The Curious and Passionate Preacher: Fine-Tuning Preaching Skills

Jun 17, 2018 - Jun 22, 2018 | All Day

Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado

1101 County Road 53 | Granby, CO

With Rev. Heidi De Jonge, Rev. Scott Hoezee & Rev. Peter Jonker

June 17 arrival, seminar runs from June 18 – 22, 2018, Snow Mountain Ranch, Colorado.

The Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a new seminar for pastors at Snow Mountain Ranch near Granby, Colorado.  The seminar not only will provide participating pastors with a wonderful opportunity to attend a deeply enriching seminar but will also allow whole families to come along to enjoy the spectacular scenery and the family-oriented programs offered at the YMCA of the Rockies facility.

The seminar will run from 8:00 – 11:30 each morning, allowing the participants plenty of sabbatical-like free time to spend with their families in a singularly beautiful portion of God’s creation.

Snow Mountain Ranch is located 80 miles west of Denver and occupies 5,100 acres next to the picturesque Arapahoe National Forest.  From there you can easily reach the charming areas of Grand Lake and Winter Park, where there is plenty of hiking and shopping. The Ranch is also close to Rocky Mountain National Park.  At an elevation of 8,750 feet the views are amazing and the air refreshes mind, body and spirit.

Seminar Description 
Preachers rely on an array of skills in the writing of vivid, engaging sermons. But all preachers need regular tune-ups to feed their curiosity and strengthen everything from exegesis to delivery. This seminar in the Rocky Mountains will be for pastors and their families. Morning sessions for the pastors will cover a variety of preaching topics even as afternoons and evenings will be free for the whole family to enjoy this part of God’s creation. Generous financial support will be provided for participating pastors and their families.


Rev. Heidi De Jonge, Pastor, Westside Fellowship CRC, Kingston, Ontario.



Heidi De Jonge has been in ministry for 12 years. Her husband, Tim, is a CRC chaplain, serving in long term care, and together they parent three grade school daughters. Heidi enjoys cake decorating, cycling, and digital scrapbooking.


Rev. Scott Hoezee, Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary.

 Hoezee_Scott_02 Scott Hoezee became the director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching in 2005. He was in parish ministry in the Christian Reformed Church serving two congregations across 15 years before coming to CEP.   He is the author of several books including Actuality: Real Life Stories for Sermons That Matter.   He has also served as the General Editor for the Abingdon Preaching Annual 2017-2019.  He is married to Rosemary Apol and they have 2 adult children. He enjoys birdwatching, snorkeling, and exploring the beauties and wonders of God’s great creation.

Rev. Peter Jonker, Minister of Preaching, LaGrave CRC, Grand Rapids, MI

 peter jonker photo-1 Peter Jonker has been in ministry for 24 years. He was born in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. His love of words was cultivated through supper table Bible stories and evening reading sessions on the living room couch where he was exposed to C.S. Lewis, JRR Tolkein, Lewis Carroll and other masters of the imagination. He is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary and the author of Preaching in Pictures: Using Images for Sermons that Connect (Abingdon, 2016)

General information:

Thanks to generous underwriting by the Center for Excellence in Preaching, pastors and their families will be able to stay at Snow Mountain Ranch free of charge, checking in on Sunday, June 17, and checking out on Friday, June 22.  Each room can accommodate up to six persons (typically two adults and up to four children).

Each pastor admitted into the seminar will receive financial support for travel expenses of up to, but not more than, $400.  This could help to cover either airfare for the participant or serve as a mileage reimbursement for up to that amount.  Travel costs for family members are not covered.  The church of each participant accepted into the seminar must pay a $150 registration fee for its pastor.

When staying at Snow Mountain, participants and their families will receive three meals a day served at Snow Mountain’s dining facility.  Guests will also have use of the Ranch’s facilities, which include an indoor swimming pool, a rock-climbing wall, a miniature golf course, and more.

Application Process  

  • Who May Apply
    Persons involved in a regular preaching ministry in the church are welcome to apply. Persons who have been in ministry for between five and fifteen years, and who have young families, are particularly encouraged to apply to take advantage of the family nature of this sabbatical-like week.
  • How to Apply
    The applicant must submit the following:
    1) a letter of application that will include all contact information (telephone number, mailing address, email address, etc.) along with a list of family members (and the ages of children) who would accompany the participant if accepted into the program
    2) a curriculum vitae or resume
    3) a one-page description of the applicant’s current position and a statement of why you are interested in the seminar

     Note: please check your children’s school schedule to avoid conflicts with the starting date. If the family withdraws, we will cancel the room.

Please send all items electronically as an email attachment to

  • The application deadline is January 15, 2018. By February 1, 2018, participants in the seminar will be selected and notified.  Incomplete and/or late applications will not be considered.