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Defending the Faith Conference

Standing for the Church with Boldness, Zeal, and Love

July 24 - 26, 2015

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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. 

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.

2015 Conference Theme:

Always Forward! Siempre Adelante! 

"Fear not for those who are with us are more than those who are with them. Then Elisha prayed... 'Oh Lord, open his eyes that he may see.'" 2 Kings 6:16-17

Our God is strong and our God is with us.  These words are not sentimentality but the foundation for our lives of courage and virtue. Come discover anew how awesome and beautiful living a courgageous life for Christ can be.

Conference Information


Held on the campus of Franciscan University in Steubenville, OH

Time: Conference begins with an Early Bird Session on Friday, July 24 from 2:00-4:00 p.m.; general sessions begin Friday at 7:00 p.m. and conclude on Sunday, July 26 by 12:30 p.m. (includes closing Sunday Mass)

Registration Cost:
Early Bird: $120 per person (by April 17th)
Regular: $145 per person
Priests: free registration (housing and meal plan charges still apply) Religious, or those 18-30 years old: $70 per person
Meal plan: $63 per person (includes 6 meals)
Housing: $90 per person (for shared room with A/C); $70 per person (for shared room without A/C); $100 per person (for private room without A/C)

Registration Information: Registration opens January 19, 2015

For more information, please call us 1-800-437-8368

Click for additional conference information and talk titles


Pope Francis Calls Ecuador to Persevere in Its Catholic Identity

July 6, 2015, 9:26 am
By ANN SCHNEIBLE/CNA/EWTN NEWS | QUITO, Ecuador — Landing in Ecuador on Sunday afternoon, Pope Francis began his three-nation visit to Latin America by stressing the Gospel’s role in fostering respect, dialogue, and care for the vulnerable, while...
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Mega-Church Convert: ‘See the Great Gift the Lord Has Given Us in the Church’

July 6, 2015, 10:31 am
By CELESTE BEHE | On March 9, 2014, Ulf Ekman, founder and pastor of Word of Life church in Uppsala, Sweden, shocked his congregation with the announcement that he and his wife, Birgitta, were leaving Word of Life to join the Catholic Church. The...
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2015 Ministry Team

Dr. Scott Hahn

Dr. Scott Hahn is the author or editor of over 40 books; his most recent titles are 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 11 grandchildren. 

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer, DD, JCL

The Most Reverend Gainer was appointed bishop of Harrisburg by his Holiness Pope Francis on January 24, 2014. He studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia, graduated summa cum laude with a licentiate degree in canon law, and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Allentown on May 19, 1973. Bishop Gainer has served in parish, campus ministry, marriage and family, and tribunal positions. During his priesthood, he served as secretary of Catholic Life and Evangelization for the Diocese of Allentown where he supervised 14 diocesan offices promoting the works of spiritual renewal and evangelization. Currently, he serves on the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education and the Committee for Canonical Affairs and Church Governance.  

Archbishop Bernard Hebda

The Most Reverend Bernard Hebda was ordained for the Diocese of Pittsburgh in 1989, holding parish and chancery assignments there until his staff appointment in 1996 to the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts in Rome, of which he became undersecretary in 2003. In Rome, he also served as adjunct spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College and confessor for the postulants of the Missionaries of Charity. Pope Benedict XVI named him the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord in 2009, and in 2013 Pope Francis named him coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. He holds a BA degree from Harvard University, a juris doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law, and a bachelor of sacred theology and licentiate in canon law degrees from Pontifical Gregorian University.  

Bishop Jeffrey Monforton

The Most Reverend Bishop Jeffrey Monforton was born in Detroit, Michigan and is the eldest of three sons. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology, as well as a doctorate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. In 1994, he was ordained to the priesthood. In 2006, Cardinal Adam Maida named him the twelfth rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Detroit, a post he held until 2012. Under his leadership the seminarian population at Sacred Heart grew to the largest it had been in 38 years. Bishop Monforton was named the fifth bishop of Steubenville by Pope Benedict XVI on July 3, 2012. 

Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina is the author and editor of more than 40 books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He has hosted many television series on EWTN, and he was a regular panelist on Catholic Familyland Network’s Weekly Roman Observer. Mike also contributes to Catholic radio and to Touchstone: A Journal of Mere Christianity. He is the past editor of New Covenant and Pittsburgh Catholic, and his work has appeared in periodicals throughout the world. His books include The Fathers of the Church, The Mass of the Early Christians, and The Resilient Church. Mike and his wife, Terri, live in the South Hills of Pittsburgh with their six children, who are the subjects of his book Love in the Little Things

Patrick Coffin

Patrick Coffin is a national speaker, author, apologist, host of Catholic Answers Live, and co-founder of Immaculata Pictures, an indie film company (immaculatapictures.com). Born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Patrick holds advanced degrees in philosophy and theology from McGill University in Montreal and Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has appeared on the FOX Channel, Comedy Central, One America News, The Sun News Network (Canada), and is a frequent guest on EWTN. His writing has appeared in National Review Online, National Catholic Register, The Toronto Star, and more, and his column on classic movies, “The Cinephile,” is published in The Catholic World Report. He has also interviewed a wide array of leaders and personalities over the years. Patrick lives with his family in San Diego, California. 

Kimberly Hahn

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 11 grandchildren. She will also be presenting at Journey Through Scripture and the Applied Biblical Studies Conference. 

Ulf and Birgitta Ekman

Ulf and Birgitta Ekman founded Word of Life, a non-denominational charismatic church in Uppsala, Sweden, where Ulf was senior pastor for 30 years. In 2014, after 15 years of soul searching, they joined the Catholic Church. Ulf has held conferences and leadership seminars in many nations, including the former Soviet Union and India. He founded Bible schools and a theological seminary, hosted a television show that aired in many nations, and wrote more than 40 books and booklets that have been translated into over 30 languages. Birgitta was editor of a missions magazine, authored five books for children, and founded a humanitarian foundation to help children in India in 1998. They live in Sweden and have four sons and seven grandchildren.

Jennifer Fulwiler

Jennifer Fulwiler is a writer, speaker, and the host of The Jennifer Fulwiler Show on SiriusXM radio. Her memoir, Something Other than God, was released in April 2014 and was listed among Amazon.com’s top 20 bestselling memoirs. She has been a guest on a variety of national television and radio shows and was the subject of a reality show called Minor Revisions. Her blog, ConversionDiary.com, has thousands of daily readers and has won in the categories of Best Written Blog, Best Blog by a Woman, and People’s Choice Blog in the Catholic New Media Awards. She lives with her husband and six young children in Austin, Texas. 

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC

Father Michael Gaitley, MIC, is a member of the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception and author of the bestselling books Consoling the Heart of Jesus, 33 Days to Morning Glory, and his new book, ‘You Did It to Me’: A Practical Guide to Mercy in Action. When he is not traveling, Father Michael lives and works on Eden Hill in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, home of the National Shrine of the Divine Mercy. 

Dr. Peter Kreeft

Dr. Peter Kreeft is a professor of philosophy at Boston College and at King’s College (located in the Empire State Building) in New York City. A regular contributor to several Christian publications, Dr. Kreeft is in wide demand as a speaker at conferences and has authored over 75 books, including Handbook of Christian Apologetics, Christianity for Modern Pagans, Making Sense Out of Suffering, Back to Virtue, Refutation of Moral Relativism, and Fundamentals of the Faith. His newest works, published in fall 2014, are Letters to an Atheist: Wrestling With Faith and 100 Greatest Philosophers: Socrates’ Children. 

Patrick Madrid

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 23 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.

Matt Maher

Matt Maher is a five time Grammy-nominated artist who made the transition from full-time ministry at his home church in Mesa, Arizona, to life as a respected worship leader with an international platform. Matt’s latest album, Saints and Sinners, was released in 2015. He says, “It’s the sinful side of me that helps me identify with other broken people and not see myself as better. Christianity doesn’t make me better than anybody else. The process of being transformed is sometimes a really messy process. When you can remember how far off you were when God found you, your own conversion stands as a testimony to God and mercy, but it also gives you a way to relate to other people.” 


Dr. Taylor Marshall

Dr. Taylor Marshall is a former Episcopalian priest and the president of the New Saint Thomas Institute, an initiative offering theology classes to over 1,100 students in 24 nations. He is the author of The Crucified Rabbi, The Catholic Perspective on Paul, The Eternal City, Thomas Aquinas in 50 Pages, and Saint Augustine in 50 Pages. He appears regularly on Catholic Answers, EWTN, and Relevant Radio. He also has a highly rated podcast, The Taylor Marshall Catholic Show. He and his wife, Joy, have seven children, four boys and three girls, and make their home in Dallas. 

Emily Stimpson

Emily Stimpson is a freelance Catholic writer based in Steubenville, Ohio. Her books include The American Catholic Almanac: The Patriots, Saints, Rogues, and Ordinary People Who Changed America (Image, 2014), These Beautiful Bones: An Everyday Theology of the Body (Emmaus Road, 2013), and The Catholic Girl’s Survival Guide for the Single Years (Emmaus Road, 2012). A contributing editor to Our Sunday Visitor and Franciscan Way Magazine, her writing has also appeared in First Things, Touchstone, National Catholic Register, Lay Witness, Catholic Digest, and elsewhere. Honored by the Catholic Press Association and the Associated Church Press, Stimpson holds a BA from Miami University of Ohio and did her graduate work in theology at Franciscan University. 

Bob Rice- Worship Leader

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. His latest CD, Mercifulove: Best of Bob Rice 2006-2015 celebrates a decade of his original music. Bob teaches at Franciscan University in Steubenville, where he lives with his, wife, Jennifer, and their seven children. 

   Patrick Madrid
   Jul 27, 2014
   Father Sean Sheridan
   Jul 27, 2014
   Father Sean Sheridan
   Jul 27, 2014
   Kimberly Hahn
   Jul 27, 2014
   Dr. Ian Murphy
   Jul 27, 2014
   Dr. Scott Hahn
   Jul 27, 2014
   Tim Staples
   Jul 27, 2014
   Patrick Madrid
   Jul 27, 2014
   Tim Staples
   Jul 27, 2014
   Father David Meconi
   Jul 27, 2014
   Bishop Jeffery Monforton
   Jul 27, 2014