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Garrett Kell will speak at CU 9Marks Conference

9Marks Conference Comes to Cedarville

by Natalia Kirychuk, Public Relations Writer

For the fifth consecutive year, Cedarville University will partner with 9Marks Ministries to offer a conference focused on encouraging and equipping area pastors. The conference will be held at the university on November 9-10. The goal of 9Marks Ministries is to equip church leaders with a biblical vision and practical resources to build healthy churches that display God’s glory to the nations.

This year’s conference will discuss church membership, and speakers will focus on the biblical basis for church membership, what it involves and why it’s important.

Speakers will include Greg Gilbert, senior pastor of Third Avenue Baptist Church; Matt Mason, senior pastor of The Church at Brook Hills; Jonathan Leeman, editorial director of 9Marks and elder at Capitol Hill Baptist Church; John Hammett associate dean for theological studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Garrett Kell, lead pastor of Del Ray Baptist Church. They will be joined by Thomas White, president of Cedarville University; Jason Lee, dean of the school of biblical and theological studies; and Jeremy Kimble, assistant professor of theological studies.

“The Christian life is not designed to live in isolation,” Kell explained. “Church membership is living out the gospel under the lordship of Jesus alongside other likeminded brothers and sisters.”

Bruce Traeger, director of church relations at Cedarville, said that the conference gives pastors a time to put aside the challenges at their church for just a moment, in order to be fed and encouraged. 

“I love the opportunity to meet pastors, and I enjoy the fellowship – not only that I have with them, but also that they have with each other,” Traeger said. 

Cedarville will host its annual Seminary Fair in conjunction with the 9Marks conference. Past attendees include Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dallas Theological Seminary and English Language Institute - China. 

The title “9Marks” references the ministries’ nine indicators of church health: preaching, biblical theology, the Gospel, conversion, evangelism, membership, discipline, discipleship and leadership. 9Marks is based in Washington, D.C., and works with pastors, deacons and church leaders.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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