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 remain in place to monitor COVID developments, inform, and care for EMI personnel. Decisions about official EMI travel (including project travel) domestically and internationally are being made on a case-by-case basis by Office Directors in locations concerned. EMI’s worldwide offices remain in varying states of closure with personnel working remotely or from home.

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 as an opportunity to live out the gospel and our faith in Jesus through the ministry of EMI.

connect, train, and inspire

While the event has ended, you may still register to access all content from the recorded sessions.  This material will be available by the end of October, and the Full-Access Link will be emailed to you at that time.   

The Full-Access Link is free with a suggested donation of $50 to the EMI Fund to make this event and the ongoing work of EMI’s offices and teams worldwide possible.

Continuing Education Credits are available for the technical content on October 16th and 17th. 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 on Thursday, Oct 15th.

Mark your calendars for next year’s conference!  The original plan of gathering on the beautiful campus of Lipscomb University in Nashville, hosted by its Engineering School, has been rescheduled for October 15-16, 2021.  We’ll look forward to seeing you in person once again next year!

To RSVP or for specific questions about the event, please email

(LU/HSW denote continuing Education Credit) 

Friday, October 16 

EMI – Past Present and Future: Impacting the World through Design – Henry Watts and Gary MacPhee  

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! 

Saturday, October 17 

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. 

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 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 on October 15th with the links to attend the webcast event.  If you register after the 15th, 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 through the two days, 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, on Saturday, October 17th we encourage you to gather together and maintain social distancing standards.  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 on October 16th and 17th. 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 on Thursday, Oct 15th. EMI is not a registered provider in North Carolina, Florida, or Louisiana.

Will the presentations for the Breakout Sessions be available?

Yes, most presentation files will be available after the event.

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 Colorado Springs, Saturday, October 17th:

Do I need to RSVP to attend in person?

We ask all in-person attendees RSVP by emailing  Space is limited to 125 total in-person attendees in order to maintain healthy social distancing standards.  There is no additional cost to attend in person.

What can I expect for COVID Social Distancing Restrictions?

The venue is large enough to provide for seating for all individuals at least 6 feet apart and all attendees are expected to wear masks while inside the building.  Only speakers and presenters will remove masks during their presentations while maintaining social distance.  If you have been feeling sick or have been exposed to any confirmed cases with 14 days, we ask that you please participate online from your home.

What is the dress code?

Most attendees dress business casual.

Are meals are provided?

Meals and coffee cannot be provided at the venue, but during the hour lunch break attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch or eat at any of the many food establishments located around the venue.

How do I get to the conference?

The event is located at Vanguard Church’s main campus (3950 N Academy Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80917). Plan to arrive early to the event.

What should I bring to the conference?

A listening ear and an open heart. Please consider bringing 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.

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

Contact us at