scott since 1979 and became a Catholic during the Easter Vigil of 1990. She 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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Mark Hart 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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Dr. Reinhard Huetter teaches systematic and philosophical theology and has a special interest in Thomas Aquinas and John Henry Newman. He has taught for seventeen years at Duke Divinity School, held visiting professorships at the University of Jena, Providence College, the University of St. Mary of the Lake/Mundelein Seminary and presently at The Catholic University of America. He has been president of the Academy of Catholic Theology, is a Distinguished Fellow of The St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, and an Ordinary Academician of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas. He is married, has four children, and five grandchildren.  Dr. Huetter will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Patrick Madrid hosts the new Patrick Madrid Show on Immaculate Heart Radio and previously hosted the top-rated Right Here, Right Now show. He is a frequent guest and occasional guest host on the Catholic Answers Live radio program and has authored or edited 22 books, including the acclaimed Surprised by Truth series. Patrick worked at Catholic Answers for eight years, where he served as vice president. He is currently working toward a doctorate in Church history. 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 16 grandchildren and reside in the Diocese of Columbus.  He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Curtis Martin is the President and Founder of FOCUS, the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, one of the fastest growing movements in the Catholic Church. FOCUS brings the fullness of life and truth in the Catholic Church to college students and equips them with the tools to help them share this good news with their friends. Whether he is on college campuses or on television,speaking at conferences or working with corporate America, Curtis is an award-winning and proven dynamic speaker who has the ability to help his audience discover a vision for life. Curtis Martin holds a Masters degree in Theology, is the author of the best-selling book Made for More, and co-host the new ground-breaking show on EWTN, Crossing the Goal. In 2004, Curtis and his wife Michaelann were awarded the Benemerenti Medal by Pope John Paul II for their outstanding service to the Church. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Curtis as a Consulter to the Pontifical Council of the New Evangelization. In addition to his work with FOCUS, Curtis serves as the Vice Chairman of the Augustine Institute in Denver, a Catholic graduate school dedicated to the New Evangelization. Curtis and his wife, Michaelann, live in Westminster, CO with five of their nine children.  He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Father Louis Merosne is in love with Jesus and his Mother. Born in Haiti, he moved to Boston in 1993. He studied French, philosophy, and theology at Franciscan University from 2002 to 2007. Soon after completing his master’s in theology at Franciscan, he co-founded Haiti180 with Sean Forrest and team. Ordained in 2011, Father Louis now serves as a missionary priest in the Diocese of Anse-a-Veau and Miragoane in Haiti. The priesthood is to him a tremendous gift and the preaching of the good news of Jesus his duty and love. He will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Bob Rice, Worship Leader, 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 is a presenter at the St. John Bosco Conference.

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Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch, a program of the David Horowitz Freedom Center, and the author of sixteen books, including the New York Times bestsellers The Truth About Muhammad and The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) (both Regnery). His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies) (Regnery). Spencer has led seminars on Islam and jihad for the FBI; United States Central Command; United States Army Command and General Staff College; the U.S. Army’s Asymmetric Warfare Group; the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF); and the U.S. intelligence community. He has discussed jihad, Islam, and terrorism at a workshop sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the German Foreign Ministry.  Robert will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.

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Dr. Ted Sri is a theologian, author, and nationally known Catholic speaker who appears regularly on EWTN. The author of several Catholic best-selling books, he is the host of a new 20-part video series on the Catholic faith called Symbolon: The Catholic Faith Explained (Augustine Institute) and is the program director for a new marriage preparation and enrichment program called Beloved: Finding Happiness in Marriage (Augustine Institute). He serves as professor of theology and vice president of Mission and Outreach at the Augustine Institute in Denver. Dr. Sri is a founding leader with Curtis Martin of FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). He holds a doctorate from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome and resides with his wife, Elizabeth, and their seven children in Littleton, Colorado.  Dr. Sri will be presenting at the Defending the Faith Conference.


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.


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“Go, Rebuild My Church”

Jesus gave St. Francis the mission to “Go, rebuild My Church.” That is the mission of Steubenville Conferences. We invite you to share our mission by helping us spread the word about our outreach and inviting people to have their own life-changing encounter with Jesus at one of our dynamic conferences.

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