April 30 to MAY 1, Chicago


All times are listed in Central Time

  • Tuesday | April 30

    Tuesday, April 30

    7:30 am

    Registration opens

    Continental breakfast

    8:15 am

    Reflections on ECPA at 50: Past, Present, Future

    Born out of his research and writing of a brief, illustrated history of the organization as it marks 50 years, ECPA’s president will offer an opening reflection of the first five decades of this “industry on a mission,” and look at some of what may lay ahead.

    Jeff Crosby, ECPA President and CEO

    8:45 am

    How, Yet, With: The Spiritual Practices of Lament and Hope

    In this session, pastor and author Aubrey Sampson will encourage us with the power of the written-lament, the promise of God's "withness" in grief and heartache, and the prophetic witness that writing and publishing bring to a hurting world.

    Aubrey Sampson, author of The Louder Song (NavPress)

    9:15 am

    The Seven Essential Elements to Lead with Bold Grace

    In her more than 20 years of work with leaders through Greystone Global, Kathryn Scanland has come to describe the essence of leadership with two words: Bold Grace. In this session, she will examine seven elements embraced and practiced by those who effectively lead with bold grace in our complex environment.

    Kathryn Scanland, Greystone Global

    10:00 am


    10:30 am

    Christian Publishing and Contemporary Discipleship Challenges

    In every generation, Christians face unique discipleship challenges--and Christian publishers have the opportunity to engage these challenges in fresh and life-giving ways. Michelle will reflect on the contemporary discipleship challenges of our time and offer encouragement and wisdom for how Christian publishers can meaningfully engage.

    Michelle Sanchez, Author and Organizational Leader

    11:15 am

    Lessons from The Chosen

    The Chosen television series has become a global phenomenon, viewed by 200 million people in dozens of languages. What can publishers learn from this groundbreaking media portrayal of Jesus?

    Stan Jantz, President, Come and See Foundation



    1:15 pm

    The Sermon on the Mount, Human Sight, and Book Publishing: How Jesus's Teaching Reshapes and Reinvigorates How We Think About Books and Formation

    In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches a new way of seeing the world, God, and ourselves. Books, in a lesser way, have the capacity for similar imaginative formation. How might publishers relate Jesus's invitation to "new sight" to the formative power of books? In a cultural moment rife with hostility, divisions, and inequalities, we will explore how Jesus offers us a new vision for human association and kingdom kinship and the urgent challenges and opportunities this presents to Christian publishers.

    Claude Atcho, Author, Speaker, Pastor

    2:15 pm

    Global Logistics Issues & Opportunities for Christian Publishers

    An expert panel on global logistics including Adrian Blackman (EVP of Woodland Group), Mark Noble (VP at IPG), and Richard Coleman (Director of Operations at Ingram Logistics) will offer insight into current issues in logistics connected to the Red Sea, the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, domestic trucking and rail services and more. They will share their perspectives on how Christian publishers can make the most of the opportunities that exist.

    3:15 pm


    4:00 pm

    Breakout Session Options:

    #1: Lessons Learned: From Traditional Publishing to Direct to Consumer

    Bill Greig III, Owner, ChurchGrowth.org

    A long-term publisher and current owner of an ecommerce store reaching deeply into the church, will share lessons learned throughout a long career with moves from traditional publishing models to direct-to-consumer emphases.

    #2: What is Excellence?

    Dean Renninger, Senior Art Director, Tyndale House Publishers
    Lindsey Bergsma, Designer, Tyndale House Publishers

    How can we define excellence? What drives a process or a team to be excellent? And most importantly, why is pursuing excellence an important part of our Christian faith? In this breakout session, two members of the Tyndale House Design team will reprise and adapt their highly rated 2023 PubU session to show us how their team has defined excellence and is building a language to engage in excellent habits through their everyday work. The specifics might be creative-related, but the overall concepts can easily apply to every team looking for ways to define and engage in excellent habits.

    #3: Successfully Utilizing A.I. Tools in Your Editorial, Design and Other Publishing Work

    Joe Wikert, President, Revenue Path Group
    Christopher Hudson, President, Peachtree Publishing Services
    Torrey Sharp, Owner, Faceout Studio

    A practical session which will demonstrate actual, effective uses of generative AI tools in a variety of tasks within the publishing field and will explore workflow enhancements made possible through them.

    5:00 pm

    Networking Reception in Expert Hall

    6:00 pm

    Dinner Buffet with Alloy Horn Quartet

    7:00 pm

    ECPA Awards and 50th Anniversary Celebration

    • Celebrating ECPA's 50 years serving Christian publishing
    • Presentation of the 2024 Christian Book Awards
    • Presentation of the Pinnacle Award posthumously to Sarah Young
    • Presentation of the Kenneth N. Taylor Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously to Henrietta Mears
    • Presentation of ECPA Chair Award to Ted Terry
    • Recognizing the Milestone Sales achieved in the industry this past year
    • Honoring Harvest House Publishers’ 50th anniversary

  • Wednesday | May 1

    Wednesday, May 1

    7:00 am

    Continental Breakfast

    7:30 am

    Forecasts and Opportunities in Christian Publishing (pre-recorded presentation)

    Kristen McLean, Executive Director, Primary Industry Analyst, Books & Entertainment, Circana

    8:30 am

    Scripting Tomorrow: Navigating the Future of Publishing in the Uncharted Era of AI

    Madeleine Lambert will unpack the intricate challenges that publishers face in acclimating to the impacts of Generative AI within the publishing industry. Engage in thoughtful discussions on the nuances of automated content creation, copyright concerns, and dive into the shifting dynamics of human creativity, authenticity, and transparency in content production. This session will serve as a compass, guiding publishers through strategic approaches that illuminate the risks of generative AI, while showcasing the benefits in these emerging technologies. Gain a comprehensive understanding of how Generative AI shapes the uncharted landscape of publishing and discover the keys to unlocking its potential.

    Madeleine Lambert, Originality.ai

    9:30 am

    Born Again at the Right Time: The Crisis and Promise of American Evangelical Christianity

    Russell Moore, Editor in Chief, Christianity Today, International

    10:15 am


    10:45 am

    The Promise, Peril, and Practice of Generative AI in Content Creation and Publishing

    While the past year has brought a heightened awareness of the promise, peril, and practice of generative artificial intelligence in the publishing industry, most observers agree that we remain merely at the dawn of this new reality and changes will continue to come at an increasingly fast pace. In this industry panel, a group of seasoned professionals will explore a range of AI-focused topics including those in the areas of innovation, curation, legal, and experimental.

    An industry panel moderated by Jon Hirst, author and chief innovation officer with SIL with Madeleine Lambert, Originality.ai, Joe Wikert, Revenue Path Group, and Craig Gipson, Flagler Law Group

    11:45 am

    Lunch served

    12:00 pm

    Annual Member Meeting

    12:30 pm


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