Rostered Ministers throughout the Northern Illinois Synod are invited to join Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman for the 2024 Professional Leader's Conference. 

Held at the beautiful Lutherdale in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. This ELCA Outdoor Ministry site has not only two on-site housing options but there are plenty of opportunities for free time activities and dining together in nearby Lake Geneva and surrounding towns. 

 Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman, a homiletic professor from United Lutheran Seminary, will be presenting, "Vibrant Preaching in a Shifting Culture." The author of "I Refuse to Preach a Boring Sermon," Dr. W will help us to find our voice, connection, creativity, and transformation in our preaching. 

Registration Cost 
Registration is $115, and it includes lunch on Monday and Tuesday. Your registration fee also covers the guest speaker, site costs, and other things we need to have an enriching event. 
Registration cut-off is September 15, 2024.  

If you cannot pay via credit card, please call the synod office, 309-794-4004, to discuss your options. 

 Scroll down for more information on this year's schedule, speaker and housing information. 

Other Planned Aspects to PLC
The Professional Leaders Conference Planning Subcommittee has been working behind the scenes to plan an excellent time of learning, fellowship, and renewal. In addition to Dr. Wiseman's presentations, there are other important aspects of our time together:

  • Bishop's Time. I will have some time on Tuesday to update us about synod ministries and listen to your questions.
  • Worship. We will worship in the Lutherdale Chapel. Dr. Wiseman and I will each preach during one of our worship services.
  • Guided Ministry Conversations. This year, we will take one of our afternoons to network and share resources with each other. We will sit around tables as we discuss the challenges of ministry and share ideas of how we can innovate. 
  • Sabbath Time. We also will have one afternoon of sabbath time for reconnecting with God, colleagues, and with yourself. Options for afternoon activities will be available on-site.
  • Dinners. We will gather at local restaurants for dinners on Monday and Tuesday. This will be another time to meet rostered ministers and church leaders from across the synod.

Your input is important! As part of the registration form, you will have space to request ministry conversation topics, sabbath activities, and dinner options.

To register for the 2024 PLC, please click here.

To stay at Lutherdale in the Hope Center Sunday night, please click herePlease note that Hope Center housing for Sunday night will be limited.

2024 PLC Schedule

Monday, September 30

  • 9:30 a.m. Check-in at Hope Center
  • 10:30 a.m. Worship in the Chapel
  • 11:15 a.m. God’s Story. Our Story. in the Chapel
  • 12:00 p.m. Noon Meal in the Dining Hall (Bishop dines with those New to Synod)
  • 1:00 p.m. Presentation I with Rev. Dr. Karyn Wisemen in the Hope Center
  • 2:30 p.m. Guided Ministry Conversations Part 1 in the Dining Hall
  • 3:30 p.m. Guided Ministry Conversations Part 2 in the Dinning Hall
  • 5:00 p.m. Dinner together at local restaurants
  • 7:30 p.m. Optional activities Lutherdale
  • 8:30 p.m. Night Prayer at the Firepit by Hope Center

Tuesday, October 1

  • 8:10 a.m. Breakfast in the Dining Hall (For those staying overnight at camp)
  • 9 a.m. Worship in the Chapel
  • 10:15 a.m. Presentation II with Rev. Dr. Karyn Wisemen in the Hope Center
  • 12:00 p.m. Noon Meal in Dining Hall (Bishop dines with those retired)
  • 1:00 p.m. Bishop’s Time in the Hope Center
  • 2:30 p.m. Free Time Group activities available
  • 5:30 p.m. Dinner together at local restaurants
  • 7:30 p.m. Optional Activities Lutherdale
  • 8:30 p.m. Night Prayer at the Firepit by Hope Center

Wednesday, October 2

  • 8:10 a.m. Breakfast Dining Hall (For those staying overnight at camp)
  • 9:00 a.m. Presentation III with Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman in the Hope Center
  • 10:30 a.m. Worship in the Chapel
  • 12:00 p.m. End of Event

Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman

The Rev. Dr. Karyn L. Wiseman is an ordained pastor in the United Church of Christ, who grew up and was first ordained in The United Methodist Church. She has 21 years of experience pastoring churches in Kansas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Dr. Wiseman’s studies for her doctorate took place at Drew University where she worked with Dr. Leonard Sweet for four years as his teaching and research assistant. Her degree is in Liturgical Studies, Preaching, and Worship, with additional study in the Emerging Church Movement and new types of ministries for new generations. She has led numerous workshops and taught classes in several seminaries across the country regarding preaching, worship, the emerging/missional church, social media for ministry, clergy self-care, and other important pastoral topics, especially preaching for a new day. She is interested in engaging the church for vital ministry ideas, equipping communities to take on new models for church, and employing postmodern ideas in communities of faith to reengage younger generations in preaching and worship. She has immense passion for using social media to engage new generations for preaching, worship, mission, and ministry. Dr. Wiseman has spoken at numerous regional and national events and for a number of digital platforms on preaching, worship, and social media’s role in both. She has written for The Huffington Post and other social media outlets and has written numerous commentaries for Working Preacher, Feasting on the Word, and Feasting on the Gospels (listed below). She is married to Cindy Clawson, a social worker in Philadelphia, and has a son, Shelby, who recently graduated from Temple University. She loves action movies, social media, Broadway musicals and plays, New York Yankees baseball, and the Dallas Cowboys. Her love of the church means she is often dreaming of new ways for the church to be all it can be in a new and changing world. Dr. Wiseman pastors part-time at the Gloria Dei Church in Huntingdon Valley, PA, which is a progressive church of the ELCA.

Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman will give three presentations (1:00 p.m. on Monday, 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday and 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday), below is a breakdown of what each presentation will focus on.

Presentation I: Who we are...finding our voice in a world of constant demands

  • Self-care and claiming our stories -- too often in the wilderness
  • Tending to our needs and hearing the pain around us

Presentation II: How and what we preach...telling God's story in a world craving connection

  • Connecting in an increasingly digital world
  • Creativity, storytelling, and vibrancy in preaching

Presentation III: Where we lead...leading followers to vibrant faith and life

  • Preaching that sparks transformation

Housing Information

You have four options for overnight accommodations - two on campus and two at nearby hotels. At Lutherdale:  

  • The Hope Center has hotel-like accommodations with private baths. $99 per night plus breakfast Tuesday and Wednesday morning
  • The Watson Center has camp-like accommodations with shared bathrooms. $35 per night plus linen fee and breakfast Tuesday and Wednesday morning.
  • If you would like to share a room in Hope or Watson, please contact Pastor Julie Monnard at for the coupon code before registering. Both roommates will need to use the coupon code at registration to receive the discount.
  • To stay at Lutherdale in the Hope Center or Watson Center on Sunday night, please go here. Please note that Hope Center housing for Sunday night will be limited. 

We also have two hotel blocks: 

  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites, 200 W. O'Connor Drive Elkhorn, WI 53121.  Holiday Inn Website
    • Use code ILS for the group rate of $99/night plus taxes and fees. 
    • Hotel Block cutoff date: August 29, 2024
  • Hampton Inn, 40 W Hidden Trail, Elkhorn, WI 53121, Hampton Inn Website
    • Double Queen, $129/night plus taxes and fees. Use Group Code NIS.
    • Direct link to hotel block: Hampton Inn Elkhorn Hotel Block
    • Hotel Block cutoff date: August 22, 2024.