Walter Brueggemann

Walter Brueggerman

Walter Brueggemann is widely considered to be the world’s leading interpreter of the Old Testament, is the author of numerous books, articles, and bible commentaries, and certainly is one of the most influential Old Testament scholars of the last several decades.

Dr. Brueggemann received a Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary, New York and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. He was professor of Old Testament and Dean at Eden Theological Seminary. Beginning in 1986, he served as William Marcellus McPheeters professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, from where he retired in the early 2000s.

Brueggemann is an advocate and practitioner of rhetorical criticism. Dr. Brueggemann is known for combining literary and sociological modes when reading the Bible. Titles like The Prophetic Imagination, and Hopeful Imagination reflect his interest in the prophetic corpus.

An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Dr. Brueggemann currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a huge St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Brian Zahnd

Brian Zahnd

Brian Zahnd is the founder and lead pastor of Word of Life Church, a Christian congregation located in the heartland of America in Saint Joseph, Missouri. For 33 years, Brian and his wife Peri’s vision for the church has been to be an authentic expression of the Kingdom of Jesus in a modern world. Brian is known for his focus on embracing the deep and long history of the Church and wholeheartedly participating in God’s mission to redeem and restore His world.

Today, Word of Life Church is a thriving congregation seeking to heal and help the people of Saint Joseph, Missouri. Through times of worship, instructional teaching, social justice programs, and many other avenues of outreach, the church helps its members to connect, grow, and serve others and Christ.

Brian is the author of four books: A Farewell To Mars, Beauty Will Save The World, Unconditional: The Call of Jesus To Radical Forgiveness, and What To Do On The Worst Day Of Your Life.

Jason Upton

Jason Upton

Jason Upton is a singer/songwriter with the heart of a pastor. Whether Jason is leading people in worship through singing or speaking, Jason does his best to carry the heart of our heavenly Father. His songs and his messages reflect a life fully lived in relationship with God, family and friends.

Jason and Key of David Ministries have several recordings available that document Jason and his band expressing the heart of God for His people through song, instrumental spontaneity and spoken word.

Jason currently lives in Wisconsin with his wife Rachel and their children Samuel, Emma, Lucy and Oliver.

"The Faith & Culture conference takes us deep into a cultural oasis. Its rhythm and depth of theology is unmatched."
Mark Dolphens, Hickory First Assembly of God, Hickory, NC


The Faith & Culture Conference 2015 sessions will be attended by an eclectic group of pastors and church leaders — people committed to building for the kingdom of Jesus, to their congregations’ spiritual formation, missions, restoration, social justice, etc. Just one example among many others is our friends from Missio Alliance who will be encouraging their fellowship of churches, denominations, schools, and networks to participate. We’re getting together as iron sharpening iron to hear from brilliant leaders and thinkers. A wide range of denominational backgrounds will be present. In recent years, attendees have come from the USA, Canada, England, the Netherlands, and Russia. This is a multi-generational conference. Conference registration is limited.

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What to Expect

The Venue: Word of Life Church, St. Joseph, Missouri. We’ll meet in a new, state-of-the art auditorium, perfectly sized for the conference. Word of Life has a full-service coffee shop and bookstore; a great place for hanging out before and after the conference sessions. There are many nice restaurant and hotel choices located no more than 10 minutes from the church.

The Weather: We’re in the Midwest in early April, so it could be anything. You can probably expect cool days and chilly, even cold evenings.

The Dress: Nothing but casual! Like you’re hanging out with friends.

The Sessions:

  • A relational, conversational gathering.
  • Intelligent discussion about things that really matter
  • A great setting for personal and pastoral development
  • An interdenominational, multi-generational gathering
  • Presentations, facilitated interviews, Q & A, plus small group interaction
Five main sessions, each two hours long. Sessions include worship music, a presentation by Walter Brueggemann, or Brian Zahnd, an interview, and time to ask questions. Session times are: Monday at 7 PM, Tuesday at 10 AM and 7 PM, and Wednesday at 10 AM and 7 PM. Lunch and small group breakout sessions will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday from noon till about 2 PM.

The Meals: Lunch, 12:00 – 2:00 PM (Tues. & Wed)

Free Time: Nothing is scheduled in the afternoons after our lunch sessions.

About the Conference Sponsor

The Faith & Culture Conference 2015 is sponsored by Word of Life Church, a 33-year-old Christian congregation in St. Joseph, Missouri founded and led by Brian Zahnd.

"Since the first year that I participated in the Faith and Culture Conference, I've made it a point to stay connected and attend. I want to encourage everyone to come and experience this unique conference."
Jason Upton, Key of David Ministries, Milwaukee, WI


Monday, April 13

5:00 – 7:00 PM Sign in at the conference
registration table at Word of Life Church
7:00 PM Opening Session
Speaker: Brian Zahnd
"Water to Wine"

Tuesday, April 14

10:00 AM Session Two
Speaker: Walter Brueggemann
"The Prophetic Imagination"
12:00 – 2:00 Lunch & Conversation
2:00 – 7:00 PM Free Time
7:00 PM Session Three
Speaker: Walter Brueggemann
"Behold The Man!"

Wednesday, April 15

10:00 AM Session Four
Speaker: Walter Brueggemann
"Out of Babylon"
12:00 – 2:00 Lunch & Conversation
2:00 – 7:00 PM Free Time
7:00 PM Session Five
Speaker: Brian Zahnd
"Three Dreams"
"We pastors are often caught in the trap of only learning things that are expedient: leadership tips, management tools, etc. And while all those may be necessary, we must— if we are to take the holiness of our vocation seriously— get away and look with fresh eyes at Scripture and at culture. But we need help in doing that."
Glenn Packiam, Lead Pastor, New Life Church Downtown, Colorado Springs, CO


Word of Life Church
3902 NE Riverside Road
Saint Joseph, Missouri 64505

P: (816) 233.6367
Word of Life Church

Word of Life Church is located in St. Joseph, Missouri. Word of Life facilities are known for being top notch, and this is no exception when it comes to Solomon’s Porch Bookstore and Coffee shop – a great place to hang out and relax, enjoy some great fair trade coffee, or catch up on email. The Upper Room prayer chapel is a wonderful setting for silence and solitude.

St. Joseph is at the crossroads of Interstate 29 and MO Highway 36 – only 40 minutes from Kansas City and Kansas City International Airport. This puts St. Joseph within easy driving distance of over 17 metropolitan areas. Founded in 1843, St. Joseph, Missouri quickly grew to become one of the most important sites of commerce and trade for the western continent. Early on, it was at the forefront of advances in transportation and communication.

The Pony Express

In St. Joseph, you can see where American History icon The Pony Express began, and where legendary outlaw Jesse James ended. You can relive the exciting history of the Pony Express at the Pony Express Museum & Patee House Museum. Of all the worlds’ legendary characters, few have attracted world-wide fascination like the outlaw, Jesse James. The Jesse James Home Museum, the location where the infamous outlaw was shot and killed in 1882, is a must-see tour stop in St. Joseph.

Kansas City Chiefs Training Camp

St. Joseph is home to 16 distinctive museums and 12 annual festivals. St. Joseph is one of America’s best-kept secrets for historic architecture, and has plenty of amazing architectural sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll also find great outdoor recreation throughout 48 parks, 26 miles of beautiful Parkway, outdoor concerts, and a vibrant arts culture. Missouri Western University is the summer training camp home of the Kansas City Chiefs.

With over 225 shops, ranging from one-of-a-kind outdoor shopping to hidden antique stores and over 150 restaurants within a 10 mile radius, St. Joseph continues to be a great stopping place along anyone’s trail.

When you are with us in April, in your free time we invite you to discover the beauty of St. Joseph.

"I attend exactly one leadership conference per year and I don't shop around. The accessibility granted to converse freely and intimately with these world class leaders surprised me. I experienced true confer-ence. To engage together in mind, heart and prayer, wow! I've pre-booked my calendar."
- Dr. Brad Jersak, Faculty, Westminister Theological Centre, Cheltenham, UK.


Early Bird Rate Register by 02/28/2015 $59 per person
Conference Rate Applies on 03/01/2015 $79 per person
At The Door Applies on 04/13/2015 $99 per person

The fee covers lunch on Tuesday and Wednesday, conference materials, and registration. Transportation to and from the conference is your own responsibility, as are lodging and other meals. Should you need to cancel your Faith & Culture 2015 registration, you must call 816.233.6367 or fax a written request to 816.233.0005, noting which of the options below your prefer:

  • Refund (less $25 cancellation fee) by February 28, 2015. No refunds after this date.
  • At no charge, transfer your registration to another person from your church to attend in your place.

While families are important to us, unfortunately there are no accommodations for childcare or infants at the conference. We will not be able to admit children into any of the sessions. If you are registering others who have small children, please relay this to them.

"There is an unspoken benefit that occurs from participating; we leave more appreciatively connected with each other and perhaps we are better persons for our exposure to the provocative insights of courageously faithful leaders."
Bill Rose-Heim, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Mid-America, NW Area Pastor


Lock in your registration now using the registration form below, or complete your registration by calling Word of Life Church at 816.233.6367.