What is Lead>Defend?

Lead>Defend is a one-day conference designed to help high school and college students transition effectively from one of phase of their journey with Christ to another.  This is accomplished through three main sessions and a variety of breakout sessions offered twice during the course of the day. The primary topics of these sessions are: leadership, engaging culture in defense of the Gospel & being missional in life transitions.

Every student will receive a free book with their registration.


MellebyFamilyPhotoDerek Melleby is the executive director of the OneLife Institute, a gap year program based at Lancaster Bible College. He has been on staff at the Evangelical Free Church of Hershey, the Coalition for Christian Outreach, and the Center for Parent/Youth Understanding. Melleby is the coauthor of Learning for the Love of God: A Student’s Guide to Academic Faithfulness and the author of Make College Count: A Faithful Guide to Life and Learning. He lives in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania, with his wife, Heidi, and three sons.




Ricky-Chelette-681x1024-circleRicky Chelette is Executive Director of Living Hope Ministries and has been involved in ministry in the church for over 25 years. Speaking to thousands of teens and adults who
struggle with their sexual identity, Ricky brings vast experience and personal knowledge to this difficult subject. His logical, humorous and straight-forward approach makes sense of a very complex and often confusing topic. Ricky has a BA in Political Science/Pre-Law, and a Master in Religious Education, and is an ordained minister.



We the Union: A collective of worship leaders, comprised of Alan Thomas, Klayton Seyler, and Aaron Williams, from Central Arkansas that partner with local churches and like-minded ministries to see God’s people encounter His presence and His love. Based out of Fellowship Bible Church in Little Rock, AR, We The Union writes songs and leads worship with a desire to encourage and empower churches to raise up generations of worshipers and to see those who are far from God draw near to Him.

Breakout Sessions

Defense of the Faith:

Session 1: Chad Meeks- “Engaging a Skeptical Culture” — We live in a culture that is increasingly skeptical about the Christian faith and worldview. In this breakout session, we will take a look at some opposing worldviews in our culture and discuss ways we can engage and dialogue with such views (helped along by apologists, such as, C.S. Lewis and Francis Schaeffer).

Session 2: Bill Newton- “Spot the Lie”–This very interactive breakout session will use illustrations from popular culture to guide students through how to think critically about media messages they are exposed to and how to respond to those messages with ‘gentleness and respect’ (1 Peter 3:15).


Session 1: Warren Gassaway- “Climb the Hill – Living A Leader Life” — Utilizing leadership principles from I Samuel 14, learn how to live like a leader in your various circles of influence. This session will contrast strong and weak leadership actions and help students become better equipped to inspire faith in those that are watching them.

Session 2: Cole Penick- “Lead is an Action Verb” — Leadership is based on influence and ideas, not titles and degrees. But that requires action and initiative. You cannot lead from a place of passive disengagement. Today’s session will push you to interact with those around you, overcome weaknesses in your interpersonal skills, and lead wherever God has placed. Our faith isn’t something we store away during the week only to bring it out on Sundays. We need to lead by faith in every facet of life (school, work, friendship, family, etc). No pen or paper required for this session but a willingness to move around, get out of your comfort zone, and learn are a must.


Starts at 10:00a.m.

Worship w/We the Union

Derek Melleby: Transitions

Breakout Session One


Ricky Chelette: Lost Culture and Redemption

Breakout Session Two

Worship w/We the Union

Derek Melleby: Transitions

5:00p.m. Dismiss


Baptist Collegiate Ministry