Welcome to the Alpha Columbus Consortium 

Alpha Coaches for the Columbus region

Workshop descriptions for two conference breakout sessions.  Please choose one for each time frame.  There is a maximum of 30 people per workshop, so please have a second choice if the first choice is full at the time of your registration.

Once you are made your choices, click here to return to the registration site.

Session One Workshops

1-1 What is Alpha and Who Should Come? Joshua Danis

This session will provide a comprehensive look at what Alpha is and its various components. The speaker will discuss the impact Alpha can have on individuals and churches and provide supporting data. In addition, the group will have the opportunity to engage in a conversation about who Alpha is for and why.


1-2 ACTS XXIX: Missionary Disciples Steve Mitchell

Are you amazed at the conversion of hearts through the Holy Spirit during the Alpha course?  Now is the time to become missionary disciples necessary for the transformation of life and culture. The role of leaders is to equip the holy ones for the work of this ministry. Come and learn how to see life as, Pope Francis says, a mission field, to help live out faithfully and fruitfully. Learn ways you can become and lead others to be missionary disciples.


1-3 Training for Hosts and Helpers including Pastoral Care  Jennifer Hofherr

Ensuring high quality training of Hosts and Helpers is a very important task for the Alpha Planning Team. Hosts and Helpers are the people closest to the guests and will guide them in their journey of faith throughout the Alpha course. In this session attendees will learn the major training elements that will result in excellent Hosts and Helpers who can facilitate small group discussions and provide the pastoral care focused on meeting the needs of the Alpha guests. The presenter will share the training steps and an outline to guide this process.


1-4 Implementing Alpha for High School Staff and Student  Tera Chun

Jesus is at the center of Catholic education and as educators, we are called to love and care as Jesus did across all disciplines, levels of administration and staff.  Bishop Hartley High School implemented the Alpha program for both adults and students to enrich and enliven the conversations about Jesus and reinforce our Christian values.  Come and learn how we were able to overcome obstacles and experience Alpha within the school day while maintaining the integrity of the course.  Discover how you can be innovative and provide Alpha for students and staff and impact their lives in a meaningful way.


1-5 How to Pray With, For and Over Others  Hope Welch

Praying with, for and over others is often a new experience for Alpha guests as well as the Hosts and Helpers. The presenter will explain how to do this type of prayer and will model it. The intent of this session is to help people understand the role of praying with, for and over others and to recognize its value in the Alpha course.


1-6 Prayer is the Heart of Alpha   Sarah Kaczmarek

We cannot do it alone and the sooner we realize it, preparing for Alpha becomes easier when we pray. We need a team of people to lead us in Alpha but we need the Holy Spirit first! Prayer is the major ingredient in planning for and implementing Alpha and in this session you will get some ideas on how to prayerfully prepare your Alpha team and embed prayer throughout Alpha to ensure success.


1-7 Alpha in Prisons   Alan Starr

The elements of Alpha in prisons are similar to those offered in church or any other setting including an opportunity for the “guests” to eat, view a video and engage in casual conversation. The outcomes of the Alpha course in prisons are multi-dimensional with one important result being the bonding of prisoners so after the course the relationships developed will be a more Christian view of each other. In this session the presenter will share the process and benefits of this outreach. His experiences and his commitment to bringing God to inmates will inspire attendees to understand Prison Ministry and consider it for their discipleship.


1-8  What the Clergy Says about Alpha  Fr. David Sizemore, Fr. John Johnson, Fr. Dan Millisor, Fr. Dan Dury

Alpha has been acclaimed by clergy all over the world but here is the real scoop of what priests in the Diocese of Columbus think about Alpha and the impact it has had in their parishes and on their individual parishioners. Come and learn why they support Alpha!


1-9 Retreat: Vital to Alpha   Jen Whitsett

Without a doubt the Alpha Retreat or Day Away is where the guests experience the heart of Alpha. In this session the presenter will share why the Retreat is so important and offer steps to prepare for this special day. Come and learn some of the ways parishes have made this a very spiritual and memorable occasion for the guests.


1-10 Round Table Conversation with Alpha Consortium Leaders  Consortium Members

Come and engage in an informal conversation with Alpha Leaders and other attendees. Take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions, share ideas and learn from each other.  This is a great venue for networking and making contacts with Alpha Leaders across the diocese.



Session Two Workshops

2-1 Running Alpha Outside the Church: Homes, Restaurants, Work   Nancy Page & Alan Starr

Do you think Alpha is only run in churches? In this session attendees will learn how they can select other locations to run Alpha such as restaurants, cafes or in homes. The speaker will provide logistics and helpful suggestions on how to successfully advertise and implement an Alpha course beyond your church walls and to literally meet people where they are.


2-2  Marriage Course from Alpha: Come Learn More   Laura Lies

Do you like Alpha? Then you will Love the Marriage Course! Brought to you by HTB Church, the birthplace of Alpha. Come and learn how parishes around the world evangelistically position the Marriage Course alongside Alpha. Come away with simple steps to get prepared to run the Marriage Course at your parish.


2-3 Alpha Responds as Catholics (ARC) What Comes after Alpha Room   Janine King, Kim VanHuffle, & Charlie Bush

Alpha is an amazing tool for evangelization but what comes next? Discover what one parish created to respond to this need. Learn the elements of ARC – Alpha Responds as Catholics. Using the same format as Alpha, with a meal, video, and small group conversations, this program invites participants to delve into the rich traditions of the Catholic faith. This truly can come next.


2-4 Using the New Alpha Youth Series with High School  Sarah Kaczmarek & Nicole Hyzdu

This presentation will introduce you to the brand new interactive Alpha Youth Series that provides an opportunity for today’s youth to explore questions about life, faith and God’s role in their lives.  Come and learn why thousands of young people all over the world have responded so positively about this course. You will be amazed at this global and fun tool and the potential it has to engage and help youth think about important issues.


2-5 Alpha for Parents  Christina Weber & Wendy Butcher

Would you like to hear more about how your parish can help your community invest in their families?   This session will provide information on both the Parenting Children course (ages 0-10) and the Parenting Teenagers course (ages 11-18) that are offered through Alpha Relationships. The presenters will explain how the courses are structured, preview the materials and DVDS, discuss how the courses were offered, and share the impact on the parents who participated.


2-6 Alpha Leads to Outreach & Service to Others   

Alpha leaders have reported that the Alpha course has resulted in an amazing interest and movement towards outreach and service. Coe and learn the many examples of outreach that local parishes have implemented because Alpha guests heard the message of Christ’s love for all and were moved to action. Alpha serves as an impetus to respond to Pope Francis’ call for serving others. In this session, attendees will have the opportunity to get some tangible ideas and ask questions about what they can do in their parishes.


2-7 Praise and Worship in Alpha   Brendan O'Rourke

The presenter will explain why and how prayer is an integral part of Alpha and its relationship to Praise and Worship. Understanding biblical references and declarations from various popes about these topics, will help the attendees recognize the importance of prayer and praise and worship in the Alpha Experience.


2-8 How Do I Start Planning and Budgeting for Alpha  Joe Urquhart

Thinking about implementing Alpha? It can be daunting but don’t worry. Come to this session and hear how the process can be done in a systematic way. The presenter will provide you with tools including a model for planning, a list of the tasks and the committees you will need, a variety of forms and a site to access electronic documents to assist you. Ideas about how to get the funds to pay for Alpha expenses will also be discussed.


2-9 The Holy Spirit in Alpha  Fr. David Sizemore

In this session, the attendees will have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the Holy Spirit and His presence in their daily lives. The presenter will share how the Holy Spirit impacts everyone involved in Alpha and His role special role at the Alpha Retreat.