I get asked a lot about what worship conferences to check out. Here is a great list of conferences I have been to, spoken at, or heard good things about.
The Calvin Worship Symposium (Grand Rapids, MI)
This is a yearly worship conference held at Calvin College the last weekend of every January (Michigan in winter…can’t beat it) sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. The speakers, workshops and attendees are a wide swath of american/canadian christendom. The vibe is eclectic-ecumenical. A great conference to get out of your comfort zone and be stretched! You can read some blog reflections on past symposiums HERE.
National Worship Leaders Worship Conference
Every summer Worship Leader magazine hosts a number of worship conferences. These have become more regional over the years. They feature worship services with both established and up and coming contemporary worship leaders. Mostly practical break-out sessions and tons of opportunities to check out the latest/greatest gear. Vibe is commercial-megachurch-contemporary. You can see my post HERE.
Bifrost Arts Music Conference
Every couple of years Isaac Wardell and Co put on a conference focusing on various themes related to worship. Vibe is reformed-indie-folk. You can see my posts on the first two HERE and HERE.
Worship God Conference (Louisville, KY)
Bob Kauflin (Sovereign Grace Music) and co have a growing network of conferences they are hosting and planning. They are always a tremendous mix of worship times, encouragement, practical breakout sessions and rich biblical preaching and teaching. Vibe is charismatic-reformed-contemporary.
Doxology and Theology Conference (Louisville, KY)
A newcomer to the scene of worship conferences. This conference is specifically geared for worship leaders who have a desire to more fully understand the role and function of scripture in worship through a biblical lens. Vibe is reformed-baptist-modern hymnody.
Trinity School for Ministry (Pittsburg, PA)
Andy Piercy is now hosting two yearly gatherings for worship leaders and
Dr. Joel Scandrett is hosting a yearly gathering focused on promoting the legacy of Bob Webber and Ancient Future Worship called the “Ancient Evangelical Future Conference.” Vibe is eclectic-liturgical-contemporary. See my post here.
Transformation Conference (Seattle, WA)
Hosted by Fuller’s Brehm Center and Bethany Community Church this is a yearly? worship conference that hosts some great talent/speakers from the pacific northwest. Last year featured Mako Fujimura, Brian Moss, Citizens & Saints, and more! Check out their site HERE. Vibe is post-evangelical, eclectic.
The Hymn Society Conference
Every year the Hymn Society hosts their annual conference in a different city around the US. Each year has a different theme and focus. The vibe is traditional worship but there is always great content to be had! Two years ago a few of us associated with the retuned hymn movement led an evening hymn sing and presented some workshops. Reflections on our time HERE.
Congregational Music Conference (Oxford, England)
Academic conference hosted every year in Oxford looking at congregational music issues from the lens of ethnomusicology, musicology, history, cultural studies, etc. I presented here on the retuned hymn movement in 2014.
New City Music Conference (St. Louis, MO)
Kirk Ward hosts a conference most summers focusing on urban ministry and music. It’s not too late to register for this years conference in St. Louis, MO. Info here.
Praxis Worship Conference (Various)
A conference hosted by a group of large non-denom churches and leaders wrestling with how to incorporate liturgy into their worship gatherings. More info here.
Yale Institute of Sacred Music (New Haven, CT)
Hosts small conferences from time to time. Their most recent conference was on the use of poetry in pastoral ministry. More info here.
Austin Stone Worship Conference (Austin, TX)
Conference hosted by Austin Stone church in Austin, TX. Aaron Ivey is their worship leader. I’ve never been but I’ve heard good things. You can see info from their conference last year here.
CIVA Arts Conference
Pastors to Artists Retreats @ Laity Lodge. A yearly retreat led and curated by Dr. David Taylor (Fuller-Houston) and a pilgrimage for many who minister to artists.
Mockingbird Conference (w/ Zac Hicks)
Calvin’s Festival of Faith and Music (Grand Rapids, MI)