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2018 Conference Schedule

Theme:  Being Well: Holistic Wellness Amidst Brokenness

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

2:00 pm      Conference Registration (arrivals welcome anytime)

4:00 pm   Campus Tour – meet at the registration table

4:30 pm   Welcome Reception – Rooftop Terrace

5:00 pm     Dinner  

7:00 pm     Opening Session           

9:00 pm     Optional activities

Wednesday, May 23, 2017

7:30 am Breakfast

8:30 am     Worship  

9:00 am     Plenary # l

10:00 am    Break  

10:15 am Workshops #1

11:30 am Practicing Wellness*

12:15 pm Lunch

1:15 pm     Off-Site Community Excursion

Forks & Canadian Museum for Human Rights

5:00 pm Off-site Dinner (on your own at the Forks or Exchange district)

Thursday, May 24, 2018

7:30 am Breakfast  

8:30 am     Worship

9:00 am Plenary #2

10:00 am   Coffee Break  

10:15 am   Workshop #2

12:00 pm Lunch & Roundtables

1:30 pm Practicing Wellness*

3:30 pm Break – Optional Campus and Residence Tour

4:00 pm   CACSD Annual General Meeting             

6:30 pm     Conference Banquet  

8:30 pm     Optional Activities

Friday, May 25, 2018

8:30 am   Breakfast

10:00 am       Plenary #3

11:00 am Worship and Communion

12:00 pm   Closing Lunch

1:00 pm     Post Conference Excursions (optional)

Thermea Spa, Winnipeg Zoo, Golf, Whiteshell Hike, Shopping

*Practicing Wellness = urban walk, power nap, chair yoga, conversation corner, art therapy, puzzle table, personal devotions, mindfulness meditation, EQ coaching…


Why be a member of CACSD?

by Samantha Groenendijk

Why Membership?

Often in the world of Higher Education, budgets are tight and professional development money is easily cut in favour of student programming. In the Canadian Association of Christians in Student Development (CACSD), we understand the importance of growing personally and professionally in order to better yourself and your work. We strive to provide affordable access to the following opportunities and services to help you do just that!


The CACSD, at its core, is an avenue for relationship between like minded people who have a passion for both university-aged students and Jesus Christ. Members are invited into a community – making it easier to pick up the phone and inquire, gain resources, and be encouraged. This is carried out day-to-day through a Facebook group, as well as our Google Listserv. Annually, there are also opportunities for in-person connection both regionally and nationally.


CACSD has member institutions across all of Canada, opening up the opportunity for diverse resource and experience sharing. This is carried out through conversations and connections made in our Listserv. This tool allows you to email all members to ask for opinions, glean wisdom, explore ideas, and more.

Our Annual, National Conference features many relevant speakers and workshops which will connect members to an awareness of trends, understanding of best practice, and the latest developments in the world of Student Development!


Our association offers uniquely Canadian perspectives in a space filled with American thought and research. Our members are better able to connect with one another and provide insights because of their shared understanding and experience. Our national scale allows you access to colleagues outside of your provincial sphere.  

Christians working in both the public sphere and Christian institutions will benefit from the Christ-centered approach we take to Student Development work. This provides space to consider how Christ influences the work that we do in our co-curricular planning.


As a member, you will have the opportunity to join us at our Annual, National Conference. Along with this you are given access to an application for the John Krueger Travel Bursary and the privilege to vote at our Annual General Meeting.

Members are encouraged to consider roles on our Executive Committee, publish articles that are posted on our website (with the chance to win awards!), and plan regional meetings that will be partially funded by the CACSD. Job opportunities can also be shared and viewed through our Listserv and Website. Each of these open up an opportunity for you to impact colleagues across our country.

It is the CACSD’s purpose to glorify God by providing resources for fellowship, professional development, encouragement, and leadership, resulting in greater effectiveness for ministering to students in Canada. We cannot do this without you!
If you have questions regarding membership or would like to complete a membership application form, please contact Samantha Groenendijk, Membership Coordinator, at

2018 CACSD Conference Call for Workshop Proposals

Theme: Being Well – Living Whole Amidst Brokenness

The 2018 CACSD Conference seeks to explore wellness issues and practices as student life practitioners grapple with the responsibility of providing safe and healthy environments where students can learn, develop and grow. A holistic approach to wellness that encompasses the Spiritual, Mental, Emotional and Physical is the hope and desire for both ourselves and our students.

We invite new and experienced student development professionals, professors, and other interested speakers to submit workshop proposals. Please note that a workshop can take many forms; be it a presentation of content or facilitation of process, all are welcome.

Proposal Submission Deadline: April 20, 2018

If you have any questions or require further clarification as you develop your proposal, please contact: Sandra Loeppky at or Joy Ulrich at

Please submit your proposal using this form


CACSD 2018 Conference Theme

Being Well: Holistic wellness amidst brokenness

The 2018 CACSD Conference seeks to explore wellness issues and practices as student life practitioners grapple with the responsibility of providing safe and healthy environments where students can learn, develop and grow. A holistic approach to wellness that encompasses the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical is the hope and desire for both ourselves and our students. Yet often the stresses of life and our own brokenness keep us from experiencing this kind of wellness.

The keynote sessions, workshops and activities of the conference will seek to explore ways of building resilience both personally and professionally. As caregivers for others, student life professionals sometimes neglect their own well-being. In an effort to embody the elements of wellness in ourselves, opportunities for assessment and facilitation of our own personal wellbeing will be provided for conference attendees.

In addition to examining our own wellness, we will take a deep look at ways and means of promoting student wellness on our campuses. Through the sharing of strategies and programs, it is our hope that each attendee will be able to go back to their own campuses with new energy for the difficult task of caring for students who are hurting deeply.

The 2018 conference will be held from May 22-25 at Booth University College in Winnipeg, MB

Manitoba Regional Meeting 2017

031317-01On November 16th, 2017, Steinbach Bible College hosted the 2017-2018 Manitoba CACSD Regional Conference. Eighteen Student Development professionals from Steinbach Bible College, Canadian Mennonite University, Booth University, and Providence University College gathered together to share a day of reconnection and discussion.

After catching up with old friends and meeting new ones, we began our day with a time of worship led by Danielle Morton (CMU) complete with call and response, contemplation, song, and scripture. Following our time of worship, Debi van Duin (Providence) delivered an insightful session on the “Psychology of Communities”. Debi explained how Christian communities are meant to work using a passage of scripture from Ephesians 4 and then presented points on the secular view of successful communities – all the while highlighting both similarities and differences between the two community types.

After a delicious lunch catered by Steinbach’s Main Bread and Butter, we received a tour of the Steinbach Bible College campus from SBC president, Rob Reimer and then finished the day with round-table discussions led by Jessy Fehr (SBC). At this year’s round-table, we discussed collaborations for the next CACSD General Conference being held at Booth University, how to approach including students across the gender spectrum in residence, and what processes each school is developing for sexual violence/consent education and investigations.

It is always an informative and fruitful experience to get together with our colleagues from other local institutions and we look forward to meeting with the rest of you at the next General Conference in May 2018.

– Sarah Lageer

Plenary Speakers

Kristie and Keith MartelK and K

Kristie Martel serves at Geneva College as the Coordinator of Diversity and Inclusion. She studied Chemistry at Kenyon College, where she was involved in the ministry of the Coalition for Christian Outreach as a student. Kristie holds a Master’s degree in Higher Education from Geneva College. She enjoys running, tennis, interior design, fashion, makeup artistry, and cheesecake.

Keith R. Martel, PhD is the Associate Professor and Director of the Master of Arts in Higher Education Program at Geneva College. He is the co-author of Storied Leadership and an avid cycling and outdoor enthusiast. He currently has his mind wrapped up in philosophical ramblings concerning higher education and technology. On twitter @krmartel and  @StoriedLeader

Keith and Kristie live in Beaver Falls, PA with their two children, Simone and Gavin, and dog Echo.


Alberta Regional Meeting

By Shannon Weiss – Three Hills, AB

On November 23rd, 2016 Prairie College hosted the 2016-2017 Alberta CACSD Regional Conference.  Twenty-five Student Development professionals from Alberta Bible College, Burman University, Ambrose University, Kings University and Prairie College were in attendance for a day of making connections and learning from one another.

fullsizerenderWe began our day hearing from Prairie’s President Mr. Mark Maxwell, followed by a time of hearing an introduction from each school featuring their Student Development team’s mandate and/or approach. It was interesting to see the diversity of our joy’s and challenges!

This was followed by various roundtable discussions on topics like Spiritual formation, Student Success, Human Sexuality, Sports and Discipleship, and Leadership Development with various Student Development Professionals hosting these important discussions.

We continued our fellowship over lunch in Prairie’s dining hall which was an excellent time to connect on a different level.  The afternoon was filled with more roundtable discussions on the same topics. The discussions proved interesting as many of our schools have chosen different approaches to various important issues.

We ended our time together with Shannon Weiss, Director of Student Development for Women at Prairie, sharing her thoughts on what has kept her in student development for over 16 years. She is finishing up at Prairie in February and moving into full-time overseas mission work in Mozambique Africa.

It was an encouraging and informative day of reconnecting with colleagues and friends.

We look forward to seeing everyone again at the Canadian conference.



Manitoba Regional Meeting – 2016

by Samantha Groenendijk

On October 27th, 2016 Providence University College hosted the 2016-2017 Manitoba CACSD Regional Conference. Seventeen Student Development professionals from Steinbach Bible College, Canadian Mennonite University and Providence University College were present for a day of fellowship, re-centering and professional development.


We began our day with a devotional time led by Jessy Fehr and Carla Ackerman (SBC), followed by lunch and tours of Providence’s new spaces. Our afternoon included a conversation around the topic of Healthy Student Sexuality, hosted by Sandra Loeppky and Charlie Peronto. We finished our day with a roundtable, during which we discussed how to more effectively communicate information to students as well as the tabling of the Manitoba Provincial Government’s “Bill 15: The Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Act” and what it will mean for our institutions. This bill will require all post-secondary institutions in Manitoba to have appropriate policies, procedures and educational opportunities in place to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus.

Our connections throughout the day were both refreshing and informative. It is always a blessing to be reminded that you are not alone in your efforts to serve students well and to gain a renewed sense of purpose in the work you’re doing for the Kingdom. We look forward to next year’s Regional Conference to be hosted by Steinbach Bible College.