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Keynote Speakers 2022

Opening Plenary

Please note the schedule reflects Central Time:

Thursday, October 27, 2022 at 7:00 pm (CT) (1.0 CE)

Information to come-

Company affiliation to come

“Title to come”

Abstract information to come

Presenter Bio:



Alan Keith-Lucas Lecture:

Friday, October 28th, 2022at 11:30 am (CT)(1.0 CE)

Lawrence Ressler, PhD, MSW 

“I am Sorry I Have Made Them: The Call for Reconciliation Competency” 

The essence of the human story is framed early in scripture from the glory of creation in Genesis 1 to the despair of things gone bad in Genesis 6:7 when God declares regret for having made mankind. The despairing temptation to wipeout mankind was replaced by the goal of reconciliation beginning with the pivoting word ”however” and the person of Noah. The lecture explores how well Christians understand and are carrying out their responsibility as “ministers of reconciliation” and then, using Psalm 85:10 as a framework, the lecture will identify knowledge and skills Christian social workers need in order to bring truth, justice, forgiveness, and peace to the same broken world God decided was worth saving.

After completing this training, participants will be able to:

Objective 1: Articulate the theological basis for reconciliation;

Objective 2: Describe the basic causes of conflict;

Objective 3: Outline the skills needed for reconciliation using a Psalm 85:10 Truth, Mercy, Justice, Peace (TMJP) framework.

Presenter Bio: Dr. Lawrence Ressler has a BSW from Eastern Mennonite University, an MSW from Temple University, and a Ph.D. from Case Western Reserve University. In addition to serving in academic administration as dean, provost, and interim president, Dr. Ressler has taught social work at Malone University, Messiah University, Roberts Wesleyan College, the Carver School of Church Social Work at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, and Cairn University.

Banquet Speaker: Saturday, October 29, 2022 at 7 pm (CT) (1.0 CE)

Jonathan Brooks –

M. Div., Lawndale Christian Community Church, Trinity Christian College/Chicago Semester, CCDA

Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods 

In Church Forsaken, Brooks challenges local churches to rediscover that loving our neighbors means loving our neighborhoods. Unpacking the themes of Jeremiah 29, he shows how Christians can be fully present in local communities, building homes and planting gardens for the common good. His holistic vision and practical work offer good news for forgotten people and places. And community stakeholders and civic leaders will rediscover that churches are viable partners in community transformation in ways that they may never have considered.

God has always been at work in neglected neighborhoods. Join “Pastah J” on this journey and discover new hope for your community

Presenter Bio:

Jonathan Brooks currently serves as Co-Pastor at Lawndale Christian Community Church. He was the former pastor of Canaan Community Church in Chicago for 15 years. He is also an adjunct Professor for Northern Seminary in their Christian Community Development Program and Trinity Christian College’s Chicago Semester program. He served as the Chicago City Director for Mission Year, a year- long service program that focuses on the intersections of Faith and justice. Jonathan has also been an educator in inner city Chicago for well over a decade and is a firm believer in investing in your local community. He has a deep desire to impress this virtue on all who will listen whether congregation, classroom or community.

Through various roles and partnerships,  Jonathan is engaged in social activism, church planting, youth development, holistic health options, college scholarships, music lessons and continual support to the incarcerated and their families living in North Lawndale, Greater Englewood and other Chicago communities.

Pastah J, as he is affectionately called, is a sought- after speaker, writer and artist.  Along with speaking, training and consulting he has written numerous blogs and contributed to various books. He is the author of the book “Church Forsaken: Practicing Presence in Neglected Neighborhoods” published by InterVarsity Press. During his tenure at Canaan the church released a gospel album titled “Recommend Jesus” to be used as an avenue to share faith as an integral component in community transformation. Lastly, Pastah J has also recorded four hip-hop albums with the group Out-World and a mixtape to accompany the book Church Forsaken.

Jonathan has a Bachelor of Architecture from Tuskegee University, Master of Arts in Teaching from National Louis University and Master of Divinity from Northern Seminary in Christian Community Development. He hopes to merge his academic knowledge, practical tools and ministry training in order to turn his convictions into tangible solutions which will help change neglected neighborhoods all over the city of Chicago for future generations.

Jonathan and his wife, Micheál have two children, Tayler and Jade, and currently reside in North Lawndale steps away from the church campus.

You can learn more at www.pastahj.com


Panel Presentation Information

NACSW has an exciting panel discussion planned for Saturday, October 29th from 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm CT (1.0 CE) on The Impact of COVID and Mental Health Issues in Social Work featuring : Dara M. Bassley, MA, LCSW, Manager of Health Equity, Access Community Health Network, and other speakers TBD.