41st Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service

Baltimore, Maryland
Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards
November 8-11, 2018

This November, over 150 staff members of faith-based volunteer programs, campus personnel, and other partners will gather for the National Conference on Faith-Based Service in Baltimore, Md. The National Conference is an opportunity for those involved in faith-based service to come together to learn new skills, share their experience and expertise, and network with their colleagues.

This year's conference theme is "Lead with Courage, Follow with Faith." Dynamic keynote speakers, fifteen engaging workshop sessions, leadership cohorts, and panel discussions will guide participants in creative and effective ways to grow as leaders in faith-based service. This year, a special session for current and former volunteers will take place on Saturday, November 10th.

We hope you will join us in Baltimore. Continue reading for more information about registration and logistics.




Registration is now open for the 2018 National Conference on Faith-Based Service! We encourage you to register early to ensure your top workshop choices. Member programs that send more than one staff member can receive an additional $25 discount per registration. (Contact Sarah Hammel at [email protected] for the discount code.)

Registration Rate
CVN Member Rate $375
Non-Member Rate $425

Travel & Lodging

Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards
110 S Eutaw St, Baltimore, MD 21201

Ideally located in the Arts and Entertainment district, near some of the city's most popular attractions, the Baltimore Marriott Inner Harbor at Camden Yards is the perfect home base for exploring. Intuitively designed hotel rooms and suites offer plush bedding, flat-screen TVs, high-speed Wi-Fi access and mini-refrigerators. Stop by The Yard for delicious, locally sourced dining, as well as Baltimore-area craft beers and a selection from our unique wine wall. We also offer a vibrant pop-up pizza restaurant, BrickNFire.

Conference Room Rate: $129.00 + taxes and fees
Dates Available: November 7, 2018 through November 14, 2018
Booking Deadline: October 25, 2018
Click here to reserve a room within our conference block. 

Getting there from Baltimore Washington International Airport - Marriott Inner Harbor is located approximately 9.5 miles (15 minute drive) from BWI airport. MTA Light Rail Hunt Valley line will connect you from the airport to the Pratt Street station, located one block from the hotel. Fares are $1.80. For more information, please click here.


Conference Overview:

Nov. 8 Nov. 9 Nov. 10 Nov. 11
3:00-7:00pm - Registration
3:00-7:00pm - Exhibits Open
7:00pm - Conference  Opening
7:30pm - Keynote Speaker -Dr. Robert Simmons, III
9:00pm - Reception
7:30-8:30am - Breakfast
8:30am - Morning Prayer
8:45am - Cohort Session #1
9:45am - Workshop Session #1
11:15am - Break/Exhibits
11:30am - CVN Membership Meeting
12:30pm - Networking Lunch
1:45pm - Keynote Speaker #2 - Erricka Bridgeford
3:00pm - Break/Exhibits
3:15pm - What If - CVN Member Stories of Courage
5:00pm - Free Evening
7:30-8:45am - Breakfast
8:45am - Morning Prayer
9:00am - Keynote Speaker #3 - Sr. Teresa Maya
10:30am - Break/Exhibits
11:00am - Workshop Session #2
12:30pm - Lunch (on your own)
2:15pm - Workshop Session #3
3:45pm - Break/Exhibits
4:00pm - Cohort Session #2
5:00pm - Break
5:30pm - Mass
6:30pm - Social & Cash Bar
7:00pm - Banquet & Awards Ceremony
8:30-10:30pm - Music & Dancing
8:00-9:00am - Breakfast
9:00am - Morning Prayer
9:15am - Keynote Speaker #4 - Sr. Norma Pimentel
10:45am - Closing Ritual

Keynote Speakers & Workshops


Dr. Robert Simmons III

Reflecting on my Father's Incarceration: How Courage, Faith, and Service Guide my Life

Growing up in a house guided by principles of courage, faith and service, his father's physical incarceration offered Robert great life lessons. Maturing at the height of the crack cocaine epidemic in Detroit provided many challenges despite living in a loving home with his grandmother and mother. Nonetheless, Robert struggled with anger issues and a sense of outrage at every turn. Using his failures as life lessons and his experiences attending a Jesuit high school, becoming the second African American man to become a tenured professor at a Jesuit university and familial connections to social justice movements, Dr. Simmons will offer reflections on how courage, faith and service have been foundational to his life journey.

Currently serving as the CEO of the See Forever Foundation in Washington DC, Robert is a nationally recognized scholar on racial equity having authored and co-authored over 40 publications including the book Talking about Race. Robert has shared his thoughts on racial equity on national media outlets such as CNN, as well as local media in Detroit, Baltimore, DC and Los Angeles. Robert has served in senior leadership positions in national nonprofits, while also serving as the Chief of Innovation & Research with the DC Public Schools. As a result of this work in DC, the city was recognized as one of leading cities working to support males of color. Robert served as the director of the Center for Urban Catholic Education and a tenured professor of urban education and African/African American studies at Loyola University Maryland. Despite all of these accomplishments, Robert believes his most impactful work has been the time he spent as a science teacher in his hometown of Detroit, MI. 


Erricka Bridgeford

A Rumbling in Our Spirits

There are many times when we feel that Quiet Nudge urging us to go down a particular path. We often spend time rationalizing whether to follow that path. We ask, “Why me? Who am I to do this thing?” But when there's a rumbling in our spirits, we realize that the real question is, "How dare I NOT be the one?" Courage is the heart's tool to push us forward, while Faith reminds us to expect greatness and abundance on the path. Erricka will share her experiences with leaning into the rumbling in her spirit.

Erricka Bridgeford trains mediators, teaches conflict resolution skills, co-organizes a movement that rallies Baltimore City to avoid violence during three-day weekends and performs rituals for every person who is murdered in Baltimore. Her life has been impacted by murder since she was 12 years old, and she has been working for over 20 years to ensure that murder does not have the last say. From addressing rape culture, to advocating for death penalty repeal, Bridgeford's ability to influence social injustice is fueled by her commitment to transform her personal pain into “hope in action.”


Sr. Teresa Maya, CCVI

Leaders with a Heart for Mission

Mission needs leadership. This keynote address will explore the heart of leadership for mission. The threshold our Church and our World are crossing requires a new exploration about the place and role of leaders. Key principles and values for leadership on mission will be explored. Participants will be encouraged to see leadership as ministry.

Sister Teresa Maya is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio since 1994.  Her ministry has been in education. She has served as teacher, history professor, and administrator.  She has passion for the formation of ministers for Hispanics/Latinos in the United States.  Sister Teresa got her B.A. at Yale University, her M.A. at the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley and the Ph.D. in El Colegio de Mexico in Mexico City.  She is currently serving as Congregational Leader for her Congregation and in the Presidency for the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR).


Sister Norma Pimentel, MJ

Sister Norma Pimentel, as Executive Director of Catholic Charities for the past 10 years, oversees the charitable arm of the Diocese of Brownsville, providing oversight of the different ministries and programs in the areas of emergency assistance, housing assistance, military assistance, clinical counseling, pregnancy care, and was instrumental in quickly organizing community resources to respond to the surge of Central Americans seeking asylum in the United States and setting up the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX.


The 2018 conference will feature a wide variety of workshops during three workshop sessions. For detailed descriptions of each of these workshop sessions, please click here.

Session I. Friday, November 9th, 9:45 AM – 11:15 AM
A. Sharing Leadership: How Your Board Can Fuel New Levels of Success - John Bradley, Broadfield Insight
B. Addressing LGBTQ Issues with Courage and Faith - Francis DeBernardo & Robert Shine, New Ways Ministry
C. Into the Deep – Discovering Self and Others Through Service - Dr. Donald R. McCrabb, United States Catholic Mission Association (USCMA)
D. Strengthening Leadership Development Opportunities Throughout the Volunteer Experience - Rabbi Justus N. Baird, Auburn Seminary - Justice Ministry Education (JME)
E. Campaigning on Twitter - Colin Crowell, Twitter

Session II. Saturday, November 10th, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
F. Recruiting & Relationship Building Strategies - from a Campus Ministry Perspective - Matt Aujero, Catholic Student Center, University of Maryland & Jake DeMarais, Lewis University
G. Become a Provider of Hope: Serving Immigrants in Your Community - Michelle Sardone, Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
H. Self-Care and Service: Modeling Good Self-Care for Staff - Kathy Galleher, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist
I. Supporting Volunteers during #MeToo - Bridget Barry, Former Jesuit Volunteer and Rockhurst University Graduate Student
J. Guiding Lights: Planning Volunteer Seminars that Shine - Melanie Weldon-Soiset, Sojourners

Session III. Saturday, November 10th, 2:15 PM – 3:45 PM
K. Using Great Graphic Design to Lead with Clarity - Christy Batta, Christy Batta Design
L. Changing Landscape of International Mission - Elizabeth Hughes (Franciscan Mission Service), Evan Cuthbert (Rostro de Cristo), and Ted Miles (Maryknoll Lay Missioners)
M. Creating Space: How Affinity Groups Can Support Volunteers and Influence Organizational Change - Staff from Catholic Volunteer Network, YAV PC-USA, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps
N. Creating Spiritual Safe Places for Young Adults with Various Spiritual Backgrounds - Kimberly Williams Malone, Director of Improving Lives with the Bergen Volunteer Center
O. Creating a Strategic Fundraising Plan - Sr. Georgette Lehmuth, National Catholic Development Center (NCDC)

Exhibitors & Sponsors

We would like to thank our generous sponsors for their support!

Additional Details

Leadership Cohorts

After each conference, the feedback we hear consistently is that attendees most appreciate the opportunity to network with one another. This year, we are building in additional opportunities for exchange and collaboration throughout the conference. During registration, you will have the opportunity to indicate your role at your organization as well as the length of time you have worked in this role. From this information, we will group participants in peer communities to encourage collaboration and relationship building. Facilitated conversations at key times during the conference will help participants identify ways to grow as leaders in faith-based service.

Affinity Groups - Lunch Session for People of Color

During Lunch on Friday, November 9th, we will provide space for people of color in attendance to come together and build community. Space for additional affinity groups can be made available upon request.

Recruitment Opportunities prior to Conference

Tuesday, November 6
12:00pm – 2:00pm – Georgetown University Postgraduate Service Fair - To register, please click here.
4:00PM – 7:00pm – Catholic University of America Service Fair - To register, please click here.

Wednesday, November 7
11:00am – 2:00pm – Loyola University of Maryland Mission Centered Service & Employment Fair – Click here to register!

Forum for Current and Former Volunteers

Currrent and Former Volunteers are invited to join us on Saturday, November 10th for a special Leadership Forum. Volunteers will have the opportunity to reflect on the service experience, identify transferrable skills, and explore the ways to foster a life-long commitment to social justice, simplicity, spirituality, and community. Registration is only $15 for current volunteers and $25 for former volunteers. Registration and a full schedule can be found here.


Questions about the National Conference on Faith-Based Service? Contact Sarah Hammel at [email protected].