Women's Leadership Conference

Are you ready to influence your world now?


All about Influence: A Women’s Leadership Conference is designed to equip you to reach, lead, and impact those in your sphere of influence— be it at home, in your church, at your workplace, or in a parachurch ministry. If you’re ready to invest in the lives of others, find encouragement in your spiritual walk, and be challenged to make a difference, this conference is for you.


Mary Jo Sharp
Keynote Speaker

Mary Jo Sharp is a former atheist from the Pacific Northwest who thought religion was for the weak-minded. She now holds a Masters in Christian Apologetics from Biola University and is the first woman to become a Certified Apologetics Instructor through the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Mary Jo is an Assistant Professor at Houston Baptist University, on faculty with Summit Ministries, an author with Kregel Publications and B&H Publications, author of the top-selling Bible study, "Why Do You Believe That?" and has recently produced a new DVD Bible Study with LifeWay Resources.

A clear communicator with a heart for people, she finds great joy in sharing the deep truths of her Lord and Savior. She administrates the website, Confident Christianity, and has engaged in two formal, public debates with Muslims.


Registration Fee

  • $75/person (until 9/1)
  • $85/person (until 9/26)
  • $95/person (after 9/26)
  • $75/person for groups of 5 or more (until 9/19)

Discounted Fee

  • $68/person for DTS alumni
  • $30/person for all DTS employees and spouses
  • $30/person for students
  • Special volunteer rate available. Contact Heather Zimmerman to apply

Date & Location

Monday, October 3, 2016
Dallas Theological Seminary | Dallas, TX
Lamb Auditorium




  • 8:00AM - Registration Opens
  • 8:30AM - Session 1 with Mary Jo Sharp
  • 10:00AM - Workshop 1
  • 11:15AM - Lunch
  • 12:15PM - Workshop 2
  • 1:45PM - Session 2 with Mary Jo Sharp
  • 3:30PM - Conference Concludes

Who should come?

Professional and lay women church leaders, volunteers, and anyone passionate about living out the Gospel in word and deed.

Where is it?

The conference will occur on the campus of Dallas Theological Seminary. We will be meeting in Lamb Auditorium for the keynote sessions. Breakout Sessions and lunch will take place throughout the Campbell building.


Dallas Theological Seminary does not have any special agreements or price discounts at area hotels.


Jaleesa McCreary and a team of women from the Austin Stone Worship team is coming to lead two sessions of worship at the 2016 Women's Leadership Conference: All about Influence. As a ministry of The Austin Stone in Austin, TX, they are dedicated to proclaiming the beautiful gospel of Christ in their city and all around the world. Austin Stone Worship is a collection of worship leaders, musicians, songwriters, storytellers and artists serving and equipping the Church with content rich in theology, mission, and expression.


You will be able to attend two workshops, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. You choose your workshops at registration, so be sure to read through all your options!

Digging Deeper Track

Because of Mary Jo Sharp’s emphasis on Biblical and Theological literacy for women, we want to offer you an opportunity to really dig into some ancient truth. To make your whole day filled with hearing about incorporating these specific truths into your life and ministry, be sure to select Brittany and Nika’s workshops. You do not have to select both, but we wanted to provide a track for women who resonated with Mary Jo’s exhortations.

The Place of Theology In Your Life and Ministry

Brittany Burnette
Associate Professor of Christian Education
Associate Dean of Distance Education for Faculty & Curriculum Development at the College of Biblical Studies - Houston
Dr. Brittany Burnette serves as an Associate Professor of Christian Education and the Associate Dean of Distance Education for Faculty & Curriculum Development at the College of Biblical Studies - Houston. She served as the Academic Dean and Headmaster of Plano Christian Academy, where she taught Latin, political philosophy, Church History, Biblical Studies, and rhetoric. She is a co-editor of A Reader’s Lexicon of the Apostolic Fathers with Dr. Daniel B. Wallace and Terri Moore (2013). She also served as a research assistant to Dr. Darrell Bock for: Jesus According to Scripture (2002), Jesus in Context (2005), The Missing Gospels (2006), and The Baker Exegetical Commentary on Acts (2007). She holds a B.A. in Religious Studies from Yale University, a Th.M. in New Testament Studies and Systematic Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary, and a D.Min. in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary. Dr. Burnette lived in Seoul, Korea for two years, where she earned her black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She is a rabid tennis fan and an unapologetic caffeine addict.

The Power of Teaching Exegetically

Nika Spaulding
Director of Women’s Equipping and Curriculum at Watermark Community Church
Nika Spaulding received her BS in Zoology ('07) from the University of Oklahoma and her ThM in New Testament Studies ('13) from Dallas Theological Seminary. She is currently the Director of Women’s Equipping and Curriculum at Watermark Community Church. Nika is passionate about helping women think well about the Lord, the Bible, and theology. In her free time she enjoys being the fun aunt, trying new restaurants in Dallas, and cheering on her Sooners.

Practical Ministries Workshops

Walking with Those Who Have Walked Away

Rebecca Carrell
90.0 KCBI Morning Show Co-host
Rebecca Carrell is, in order of importance, a joyful Jesus follower, wife, mother, morning show co-host in Dallas/Fort Worth on 90.9 KCBI, conference speaker, and author of Holy Jellybeans: Finding God through Everyday Things. She moved to Dallas in 1998 and began her broadcasting career in country music. In 2011 she moved to Christian radio station KCBI, and founded LSS (Love, Serve, Shine!) Ministries, an interdenominational women’s ministry built on Ephesians 1:17, with the sole purpose of knowing Him better through worship, service, and study. Rebecca is also currently working toward her Master of Arts in Christian Education at Dallas Theological Seminary. Find out more at LoveServeShine.com and kcbi.org.

Casting Visions in Your Ministry

Amy Cedrone
Pastor of Young Adults and Women's Gatherings, Bent Tree Bible Church
Amy Cedrone is the pastor of young adults and women’s gatherings at Bent Tree Bible Fellowship in Carrollton, TX. Amy and her husband, Tony, have led small groups of both students and adults in various mentoring capacities and are regularly sought out for biblical counsel in marriages, relationships, and other life circumstances. Amy is also a passionate shepherd and Bible teacher. She still continues to mentor both young and older adult women and has been a consultant for church staff training, volunteer leader training, and missions development for ministries that are expanding their reach. Amy completed her MA in Christian Leadership at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Recovering and Moving on from Disappointments

Stephanie Giddens
Founder and president for Vickery Trading Company
Stephanie Giddens has a passion for empowering women. In 2009, she co-founded Polish, a ministry that helps young professional women connect faith with real life. Over time, her passion for social justice grew and she and her husband planned to move to East Africa to pursue business as missions in order to empower marginalized women. In a heartbreaking turn of events, the move fell through, but it inspired the work that she does today. She is founder and president of Vickery Trading Company, a children’s clothing line that renews hope to refugee women in Dallas. She is a proud graduate of Texas A&M and holds a Master of Theology degree from Dallas Theological Seminary. Stephanie lives in Dallas with her husband Brad and their three young children.

Ministering to the Women in the Workplace

Elaine Kung
Director at AT&T and Founder of Called to Work
Elaine Kung’s family immigrated from Hong Kong to Maryland as refugees in 1980. Elaine accepted Christ in 1981, and God changed her from a trouble maker to a peace maker. She is passionate in evangelism, discipleship, and workplace and family ministries. She enjoys speaking on leadership, career development, parenting, marriage, and various life skills for all ages. Elaine met her husband, Dominic, at Cornell University where she earned her B.S. in Electrical & Materials Science Engineering. AT&T sponsored Elaine for an M.S. in Electrical Engineering at Princeton. Elaine has a 31-year career at AT&T, starting with Bell Laboratories, then advancing through various technical and business leadership roles, now as the Integrated Business Product Marketing Director. Elaine and Dominic have been serving in roles such as speaker, advisor, mentor, deacon, board member, chairman of the board, and elder in churches, ministries, universities, and organizations in the States and in Asia. They founded the nationwide ministry, Called To Work, in 1996 with conferences and resources to encourage people to take Jesus to work. The mission is to ENCOURAGE people to be their best in the marketplace, receive God’s blessings, be a blessing to others, EQUIP leaders, and EXPAND marketplace ministry network. Elaine was recognized by such awards as the WOC (Women of Color) STEM Career Achievement Industry Award, Successful Women in Business, and Most On-Fire Manager. Elaine has been married to Dominic since 1986. AT&T relocated them from NJ to Dallas in 2013. They have two grown children, working in San Francisco and San Diego.

Mentoring Conversations

Barbara Neumann
Adjunct Professor in Educational Ministries and Leadership at DTS
Dr. Barbara Neumann is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary where she currently serves as an adjunct professor in the Educational Ministries and Leadership Department. She teaches students attending the seminary’s Houston campus. Her additional ministries include mentoring young leaders and serving as a church mentoring consultant, speaker, and Bible study leader. She recently published Organic Mentoring: A Mentor’s Guide to Relationships With Next Generation Women. Barbara lives in Houston with her husband, Ralph, who is a chemical engineer, but she escapes to the Colorado Mountains every chance she gets. She’s a mother of three, and a grandmother to eleven perfect grandchildren.

Counseling Essentials for the Non-Professional Counselor

Andi Thacker
Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at DTS
Andi Thacker is an assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at Dallas Theological Seminary. She received a BS from Texas Tech University in 2003, an MABC from Dallas Theological Seminary in 2006, and a PhD from University of North Texas in 2010. In addition to her teaching responsibilities at DTS, Dr. Thacker maintains a small private practice in which she specializes with children and adolescents and supervises LPC Interns. Dr. Thacker’s clinical experience includes working as an inpatient program therapist for the Minirth Christian Program, serving on a mobile crisis outreach team conducting suicide risk assessments, working as a church counselor, and conducting child and adolescent psychoeducational assessments. Dr. Thacker is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Board Approved Supervisor, a Registered Play Therapist, a Nationally Certified Counselor, and a Certified Crisis Worker by the American Association of Suicidology. She is married to Chad and they have two children, Emerson and Will.

Folding Single Adults Into Your Ministry and Congregation

Elizabeth Woodson
Singles Coordinator at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship
Elizabeth Woodson is a passionate Bible teacher whose deepest desire is to know Christ and to make Him known! Engaging both the heart and mind she loves to teach the truth of Scripture, empowering believers to experience abundant life with Jesus. Whether it’s over a cup of coffee or a few of scoops of ice cream, Elizabeth also loves to disciple women. She believes in keepin’ it real as she strives to encourage them to be mighty women of God! Elizabeth has a background in accounting, but over the past few years God has allowed her long time ministry passion to become her full-time job! On most days you can find her hanging out with singles at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship, where she works as the Singles Coordinator, giving oversight and leadership to the Singles Ministry. She is also a student at Dallas Theological Seminary pursuing a Masters in Christian Education.


If you would like to publicize this event at your church or within your area of influence, below are several items that can help. If you do not see something that you need, please do not hesitate to contact us at cclevents@dts.edu and we’d be happy to get you whatever you would like!

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