2023 Legal & Public Policy Conference

September 25 - 27, 2023
Biola University, La Mirada, CA


This conference will feature critical conversations for your campus, including a comprehensive regulatory update, Title IX briefings and analysis, and an overview of the current legal landscape, free speech issues, and more. In addition, we are bringing back the popular crisis simulation to prepare institutions for when a legal issue quickly transforms into a communications and public relations crisis. This conference is ideal for presidents, government relations professionals, communications experts, and in-house and outside counsel, but we welcome any member of your campus intrigued by the issues facing Christian higher education today. Our hope is that LAPP will prepare and invigorate leaders for the Kingdom work of Christ-centered education.


Nathan Adams

Greg Baylor

Steven Begakis

Barry Corey

Brent Ellis

Josh Figueira

Gary Friesen

Jim Gash

Donelle Harder

David Hoag

Shirley Hoogstra

Ryan June

Terry Kollmorgen

Aaron Lacey

Rick Langer

Joe Moore

Tim Muehlhoff

Kathryn Nash

William Pierce

Eric Rassbach

Kit Riehl

Leo Santiago

Dwight Schettler

Bryan Seiler

Ed Stetzer

Ben Thomas

Noah Toly

Calvin Troup

Lisa Turner

Christa Van Der Merwe

Paula Victor

Michael Villines

Will Wagner


Arrival Day: Sunday, September 24
Departure Day: Thursday, September 28

Please note that this is a tentative agenda that will be updated as additional information becomes available.

8:00 AM – 8:30 AM | Breakfast at Hotel
8:45 AM – 9:00 AM | Welcome & Opening Devotion | Barry Corey
9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Session 1: Winsome Engagement on Divisive Topics | Rick Langer & Tim Muehlhoff
  • Biola University professors and co-directors of the Winsome Conviction Project, Rick Langer and Tim Muehlhoff, will discuss the communication styles and strategies that unite and divide and facilitate an interactive conversation that puts these principles into action on topics such as preferred pronouns, critical race theory, and other challenging issues facing Christian institutions.
10:30 AM – 10:45 AM | Refreshment Break
10:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Session 2: Everything’s Coming Up Regulations | Aaron Lacey
  • As 2023 nears its conclusion, the U.S. Department of Education continues to pursue its ambitious and sweeping regulatory agenda for institutions of higher education. During this session, Aaron Lacey, the Chair of Thompson Coburn’s Higher Education practice, will examine the range of expansions, revisions, and revivals that presently are underway. He will discuss the final rules that took effect this summer (borrower defense, misrepresentation, change in ownership, 90/10), and examine the slate of final rules that are expected to be released this fall (financial value transparency and gainful employment, Title IX, financial responsibility, administrative capability).  He also will speculate regarding the rulemaking activity that is on the horizon and discuss likely timelines for proposed rules, comments, and implementation.
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Lunch
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM | Session 3: Appeal to Caesar: Navigating the New Title IX SOGI Rules | Steven Begakis
  • The Education Department is poised to formally amend its Title IX regulations to redefine the word “sex” to include sexual orientation and gender identity and to prohibit strict separation of sports teams according to biological sex. Mr. Begakis will discuss the legal implications of these upcoming rule changes and practical steps Christian universities can take to navigate them while maintaining a robust commitment to Christian education and the historic faith.
2:00 PM – 3:20 PM | Session 4: Being Social: The Many Intersections of Social Media with Campus Life | Joe Moore, Bryan Seiler & Noah Toly
  • This panel will walk through the academic leadership, communications and legal implications of social media and apply those principles  to everyday scenarios in the life of campus.
3:20 PM – 3:40 PM | Refreshment Break
3:45 PM – 4:30 PM | Session 5: In Conversation with Jim Gash and Bill Pierce: Preparing and Responding to Crises On Campus
  • This session will explore the principles of successful crisis communications, planning for a crisis, what to do when a crisis happens, and the key decisions during a crisis.
4:30 PM – 5:15 PM | Session 6: Judicial Issues Affecting Christian Higher Education & Religious Liberty in Lower Courts | Kathryn Nash
  • Attorney Kathryn Nash will discuss various cases in circuit courts and state courts throughout the country. She will outline key issues from these cases as well as share tips of how institutions can proactively prepare for various legal challenges.
5:30 PM | Plenary Dinner: Engaging a Pluralistic Community with a Christ-Centered Mission | David Hoag, Ed Stetzer & Mike Villines
  • As Christian higher education institutions become increasingly counter-cultural in a secular society, join this esteemed panel as they discuss various approaches to cultural and political engagement. If you are not at the table, you are on the menu, so this panel shares intentional ways to be at the table so Christian higher education has a compelling and winsome voice.
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM | Breakfast at Hotel
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM | Devotion | Jacob Dunlap
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM | Session 1: Navigating to the City on the Hill – Let Your Light Shine when Worldviews Collide | Will Wagner
  • In this presentation, Professor William Wagner looks at law, liberty, and constitutional governance in the context of colliding worldviews (in culture, generally, and specifically, on Christian campuses). In this session, you will learn how to identify and respectfully respond to false narratives, while persuasively framing God-honoring truth when you encounter culturally charged legal issues.
10:15 AM – 10:30 AM | Refreshment Break
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Session 2: Emerging Threats to the Religious Liberty of Christ-Centered Educational Institutions | Greg Baylor
  • In this session, Greg Baylor will address a number of emerging threats to the religious liberty of faith-based organizations, including educational institutions. This comprehensive presentation will address a variety of pressing issues, including the reinterpretation of disability discrimination laws to cover gender dysphoria, the extension of state and local bans on sex discrimination to reach sexual orientation and gender identity, state efforts to ban conversion therapy, which are often broad, open-ended, and not clearly defined, and the application of Title IX and other statutes to schools because of their tax-exempt status.
11:30 AM – 12:20 PM | Session 3: Privacy, Privilege and Confidentiality | Terry Kollmorgen
  • This session will address the impact and interaction of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the Violence Against Women Act, and other laws addressing disclosure of information in the possession of institutions of higher education.
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Plenary Lunch: Being at the Table Matters | Shirley Hoogstra
1:30 PM | Free Time
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM | Breakfast at Hotel
9:00 AM – 9:15 AM | Devotion | Will Wagner
9:15 AM – 10:15 AM | Session 1: Christian Conciliation and Mediation | Christa Van Der Merwe, Gary Friesen, Dwight Schettler & Ben Thomas
  • This session explores Christian conciliation and how universities can implement Christian mediation and arbitration agreements for faculty and/or staff to cultivate biblical reconciliation and incorporate a college’s Christian mission in the resolution of employment disputes.  Join this panel, which includes the President of Ambassadors for Reconciliation and the Institute for Christian Conciliation and an attorney experienced in religious liberty issues, for a discussion on Christian conciliation and the opportunities for religious liberty in implementing these agreements.
10:15 AM – 10:30 AM | Refreshment Break
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM | Session 2: Federal Grants and Contracts: Camel’s Nose? | Nate Adams and Kit Riehl
  • Few Christian colleges and universities consider themselves research institutions. But some are recipients of federal contracts and grants anyway. Sometimes they are unwitting recipients as when ambitious faculty take the unsanctioned initiative. Others have faculty petitioning to apply for or participate in federal grants or contracts. This session takes a look at the implications of federal grants and contracts for Christian colleges. We explore a few strategies for those interested in pursuing them.
11:30 AM – 12:30 PM | Session 3: Accelerating Change and the Beautiful Game: Intercollegiate Athletics | Leo Santiago, Noah Toly & Lisa Turner
  • In this panel presentation, personnel from various NCAA division levels will review the significant changes impacting intercollegiate athletics in the past few years and anticipate issues to expect in the future. Topics will include Alston payments and the associated Hubbard-McCarrell litigation, Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) and associated House litigation and pending federal legislation, IRS memo on taxability of payments to collectives for NIL, NLRB General Counsel’s memo on student-athletes as employees, recent state laws purporting to prohibit the NCAA from enforcing rules in their states, proposed Title IX regulation changes regarding transgender athletes and state legislation, the future of gambling in college sports and multimedia rights agreements, and more.
12:30 PM – 1:30 PM | Lunch
1:35 PM – 2:30 PM | Session 4: Intellectual Property Risks and Opportunities in Christian Higher Education | Ryan June
  • Higher Education Institutions are intellectual property machines, generating substantial amounts of content and maintaining names and logos with valuable goodwill. These intellectual property assets are no less valuable than others but are sometimes forgotten or relegated to the back burner because they are intangible. Attorney Ryan June will discuss some of the top risks and opportunities for Christian Higher Education institutions in the intellectual property arena to help ensure your institution stewards all its assets well.
2:30 PM – 3:25 PM | Session 5: Supreme Court Update: Past and Upcoming Cases Affecting Christian Higher Education | Eric Rassbach
  • Supreme Court advocate Eric Rassbach will highlight key cases from the previous SCOTUS term, as well as provide an update on cases the Court has accepted that may affect education or religious liberty.
3:30 PM – 3:45 PM | Refreshment Break
3:45 PM – 5:00 PM | Session 6: Communicating Through Cultural Tension | Donelle Harder
  • Pinkston will be facilitating a communications “hack-a-thon” session where working groups will each be presented with unique scenarios at Christian higher education institutions and the work groups will be charged with identifying and solving the communication needs to create brand stability through cultural tension.
5:15 PM | Closing Plenary Dinner | Barry Corey, Brent Ellis & Calvin Troup
  • Join this panel of presidents as they discuss current issues facing presidents of higher education, including legal issues, which present a communications challenge and opportunity.  Laugh and cry with these presidents as they share war stories that include proactive ways to prepare for the inevitable challenges of leading an institution of Christian higher education.

Registration Information

Registration for the Legal & Public Policy Conference is $525

Registration Eligibility and Process:
CCCU conferences and events are a benefit to our institutions, and we invite staff, faculty, administrators, and affiliated parties to attend. If you are not affiliated with a CCCU institution but are interested in attending, please email conferences@cccu.org

All registrations are reviewed to ensure they meet the CCCU eligibility policies.  The CCCU reserves the right to refuse or cancel all ineligible registrations at any time and shall not be held accountable for any outside fees associated with this cancellation.

To register for the conference, click the Register button and sign in to your My CCCU account. If you have any issues or if you forgot your log-in information, please call our office at (202) 546-8713 for assistance. The final day to register for the 2023 Legal & Public Policy Conference will be Tuesday, September 12.

By registering for the conference, you are providing permission to receive emails, mailings, and faxes related to the conference. If you would like to opt-out from receiving the e-Advance Newsletter or if you wish to no longer receive emails from the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, update your preferences by logging into your MY CCCU account.

Full payment must accompany your registration. Please call the CCCU office at (202) 546-8713 if you need to make payment by check.

Cancellation Policy

You may cancel your registration at any time prior to the start of the program. If you must cancel, please email conferences@cccu.org. Refunds for cancellations received through Monday, August 28 will be issued minus a $50 processing fee. No refunds will be issued for cancellations received after Monday, August 28. No-shows are not refundable. Registration transfers will be honored at any time.

Hotel & Travel Information

Hotel Option

Holiday Inn La Mirada
$139/night plus tax
14299 Firestone Blvd, La Mirada, CA 90638

We encourage you to stay at this hotel to help uphold our commitment to their partnership with this event.


The closest airport to Biola University is John Wayne Airport-Orange County, which is located approximately 23 miles and 30 minutes from campus. The average cost of an Uber is $45 one way.

Additionally, Los Angeles International Airport is located approximately 26 miles and 45 minutes from campus. The average cost of an Uber is $70 one way.

Attendees are responsible for travel to Biola University from their hotels. Information on rental cars at John Wayne Airport can be found here. Information on rental cars at Los Angeles International Airport can be found here.