EPA to Host Series of Weekly Webinars

The Evangelical Press Association will host six weekly professional development webinars on Tuesdays, beginning April 28 and going through June 2, 2020. The sessions will feature three speakers and topics from this year's canceled convention as well as two popular sessions from recent conventions and one new session. A bonus free session on legal issues, presented by Magazine Training International, is also included in the series.

The live webinars will be hosted on Zoom each week at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Registration is free for current EPA members. There is a $20 fee for non-members.

Following broadcast, each webinar will be available on Youtube and accessed from the members-only menu (EPA website login required, restricted to members only.)

April 28 | We All Get Burned: Leading through Crisis and Challenge

Presenter: Sid Webb, Founder and President, Sharpened Focus, LLC

Each one of us has burn marks from a crisis or other challenge in leadership. The Black Forest, Colorado wildfire in 2013 destroyed my home and my work. As I navigated the fire experience I learned valuable lessons about handling challenge and leading through crisis. I’ll walk you through them with vivid photos and supernatural stories. I’ll equip and encourage you to not only survive but thrive.

What you will learn:

  • How to better prepare for a crisis
  • Tips on staying centered when crisis slams you out of the blue
  • Motivation to better protect your work
  • Above all, a staggering challenge: If you lost everything, would your life and work still have significance?

Dr. Sid Webb is an advocate for nonprofit excellence, known for his insights on leader transition, board engagement and mission impact. Sid has spoken worldwide for organizations such as Walk Thru the Bible, Christian Leadership Alliance, Every Home for Christ and The Voice of the Martyrs. He wrote a missions agency case statement that has led leaders from over 130 countries to develop strategic plans for reaching every home in their nations. Sid has also written two books on governing board engagement. The 2013 Black Forest wildfire obliterated Sid’s home and office. Sid recently published Nomad’s Fire: Life at the Intersection of Loss and Significance to tell the riveting story of his fire experience and to challenge readers to think about what matters in life.

May 5 | Christians and Cancel Culture: Resisting the Allure of Power and Seeking the Good of Our Neighbor

Presenter: Jason Thacker, Creative Director, Light Magazine, ERLC

In our divisive and broken culture, we increasingly see people being canceled or publicly outed for one thing they said in the past or because of a single position they hold. Everything they have said and done is called into question, often leading to their public demise. One tweet or offhand comment has the potential to ruin one’s career or family, especially in the hands of those who seek to discredit someone. How do Christians navigate our increasingly diverse but divisive society? How do we model convictional kindness as we stand for truth and model gracious dialogue.

What you will learn:

  • How to engage differing opinions with truth and grace
  • How to respect those with whom we disagree
  • How to apply the gospel to pressing issues of the day

Jason Thacker serves as Associate Research Fellow and Creative Director at The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. He writes and speaks on various topics including human dignity, ethics, technology, and artificial intelligence. His writing has been featured at Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Baptist Press, Facts & Trends, and Light Magazine. He is also the author of The Age of AI: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Humanity with Zondervan (March 2020).

He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee in Knoxville, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. He also holds a Master of Divinity from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary where he is also pursuing a PhD in Ethics and Public Policy. He also serves as a founding member of AI and Faith.

May 12 | Spread the Love: Designing Delight into Your Opening Spreads

Presenter: Sarah Gordon, Art Director, Christianity Today

Good design should include delight—not just for the reader but you as the creator. Learn to love your opening spreads from concept to completion, and discover how to balance your aesthetic while maintaining the integrity of your brand. We’ll talk about ideas, images, type, and all the good stuff that goes into making a two-page layout with which you can be proud.

What you will learn:

  • New ideas to improve feature article designs
  • Tips to get more variety out of your design toolkit
  • Creative ways to operate within a limited budget

Sarah Gordon’s career has bounced back and forth from the corporate world to the ministry realm, from boutique firms to in-house designer at a church. While her past experience was branding, marketing, and web design, Sarah found her true passion in editorial design when she landed at Christianity Today. She is now Art Director of CT magazine. Sarah’s other skills include eating well, completing Sunday crossword puzzles, and wrangling her twin boys.


May 19 | Optimizing Online Opportunities: Keys to Increasing Impact and Generating More Income

Presenter: Mark Dreistadt. President and CEO, Infinity Concepts

A publication’s website is its gateway to the world. All too often, the tools needed to optimize online monetization and growth opportunities are neglected or even unknown. As a result, a publication’s full potential is never realized. Money is left on the table—web visitors disappear. In this practical workshop we will explain the fundamental tools of the trade and how you can make them work for you—right away.

What you will learn:

  • How to monetize your website through content-filtered remnant advertising
  • How to reach everyone who ever visited your website on multiple platforms
  • How to utilize Big Data for more effective marketing
  • How to leverage your EPA membership for stronger advertising sales
  • How to discover the one thing you can do to generate more revenue for your publication in the next 30 days

Mark Dreistadt is defined by both his passion and his remarkable talent to help leaders maximize the potential of their organizations. Mark is a dynamic communicator known for his clear and compelling style of presenting transformational insights and strategies. Over four decades of experience have qualified Mark for his role as consultant to some of the most significant Christian organizations in America. As the President and CEO of Infinity Concepts, Mark provides fresh insights to challenging problems… He finds for solutions that get results… He utilizes his expertise and experience to help his clients achieve their goals… And he brings a unique blend of creativity and strategic thinking to every organization he serves. Mark is spearheading the development of a new digital marketing and advertising platform for the Christian community.


May 26 | ‘Acts of God’? How to Write Better on Trauma, Pandemic and Disaster

Presenter: Timothy Morgan, Journalism Certificate Director, Wheaton College

Join this seminar’s focus on how writers, editors and journalists can improve their coverage of deadly, global events in light of the coronavirus pandemic. During this seminar, essential questions, insights and strategies will be explored. It will include updates about online tools for interviewing, research, presentation and social media.

As a journalist and editor, Tim Morgan has covered HIV/AIDs, Katrina, the Ebola epidemic, Japan’s Fukushima quake/tsunami, human trafficking, sexual abuse, and many traumas. He is the journalism certificate director at Wheaton College(Illinois) and served on the Christianity Today editorial team for 23 years. He participated in his first EPA Convention in 1993 and served on the team that redrafted the EPA ethics statement.


June 2 | Skillful Self-editing: The Fastest Route to Publication

Presenter: Angela Hunt, Best-selling Author

As a writer, by doing the editor’s work—or a great deal of it—before submission will go a long way in keeping your editor happy. For the freelancer in a competitive freelance market, it will increase your chance of publication. Veteran writer Angela Hunt will discuss how to omit needless words, add punch, and trim your work down to publishable size. Any manuscript can be improved, so make it easy for your editor to say, “Yes!”

What you will learn:

  • Knowledge of needless words and passive verbs
  • Computer techniques that make editing faster and easier
  • How to think like an editor

Christy Award winner Angela Hunt, Th.D., is the best-selling author of more than 140 works—nearly five million copies of her books sold worldwide—and an acclaimed writing teacher. She began with nonfiction magazine writing, then branched into juvenile nonfiction and fiction. In 2007, her novel THE NOTE was featured as a Christian movie on the Hallmark Channel. Romantic Times Book Club presented her with a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006.


Bonus session (MTI-sponsored)

May 14 (Thursday) | Journalism and The Law: Fair Use, Permissions, and Legal Issues for Publications

Presenter: Craig Gipson, Associate Attorney, Flagler Law Group

(This session is presented by Magazine Training International)

All kinds of legal questions arise when publishing content. Is using a certain photograph copyright infringement or fair use? What kind of permission do you need to publish a photograph or article? What rights should be included in an agreement with freelance contributors? In this online workshop, Craig Gipson, an attorney with Flagler Law Group, will discuss these questions and offer guidance on how to avoid everyday legal issues that reporters, editors, and management regularly face.

Craig Gipson represents publishers and distributors of Christian media as an attorney in the Bend, Oregon office of Flagler Law Group. Before joining the Flagler Law Group team in 2011, Craig practiced education and real estate law with Brackett & Ellis in Fort Worth, Texas. He graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in journalism in 2005 and The University of Texas School of Law in 2008. Before practicing law, he worked in print and broadcast journalism in Austin, Texas. He and his wife Jessie have two sons and enjoy reading, sports, and outdoor activities.


Posted April 13, 2020