connect, train, and inspire

Back this year in-person and online!          October 14th to 16th, 2021

Hosted by the US Office of EMI and viewed from around the world. With a variety of both technical and missional subjects covered, live speakers from around the world will be threaded together to create an in-person and livestream event you don't want to miss. New content is being offered.

Three ways to participate this year!

  1. In-person Thursday, Friday and Saturday at Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN
  2. Regional in-person gatherings with your local regional EMI Network Chapter participating through Livestream (Friday and partial Saturday content only)
  3. Livestream event from your home or office through Zoom (Friday and partial Saturday content only)

Director’s Dinner

EMI USA Director, Henry Watts, will be hosting a fundraising dinner for anyone who is interested in investing in the work of EMI around the globe. This dinner will be following the conference on the evening of Saturday, October 16th, from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm at Adele's Restaurant in downtown Nashville. There is limited space for this in-person only event, so register soon! Follow the link below for more information and to RSVP separately for this event.

Continuing Education Credits are available for the technical content. EMI is an approved provider with the AIA.  The AIA credit is only available on the day of the event, as the event is live streamed.  (The All-Access Link will still provide access to the recorded content after the event, but credit will not be available for recorded sessions.  Engineers and architects should verify the requirements of their state of licensure).  To receive a certificate of completion, participants will be required to report to EMI on the courses they attended by completing a Google form.

For specific questions about the event, please email


Note:  Final Schedule 
*  course content below with Continuing Education Credits available 

Thursday October 14 

Early Registration  (8:00 AM – 9:30 AM)  Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering Lobby
Conference Workshops (In-person only – and at no extra cost! Choose one)  (9:30 AM – 4:30 PM)  
Click title to see full descriptions

Boxed Lunch served (12:30 – 1:30) 
Networking breaks (mid-morning and mid-afternoon)
Dinner on your own with new friends - On-campus options!

Open Registration and Welcome Reception (7:00 PM - 8:30 PM) Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering, 2nd Floor open space (Scobey Commons)

Friday October 15

Open Registration  (7:00 AM – 8:30 AM)  The Shinn Center Lobby

Welcome/Worship  (8:30 AM – 9:00 AM)  The Shinn Center

Plenary 1 (9:00 – 10:00 AM) – The World Restored…Sharing Christ in the 21st Century

Breakout 1 (10:30 -11:30 AM)   Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering   

*Design in the Developing World - an introduction for the new volunteer  
*Electrical Design in the Majority World – an EMI Design Guide    
*WASH/CE in the Majority World – an EMI Design Guide  
*Mountain Top Runway in Myanmar - Design and Construction Management 

Lunch (12:00 – 1:00 PM)   The Shinn Center

Plenary 2 (1:00 – 2:00 PM)  What is Good Mission? Development that Helps and Not Hurts  

Breakout 2 (2:30 – 3:30 PM)   Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering

*Keys to Successful Cross-Cultural Programming – The Basis for Every EMI Design  
*Structural Engineering for the Developing World    
*Local Design Professionals: The Strength of a Multi-Cultural Design Team  
*Sustainable Waste Water Solutions
Crossing Cultures Part I
EMI Families Overseas, Part I - A Spouse's Perspective, Introduction

Breakout 3 (4:00 – 5:00 PM)   Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering

*Owning, Designing, and Constructing for Impact - One Organization in all Three Roles
*EMI projects in the US?  A WASH report from rural Alaska!
*In the Shadow of Siloam - Collapses, Codes, and Changes for EMI Structural Engineering
*What is "Good" Mission?  Part 2 - Development that "Helps and Not Hurts"
Finding your Fit - Opportunities to Serve with EMI

Dinner (5:30 – 6:30 PM)    The Shinn Center

Worship and Testimonials/interviews (6:30 – 7:30 PM)   

Plenary 3 (7:30 – 8:30 PM)  Bridging the Gap to the Other Side: Making Connections Between Humanitarian Engineering Work and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion  

Saturday October 16

Welcome/Worship (8:30 – 9:00 AM)   The Shinn Center

Plenary 4 (9:00 – 10:00 AM) – A Community of Restorers - Where Do We Fit as Design Professionals?  

Breakout 4 (10:30 – 11:30 AM)   Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering

*Master Planning - An Interdisciplinary Approach  
*Engineering that Can Help or Hurt - Knowing and Making the Difference
*Project Profile - EMI Uganda and the Amazima School
Crossing Cultures Part 2  
EMI Families Overseas, Part 2 - A Spouse's Perspective  - The Rest of the Story

Lunch (12:00 – 1:00 PM)   The Shinn Center

Plenary 5 (1:00 – 2:00 PM)  Scriptural and Missional Mandates in Partner Development  

Breakout 5 (2:30 – 3:30 PM)   Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering

*EMI Alternative Energy Source Analysis 
*Can We Drink the Water? Field Assessments of Water Quality
The Other Side of Engineering - Making Connections Between Humanitarian Work and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (continued from Plenary 3)
Biblical Partner Development - Part 2
Early Career Development at EMI - Interns and Fellows

Closing Plenary 6 (4:00 – 5:00 PM) – The Church’s Mission Needs All of Us!   The Shinn Center 

* 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 workshops all day, Thursday, Oct 14, from 9:30 AM – 5 PM. The cost is included in the conference registration. This training is invaluable for EMI volunteers involved in Disaster Response and/or Development Projects who might find themselves in situations where we must evaluate existing construction after natural or man-made disasters.

Site evaluation and troubleshooting are some of the most critical contributions electrical design professionals make to EMI projects. This workshop course will equip you to perform these functions using electrical test and measurement equipment, and will include hands-on training with Fluke (r) Clamp Meters, Ground Testers, and Power Loggers that are currently in use with EMI teams worldwide.

Would you like to understand how and why people make decisions, or do the things they do? Can you identify root communication problems in a way that brings people together, resolves conflicts, and reduces stress? Do you desire to maximize the strengths of yourself and others and build strong teams? As a leader in building teams and developing people, Volunteer Development Director Gary MacPhee is a trained facilitator of Behavioral Analysis tools from People Keys and The Institute for Motivational Living, Inc. You will be sent an online link to a behavioral analysis assessment in the days leading up to the conference as the starting point. This all-day workshop will then engage and train you to better understand yourself, and the people you live and work with. It is guaranteed to give you many new insights – the “light-bulb” or “Ah Ha!” moments of discovery – and many tools to take away for immediate application! We will have interactive Q and A throughout, and case studies from business experience, EMI teams, and your own lives to learn how to develop people-reading skills, gain greater sensitivity to others around you, and ultimately enhance greater productivity, teamwork, and satisfaction in your personal life and your marketplace ministry!

We’re looking for experienced health care architects and designers to join us for this workshop/lab. Architect Dirk Anderson, who coordinates many of EMI’s health care designs, will share valuable information gained from the many years of EMI’s cross-cultural learning and experience. Then, we will invite you into the process of analysis and brain storming, to wrestle with the difficulty of applying good design guidelines (that we are well acquainted with in western experience) in contexts where there are often very few that are in place. Finally, as a group we will work with case study examples in something of a design lab setting to see if together we can develop applications that result in appropriate and sustainable designs. Come be a part of something groundbreaking, laying a course for our future growth!

Business as Mission (BAM) is an invitation to participate in profitable business as a means of leveraging the marketplace to create sustainable solutions for the common good of those in need both locally and globally. It is often a way to gain entry into areas that are hostile or closed to the gospel. As design professionals, we bring a much needed service to our local communities. When our skills and services are employed through EMI in partnership with great Christian ministries around the globe, it makes a life-changing impact where it’s needed most. How can a for-profit business model increase our impact we have and create greater opportunities? How can partnership with US design firms help us merge our work and faith? How can a ministry perspective create value in our own work environment? Join us as we encourage and spur one another on toward good works!

EXAMPLE from 2020 - Check back soon for updated descriptions 

(LU/HSW denote continuing Education Credit) 

Day 1 

D is For Design – Frank Thaxter & Dirk Anderson – 1 LU 

This course looks at what “Design” means to EMI as one of the 3ds, Design, Discipleship and Diversity, of EMI’s core values. We will unpack the terms appropriate design, contextual design and sustainable design as they relate to the design work of EMI and the organizations EMI serves. The course will look at EMI project examples, which have integrated these areas of design well, and discuss design opportunities and ways to improve with future EMI projects. 

Structural Engineering in the Majority World – Brad Crawford – 1 LU/HSW  

Each project brings its own challenge; however, a project in a completely different county with different codes, units of measurement and building materials can be overwhelming. This course will discuss some of the things to be aware of when you are the structural engineer in a different county.  

Developing People: Engineering WASH Solutions in Cambodia – Jason Chandler – 1 LU 

The Civil Engineering Practicum in Cambodia is a prime example of EMI’s core values (Design, Discipleship, and Diversity) being put into practice. At EMI, experts and beginners engaging in a cross-cultural environment can learn from each other and become active participants in EMI’s mission “To develop people, design structures, and construct facilities which serve communities and the Church.” This is especially true in engineering appropriate WASH solutions.  

Dimensions to Master Planning – Dirk Anderson – 1 LU/HSW 

Master planning integrates varied dimensions of exploration, strategy, analysis and design. EMI projects, in particular, often encompass an interactive, highly collaborative, inter-disciplinary approach between client, architectural planners, designers and engineers. This course illustrates the breadth of consideration and describes essential elements for an appropriate planning process. 

Fundraising to Serve with EMI – Randy Larsen and author, Betty Barnett 

Don’t let fear of fund raising be an obstacle for ministry opportunities.  Join Betty Barnett, author of Friend Raising, to explore the joys and challenges of sharing your vision and inviting others into your ministry in life-giving and faith-building ways.  For those considering EMI short or long-term - as staff, interns, or volunteers – and from any culture or country, come to be encouraged and gain a practical understanding of ministry partner development.    

Civil Engineering in the Developing World: The Global Civil Design Guide – Jason Chandler & Natalie Thompson – 1 LU 

While engineering principles remain the same, design in the developing world is often different or has specific regional applications. The EMI Global Civil Design Guide will provide staff, volunteers, and interns consistent and standardized guidance for civil engineering within many contexts where EMI works. This course will introduce the concept and functionality of the global guide that is under development and how it can be used within the context of civil engineering at EMI.   

What is Good Mission? Development that is Appropriate, Contextualized and Sustainable – Henry Watts & Brad Crawford – 1 LU 

Good development doesn’t just happen whenever talented design professionals offer their services. It requires understanding, mutual discovery, and participatory learning through collaboration with national partners. Assessing the issues confronting us through poverty is not a simple thing to do, and the world is littered with projects that missed the mark. Join us for this thought-provoking, engaging, and interactive discussion to learn what makes the difference! 

Day 2

Strength of a Multi-Cultural Team of Design Professionals – Mathew Coffey & Huberth Marak – 1 LU 

The strengths of a multi-cultural design team are significant, but only achievable through effective collaboration between the Design Professionals involved. This seminar examines the areas of strength brought to a design project by the “Local / Majority World Design Professional” and the “Expat / Western World Design Professional”, who are figured as general types. This seminar introduces the topic of cultural / communication challenges to effective collaboration, and suggesting ways such collaboration may be achieved, and the benefits accruing to those involved. 

Strategies and Tools in Healthcare Design – Dirk Anderson – 1 LU 

Health care design is an ever-evolving niche in global relief and ministry development, often becoming critical cornerstones within local communities. This course will discuss some keys to appropriate health care design while learning valuable lessons from strategic partners in the Majority World. 

Can We Drink the Water? Field Assessment of Water Quality – Jeff Niemann – 1LU 

Jeff Niemann is the Faoro Professor of Water Resources in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Colorado State University (CSU).  At CSU, he coordinates the Water and International Development (WAID) program and teaches a graduate course on water engineering for international development.  He has also served as a volunteer on several EMI projects. 

New Strategies to Build It Better – Andy Engebretson 

EMI has performed electrical assessments and designs for ministries around the world for over 30 years.  Often ministries do not know the next step to take to implement these designs, and even if they find someone who can do it, they have no way to verify that the designs are actually followed.  As Owner’s Reps, EMI has successfully bridged the gap between design and completion for several remote ministries in Africa and India.  Come hear about the impact these new strategies are having on designers, contractors, and ministries around the world. 

Finding Your Fit: Opportunities to Serve with EMI – Lesley Smith & Jeff Austin 

Have you thought about getting more involved with EMI?  Please join us if you are interested in hearing about opportunities to serve with EMI including as a short-term volunteer, intern, fellow, or long-term staff member.  We will explain the various options help you begin to discern where your best fit might be with EMI and what practical next steps you might take to get there. 

Disaster Response Program: Overview and Opportunities – Jesse Hoye - 1 LU/HSW 

This presentation helps define Disaster Response (DR) and how EMI approaches it. It will help explain the unique role engineers and architects play in DR as well as what volunteer qualifications we place on those who desire to be involved in the program.  

Discussion on a Designer's Response to COVID-19 – Dirk Anderson & Jason Chandler – 1 LU 

The Covid-19 outbreak has had global impact personally and organizationally. With EMI operating as a global organization, and therefore effecting EMI’s typical operating functions, this course describes recent outcomes, including client engagement and project delivery, along with new opportunities that have developed in response to the outbreak through our clients. We will also be examining anticipated new-normal for our work during the transition beyond the pandemic. 

Closing Plenary Speaker – John Dallmann, CEO 

BONUS MATERIAL (Available at any time during and after the event)

Becoming Spiritually Fit: Designing a Sustainable and Resilient Faith, Parts 1 & 2 – Dan Kane 

Do you long for a sustainable way of life? As design professionals, we are shaped by a productivity driven industry that can lead us to feel empty, overextended and overworked - dangerous conditions that can leave us vulnerable to life patterns and crises that erode our faith and disrupt our relationships with God and others. As Christian design professionals, we are invited by God to live and work differently, rooted in relationships and rhythms that lead to a vibrant and resilient faith. 

Solar Power Design in the Developing World – Hannah Peterson – 1 LU 

EMI Associate Staff Electrical Engineer, Hannah Peterson, P.E. reviews methods for analyzing and incorporating energy sources, especially solar energy, for an economical and reliable site power supply solution. 

Should I plan to attend in person or just online?

If at all possible, please attend in person! The entire conference is designed for personal interaction, fellowship and networking.  All of the workshops on Thursday and some of the other presentations on Friday and Saturday are only available in-person and will not be livestreamed or recorded.  Come for the full experience and connecting with other staff and volunteers from EMI, Lipscomb University and other orgainizations.

What is a livestream event or webcast?

A livestream event is an event that is broadcast live to various locations simultaneously through the Internet. We will stream only parts of the EMI Network webcast as a live event using HD Internet technology. The event will be available worldwide.

How do I connect to the webcast event?

Once a participant has registered, they can expect to receive an email before the event with the links to attend the webcast event.  If you register after the  October 13th, your confirmation email will include the links to participate. Links will lead to Zoom. You may download Zoom app ahead of time or simply view in your browser.  We recommend a high-speed internet connection.

What if I am not available at that time or I need to come and go during the event?

You are free to join or leave the Zoom presentations at any time on Friday or Saturday, or not at all during the two-day event.  As long as you have registered you will be able to access all the recorded presentations after the event.  

Do I keep my camera on or off during the sessions?

While there are many benefits to keeping your camera on (especially during the breakout sessions), it is not required.  Because the purpose of this event is connection and networking, many breakout sessions are designed for greater participation and interaction, where using your camera is beneficial. 

Will I be able to send questions during the Breakout Sessions?

Yes, most of the sessions will include a chat feature where you can send questions to the moderator.  Some of the sessions will include a Question and Answer time, where Zoom participants may request to ask a question directly on the Zoom call.  All participants are automatically on mute, until the moderator unmutes one participant at a time. 

Can I gather together with others near me to attend the webcast event?

Yes, as a networking event we encourage you to gather together and maintain social distancing recommendations for your location.  You can invite coworkers and friends to attend with you at home or at work.  Several of the EMI Network Chapters will host gatherings.  Please email for more information

Can I receive Continuing Education Credits?

Yes! CEUs are available for the technical content only. EMI is an approved provider with the AIA.  The AIA credit is only available on the day of the event, as the event is live streamed.  (The All-Access Link will still provide access to the recorded content after the event, but credit will not be available for recorded sessions.  Engineers and architects should verify the requirements of their state of licensure).  To receive a certificate of completion, participants will be required to report to EMI on the courses they attended by completing a Google form.  This link will be sent to registrants before the conference. EMI is not a registered provider in North Carolina, Florida, or Louisiana.

Will recordings of the Breakout Sessions be available after?

Yes, recording of the sessions will be available for all those who registered for the event one to two weeks after the event.  These recordings will remain available online for 6 months.

For Those Attending in Person in Nashville:

Do I need to RSVP to attend in person?

When you register, please check the appropriate box to let us know if you plan to attend one of the workshops on Thursday, or just attend the two-day conference Friday and Saturday.  We will follow-up with all those attending in-person by email with more details.  

What can I expect for COVID Social Distancing Restrictions?

We plan to meet in-person and will be following state and university guidelines at the time of the conference.  Please see the tab 'COVID-19 Protocol Updates'

What is the dress code?

Most attendees dress business casual.

Are meals are provided?

Lunches and Dinners are provided during the conference as indicated on the schedule.

How do I get to the conference?

The event is located at Lipscomb University’s main campus (1 University Park Dr, Nashville, TN 37204). Plan to arrive early to the event.

What should I bring to the conference?

A listening ear and an open heart. Please consider bringing yoru spouse, a friend or coworker. Optional: note taking implements (pen & notepad/tablet/laptop) and Bible (physical or app).

Do I need to indicate the Breakout Sessions I attend beforehand?

No, you can pick which sessions you attend at the time of the event.  Some in-person sessions may be limited in space on a first-come, first-serve basis.

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

Contact us at

EMI is very pleased to partner with the Residence Inn Nashville Green Hills.  Complimentary breakfast, high-end rooms, great networking opportunities, and EMI's shuttle service to the conference venue one mile away are some of the reasons to stay our team at the Residence Inn.   Click here to reserve your room now, then select the dates needed to attend in-person workshops on Thursday, Oct 14, Conference sessions, Oct 15-16 and/or the Director's Dinner on Saturday, Oct 16th.  

Or call the hotel at 615-279-1414 or 1-800-321-2211 and state that you are with the "EMI World Conference." 

To attend Thursday workshops, we encourage you to book rooms starting Wednesday evening, October 13th to join us for the full day of in-person only workshops.  Then stay with us through the entire conference, Friday and Saturday. 

We look forward to connecting with you soon!  

The following is a policy excerpt from Lipscomb University to all students, faculty, and staff.  Assuming these policies continue past the start of the semester, EMI will abide by these requirements as we come onto the campus and use their facilities.  If you have any issues or questions, please feel free to contact us at  EMI can convert your conference registration to virtual with refund for COVID-related cancellations.  

As we are preparing for a strong start to the year, the COVID-19 Delta variant continues to spread and has proven to be markedly more transmissible than earlier strains of the virus. Cases of the Delta variant are increasing among all age groups in our community. 

Because of the increasing presence of the Delta variant, we have implemented a few policies and procedures to help mitigate the spread of the virus in an effort to start the semester strong. These are similar to the policies at peer institutions such as the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Middle Tennessee State University and Belmont.


  • Masks. Following CDC guidelines, effective Friday, Aug. 13 and until Friday, Sept. 3, all Lipscomb University students, faculty, staff and guests will be required to wear a mask over their nose and mouth — whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated — when inside all university buildings. Masks are not required indoors when alone in a private office, when in a personal dorm room or while actively eating and drinking. While outdoors, masks are optional. Read the full mask policy here. We anticipate this being a short-term measure to prevent the spread of the virus. Look for an email by Sept. 1 or earlier with updated information if the policy changes. 
  • General Health Practices. Always remember to follow good health practices such as wash your hands frequently, cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze, stay home when you are sick and report an illness when you exhibit signs of COVID-19 or have been exposed. 
  • Guests. Hosts for all off-campus guests should ask the following three screening questions of all guests. Any guest with a positive answer should be referred to the health clinic for further assessment.
    • Is your temperature above 100F?
    • Do you have any of these symptoms: fever, headache, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, muscle aches, chills, loss of taste or smell, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or fatigue?
    • Have you been in close contact with anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days or travelled internationally within the last 14 days?
  • Website. Please visit to review the most current policies and information. 

While this is not the way any of us wanted to begin the new academic year, we are taking these preventive measures now to help prevent potential outbreaks that may affect our plans to deliver an on-campus experience. The Lipscomb community has done its part over the past 17 months to keep members of the Bison Herd healthy and safe as together we have navigated these unusual times. Thank you for your continued patience, cooperation and commitment to doing your part to protect the health and wellness of the Lipscomb community.