Important message about the COVID-19 Coronavirus

In an effort to care for all of our personnel, families, and mission around the world, EMI has been taking a number of steps in response to the progress of COVID-19.

Location-specific Crisis Management Teams are now in place to monitor COVID developments, inform, and care for EMI personnel. All official EMI travel (including project travel) has been cancelled or postponed and no new travel plans are being prepared until further notice. EMI’s worldwide offices are in varying states of closure with personnel working remotely or from home as they are able.

We continue to actively monitor the situation and will respond to new information affecting our worldwide ministry and teams. We view the COVID-19 Coronavirus an opportunity to live out the gospel and our faith in Jesus through the ministry of EMI.

Click here for the 2018 Conference Survey



Plan now to join us at the annual EMI Conference as we visit the beautiful Pacific Northwest region in October!  The Conference will be held on the campus of George Fox University, Newberg, Oregon (learn more by clicking on the Local Area Attractions tab below). 

We will connect with one another and train ourselves for international service, as we grow our collective vision for “designing a world of hope.”

Our team of presenters is made up of fellow volunteers and EMI staff from around the world. They will teach and share from their own field experience, learning, and perspective. Structured to provide a fuller experience, the conference features 2 full days of seminars. Once again, the California Safety Assessment Program will be taught all day Friday, concurrent with other workshops.

And if you can't attend the full conference, the One Day Pass will give you flexibility to keep your work week commitments. We hope you can join us this fall!

Typically, up to 10 hours of continuing education credits are available for all design related content (for engineers and architects).
Thursday October 11

Early Registration Canyon Commons - GFU Dining Hall (4:00 – 6:00 PM)

Registration Canyon Commons - GFU Dining Hall (6:00 – 7:00 PM)

Welcome Reception Canyon Commons (7:00 – 8:30 PM)
Coffee and Dessert Reception
Welcome Address
Dr. Robin Baker, President, George Fox University
Welcome from EMI
Introductions and information

Meet our staff and fellow conference attendees, and share your EMI stories!

Friday October 12

Registration Canyon Commons (7:15 - 8:00 AM)

Opening General Session Canyon Commons (8:00 – 9:00 AM)
Welcome and general information
Message: Gary MacPhee, Director of Recruiting, EMI

California Safety Assessment Program (C-SAP) (9:30 AM – 5:00PM)

Breakout Sessions Stevens Center - GFU classroom building  (9:30 AM, 10:45 AM, 1:30 PM, 2:45PM)
Various topics, presenters, TBD

Lunch (catered) Canyon Commons (noon to 1 PM)
Various table topics for discussion

Evening General Session Canyon Commons (6:00 – 8:30 PM)
Dinner (catered)
Message: Steve Hoyt, Workshop Manager/Sr Project Manager - EMI Uganda

Saturday October 13

Late Registration Canyon Commons (7:15 - 8:30 AM)

Opening Morning Devotional Canyon Commons (8:30 AM)
Devotion: Henry Watts, EMI US Office Director

Breakout Sessions Stevens Center (9:30 AM, 10:45 AM, 1:30 PM, 2:45PM)
Various topics, presenters, TBD

Lunch (catered) Canyon Commons (noon to 1 PM)
Various table topics for discussion

Evening General Session Canyon Commons (6:00 – 8:30 PM)
Dinner (catered)
Message: John Dallmann, CEO, EMI

Note: Final Schedule may have minor revisions

Friday October 12

*California Safety Assessment Program (SAP) (9:30 AM - 5:00 PM)

Breakout 1 (9:30-10:30am)

*Design in the Developing World - an introduction for the new volunteer
*Sustainability and Agriculture I
*Sustainable Water Supply: Clay Filter, Community BioSand Filter, and Water Testing Results
*Disaster Risk Reduction – What it is, Why we do it, and How
EMI Families Overseas, Part 1 - A spouse's perspective, Introduction
Becoming Spiritually Fit: Designing a Sustainable and Resilient Faith, Part 1

Breakout 2 (10:45-11:45am)

*Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Programming – The basis for every EMI Design
*Structural Engineering for the Developing World
*Sustainable Waste Water Solutions – Septic and Absorption Systems in East Africa
*Local Design Professionals: The Strength of a Multi-Cultural Design Team
University/Student participants and EMI Collaboration
First Time Volunteering on an EMI Trip - preparation, expectations, and surprises

Breakout 3 (1:30-2:30pm)

*What is "Good" Mission? Part 1 - Development that "helps and not hurts"
*Sustainable Agriculture II – Agro-forestry
*DR - Hurricane Irma Response: Providing Clean Water to Barbuda
*Electrical Design in the Majority World – an EMI Design Guide
*Long-term Partnerships/Relationship-based Design Development
Fund Raising, Part 1 – for Long-term Service

Breakout 4 (2:45-3:45pm)

*Architecture in Another World – Where the pavement ends
*So, What’s My Design Intensity?  EMI in Senegal!
*DR – Seismic analysis and retrofit in post-earthquake responses
*Solar Power Design for the Developing World
EMI USA – How the US Office fits into the broader work of EMI
Crossing Cultures Part 1

Saturday October 13

Breakout 5 (9:30-10:30am)

*Sustainable Water Supplies: sources and selection
*Sustainable Agriculture III – Animal Husbandry
*Schematic Design and Bridging Documents – How EMI helps to get design done
EMI Families Overseas, Part 2 - A spouse's perspective continued
Staff Opportunities with EMI, Part 1 – Finding Your Fit
Becoming Spiritually Fit: Designing a Sustainable and Resilient Faith, Part 2

Breakout 6 (10:45-11:45am)

*Master Planning/Site Development on EMI Projects
*Sustainable Waste Water Disposal Solutions – Pour flush, composting toilets, and biodigesters
*R&D in Uganda – Keys to Appropriate Design
*DR – The Tenwek Hospital Fire Response – Appropriate Design Implications
Crossing Cultures, Part 2

Breakout 7 (1:30-2:30pm)

*The Architect and the EMI Project Leader
*What is "Good" Mission? Part 2 - Development that "helps and not hurts"
*Construction Management – stories and studies from the field
Fund Raising, Part 2 – for  your project trip
Serving Overseas with EMI – staff and families

Breakout 8 (2:45-3:45pm)

*Healthcare Architectural Design in the Developing World
*Sustainable Agriculture IV: Low-pressure irrigation systems
*DR – Mexico Earthquake Response
The Heart of EMI Across the World – Interns!
Staff Opportunities with EMI, Part 2 – What’s Next?
Prayer Room – for EMI staff, volunteers, partners

* course content with Continuing Education credits available

The Cal OES SAP (the evaluator training course for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, Safety Assessment Program), provides experienced professionals who can quickly evaluate damaged structures, identifying those that are safe for occupancy to which people can return, while marking those that are unsafe or have restricted use. The course trains civil engineers, architects, and building inspectors to do field evaluations of buildings and infrastructure for safety. The training will run concurrently with other conference content all day, Friday, Oct 12, from 9:30 AM – 5 PM. The cost is included in the conference registration.

We recommend comfortable accommodations at the three hotels closest to George Fox University for your convenience.  Rooms are available in limited numbers for both private and shared room options. 

Please make your own reservation at the option below that you prefer.  Please let us know if you would like to be connected with someone else looking for a shared room option, at

The three hotel options are all located on Hwy 99 and within a 10-20 minute walk of the main venue on campus.  You may reserve your room through any online booking company or directly with the hotel). Enterprise Car rental offers a pick-up location across the street from these hotels. 

Holiday Inn Express (EMI Rate about $130/One King Bed or $140 for Double Queen Bed)

Closest to campus and the most updated accommodations is the all new Holiday Inn Express.  Conveniently located off Hwy 99, the hotel offers a variety of amenities for all travelers including a full hot breakfast featuring signature cinnamon rolls, complimentary high speed Internet, indoor hot tub, seasonal outdoor pool and exercise room.  This hotel has a large number of rooms blocked out at a special rate for EMI, please call their front desk at (503) 537-0303 to ask for the block of rooms EMI has reserved, which are not available online.  


Best Western (Public rates from about $115/room/night)

The Newberg Best Western hotel offers a free hot breakfast with choice of breads, cereal, fruit, hot eggs, hot breakfast meat, other hot items, yogurt, juice, and 100% Arabica coffee. Enjoy a great start to your morning before the conference. This hotel offers a heated pool, indoor pool and hot tub and exercise room.  Also on Hwy 99, this hotel is located two blocks further than the Holiday Inn Express, or just over a half mile from campus. EMI does not have rooms blocked at this hotel and prices may differ.  Please make your reservation through an online booking site or directly with the hotel.


Travel Lodge (Public Rates from about $100/room/night)

The Newberg Travelodge Suites hotel is located almost one mile from campus, where you can enjoy a free Bear Bites continental breakfast while reading your free newspaper. They offer free WiFi Internet access and free parking. Squeeze in a workout at their onsite fitness center, or relax with a dip in the indoor pool and spa. Accessible, non-smoking, and pet-friendly rooms are available. EMI does not have rooms blocked at this hotel and prices may differ.  Please make your reservation through an online booking site or directly with the hotel.


Newberg is located 30 miles southwest of Portland, Oregon in the rolling farmland of the Willamette Valley, famous for its orchards and vineyards. Newberg is within an hour’s drive of Oregon’s dramatic Pacific coastline to the west, the historic Columbia River Gorge to the north, and the majestic volcanic peaks of the Cascade Mountains to the east. The state of Oregon is rich in scenic beauty, outdoor activities, national historic sites; and, is famous for its culinary arts focusing on fresh, locally grown food. There truly is something for everyone to enjoy - we hope you can plan to spend a little extra time around the conference to take full advantage of it all!

Just a few ideas to get you started!...

  • Newberg is home to over 80 of the finest wineries in the northwest
  • Vista Hot Air Balloon tour
  • The Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum where you can see famous aircraft, including the Spruce Goose, and exhibits honoring aviation pioneers
  • Golf at Chaelam Glen
  • The exciting Water Park in McMinnville is the ultimate destination for families and adventure seekers
  • The Herbert Hoover National Museum
  • Champoeg State Park

What is the dress code?
Most attendees dress business casual.

What meals are provided?
Lunches & dinners Friday and Saturday are included in your conference registration. Breakfast is not included.

How do I get to the conference and where do I park?
The conference is located on the campus of George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon.  Local hotels are within a short distance.  Parking will be available in some on-campus lots and off-campus on nearby neighboring streets.  Cars can be rented at the Portland International Airport (PDX), which is approxiamtely 50 miles from Newberg (one-hour drive).

What should I bring to the conference?
A listening ear and open heart. Optional: note taking implements (pen & notepad/tablet/laptop), Bible (physical or app), and cash/check for EMI merchandise!

Do I need to indicate the Breakout Sessions I attend beforehand?
No, you can pick which sessions you attend at the conference.

Can I receive continuing education?
Yes! You can earn up to 10 hours with the California Safety Assessment Program offered on Friday. Otherwise, up to 4 hours each on Friday and Saturday. The majority of our Breakout Sessions are of a technical nature so that they qualify for continuing education for engineers and architects. Breakout Sessions that have been approved for AIA LU’s and HSW LU’s (most of them) will be indicated in the conference guide. Please check your licensing board requirements for continuing education. EMI is not registered in North Carolina, Florida, or Louisiana.

Will the presentations for the Breakout Sessions be available?

Will recordings of the Breakout Sessions be available after?

How do I choose a Breakout Session when there are so many great ones to pick from?!
Each Breakout Session will indicate which disciplines/areas will benefit most, but that is not a requirement for attending. A few Breakout Sessions will be repeated.

My question wasn’t answered here, who do I ask?
Contact us at