Evening speakers Tracks and seminars Response groups

ProgrammeMichael Ramsden

We are truly privileged to have Michael Ramsden as our main speaker at Presence. Every morning Michael will unpack a chapter from the book of Jonah in the Old Testament for us; this little book recounts the story of the anti-hero prophet Jonah, his journey and his short and successful Mission trip to Nineveh. Michael Ramsden has the rare gift of being witty and visionary, he has deep insights into the times we live in and more than anything is an evangelist God has used to bring thousands to Christ in a number of countries. There is reason to come expectant!

More about Michael Ramsden

Evening speakers

We are really excited about the evening meetings at Presence. As the conference unfolds we will have a look at how the Gospel is good news to different people in different places. On Friday Sarah Breuel will lead us through the theme "Good news for our friends", on Saturday we will hear from Michael Ots on "Good news for the University", on Sunday Glynn Harrison will tell us how the gospel is Good news for our culture, and on the last night Jamil* will talk about how the gospel is Good news for the world.  These are our engaging speakers that will lead us through the evening sessions:

Sarah BreuelMore info
Tor Erling FagermoenMore info
Glynn HarrisonMore info
Michael OtsMore info

*photo witheld for security reasons. Please click here to take a look at Jamil's profile.

Tracks and seminars

The afternoons at Presence will contain interesting tracks and seminars where you can go deeper and learn more in your area of interest, to empower you to be more present in your context. Friday and Saturday there will be 2-day tracks, meaning you follow the same track over the two days. These tracks are categorized in two; evangelism tools and passion groups. If you are a part of Young Staff Network, Mentoring or a high schooler in High School Ministry, please choose the two-day track appointed to you under "Young Staff Network, Mentoring and High School Ministry".

On Sunday you can choose a one-day seminar. The seminars are categorized in three: understanding your context, Christian living and Christian doctrine.

In your registration you will have to choose a two-day track and a one one-day seminar. Here is a listing on the different tracks and seminars and their content:

Two-day tracks

Evangelistic tools

Gives you resources to help you share the gospel with your friends in your place of study

Uncover is a tool to introduce your friends to Jesus, simply by examining the evidence, and uncovering His life, all through reading the Gospels! In this track you will learn how to have Bible studies with your seeking friends and to make the most of the Uncover resource.

This track is for people who haven’t worked with Uncover before. If you have some experience, but want to become better at it, sign up for the Uncover - advanced course.

Speaker: Nay Dawson

If you already have experience with using the Uncover material in reading the Bible with friends, but you want to become better at it, sign up for this track!

Speaker: Tim Rudge

This seminar is full and cannot be chosen anymore. All registrations will be assigned to the second choice.

In his role as General Secretary of IFES World, Lindsay Brown travelled all over the world and had the privilege of observing and participating in University outreach in all shapes and sizes. In this track, Lindsay will share creative evangelism models from around the globe.

Speaker: Lindsay Brown

The Veritas Forum helps students and faculty staff explore life's hardest questions. Many of the world's leading universities were founded to answer the big "why" questions. The mission of the Veritas Forum is to help them confront these questions anew, by inviting participants from a range of background to engage big issues in public events at the University. Want to find out more? Join this track!

Speaker: Jérémie Corbeau

The Mark Drama is an innovative way of experiencing the Gospel of Mark and communicating it to others, performed as theatre-in-the-round. You don't need a theatre, props, costumes or professional actors, but by using the Bible as script, you can present the entire Gospel story in 90 minutes to your friends in your place of study. Come and find out more on how to take the Mark drama back to your city!

Speaker: Susann Heichel

How can you help your seeking friends to meet God through the Bible? In this track we will look at the principles of seeker Bible studies, as well as practical ways in which you could start Bible studies with your friends.

Speakers: Sarah Bruel and Attila Nyari

“You are the salt of the earth… you are the light of the world.” One of the best and most natural places for us to be salt and light is in the relationships God has placed us in – in our universities, places of work and families. In this track we are going to think about the relationships that we are already in and how we can naturally share the good news of Jesus with them.

Speaker: Craig Weyrens

This seminar is full and cannot be chosen anymore. All registrations will be assigned to the second choice.

It is tempting to think that defending the Christian faith is all about giving our friends the right answers. But have you ever experienced that the impact of asking questions can be much bigger? Jesus Himself had a habit of asking great questions! In this track we will think through the why and how of asking good questions, to engage your friends in meaningful conversations about God.

Speaker: Julia Garschagen 

If you have ever had to give talks in your student group, you might have experienced that it´s not that easy... And it´s perhaps even more challenging to speak for a non-Christian audience. How can we challenge and convince sceptics through evangelistic talks? Sign up for this track if you want to get better at this! We are going to look at the principles of giving good talks, and at ways of making talks more evangelistic.

Speaker: Matthias Clausen

In recent years more and more Mission Weeks have been taking place around Europe, and many studentshave found Jesus through them! Would you like yourUniversity to experience the impact of a week of outreach and public gospel talks, then come to this track! In the first session we will look at the general concept of mission weeks, and in session two we'll zoom in on practical aspects of mission weeks such as planning, PR and follow-up. 

Speaker: Michael Ots

This seminar is full and cannot be chosen anymore. All registrations will be assigned to the second choice.

When doing outreach on campus, the first step of getting into a conversation with complete strangers is often found to be the hardest and the most scary, and it’s frustrating when noone seems interested to talk. What could we do to make our outreach more intriguing and provoke more interest in those we want to reach? In this track you’ll get aquainted with many fun and interesting ideas and resources for first contact evangelism.

Speakers: Brane Zelenjak and Geof Cuschieri

Did you know you can go ‘to the ends of the earth’ by staying at home? Students from all over the world come to study in Europe - many from countries where they would normally never meet a Christian or hear about Jesus. How can we offer hospitality and reaching out to them? How can you help them experience God’s love?

Are you interested in starting international ministry at your University or sharing the gospel with cross-cultural awareness, then this track is for you!

Speaker: Hans-Markus Haizmann

Chances are you have friends with a Muslim background. In this track we want to come to a deeper understanding of Islam, and what it looks like practically to reach out to your Muslim friends.

Speakers: Kurt Morrill and Jenn West

How does the medical education system influence the way we can live and share the gospel among coworkers, fellow students and university staff? In this track we will think through what it means to be a Christian and a medic.

Speaker: Christopher Gerken

A track for students and graduates about being witnesses to Jesus in our workplace.

Speaker: Tim Vickers

Passion groups

These seminars will look at how you can use your passion, talent and interest to glorify God and make him known to the people around you.

If you are intrigued by stories, then this is your track! This passion group explores what our love for good stories has to do with the story of God and His world. You’ll go away with ideas on how you can use stories as a way of pointing your friends to the reality of God’s story.

Speaker: Mari Ovsepyan

“Taste and see that the Lord is good!” Grace, mission and community often happen around the table. If you love hospitality and food, could you take it all a step further and use it to give people a taste of Jesus? This track will give you a lot of ideas, for your student group and for you personally.

Speaker: Kodi Moore

Art starts on the first page of the Bible. Our Creator God created this wonderful world, and His image-bearers were made to be creators too! Through art people relate to the world and to the big questions of life. How can we use art as a way of exploring and responding to the message of God, and invite our non-christian friends to join us  in that?

Speaker: Natalya Bolnyk

Poetry is a powerful thing! It can get people to think in ways prose not always can. God uses poetry to speak to people, and when Paul was in Athens he used the poetry of his contemporaries to talk about God. How can you put your love for poetry to voice the heart of God to the people around you?

Speaker: Aoife Beville

“For in him we live and move and have our being.” This track is all about combining your love for sport with opportunities for sharing Jesus. Sport brings people together. How can sport help you to create openings to share Jesus with your friends?

Speaker: Alex Zöller and Mike Vlajnic

Music is a language that speaks powerfully to many people. How can you use music as a way to celebrate God and communicate the gospel? How can you worship God with music, with and without worship songs?

Speakers: Danijel Petkovski and Wouter van Hoof

When venturing into the great outdoors we often experience God’s beauty and greatness in awe-some ways, and at the same time we get to spend a lot of time with people. How can we use this time intentionally, to invite our friends in the greatest adventure: a life with God?

Speaker: Ola Hellenes

It’s hard to imagine our world without social media. Can we use social media to carve out a bigger presence for God, and give a voice and expression to what it means to live as people of God? Join this track if you love being online, and want to learn more about ‘onlining’ for God’s glory.

Speaker: Penny Vinden

There are many resources on science and faith these days. We can confidently say that science hasn’t buried God! But what does that mean for you? How can science help you to see God more clearly? And how can the people around you see God more clearly through your passion for science? Come and engage in this track!

Speaker: Alexander Fink

God has a passion for drama and dance! In the Bible there are multiple examples of God using it to communicate his truth and joy. How can we celebrate and incorporate theatre and dance to express the good news, and draw our friends closer to God?

Speaker: Agnieszka Cianciara-Frolich

How can travelling enrich your walk with Jesus and help you explore the breadth of His kingdom?  How can you go a second mile, and share Jesus with fellow-travelers or encourage the local church?

Speaker: Tom Uher

How could Christians engage their universities - or other training institutions? How could you be salt and light in the university? How will you remain faithful? How could you join in what is being done on campus for the common good or start something new, how could your interest for the campus and your faith be a rich blessing?  Come, and let's explore together.

Speaker: Timothée Joset

For people passionate about history, and about connecting the dots between history and His Story.

Speaker: Jeff Fountain

God is passionate about social justice. Both Jesus and the prophets engaged in the fight against injustice: poverty, slavery and misuse of power... What are your opportunities to engage in social justice? Can you as a Christian student spread light by initiating or engaging in something on your campus? Are there any overlooked groups in your country?

Speaker: Ela Magda

Is fashion the expression of a self-obsessed culture, or is there more to it? How can it be used for good, what does it show about God’s gifts of creativity and talent? In this seminar we will go through these questions together, and brainstorm on how we can display God in the realm of fashion and beauty.

Speaker: Aseel Shomar and Veronika Lepik

There’s huge interest in healthy living: both physically (exercise, diets, super food) as mentally (yoga, mindfulness and endless other options). What’s behind this preoccupation with health? How can we show others Jesus in our attempts to live life to the fullest?

Speakers: Claire and Andrew Livingstone

Video games are among the largest/fastest-growing media outlets. Many students spend their free hours in the online gaming world.  Can Jesus be brought into the culture of video games?

Speaker: Tom Grey

If you are passionate about photograhy, then this seminar is for you! Does God like photography and instagram too? We are going to discuss it, and we´ll also come up with lots of ideas of how your photography can help to zoom in on God, and make Him more visible to your friends and your university.

Speaker: Emmanuelle Maignial

Young Staff Network, Mentoring and High School Ministry

The participants of the YSN 2016-17 are expected to take part in this track.

This track is for all the high schoolers attending Presence. A place to connect and share, and be inspired and equipped to be sharing Jesus at your high school.

Speaker: Juergen Schmidt

This track - led by Cees Griffioen - is for those who were part of mentoring at Formacion. 

One-day seminars

Christian doctrine

These seminars help you to think through some of the questions that are central to the Christian faith.

What makes Christianity unique, is how unique Jesus is. How? And why does it matter? Hear more in this seminar.

Speaker: Gernot Spies

Our faith is based on how God has revealed Himself in Scriptures, but can the books of the Old and New Testament stand the test of reliability?

Speaker: Peter Payne

Is the God of the New Testament the same as the God of the Old Testament? Is there one story line in the 66 Bible books from different times and genres? You will learn more about the big picture of the Bible in this seminar.

Speaker: Lars Olav Gjøra

Many have accused the Bible of being sexist. Is God against women? Hear more on this topic in this seminar!

Speaker: Ann Brown

Maybe you have felt doubt quietly eating away at your faith, or perhaps friends are struggling to believe. How can we deal with doubt?

Speaker: Jurgen Spiess

Through grace we come to know God, through grace we grow in faith and character, through grace we serve God, through grace we are healed and changed. Cassels Morrell will lead this seminar, and help you see more of how amazing grace is.

Speaker: Cassells Morrel

"I can´t believe in a God who allows suffering." Many people say this, and maybe you think this too. In this seminar we will take a closer look at the problem of suffering.

Speaker: Heike Breitenstein

When we celebrate and share the Good News, we often focus on Jesus’ death and resurrection. But we cannot leave God the Creator and the Holy Spirit out of the picture. How does the doctrine of the Trinity relate to the gospel?

Speaker: Kristi Mair

Understanding your context

These seminars help us to understand the cultural context in which we live out our faith, and connect the gospel in a relevant way to the people around us.

This seminar deals with the gospel in the European context. What is Europe like today? What are opportunities and obstacles for sharing the gospel in the European context?

Speaker: Martin Robinson

Chances are you have friends or coursemates from a Muslim background. In this seminar we want to come to a deeper understanding of Islam, so that we can love our Muslim friends better and build bridges for Jesus.

Consumerism says ‘I am what I own.’ This view has not only affected Europe, but also the church, and us.  In this seminar we’ll try to understand better why consumerism is so powerful. How can we listen to the promises of consumerism, and respond with the Gospel?

Speaker: Rainer Schöberlein

How do we engage with non-religious people, who have nothing with the church, and nothing with religion? How can we understand their worldview, and engage in conversations that help them to open up to the God so irrelevant to them?

Speaker: Fabian Mederacke

In Europe there is a (renewed) movement of nationalism. How do we as Christians respond to this? What defines me? The fact that I am {insert your nationality} or that I’m Christian? Is it okay to be patriotic?

Speaker: Charlie Hadjiev

Europe is currently dealing with the biggest refugee crisis since WWII. People are extremely divided over this issue, but as Christians we are invited to take a closer look at what God might be up to. What opportunities and challenges have presented themselves for the church in Europe?

Speaker: Hendrik Timmer

Ethnic division has left scars and wounds in many places around Europe, whether inherited from previous generations or experienced firsthand. Is reconcilliation possible when the past is close and the pain is real, and loving ‘the other’ is hard?

Speaker: Kevin and Lavinia 

Christian living

These seminars help you to think through various aspects of what it means to live as a Christian.

Who am I? Who or what defines me? What does it mean to have my identity in Christ?

Speaker: Eva Petrzilkova

One of God’s great gifts to us is his Word. Yet often we fail to grasp how precious and relevant it is. How can reading the Bible become less of a burden and more something we eagerly look forward to?

In this seminar, together we will explore:

  • our motivation and attitude towards reading Scripture;
  • some aspects of what makes Scripture so precious;
  • possible changes in our approach to God’s Word.

Speaker: Sabine Kalthoff

Sign up for this seminar if you want to grow in prayer and hearing God’s voice.

Speaker: Renee Molitor

What defines my sexuality? Our desires, culture, education, or the scriptures? Sexual identity and gender issues are hot topics. As Christians we need to be ready and equiped to engage with them.

Speaker: Rob Wood

This very practical story-packed seminar highlights four elements which occur in almost every contemporary conversion story and describes simple ways we can reshape our evangelism around them. You will begin discovering how to create more impactful evangelistic strategies and projects which can affect students and campuses in your city and country.

Speaker: Luke Cawley

Our culture is obsessed with sex and yet our Churches often avoid the subject or speak only in negative terms. We seem to know what we are against - but what are we for? Does the Bible present us with a positive vision of sex and relationships? And if so, what does that mean for how we live our lives?’

Speaker: Glynn Harrison

What is God´s will for my life? How can I find out what God thinks about the decisions I need to make? Has God planned out all the details of my life, or does He leave things up to me? These are some of the themes we´re going to think about in this session.

Speaker: Christian Pichler

Have you ever thought about serving God in a cross-cultural context? Explore the opportunities and challenges of cross-cultural mission within IFES in this seminar.

Speaker: Susanne Koch

What does prayer have to do with mission? Come and hear more about how mission and prayer have always been inseparable, and how you can support mission through your prayers.  

Speaker: Emma Wyatt

What does it mean to follow God when you are going through a dark valley of personal suffering - mentally, physically or emotionally? What does the Gospel have to say to us in the dark?

Speaker: Wilfried Verboom

If we want to serve God wholeheartedly and reach out to people around us, we need to look after our own spiritual, emotional and physical health. Claire Livingstone, who has been in ministry for many years, will lead us through the topic of self-care.
Speaker: Claire Livingstone

What does the Bible say about faith and work? What was God’s original intent for work? Does my job matter to God?

Speaker: Jo Rogers 

Response group

At Presence there will be time for Response Groups after the morning sessions. In the Response Groups you will be able to reflect on, digest and apply what you have heard, seen and experienced in the morning. You are given the opportunity to respond to God in a manner that fits your personality, background, field of study and interest. In the registration you will have to choose the response group that appeals to you the most, and that you want to follow through the conference. Here is an overview of the different Response Groups and the content of them.

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