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February 15 @ 8:00 am - February 16 @ 5:00 pm

Ministry of Availability 2024

Join us for Wesley Center Conference 2024 on February 15 – 16, 2024, as we welcome Dr. Andrew Root. This two-day event will focus on the Ministry of Availability: Leadership in Our Ever-Changing World. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in workshops, roundtable discussions and Q&A panel discussions with Dr. Root and ministry leaders from a variety of ministry contexts.

Dr. Andrew Root, Ph.D. (Princeton Theological Seminary) is the Carrie Olson Baalson Professor of Youth and Family Ministry at Luther Seminary.

He is most recently the author of four volume Ministry in a Secular Age series (Churches and the Crisis of DeclineThe Congregation in a Secular AgeThe Pastor in a Secular Age and Faith Formation in a Secular Age) and The End of Youth Ministry?. He has also authored Christopraxis: A Practical Theology of the Cross (Fortress, 2014) and Bonhoeffer as Youth Worker (Baker, 2014).

Root puts together theology and storytelling to explore how ministry leads us into encounters with divine action. His book The Relational Pastor (IVP, 2013) as well as a four book series with Zondervan called A Theological Journey Through Youth Ministry (Taking Theology to Youth MinistryTaking the Cross to Youth MinistryUnpacking Scripture in Youth Ministry and Unlocking Mission and Eschatology in Youth Ministry) break new ground in this direction. In 2012, his book The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Kenda Creasy Dean, IVP, 2011) was Christianity Today’s Book of Merit.

He has written a number of other books on ministry and theology such as The Children of Divorce: The Loss of Family as the Loss of Being (Baker Academic, 2010), The Promise of Despair (Abingdon, 2010), Revisiting Relational Youth Ministry: From a Strategy of Influence to a Theology of Incarnation (IVP, 2007) and Relationships Unfiltered (Zondervan/YS, 2009).

Andy has worked in congregations, parachurch ministries and social service programs. He lives in St. Paul with his wife Kara, two children, Owen and Maisy, and their dog. When not reading, writing or teaching, Andy spends far too much time watching TV and movies.

Wesley Center Conference 2024 is excited to introduce our Conference Pastor, Rev. Michaele LaVigne. Rev. LaVigne will pour into our conference participants during our Conference Worship Services as well as during our Workshop spaces.

Rev. Michaele LaVigne is a wife, mother, pastor, author, spiritual director, and ordained elder in the Church of the Nazarene. Throughout her seventeen years of pastoral ministry, Michaele has served in a variety of ministry contexts including an under-resourced neighborhood in Ohio, a developing country in Southern Africa, a large suburban congregation, an urban church plant in Oklahoma, and currently leads a house church. Her belief that what we do is a direct result of who we are has fueled her own journey of spiritual formation, and her work to aid the formation process for others. Michaele understands that a deep well of personal spiritual experience is necessary for ministry and justice work, and is especially passionate about the spiritual well-being of clergy. In 2019 she published Living the Way of Jesus: Practicing the Christian Calendar One Week at a Time, and she has also been a contributing author to several other books and blogs from The Foundry Publishing. Michaele is a graduate of Mt. Vernon Nazarene University and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Ashland Theological Seminary. She and her husband Brent live in South Bend, Indiana, with their elementary-aged son and daughter.

Registration Pricing:

Early Bird (10/1/23 – 11/15/23) Regular (11/16/23 – 1/15/24) Late (1/16/24 – 2/15/24)
Individual $79.00 $89.00 $99.00
Group (3 or more) $69.00 $79.00 $89.00
NNU Employee/Student $39.00 $39.00 $49.00
Online $49.00 $49.00 $49.00


Registration includes access to all plenary and workshop sessions, refreshments and beverages and a ticket to the Banquet dinner on Thursday evening, February 15. Online Registration will include online access to all plenary sessions and exclusive interactive online workshop content.


See Full Schedule


February 15 @ 8:00 am
February 16 @ 5:00 pm
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