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Posted by on Mar 19, 2017 in 2016 Conference, Faculty |

2016 Faculty

2016 Faculty


simeonSimeon Amburgey, has served the Lord through music for over 26 years. His ministry focuses on providing resources to churches and individuals who desire to develop their music ministries. He does this by providing arranging and recording services, hosting a music library with nearly 800 titles, offering Praise Tracks, custom arrangements, conducting praise and worship concerts and music consulting and mentoring. Simeon also serves as accompanist for Larnelle Harris. To learn more about Simeon and his musical services go to Sound Creations, Inc.
Mike_BurnettMike Burnett, started in the printing business in 1983 selling equipment. From marketing the equipment to produce print, he eventually moved into printing directly. Currently he is the C.O.O. of Dockins Graphics Inc. and Director of Printing for Pathway Press. The umbrella of companies under Dockins include two self-publishing companies, Derek Press (a religious self-publishing mark) and Penman Publishers (a non-religious self-publishing mark) as well as two printing companies.
Gregg BridgemanGregg Bridgeman, began operating Olivia Kimbrell Press in 2011 acting as Editor-in-Chief. Then as now, he operates the press as a ministry. The primary objective remains that of lifting up and helping ministry-minded Biblical authors fulfill the Great Commission -- to bring the Gospel message to the entire world -- for every tribe and every nation. Gregg currently serves in the National Guard, is a decorated combat veteran, and is best known for his technical savvy and attention to the smallest detail.
Hallee_BridgemanHallee Bridgeman, is a best-selling Christian author who writes action-packed romantic suspense focusing on realistic characters who face real world problems. Her work has been described as everything from refreshing to heart-stopping exciting and edgy. Hallee loves coffee, campy action movies, and regular date nights with her husband. Above all else, she loves God with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength; has been redeemed by the blood of Christ; and relies on the presence of the Holy Spirit to guide her.
Michele's new photoMichele Chynoweth, is the award winning author of The Faithful One, The Peace Maker (set in NY, DC and Kentucky!) and The Runaway Prophet, modern day novels based on stories in the Bible. She is also an inspirational speaker, book coach and writing instructor for the Continuing Education program at Cecil College in her hometown of North East, MD. She has won several awards including the 2014 Readers Favorite International Book Award Silver Medal for Inspirational Fiction and her Area Toastmasters International Speech contest. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame, she has a blended family of five children with her husband. Michele writes contemporary novels based on Old Testament stories filled with the same suspense, intrigue and romance found in the Bible yet written so that today’s readers can easily see themselves in the characters and understand what God is saying.
Jeff GerkeJeff Gerke, When you’re truly ready to make your fiction publishable, it’s time to call Jeff Gerke. Jeff trains novelists how to better do what it is they’re trying to do. He trains through his books for Writers Digest: The Irresistible Novel, Plot Versus Character, The First 50 Pages, Write Your Novel in a Month, and The Art & Craft of Writing Christian Fiction. He trains through the many writers’ conferences he teaches at all over the country every year. He trained his authors when he ran Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Christian speculative fiction, which he sold after an award-winning 5-year run. And he trains through the freelance editing he does for his clients at Jeff is known for his canny book doctoring skills and his encouraging manner, which leaves writers feeling empowered and like they really can do this thing after all. He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children.
Kelly Thorne Gore3Kelly Thorne Gore, is the Founder and President of iBloom. She and her team are on a mission to revolutionize the way women do business and live life. She started iBloom ten years ago with a dream to inspire women. To inspire means to breathe life into hopes, dreams, and goals and that’s exactly what the iBloom team strives do every day. iBloom is passionate about equipping women to build successful businesses while making time for the priorities that matter most. Kelly is the author of iChoose2 Love My Life, iBloom in Business, and the iBloom Life & Business Planner. To learn more about Kelly, go to
Julie_GwinnJulie Gwinn, most recently served as Marketing Manager for the Christian Living line at Abingdon Press and before that served as Trade Book Marketing Manager and then Fiction Publisher for the Pure Enjoyment line at B&H Publishing Group, a Division of LifeWay Christian Resources. Last year she was awarded Editor of the Year from the American Christian Fiction Writers and won B&H’s first Christy award for Ginny Yttrup’s debut novel Words. She has more than 25 years public relations and marketing experience and has also worked in marketing for several Nashville non-profit organizations including the TN Assoc. for the Education of Young Children, the Nashville Area Red Cross and the YWCA. She is married and has two children.
Hensley-DennisDennis E. Hensley, Ph.D., is chairman of the Department of Professional Writing at Taylor University, where he holds the rank of full professor. He is a monthly columnist for Christian Communicator magazine and an annual judge for the Evangelical Press Association Awards and the Christy Fiction Awards. Dr. Hensley's ten novels include The Caribbean Conspiracy and Pseudonym (Whitaker House), and his 50 nonfiction books include How to Write What You Love and Make a Living at It (Random House), Millennium Approaches (Avon), Jesus in All Four Seasons (Bold Vision Books), Man to Man (Kregel), and Jesus in the 9 to 5 (AMG Publishers). His best-selling motivational book, The Power of Positive Productivity (Possibility Press) has been translated into eight languages, including Russian, Romanian, Italian, and Turkish. Dr. Hensley has had more than 3,500 articles, features, devotions, interviews, and short stories published in such periodicals as The Writer, Reader's Digest, People, Essence, Writer's Digest, War Cry, Evangel, The Detroit Free Press, The Indianapolis Star, and The Secret Place, among many others. He is a recipient of the "Elizabeth Sherrill Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing and Speaking" and the "Indiana University Award for Teaching Excellence." Dr. Hensley served as a sergeant in the United States Army and was awarded six medals for service in Vietnam. He and his wife Rose have two grown married children and four grandkids.
Carlton_HughesCarlton W. Hughes, is a communications professor at Southeast Kentucky Community College and coordinates the Dual Credit Program at Harlan County High School, where he also teaches part-time. He is children’s pastor at Lynch Church of God and won the 2013 Shepherd’s Cup Award, the highest honor for children’s pastors in the Church of God denomination. Hughes is also a year-round volunteer and Relay Center Coordinator for Operation Christmas Child. As a writer, his works have been featured in numerous publications, including the books Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dating Game and Simple Little Words. Hughes is a two-time first-place winner in the “Dramas/ Plays/Scripts” category in the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference Writers Contest. He resides in Cumberland, Kentucky, and he and his wife Kathy have two sons, Noah and Ethan. He is a fan of chocolate, good books, basketball, and classic television shows like “I Love Lucy.”
Virginia SmithVirginia Smith, is the bestselling author of twenty-eight novels, an illustrated children’s book, and over fifty articles and short stories. An avid reader with eclectic tastes in fiction, Ginny writes in a variety of styles, from lighthearted relationship stories to breath-snatching suspense. Her books have been awarded multiple awards including the Carol, the Daphne, the Maggie, and the National Reader's Choice Award. Two of her novels have received the Holt Medallion Award of Merit. Learn more about Ginny and her books at
Steve_VestStephen M. Vest, is the editor and publisher of Kentucky Monthly magazine. A native of Louisville, he lives in Frankfort with his wife and four children. Prior to founding Kentucky Monthly in 1998, he worked for more than a dozen years as a columnist and sportswriter for papers in Kentucky, Indiana and the Carolinas. THAT Kind of Journalist, a collection of his columns from Kentucky Monthly, was published in 2008. He is a recent Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction graduate of Murray State University. His work has been published in ShimmyHoots Review, The Single Hound and Trajectory. To find out more about Steve email

Additional Faculty to be added as they are confirmed, please continue to monitor this site.

Workshops offered this year.