Check Back Here for Updates and Information about the February 2024 Faith Formation Conference 

Last year’s conference featured: 

Debbie Gline Allen is a Commissioned Minister of Christian Formation in the United Church of Christ and serves as a Minister of Faith Formation for the Southern New England Conference where she is the Director of its Faith Formation Leadership Training Program ( She has previously served as the Minister of Christian Formation in five United Church of Christ congregations, and has served both the New Hampshire and (historic) Massachusetts Conferences on staff, as well as in a wide variety of Christian education and formation ministries. Debbie has written for three UCC-based curriculum resources, as well as having created materials for outdoor ministries. She has held leadership positions in the local, regional, and national settings of the Association of United Church Educators (, offering workshops and training opportunities throughout the country. Debbie lives in Derry, New Hampshire with her spouse, two sons, and beloved cat.



Rev. Marian R Plant, Ed.D: Marian has a B.A. Religion and Philosophy from Defiance College (OH),  a M. Div. from Methodist Theological School in Ohio, and an Ed. D in Educational Psychology from Northern Illinois University (IL).  She is a Certified Church Educator of the United Church of Christ, author of Faith Formation for Vital Congregations (Pilgrim Press, 2009) and co-author with Rev. David G. Plant of Surprise! Surprise! Surprise! Cycle A Gospel Sermons for Lent and Easter (CSS Publishing Company)





Rev. Dr. thom bower recently celebrated 20 years of ordained ministry. He has served the church in many ways: seminary professor, youth minister, custodian, and variety entertainer. He holds a doctorate in religious education, and is chair of the Board of Directors for the Association of United Church Educators (AUCE). In the past ten years his focus has been in interim and transitional ministries, currently serving as Transitional Pastor of Faith Mennonite Church in Minneapolis. In his spare time he likes to build LEGO castles and dreams of running away with the circus – again.

What is The Heartland Conference Faith Formation Network and Learn It, Live It, Share It?

The Heartland Conference Faith Formation network connects, equips, educates, and inspires faith formation leaders in their work of nurturing disciples of Jesus Christ utilizing a framework called “Learn It, Live It, Share It!” Interested in learning more about the Faith Formation Network and how you can get involved? Contact the Conference Office at

Learn it, Live It, Share It… is a dynamic and interactive approach to Christian faith formation developed in the Heartland Conference that engages the sacred texts of the Bible in their beauty and depth, calls forth a living out of God’s love, and invites others into the shared journey of discovery and discipleship. This transformational model is adaptable to many settings. It can change your life! Training for implementing this model is available throughout the year and is announced through the monthly Heartland Conference eNews and the weekly Fast Five (click here to sign up).

The Faith Formation Network Hosts a Conference Every Year in February

Curriculum & UCC Connections

Curriculum Resources

The best peer-reviewed faith formation curriculum resource listing available is that of the Association of United Church Educators (AUCE). Whether it is Faith Formation in the season of COVID 19 or anti-racism or in the family or youth ministry or just about anything else you might be looking for, this well-organized listing with links is a great place to start. Click here to find out more.

Association of United Church Educators (AUCE)

AUCE is a national voice that advocates for excellence in faith formation and education ministries in the United Church of Christ for people of all ages. As a network of collegiality and partnership it helps to broaden the scope and depth of faith formation and education ministries in the local, regional, and national settings of the United Church of Christ. AUCE is also organized regionally and you can find the Great Lakes Association of United Church Educators (GLAUCE) on their site as well, a group many faith formation folks in our Conference are connected with. Click here to find out more and explore membership with AUCE.