42nd Annual National Conference on Faith-Based Service


Each fall, more than 150 staff members of faith-based volunteer programs, campus personnel, and other partners gather for the National Conference on Faith-Based Service. Hosted in a different location each year, 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.

Many Rays, One Rising

Our Theme

Our 2019 conference theme, Many Rays, One Rising, shines a light on two vital and intertwined areas of focus for CVN and our community: expanding the community of people who serve in faith-based programs by incorporating diversity and equity into our work; and sharing a unified story of faith-based service with the world at large. The 2019 conference will contain two parts, each focusing on one of these areas and will be introduced by an inspirational keynote speaker who will set the stage for impactful discussion. Conversations will shape our strategies and collaborations for the coming year.


Registration will open in late summer of 2019.

Travel & Lodging

Crowne Plaza at Playhouse Square
1260 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115

The Crowne Plaza at Playhouse Square hotel is located in the vibrant theatre district just a few blocks from the latest shows at Playhouse Square, get in tune with your favorite music at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum and explore the Great Lakes Science Center.

Start your day with breakfast buffet located at the Ghost Light Restaurant & Lounge and relax at the hotels newly remodeled indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub and sauna. End your day at the award winning Ghost Light Restaurant & Lounge.

Keynote Speakers


Service as an Allyship Partner

Whitney will unpack how service should be an Allyship posture, rather than a notion of saving. She will describe effective Allyship, and how service done correctly builds the strongest allies in four ways: People step out of their circles and experience diversity; People connect to the issue and evoke empathy and prospective; People are a part of innovative solutions by giving of themselves in a manner that is asked of them (rather than imposing their impression of effective solutions); People experience mutuality because they are transformed in the process (not just transform others).

Whitney Parnell is a Black millennial activist, singer, and the Founder and CEO of Service Never Sleeps, a nonprofit that empowers individuals and communities to catalyze social justice through service and Allyship. Her movement work involves equipping effective allies through truth-telling, bridge building, empathy, and action. She grew up between Latin America and West Africa as a Foreign Service child, and her passion for social justice brought her to Washington, DC after college to serve with City Year, and then work in homeless services, before founding Service Never Sleeps in 2015.

Abundant Life: A Spiritual Call to Service

Generosity is humankind’s birthright. There is no surer path to meaning, abundant life, gratitude and generosity than service to others. In a polarized world and church, how can service lessen the chasms we encounter between people and foster a culture of mercy, understanding, trust and hope? Kerry Alys Robinson will draw from her own life of service and those of the many women and men, ordained, religious and lay, she has encountered over the course of her life to inspire, challenge, motivate, and above all thank the members of Catholic Volunteer Network.

Kerry Alys Robinson is global ambassador of Leadership Roundtable and author of Imagining Abundance: Fundraising, Philanthropy and a Spiritual Call to Service. Kerry is a member of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities and FADICA (Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities). She has served on many boards including Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale, and the International Festival of Arts and Ideas. She is a fierce advocate of young adults, women, service and faith. She and her husband, Dr. Michael Cappello, have two children, Christopher and Sophie.


Each year, our workshop facilitators help us delve into our Conference theme while sharing wisdom and experience that will help faith-based volunteer programs operate in areas such as Leadership, Volunteer Recruitment, Volunteer Support, Campus Partnerships, and Spiritual Growth. If you are interested in participating in this way please reach out to Mike McCormick at [email protected]

We are now accepting workshop proposals for this year's conference! Please click HERE to access our online proposal form. You may also read more about our workshop themes and submission guidelines HERE.

*Submission Deadline has been extended to July 10, 2019.

Exhibitors & Sponsors

Our conference is an excellent way for organizations, service providers, and companies to connect with our community of faith-based service programs and support our work. Those interested in exhibiting and/or sponsoring should contact Sarah Hammel, [email protected], for more information.


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