Keynote Speakers

Dr. John Eckrich, M.D.

President CEO, Grace Place Lutheran Wellness Ministries

“Stewardship of the Temple: Caring for the Dwelling Place of the Spirit”

Dr. John Eckrich was born and raised in St. Louis, MO. He attended Lutheran grade school and Lutheran High School South. He graduated Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, MO, finishing his medical training at the University of Chicago as a Fellow in Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Dr. Eckrich, a Lutheran physician served the St. Louis community for over 40 years as a practicing Internist and Gastroenterologist, also caring for hundreds of Lutheran church workers and their families, including Seminary professors, students, and many leaders at the LCMS International Center. It was during his early career that John observed the effects of stress and challenges of ministry on personal and family life. He gathered other professionals to examine and develop health skills and strategies to proactively address the rising tide of church worker burnout and ill-health. This led to the creation of Grace Place Wellness Ministries, now having served over 10,000 church workers and families through Grace Place Wellness retreats. John lives in the St. Louis area with his wife Kathy. They have three grown children. 



Rev. Dr. Bruce Hartung, Ph.D

Professor Emeritus, ConcordiaSeminary, St. Louis

“Emotional Health in a Dysfunctional World”

Bruce M. Hartung, Ph.D. is Professor Emeritus of Practical Theology at Concordia Seminary, Saint Louis where he began serving as a faculty member in 2002. Dr. Hartung has served there as the Advisor on Personal Growth/Leadership Development (2012-2014) Director of the Master of Divinity and Alternate Route Programs leading to ordination (2011-2013), Dean of Ministerial Formation (2006-2011), Director of Continuing Education (2002-2006), and faculty director of Deaconess Studies (2005-2009). He previously served as the executive director of the Commission on Ministerial Growth and Support of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (1993-2005) and as director of the Synod’s Health Ministries (1991-2002). He authored a monthly column “Pressure Points” in The Lutheran Witness – Reporter (1993-2014) and has published two books, Holding Up the Prophet’s Hand: Supporting Church Workers (2011) and Building Up the Body of Christ: Supporting Community Life in the Church (2016). From 1983 to 1991, Hartung served as executive director of the Onondaga Pastoral Counseling Center in Syracuse, N.Y. He also served previously as a counselor (1969-1973) and then as the director (1973-1983) at the Pastoral Counseling Center of Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. He also served as assistant pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church in Waukegan, Ill., from 1967 to 1969. He is a past president of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, in which he is a Diplomate. He received his B.A. from Concordia Senior College, Fort Wayne, Ind. (1963); the M.Div. (1967) and S.T.M. (1969) degrees from Concordia Seminary; and the Ph.D. degree from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. (1971). He and his wife, Judy, have two married children and five grandchildren. 


David Kinnaman

President, Barna Group

“Pastoral Health” and 

“Faith for Exiles”

David Kinnaman is author of the bestselling books Good Faith, You Lost Me and unChristian. He is president of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company headquartered in Ventura, California. In Barna Group’s 32-year history, it has become the go-to source for insights about faith and culture, leadership and vocation, and generations. Since joining Barna Group as an intern in 1995, David has designed and analyzed hundreds of market research projects for a variety of clients, including the American Bible Society, Compassion, the Salvation Army, Sony, Paramount Pictures, the Gates Foundation, the ONE Campaign and Habitat for Humanity. In addition to client studies, David has overseen representative research among more than one million American adults, teenagers, tweens and clergy on matters of faith, spirituality, public opinion, political attitudes and cultural dynamics. This body of data is frequently quoted from pulpits and in major media outlets such as USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. David lives in Ventura, California, with his wife, Jill, and three children, Emily, Annika and Zack. 



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