Annual Conference

ACCC is pleased to announce that our Annual ‘Living Hope and Gratitude 2019’ Conference, will be held in Garden City, Kansas!  November 1-3. 

The conference will begin with registration from 1-3:15 p.m. with the first session beginning at 3:30.  The venue will be at St. Catherine Hospital in Conference Rooms A&B.  More details will be posted along with a complete schedule as they are confirmed.

Members will be responsible for their own housing.  See below.

Attendance of the conference provides enough Continuing Education Units (CEUs) to maintain Board Certification.  Come and learn with one another as well as support one another as we make a difference for the people we serve.

The conference will end at noon on November 3.


Did you know that you can join ACCC for $100? You do not have to be Board Certified to be a member of our organization! Why pay the full price for non-members, which is $100 more, when you can join ACCC and pay the member price! Then you can take advantage of the benefits of being a member with great new benefits in the works! Simply fill out this form to get started!

Conference lineup for the Association of Certified Christian Chaplains

Fr. Bob Schremmer
Vicar General and Moderator of Curia, Catholic Diocese of Dodge City

Conference Topic: TBA

Robert A. Schremmer, “Fr. Bob”, is a Catholic Priest of the Diocese of Dodge City.  Since ordination in 1976, he has pastored a number of parishes throughout southwest Kansas and has served in a variety diocesan ministries, including parish renewal and diaconal and lay formation, as well as, in diocesan administration.   Presently he serves as Vicar General of the Diocese, Pastor of Saint Andrew, Parish, Wright, KS, Sacramental Minister for St. Joseph Parish, Greensburg, KS, and instructor in the Diocesan Pastoral Formation Program.

Karen J. Diefendorf
Director, Chaplain Services, Tyson Foods, Inc., Springdale, Ark.

Conference topic:  “Beliefs, Behavior and Being…a Cognitive-Behavioral Application of Hope and Gratitude”

Chaplain Karen J. Diefendorf was born and raised in rural southern Indiana. Her parents served as teachers and leaders in the local Christian Church.  She and her husband Walt of 41 years have three adult children and six grandchildren.

Chaplain Diefendorf, graduated from Lincoln Christian College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Education and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling.  Karen also holds a Master of Sacred Theology in Christian Ethics from Yale University, and an honorary Doctor of Theology degree from Seoul Christian University.  She has completed the residency requirements for a Doctor of Ministry degree from Lexington Theological Seminary. 

Karen received her military chaplaincy endorsement from the independent Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in 1985.  She was assigned to various commands worldwide, at the Pentagon, and as the Director of Training and Development at the US Army Chaplain Center.  She served a total of 24 years as an active duty Army chaplain ultimately retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel.  Chaplain Diefendorf received multiple military awards which include two awards of the Legion of Merit and Instructor of the Year at the Army Chaplain Center and School. She was also the first female chaplain to become a paratrooper. 

Karen’s civilian service has included local pastoral ministry, hospice, industrial chaplaincy, and serving as the Academic Dean at Lincoln Christian University’s Undergraduate College.  Chaplain Diefendorf currently serves as Director, Chaplain Services for Tyson Foods, Inc., in Springdale, Arkansas.

Dr. Doug Fagerstrom
President & CEO of Marketplace Chaplains, Plano, TX

Conference topic: “I Have No One”

Douglas L. Fagerstrom is the President and CEO of Marketplace Chaplains (Marketplace Ministries, Inc.) since August 2015. MCHAP provides an employee care service to corporate America with 1500 chaplains, serving nearly 850 companies in over 3900 locations, reaching 198,000 employees. Fagerstrom was previously the senior vice president of Converge in Orlando, Florida. Previously, he served as the president of Grand Rapids Theological Seminary of Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is the author of 14 books on Christian ministry. Married to Donna, they have one daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren.

Scott Taylor
President & CEO of Centura Kansas

Welcome and Introduction

Bishop John B. Brungardt
Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City

Conference topic: “Hope and Gratitude with Our Lost Beloveds”

Ordained to the priesthood on May 23, 1998 by Bishop Eugene J. Gerber at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita, Bishop John Balthasar Brungardt served the Diocese of Wichita for 12 years in a variety of pastoral assignments prior to coming to the Diocese of Dodge City in late 2010. He served as pastor at seven parishes, chaplain and religion teacher at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School from 1998-2001, as director of the diocesan office of Respect Life and Social Justice from 1999-2004, moderator of the diocesan office of Hispanic ministry since 2005, and chancellor of the diocese since 2005.

Bishop Brungardt was born July 10, 1958 in Salina, Kan. to the late Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Virginia (Burton) Brungardt. He received a bachelor’s degree in Physics with a minor in Mathematics in 1980 from Benedictine College, a master’s degree in Physics in 1983 from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in 1993 from Kansas State University. He completed his seminary formation at the Pontifical College Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio in 1998 with a master’s of Divinity and a master of arts in Moral Theology.

Rev. Eric J. Hall
President & CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) and its affiliate, Spiritual Care Association

Conference Topic: TBA

Rev. Eric J. Hall, DTh, APBCC is president and CEO (2013) of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN) and its affiliate, Spiritual Care Association. HCCN was founded in 1961 and is a global nonprofit organization whose mission is to advance the integration of spiritual care in health care to increase patient satisfaction.  Rev. Hall is the visionary behind the Spiritual Care Association; a multidisciplinary organization including First Responder Chaplaincy and Parish Nursing. Now with 18 offices in 17 countries. Before joining HCCN, Rev. Hall was founder, president and CEO of the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America (AFA).  Rev. Hall has served on the National Advisory Council on Alzheimer’s disease, working with the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and other national experts to develop and implement the nation’s first plan to address this disease.  Rev. Hall also serves as the minister of Eastchester Community Church in Eastchester, N.Y., a position he has held since 2002.  He has presented at numerous national and international conferences, and has been interviewed by major print, radio and TV outlets. Rev. Hall holds a DTh from University of Theology & Spirituality, an MDiv and an MA from Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J. He is a resident of Glen Cove, N.Y.

Patrick Gaughan
SVP, Chief Values Integration Officer Centura Health.
The leader for Spiritual Care for Centura Health (largest health care provider in CO & Western, KS.)

Conference Topic: “The air I breathe…the sight I see…the touch I receive”

Patrick Gaughan, joined Centura Health in November 2018 as Senior Vice President of Values Integration. Patrick serves as the voice of Centura Health’s vibrant communities.

Patrick served 12 years at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), where he served as System Vice President for the Center for Formation and Organizational Effectiveness for the past nine years. Prior to joining CHI, Patrick held leadership roles in mission integration and operations/process improvement with Alexian Brothers Health System in Illinois. In addition, he started his career in health care as a cardiac, vascular, and thoracic surgery intensive care nurse at St. Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Ill.

Patrick has a diploma in nursing from St. Anthony Nursing School in Illinois, a bachelor of science in nursing from Northern Illinois University, and master’s degrees in health administration and business administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He also has six years in missionary formation with the Society of the Divine Word in Iowa. He is a writer and speaker who has contributed to mission, ministry, and community health in the areas of formation, core values integration, nursing and mission, and chaplaincy.

Richard DeFord, BCC/BCPC, Certified Grief Recovery Specialist
Administrator for Association of Certified Christian Chaplains

Conference Topic:  Updates from ACCC, Board Certification Process Changes

Richard serves as the Administrator for the Association of Certified Christian Chaplains as well as a North American Mission Board endorsed chaplain for healthcare, serving at Fitzgibbon Hospital and Fitzgibbon Mary Montgomery Hospice.  He also serves as the Associate Pastor of Missions and Outreach for Katy Park Baptist Church in Sedalia, MO.
Richard is married to Amie and together they have three children in the home.  He has been in ministry for 30 years.

Preliminary Conference Schedule

FRIDAY PM (Central) – NOV. 1st

12-3     Conference Registration
3:15     Prayer, Welcome, and Announcements
3:30     Scott Taylor – President and CEO of Centura KS: introduction of Bishop John B. Brungardt
3:35     Bishop John B. Brungardt – Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City (Hope & Gratitude with Our Lost Beloveds)
4:45      Patrick Gaughan — SVP, Chief Values Integration Officer Centura Health (TBA)
6:00      Prayer & Meal at St. Catherine
6:45      Rev. Richard DeFord – Administrator for the Assoc. of Certified Christian Chaplains.  (ACCC news and updates)


8:45      Prayer
9:00      Rev. Eric J. Hall — President and CEO of HealthCare Chaplaincy Network™ (HCCN) and the Spiritual Care Association.
10:15    Dr. Doug Fagerstrom — Executive President and CEO of Marketplace Chaplains (I Have No One)
11:30    Q&A with: Rev. Ty Alday CEO and President of The Institute for Clinical Pastoral Training (ICPT)   Ramel Cuenca Vice President & COO of ICPT, & Director of Pastoral Services
12:30    Lunch
1:30      Rev. Robert A. Schremmer — Vicar General and Moderator of Curia, Catholic Diocese of Dodge City (TBA)
2:45      Karen Diefendorf – Director of Chaplain Services for Tyson Foods (Beliefs, Behavior, and Being…a Cognitive-Behavioral Application of Hope and Gratitude)
4:00     Panel and Group Discussion:  Fred M. Madren Jr. BCCS Moderator – (Supervision, The Process, and CPE.)
5:15      Free time (Centura Health’s Incredible Mission Tour – Mobile Roadshow) + (ACCC Executive Advisory Board Meeting)
6:30      Prayer & Meal at St. Catherine (and Christian Karaoke).


9:00      Galia, Len, Reyes – (Our Journeys To & Through CPE and Chaplaincy)
10:00    Cowboy Church
11:00    Presentation of Certificates and Awards
12:00    Dismissal & Prayer — until next Year.

To help you plan your trip:

American Airlines  (jet) from Dallas currently has two flights per day into Garden City–advanced reservations encouraged. 

Boutique Air (prop jet) currently has three flights daily from Denver to Dodge City.   Space limited.  Dodge City is about a one-hour drive from Garden City. 

Car rentals are available at both Dodge and Garden City.    

For those who want to fly to a larger destination City and then drive, there are three options: Wichita 3+ hrs, Amarillo 4 hrs, Colorado Springs 4+ hrs.    

For those wanting to try something new, if indeed it is new to you, Amtrak comes through Garden City.  

And, there is the old standby; bus service from Wichita to Garden City daily.  

For those flying into Garden City, who notify us in advance, the hosts will provide transportation to and from the airport and to-from lodging to the conference daily.    


For special rates during your stay, tell them you are with “ACCC and St. Catherine Hospital.” The following three facilities will provide shuttle service to/from the Garden City (GCK) airport (mention Flight status when booking), daily shuttle service to/from conference site, as well as 10% discount at Sammie’s Restaurant and Old Chicago when presenting Room Key. All facilities include breakfast with the Clarion adding an evening Soup and Salad.  (For choice of dates between 10/31 and 11/3 inclusive)

  A limited number of rooms are available at a B&B literally across the parking lot from St. Catherine Hospital. They will offer discount rates (multiple room choices) to ACCC convention attendees (mention ACCC and St. Catherine Hospital) and offer a full “home-cooked” breakfast. If you will let Doug Williams know in advance, he will ensure shuttle service to/from the airport.