National Young Adult Conference 2016
Creating Harmony

May 27 - 30, 2016
Manchester University in North Manchester, Indiana

“… Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14, NRSV)

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National Young Adult Conference (NYAC) offers people ages 18-35 a chance to enjoy fellowship, worship, recreation, Bible study, service projects and more…with other fantastic young adults!

  • Registration ($250) includes food, lodging and programming!
  • Register online at
  • Scholarships: Upon request, we will send a letter to your congregation asking them to provide a $125 scholarship. Make your request by April1 7. Scholarships are also available to BVSers who are currently serving.
  • A non-refundable deposit of $125 is due within two weeks of registering.

Meet the Speakers

Christy Dowdy

Christy Dowdy was born and raised in McPherson, KS, as a Presbyterian and became “Brethren” as she moved to Quinter, KS, for her first elementary teaching job. After teaching first and second graders for 9 years, she attended Bethany Theological Seminary and has been pastoring for the last 27 years! She is the mother of 3 young adult sons (Mark, Micah and Stephen) and is celebrating 30 years of marriage to Dale this year.

Jim Grossnickle-Betterton

Jim Grossnickle-Batterton grew up in west central Illinois in the Church of the Brethren. As a youth he grew disaffected with the church and spent a long season in a spiritual wilderness. When he returned years later, he experienced a different openness to questions of faith in the wider denomination. Jim joined the San Antonio Catholic Worker as a Brethren Volunteer. He volunteered and lead the community for nine years. Offering hospitality at the Worker inspired his seminary focus on biblical and practical hospitality. Jim currently splits his time between admissions work for Bethany Theological Seminary, looking for a congregational pastorate, reading comics, and looking for things to watch on Netflix that will be more or less annoying to his wife, Stephanie, who is forging ahead on her dissertation at the University of Iowa.

Drew Hart

Drew G. I. Hart is a PhD candidate in theology, part-time professor, and writer, with ten years of pastoral experience. In addition to his doctoral work, he received his MDiv from Biblical Theological Seminary and a Biblical Studies degree from Messiah College. His blog entitled ‘Taking Jesus Seriously’ is hosted at Christian Century, and Drew speaks regularly in churches, colleges, and conferences. His book Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism expands the church’s frameworks for understanding racism through story-telling and critical reflection, and then offers Christian practices for the journey forward. He and his family live in Philadelphia. You can follow him on twitter @DruHart, on Facebook, and can order his book from Brethren Press (800-441-3712).

Eric Landram

Eric Landram grew up in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia. He currently lives with his wife Heather in Lititz, PA, where he serves as Pastor of the Lititz Church of the Brethren. Eric is a graduate of Bridgewater College (2006) in Bridgewater, VA. There he earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. He graduated from Bethany Theological Seminary in May 2015 earning his Master of Divinity degree.

After college, Eric worked for the state of Virginia serving those in his community with severe mental illness by leading groups, assisting with treatment plans, and planning for discharge back into the community. Then Eric met Jesus and went off to seminary. Eric enjoys worship planning, preaching, teaching; equipping and empowering those seeking the movement and will of God in our world.

Eric and Heather are expecting their first child in July. Eric appreciates your prayers because he has never changed a diaper in his life.

Waltrina Middleton

Rev. Waltrina N. Middleton serves as Associate for National Youth Event Programming with the United Church of Christ denomination based in Cleveland. She is also the founder/organizer of Cleveland Action, an organization committed to social justice and human rights advocacy in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. She was recently recognized by Rejuvenate Magazine as one of the 40 Under 40 Professionals to Watch in Non-Profit Religious Sector and Center for American Progress’ “16 to Watch in 2016”. She is the inaugural Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. Fellowship Scholar, a Ministry Fellow of the former Fund for Theological Education and a Duke University's Ministry Fellow. She is presently researching and writing on the topic Poetics of Lament: Reclaiming the Womanist Divine.

Richard Zapata

Richard Zapata was born in Quito, Ecuador and has lived in the USA since 1982. Since 1991, Richard has been serving as a pastor of several Hispanic congregations. His bi-cultural background and focus on the Hispanic community in the USA has led him to a number of opportunities and church leadership roles such as church planter, missionary, teacher, worship leader, and pastor. He also worked 14 years in a large Fortune 500 corporation in a supervisor role. Richard’s college coursework included: Azusa Pacific University, LeTourneau University, Mid-South Bible College (now Victory University), and Seminario Bíblico Hispano.

Richard and his wife Becky live in southern California and have been members of Príncipe de Paz CoB where they have been serving as pastors for the last 7 years. They were called to be pastors after Richard’s father, Rodrigo Zapata, who was the pastor of that church, passed away.

Richard and Becky have been married for 26 years and have two dauthers, one son-in-Law and two beautiful grandsons. He is currently under the SeBAH program working towards his ordination with the Church of the Brethren.


National Young Adult Conference schedule

Questions? Contact Becky Ullom Naugle in the Yoth/Young Adult Ministry Office at or 847-429-4385.