2016 Pastors' Conference: Bivocational Ministry for the 21st Century

Featuring Keynote Speaker Dennis Bickers

March 21, 2016

Pastor and author Dennis Bickers will explore where bivocational ministry is heading in the next few years, some of the advantages bivocational ministry provides to the minister and church, and will offer encouragement to those serving in bivocational ministry. He will also address how the growth of bivocational ministry will impact denominations and seminaries. The conference will also include panels of pastors and congregants speaking on the topic, and ESR professor Phil Baisley will share a report on research he has been doing on bivocational ministry.

Pastors Panel

Sharm Eaton, Motor Friends Church, Milo, IA

Sandra Jenkins, Constance Church of the Brethren, Constance, KY

Michael Smith, North Winona Church of the Brethren, Warsaw, IN

Ronnie Wylie, Grace United Methodist Church, Connersville, IN

Register Online.

Keynote Speaker Bio

Dennis Bickers recently retired as a Resource Minister with the American Baptist Churches of Indiana and Kentucky, a role he had from 2001 through 2015. Prior to this ministry he served as the bivocational pastor of Hebron Baptist Church near Madison, Indiana from 1981 to 2001. In 1987 Dr. Bickers received a Diploma in Christian Ministry from Boyce Bible School in Louisville, Kentucky. In 1995 he earned a Bachelor in General Studies degree from Indiana University, and in 2006 he graduated with a Master of Arts in Religion degree from Liberty Theological Seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia. He earned his Doctor of Ministry from that same seminary in 2010. He has authored eight books including The Art and Practice of Bivocational Ministry, The Healthy Community, and The Healthy Pastor: Easing the Stresses of Ministry. He has led workshops and seminars for numerous denominations in the United States and Canada on topics including Bivocational Ministry and The Healthy Small Church. Dennis offers information about bivocational ministry on his blog.


  • 8:30 - 9:00 am Breakfast
  • 9:00 - 9:20 am Welcome & Waiting Worship
  • 9:20 - 10:30 am Keynote Address and Q&A - Dennis Bickers
  • 10:30 - 11:00 am Break
  • 11:00 - 12:00 pm Bivocational Ministry Research - Phil Baisley
  • 12:00 - 12:15 pm Break
  • 12:15 - 1:00 pm Lunch
  • 1:00 - 2:00 pm Pastors Panel
  • 2:00 - 2:15 pm Break
  • 2:15 - 3:15 pm Congregants Panel
  • 3:15 - 3:30 pm Break
  • 3:30 - 4:30 pm Discussion: How Seminary Can Prepare Bivocational Ministers
  • 4:30 - 5:00 pm Closing Remarks