Gardner-Webb University’s Pastors’ School Planned May 28 – 30

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Annual Event Offers Ministers Opportunity to Learn and Reflect on Church Themes

congregants gather for a ceremony at GWU's Dover ChapelBOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University’s 2018 Pastors’ School, an annual three-day educational retreat for pastors and students of ministry and theology, is scheduled for May 28 – 30 at GWU.  The 2018 School will feature guest speakers Dr. Guy Sayles and Dr. William Wilson, who will be sharing on the topic “Leadership in Perilous Times.”

Sayles served as a pastor for over 30 years, most recently at the First Baptist Church of Asheville, N.C. He currently works as assistant professor of religion at Mars Hill University and is an adjunct faculty member at Gardner-Webb.

Founder of The Center for Healthy Churches, Wilson has served as president of the Center for Congregational Health at Wake Forest Baptist Church since 2009. Previously, he was pastor of First Baptist Church of Dalton, Ga. He brings over 33 years of local church ministry experience to the Center.

Dr. Paula Qualls, professor in the GWU Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, will share during the community worship time on Tuesday evening. Morning devotionals will be offered by Dr. Tracy Jessup, vice president for Christian Life and Service and senior minister to the University.

According to Dr. Danny West, professor of preaching at Gardner-Webb, the goal of the annual Pastors’ School is to offer ministers the chance to learn, converse and reflect on topics related to church ministry, and to hear from leading thinkers on pressing current issues.

“For me, the Pastors’ School is a time of renewal of both body and soul,” West shared. “Ministers are by nature ‘givers’ and one of the dangers in ministry is allowing the pressures of ministry to deplete our spiritual resources. Our school is designed to allow ministers to be challenged and inspired by outstanding ministry practitioners, to enjoy much needed fellowship with other ministers, and to carve out moments for rest and relaxation. We attempt to incorporate all of these ingredients into our three-day event.”

The deadline for registration is May 25. Cost is $75 for participants, $30 for additional church staff or spouses, and free for students.  The cost of meals is $40.  Lodging in campus apartments is available for $60 per night. For more information about the Pastors’ School, visit or contact Lisa Hollifield at (704) 406-3855 to register.

Auxiliary aids will be made available to persons with disabilities upon request 48 hours prior to the event. Please call 704.406.4264 or email with your request. 

Located in the North Carolina foothills, Gardner-Webb University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university that prepares students to become critical thinkers, effective leaders and compassionate servants in the global community. Emphasizing a strong student-centered experience and rigorous academics, Gardner-Webb ignites learning and service opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Ignite your future at