Don’t miss the Pre-Conference! Learn more here.

Abide 2024 theme

Join us February 23–24, 2024

Through rich Bible teaching and worship, practical breakout sessions, as well as sweet times of fellowship, it is our hope that your walk with God would grow deeper as you learn the power and practices of prayer

Meet our Keynote Speakers

Tara Dew

Read more about Tara

Donna Gaines

Read more about Donna

Heather Johnson

Read more about Heather

Andrea Lennon

Read more about Andrea

“The rich teaching and fellowship I experienced at Abide was refreshing for my soul. Learning about God’s word and worshipping together with 1,200 other women felt like a small taste of Heaven. It was deeply encouraging to my walk with the Lord.”

• Hannah Smith, NOBTS Student •


Conference Pricing






Group Rate (per person)

NOBTS Student/Spouse



Group registration and alumni discounts available

Lunch Included

Lunch is provided by Chicken Salad Chick. You may choose one of the following entrees: Chicken Salad Sandwich, Classic Salad (Gluten Free), or a Scoop of Chicken Salad. Hover over the images below to read the full description of each meal.

Sandwich - Classic Carol chicken salad served on a croissant with a pickle spear, cookie, and one fresh side that you may choose when you register. (Sides: Broccoli Salad, Grape Salad, Fresh Fruit, Pasta Salad, and Chips)

(Gluten Free) Classic Salad - Green salad topped with a scoop of Classic Carol chicken salad, served with a pickle spear and cookie (cookie is NOT gluten free)

Scoop - A scoop of Classic Carol chicken salad (gluten free) served with a pickle spear, cookie, and one fresh side that you may choose when you register. (Sides: Broccoli Salad, Grape Salad, Fresh Fruit, Pasta Salad, and Chips)

Conference Add-ons


Our Meal Plan includes Friday dinner and Saturday breakfast. Dinner: New Orleans Red Beans and Rice & Fried or Grilled Chicken Tenders Breakfast: Eggs, Bacon, Sausage, Grits, Biscuit, as well as an option of yogurt and fresh fruit.

Media Pass (all recorded sessions)

We are recording all of the breakout sessions this year! That way, you can hear all of the breakout sessions, even the ones you couldn’t attend live. For only $20 the MP3 audio files will be emailed after the end of the conference.

Abide T-Shirt

The Abide 2024 T-Shirt!

Pre-Conference Event (learn more here)

Click to learn more!

Worship led by Nate Jernigan

With guest vocalist Meredith Andrews



4:00Registration Opens (Legacy Plaza)
5:00Dinner (Dining Hall)*
6:00Doors Open (Leavell Chapel)
6:30Plenary 1
7:30“Taste of NOLA” Snack Break
8:00Plenary 2
9:00Late Night

*For those who purchased the meal plan.

For those who purchased the additional ticket for our Abide Pre-Conference, it will begin at 12:00 pm on Friday, Feb. 23. Click here for more information about the Pre-Conference


7:00Breakfast (Dining Hall)*
8:00Doors Open (Leavell Chapel)
8:30Plenary 3
10:00Breakout 1
11:00Breakout 2
12:00Lunch (Quad)
1:00Breakout 3
2:00Plenary 4

Breakout Speakers

Sally Burke

Sally Burke former engineer on the Space Shuttles, is currently the President of Moms in Prayer International, where we impact children and schools for Christ worldwide by gathering women together to pray. Sally is also an international speaker, teacher and author of Raise Them Up, Start with Praise, Unshaken and the Unshaken Study Guide.

Michelle Chitwood

Follower of Jesus and fostercare/adoption advocate. Retired public school teacher. Mom to four awesome kids. Wife of Paul Chitwood, who is pretty awesome too and is President of the International Mission Board.

Emily Dean

Emily Dean serves as Assistant Professor of Ministry to Women at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College. She and her husband, Dr. Jody Dean, along with their two children, live in the New Orleans area where Jody serves as Associate Professor of Discipleship and Ministry Leadership at NOBTS. Passionate about discipling women, Emily has served in various capacities in ministry to women through the local church.

Tara Dew

Tara has loved Jesus for as long as she can remember. She grew up in a Christian home, and even met her husband in the church youth group. Tara & Jamie have now been married for 22 years and have been blessed with two sets of twins, lovingly called “The Dew Krewe.” She has the privilege of serving NOBTS as President’s Wife, teaching in the Ministry to Women academic programs, and directing Thrive: A Ministry Wife Certificate program. To learn more about Tara, visit

Emily Jones

Emily is married to her college best friend, Ethan, and is mama to two boys. She loves serving in her local church and encouraging others. Emily enjoys leisurely gardening, baking, and chatting with friends. She is constantly planning her family’s next travel adventure.

Stephanie Lyon

Stephanie’s heart beats for Jesus, His Word, the Nations, and women. She has been serving in women’s ministry for over 20 year and is passionate about teaching and discipling women to love and live the Word of God. She is the Women’s Life Coordinator at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and Leavell College where she is pursuing a Masters degree in Ministry to Women, and serves as the Director of Ministry to Women at First Baptist New Orleans. Stephanie has been married to her high school sweetheart, Dr. Larry Lyon, the VP of Business Administration and Professor of Ethics at NOBTS and Leavell College for over 22 years, and they are the proud parents of three daughters.

Katie McCoy

Katie McCoy serves as Director Women's Ministry at Texas Baptists. She holds a PhD in Systematic Theology from Southwestern Seminary (TX). Katie's research includes the patterns of justice for women in Old Testament laws as well as the intersection of theology, gender, and women's studies. She is the author of To Be a Woman: The Confusion Over Female Identity and How Christians Can Respond.

Diane Nix

Diane is the director and founder of Contagious Joy 4 Him, a network of encouragement to ministry wives around the globe. Offering “Free Refresh Retreats” and a safe place for ministry wives to share their hearts with other like-minded women. Forty years ago, she married her husband, pastor/professor, Dr. Preston Nix.

Lisa Ray

Lisa married the super smart guy who sat in the back of her Old Testament class. They’ve been married for 20 years, and Lisa homeschools their three teenagers. She loves serving her church, hosting her tight-knit community group each week, and teaching in the Thrive ministry wives’ program.

Catherine Renfro

Catherine Renfro is a church planter’s wife, a mom, and serves as the National Director of Women's Evangelism at the North American Mission Board. She graduated from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2010 with a Masters degree in Christian Education and Biblical Counseling after being called to ministry at the age of 22, and has been serving in full time ministry ever since. She has a passion for seeing lost people come to know Jesus and for saved people to live out their purpose of making Jesus known.

Kathy Steele

Kathy and Ed have been married 49 years, and have 2 children and 3 grandchildren. After serving 20 years with the International Mission Board in Central America, Kathy and Ed came to NOBTS to complete some additional studies, and were then both hired as faculty members. They "semi-retired" in July 2022, but are still teaching and advising NOBTS students.

Jessie Wittman

Jessie Wittman is wife to Dr. Tyler Wittman at NOBTS and mother to their four children. Educating the kids requires the bulk of her days, but in the corners she teaches women’s bible studies, mentors in the local church, and enjoys reading, researching, and writing on all things theological and maternal. She has half of a masters degree that she needs to complete at some point.

Breakout Topics

All of the breakout sessions will center around the importance and power for prayer in the life of a believer

Transform and bless your child’s life and this world through prayer (taught by Sally Burke)

Our children were placed in this world at this time by God. We need not be worried or afraid for them, but we must rise up and pray for them. So they can fulfill the great destiny God created them for and be world changers! Come and learn how you can impact your child’s life and this world through prayer. Learn how simple it is to pray God’s will for your child and powerfully impact them for all eternity.

Wrestling with God in Unanswered Prayer (taught by Katie McCoy)

You’ve prayed over it. You’ve cried over it. You’ve claimed God’s promises for it. But it seems like nothing has changed. Unanswered prayer can confuse our minds and weigh down our hearts. But before we throw away our confidence, the God who always hears us invites us to listen, and to learn how His deepest work often happens in the most painful places. The mountaintops of peace belong to those who brave the valleys of unanswered prayer.

Praying God's Word (taught by Emily Dean)

Do you desire to know how to pray for God’s will? When we pray through God’s word, we can be assured that we are praying in accordance with God’s plan. Join us as we look at specific prayers throughout scripture that we can pray for ourselves and others.

Praying For and With Your Husband (taught by Kathy Steele)

This workshop will explore how praying with your partner and for your partner can impact your relationship; discuss what barriers may contribute to a couple not praying with each other; and practice praying scriptures for your husband.

Participating in His Kingdom: Confession and Repentance (taught by Jessie Wittman)

Simply saying “sorry” and feeling guilty are shrivelled, malnourished versions of true biblical confession and repentance. To enter the rhythms of God’s Kingdom requires that we say with God the words that God is already saying about us, and more importantly, about Himself. In this session we’ll follow the Prophet Nehemiah and Saint Augustine to behold God, to agree verbally with Him, and to be changed by Him through prayers of robust confession.

Praying, Preparing, and Turning Everyday Conversations into Gospel Conversations (taught by Catherine Renfro)

Fear. Uncertainty. Rejection. Or just a lack of intentionality. These are just a few of the tactics that Satan uses to keep us from sharing the hope we have in Jesus, with those we cross paths with daily. We see in scripture that God equips those He calls. The truth is, He’s called you. Join Catherine Renfro as we talk about praying for the lost and discover practical ways to live out your calling to make Jesus known.

The Joy of Surrender: the Prayers of Hannah and Mary (taught by Emily Jones)

How can we learn to trust God deeply? By knowing who God is and what he is like. Hannah and Mary’s prayers teach us much about who God is. Together we’ll look at why we can trust him enough to joyfully surrender to him as they did.

Practical Ways to Pray (taught by Stephanie Lyon)

Come learn both practical and worshipful ways to help structure your prayers and your prayer life. We’ll discuss effective models from Scripture and other useful tips and tricks to implement when interceding for the ongoing needs of those that you love, the world around you, and your own heart before God. We will consider different patterns and practices that help you incorporate joy-filled, fervent communion with God in the regular rhythms of your life.

"Why God?" Echoing the Prayers of Lament in Scripture to Give Voice to our Struggle (taught by Tara Dew)

Life can be hard. And sometimes we have trouble trusting in God’s goodness when we experience pain or sorrow. Lament is how we bring our struggle to God, leading to deeper trust and worship of Him. Join me in this breakout, as we examine prayers of lament in Scripture and give a voice to our pain too.

Praying in Community (taught by Lisa Ray)

We can tend to think of prayer primarily as private, intimate communication with God. While that is true, scripture also describes and prescribes corporate prayer. In this session, we will discuss what praying with other believers should include and how you can identify a trusted community who will pray with you.

Praying for the nations (taught by Michelle Chitwood)

The greatest problem in the world is lostness. The only solution to this problem is the gospel. Together, let’s hear stories of what God is doing around the world and the vital role of prayer in getting the gospel to lost peoples and places.

Prayer and Fasting: Silencing the Noise to Hear Him Clearly (taught by Diane Nix)

There is so much noise in this world. Political noise. Religious noise. Personal noise. The chatter is never silent. What if you and I could hear more clearly? Join Diane and discuss the seldom-discussed or practiced discipline of prayer and fasting. Take away practical ways to pray and fast and, most importantly, hear clearly from the Lord.

Group registration and alumni discounts available

Abide for Class Credit

Below are the courses offered. Register as a student at

Contemporary Models in Women’s Ministry Leadership

Leavell College (LCWM2362)
Taught by Emily Dean

Worship Arranging and Orchestration

Leavell College (LMCT3201)
Taught by [TBD]

Before the conference

Special Topics in Women’s Ministry Leadership

Taught by Emily Dean

“Abide allows for me to connect with women from all over, to hear their passions, and to pray with them. The moments are all the sweeter because they are grounded in what it means to Abide in Christ and in His Word.”

• Cortney Bruketta, Student Spouse •


This is a great Ladies Retreat!

Isn’t it nice when everything is planned for you, so every lady in your women’s ministry can enjoy a retreat weekend? Well, that is what we have done for you with the Abide Women’s Conference.

We provide lodging, all your meals, and a weekend of enrichment and training as we dive into God’s Word together.

All you have to do is register, reserve your rooms, and attend.

Also, when you register a group of 10 or more you will receive a 5% discount per registrant. To make your hotel reservations, please call Providence Guest House at (888) 886-7276. We also have a list of hotels in the area if you prefer or if PGH is full.

But hurry, space is limited!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where will registration check-in be?

Registration check-in will be held on the Legacy Plaza porch (in front of Leavell Chapel), located in the center of campus when you go past the guard shack. Once you arrive, please approach one of our registration volunteers to have the QR code on your ticket(s) scanned and to receive your wristband for the weekend. 

How will I receive my meals during the event?

All food will be plated by our trusted cafeteria staff and the Chicken Salad Chick lunches will be individually boxed with a few of our volunteers distributing them. All break-time refreshments will be individually served and you will be able to pick them up as you go by. And for those that purchased a meal plan, both meals will be served in the Cafeteria. Saturday’s lunch will be served to all ladies on the Quad.

Will lodging be available?

Yes! Providence Guest House is our hotel that is located directly across the street from the Seminary campus at 4104 Chef Menteur Hwy, New Orleans, LA 70126. If you would like to make a reservation, please contact the hotel front desk by calling (888) 886-7276. Please note that space is limited. And when booking with the Providence Guest House, please use promo code ABIDE2023.

If you would like more info about hotels in the area, please contact Linda Jackson at

How do I register my church group?

For groups of 10 or more, choose the “Group Leader” registration type and fill out the form with your (the group leader’s) information. In said form, you will be asked to select the amount of tickets you would like to reserve for your group, then a 5% discount will be automatically applied to your order. Please contact Brianna Oakley with any questions about your group registration at

How should I dress for ABIDE?

Our women’s conference is designed to make everyone feel at home. So come as you are! You can come straight from work, dress up if you’d like, or be more comfortable and casual. Just make sure to bring a light sweater/cardigan in case you’ll get cold.

Is there a map of campus?

Yes! Just click here to see it.

What should I bring to ABIDE?

If you don’t bring anything else, make sure to bring your Bible! We will be learning from God’s Word all weekend. (If you don’t have a Bible, please let us know and we would love to provide one for you.) You will also want to bring a pen or pencil so that you can take notes in the booklet we will provide for you. Lastly, please be sure to have your tickets with you when you arrive. You can either print them out or show us the confirmation email on your phone.
PS: Make sure to check the weather forecast before you come! Bring a rain jacket and/or umbrella if necessary.

Can I bring my teenage daughter with me?

This women’s conference is designed to minister to women. The content of the main teaching sessions and breakout sessions will be geared toward meeting the needs of ladies. We will, however, have two breakout sessions specifically geared towards students this year. If you believe that your high school daughter can learn from and engage with adult topics, then she is welcome to purchase a ticket as well.

If I have food allergies, can I still purchase the meal plan?

There will be a gluten free lunch option from Chicken Salad Chick for Saturday’s lunch that is included in the ticket price. However, since allergies are prevalent in today’s culture, please look closely at the menu that will be served through the meal plan. Unfortunately, in our Cafeteria meal plan, we are not able to accommodate beyond those meal options. So, if you have an allergy to something that is being offered, we ask that you make other arrangements for your meals.

Can I get more info on the food for allergy purposes?

Sure thing. Click here to see the food content for Chicken Salad Chick.

Will childcare be provided during this event?

Unfortunately, we are not able to provide childcare for this event.

Will there be resources available for purchase?

Of course! Lifeway will be selling resources during the event that will help you and your ladies go deeper into the Word of God. They will accept credit/debit cards as well as cash or check. If your church has a Lifeway Resource account, they will be able to charge the account at that time. Please be sure to have your account information with you during checkout to ensure a speedy checkout process. 

In addition, Worldcrafts will have items available from artisans around the world. (Click here to see some of what they offer.) And the breakout sessions will be available for purchase when you buy your tickets.

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