2024 National Leaders Conference

About the Conference

Be equipped, inspired, and refreshed at HSLDA’s annual National Leaders Conference, with a program cultivated just for you, the leaders who help make homeschooling possible! You’ll hear from encouraging speakers and enjoy fellowship with new and old friends as we all come together in service to homeschooling.

Event Highlights

The conference is coming up!

Why Should I Attend?

LEARN

Gain new information and skills to grow as a leader and meet the needs of your homeschool group.

SHARE EXPERTISE

Compare notes, ask questions, and exchange insights with fellow leaders about how to support homeschooling families.

MAKE CONNECTIONS

Form friendships and build your network with others who understand the rewards and challenges of leadership.

RENEW

Relax and enjoy the fun, food, fellowship, and sightseeing, and refresh your faith with daily worship and devotions.

Program Details

Program Details

We are excitedly working on the program for our 2024 conference, and hope you will check back for more updates. In the meantime, you can check out our program schedules to get an idea of what to expect.

The whole family is welcome at the National Leaders Conference! In addition to our adult program, we offer kids and teen programs for ages 5–19.

Stay Informed

Join the conference Facebook group for the latest updates! 
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Location

2024 Speakers

Abraham Hamilton III
Abraham Hamilton
American Family Association, General Counsel & Public Policy Analyst

Abraham Hamilton III is a husband, father of six wonderful children, lawyer, homeschool dad, Bible teacher, and member of HSLDA's board. He has an undergraduate degree in New Testament biblical literature from Oral Roberts University and a JD from Loyola University New Orleans College of Law. Abe is licensed to practice before all Louisiana state courts, The US district court for the eastern, middle and northern disctricts of Lousiana, and all Texas state courts. Before coming to serve at American Family Association, Abe was a criminal prosecutor, handling major felony prosecutions at the trial level. Abraham's ministerial focuses include marriage, family, apologetics, biblical worldview training, discipleship formation, and preaching.

Maria Hamilton
Maria Hamilton

Maria Hamilton is a devoted follower of Christ. She is the wife of Abraham Hamiton III and homeschooling mom of six. Maria has a bachelors degree in psychology and minor degrees in Spanish and rehabilitation services. Although she came to faith in Jesus at age 16, she had no idea what it meant to live as a follower of Christ. As a result, she is passionate about providing children with a robust defense of the faith and committed to helping them develop a strong biblical worldview as early as possible. In service to her local fellowship, Maria teaches apologetics to children. She writes and adapts existing apologetics curricula, making them more suitable and more understandable for younger learners.

Andrew Johnston
Dr. Andrew Johnston

With a head for leadership and a heart for leaders, "Dr. J" is a sought-after consultant, teacher, and coach in corporate, government, nonprofit, military, and ministry contexts. He draws from diverse personal experiences as a counselor, professor, executive, and NCAA coach to strengthen some of the best-known organizations around the globe, as well as schools, nonprofits, and individual leaders around the corner. More than three decades of surviving and inspiring organizational and personal change have cultivated his deep appreciation for what it takes to make the most of people and projects, as well as his commitment to encourage and equip those who take up the challenge. Dr. J has served in many university positions, including honors professor and chair of the Nonprofit Leadership Program at Belmont University and graduate faculty member and professor of the practice at Vanderbilt University. He has also held leadership roles in both profit and nonprofit organizations and served on numerous boards and advisory groups. Dr. J has degrees in interpersonal communication and literature from Wheaton College, in counseling psychology from Auburn University, and in higher education leadership policy from the University of Tennessee, with additional education in leadership and organizational change from Harvard University.

James R, Mason
Jim Mason
HSLDA, President

Since joining HSLDA to lead the litigation team in 2001, Jim Mason has represented homeschooling families in a wide range of challenging situations and has set precedents that have expanded freedom for the homeschool community. Under Jim’s leadership, HSLDA’s 4th Amendment litigation work has changed the way three states (North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico) approach social services investigations. In Wilson v Russo, HSLDA won a $700,000 settlement for our client, a single parent whose children were seized by a rogue child protective services investigator. Jim was instrumental in litigating the 2008 California case Jonathan L., in which a state appellate court reversed its previous ruling that homeschooling was illegal. This put an end to years of controversy over the legal status of homeschooling in California and set a precedent that affects other states as well. Jim became the president of HSLDA in 2022 after serving as vice president of litigation and development for seven years. He also serves as the president of HSLDA Action and chairman of ParentalRights.org and ParentalRightsFoundation.org. He and his wife Debbie live in Winchester, Virginia. They have seven children and six grandchildren. The Masons homeschooled all of their children through high school.

Renton Rathbun
Renton Rathbun
Bob Jones University Center for Biblical Worldview, Director

Renton Rathbun has been a classroom teacher for over 25 years, with experience at both secular and Christian colleges and univeristies. He and his wife homeschooled their oldest son and are now homeschooling their two littles. As the director of BJU's Center for Biblical Worldview, Renton works to align the entire university with one unified vision of biblical worldview. Renton has spoken at homeschool events such as the Foundations Summit, the Canadian Homeschool Symposium, Teach Them Diligently, the Great Homeschool Convention, and the Rocky Mountain Homeschool Convention. He has also appeared on podcasts including The Steve Noble Show, Schoolhouse Rocked, Parenting with Ginger Hubbard, Off the Bench with Heidi St. John, and The Zan Tyler Podcast. Renton holds a BS in English education and an MA in interpretative speech from BJU. He has also received an MFA in creative writing from Minnesota State University, an MA in phliosophy from the University of Toledo, a ThM from Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, and a PhD in apologetics from Westminster Theological Seminary.

Phil Tuttle
Phil Tuttle
Walk Thru the Bible, President

For more than three decades, Phil Tuttle has been a vital member of the Walk Thru the Bible family. While pastoring in central Illinois, he began teaching Walk Thru the Bible’s live events in 1988. Since that time, he has served as dean of faculty, senior vice president for international ministries, and global teaching pastor before becoming president and CEO in 2007. Phil received his bachelor of arts degree in Christian education and Bible from Wheaton College in 1980 and his master of theology degree in Christian education from Dallas Theological Seminary in 1984. As president of Walk Thru the Bible, Phil continues to share God's Word throughout the world in churches and at Bible conferences, Christian education conventions, and corporate gatherings. He is the author of multiple Bible-study series, including Raise Up a Child: A Biblical Portrait of Parenting, Chosen: When God Calls Your Name, and Revolution: How Millennials Can Change the World. Phil and his wife, Ellen, have two children and three grandchildren.

Chris Butler
Chris Butler
Chicago Embassy Church Network, Lead Pastor

Chris Butler is a homeschool dad, pastor, advocate, and experienced organization builder. He and his amazing wife, Aziza, have six wonderful children. In 2016, Pastor Chris was installed as the senior leader at Chicago Embassy Church in the Englewood community of Chicago. Under his leadership, the congregation has relocated to the Hyde Park community, completed its first missional church plant, and established another campus. Chris is a strong supporter of homeschooling freedom and parental rights, and his 2022 primary campaign, in which he ran from Chicago’s South Side as a pro-life Democrat for Illinois’s first congressional district, was endorsed by the HSLDA Action PAC. Chris is also the founder of Citizen Consulting Group Inc., an organizing and communications consulting firm. Having worked across the spectrum of organizations and types of engagement, Chris often lends insight and leadership on organization building and civic engagement to elected officials, organization heads, community organizers, and other faith leaders. Pastor Chris coauthored Compassion (&) Conviction: The AND Campaign’s Guide to Faithful Civic Engagement with Justin Giboney and Michael Wear

Heidi St John
Heidi St. John
MomStrong International and The Busy Mom, Founder

Heidi St. John is the author of several books, including Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That's in You for Your Family and Your Faith and its corresponding Becoming MomStrong Bible Study, as well her latest, MomStrong 365: A Daily Devotional to Encourage and Empower Everyday Moms. Her podcast, Off the Bench with Heidi St. John, is nearing 20 million downloads and is available wherever podcasts can be found. Heidi has been married to Jay, her college sweetheart, since 1989. The St. Johns reside just outside beautiful Vancouver, Washington, where their nonprofit organization, Firmly Planted Family, and the Homeschool Resource Center are based. The St. Johns have seven children, all of whom have been homeschooled, and four grandchildren.

Dr. Joseph Woodard
Dr. Joseph Woodard
Canadian Centre for Home Education, Director of Research

Joseph K. Woodard earned a BA at the University of Alberta, MAs at Dalhousie University (political philosophy) and St. John's College (great books), Greek and Latin diplomas at University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in government at Claremont Graduate School. He invested 15 years as an academic at Bethany College and Brock University, 15 as a journalist with the Alberta Report and the Calgary Herald, and 11 as a tribunal judge with Citizenship Canada. He has taught adjunct at independent high schools and colleges. Joseph helped Kathy raise 10 children, educating them through homeschooling and parent-run school start-ups. He is the director of research for the Canadian Centre for Home Education, writes for online periodicals like Public Discourse, The Imaginative Conservative, and Crisis Magazine, and moderates great books seminars online with Angelicum Academy.

Daniel Heffington
Daniel Heffington
Generation Joshua, Director of Communications

Daniel Heffington is a worship leader, songwriter, and recording artist. He grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he was homeschooled by parents who were also professional musicians. He is one of the worship leaders at his church (Cornerstone Chapel in Leesburg, Virginia) and regularly leads worship at conferences, summer camps, and churches around Virginia and the US. In addition to music, Daniel has a heart for justice, advocacy, and empowering future leaders. He pursues these goals by serving on the senior staff team at HSLDA Action's Generation Joshua. Daniel lives in Berryville, Virginia, with his wife, Abigail, and their kids: Ellie, Piper, and Tuck. If he doesn't know you already, Daniel would love to meet you, and he looks forward to lots of great conversations (that hopefully include coffee) at the National Leaders Conference!

Michael Medved
Michael Medved
The Michael Medved Show, Host

Michael Medved hosts a daily talk radio show and podcast that combines politics and pop culture, history and values. He is also a New York Times best-selling author of 14 nonfiction books, most recently The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic—soon to be a major motion picture from Heroic Pictures, coming to theaters nationwide in the summer of 2025—and its follow-up, God's Hand on America: Divine Providence in the Modern Era. In this series, Michael describes astonishing incidents in which luck, nature, or some higher power seems to intervene on behalf of the United States. An honors graduate of Yale, Michael also attended Yale Law School and has worked as both a political speechwriter and Hollywood screenwriter. He is a member of USA Today's board of contributors, and his pieces appear frequently in the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, and Commentary. He's been married to Dr. Diane Medved, clinical psychologist and best-selling author, for 37 years; they are the parents of three grown children and grandparents of the five most remarkable grandchildren on God's green earth.

Testimonials

HSLDA is a fantastic organization! We have been members for years and continue supporting their efforts through membership even though our youngest graduated two years ago. Valuable resources and wonderful people.
Tina R., Facebook
I would not have been able to purchase most of these supplies had we not received a grant. We are so grateful for those who have unselfishly donated to this fund. Our family’s life has been significantly impacted by their kindness and generosity.
Andy K., Curriculum Grant recipient
Thank you for a grant this year. It came at a time when we couldn't have continued homeschooling without it. My 8-year-old daughter struggled to read. Now, two years later, because of homeschooling she is a wonderful reader and her fears are gone.
Tina E., Curriculum Grant recipient

Meet Our People

We're privileged to have an amazing team of attorneys and educational consultants who are passionate about defending homeschooling families and helping them thrive.
Learn more here »

Have questions about the conference? Contact Us

2024 Sponsors

Special thanks to our sponsors, who make this event possible!

Interested in sponsoring? Please reach out to Trudi Miller by emailing trudim@hslda.org .

Meet Our People

We're privileged to have an amazing team of attorneys and educational consultants who are passionate about defending homeschooling families and helping them thrive.
Learn more here »

Cost to Attend

HSLDA MEMBER
$375 $325
NONMEMBER
$415
TEEN (Ages 13–19)
$215 $195
KID (Ages 5–12)
$150 $130
(Reduced rates available through 7/31/21)

Children 4 and under are free, but no childcare is provided. Registration covers all sessions and catered meals. Lodging is not included; it is the responsibility of each attendee to make hotel reservations as needed.

Register Now

(Reduced rate available through 7/31/24)

Registration closes on August 18, 2024