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True Charity Summit 2021

May 18, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - May 19, 2021 @ 5:00 pm

$25 – $119


Those involved in charitable work see it every day: insidious issues of poverty like addiction, isolation, and unhealthy dependency relentlessly claim new victims. What if the solutions we deemed best are actually making matters worse? Have we cheapened justice for the marginalized, allowing it to morph into injustice? It’s time to expose harmful counterfeit justice and champion that which is actually good, right, and equitable.


Keynote Speaker

Dr. Lawrence W. Reed is the president emeritus of the Foundation for Economic Education and an acclaimed author, speaker, and journalist. Dr. Reed has authored over 1,500 articles and has delivered at least 75 speeches a year for the past 35 years. As a fierce lover of liberty and economic justice, Dr. Reed has devoted his life's work to the advancement of free market principles, rooted in a strong moral foundation.

Learn More About Dr. Lawrence W. Reed

NEW THIS YEAR! Join us the day before our full day event for two special sessions to help you get acclimated before “the climb.”

  • “JUSTICE IN MISSIONS” featuring Nathan Mayo, a former missions coordinator in Haiti
  • “WAS JESUS A SOCIALIST?” featuring keynote speaker Dr. Lawrence W. Reed

See the Master Schedule tab below for more information on each session.

NEW THIS YEAR! Join us the day before our full day event for two special sessions to help you get acclimated before “the climb.”

  • “JUSTICE IN MISSIONS” featuring Nathan Mayo, a former missions coordinator in Haiti
  • “WAS JESUS A SOCIALIST?” featuring keynote speaker Dr. Lawrence W. Reed

See the Master Schedule tab below for more information on each session.

Summit Details

View the Breakout Tracks Course Catalog

Those attending on Wednesday will receive exclusive post-summit access to all breakout sessions.


DESCRIPTION: Learn the importance of free markets, wealth-creation, and work in the fight against poverty and injustice and how economics can promote human flourishing.

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Anne Rathbone Bradley is the George and Sally Mayer Fellow for Economic Education and academic director at The Fund for American Studies. In addition to her academic research being published in scholarly journals and edited volumes, Dr. Bradley is the co-editor and author of Counting the Cost: Christian Perspectives on Capitalism, For the Least of These: A Biblical Answer to Poverty, and the author of Be Fruitful and Multiply: Why Economics is Necessary for Making God-Pleasing Decisions.  Full Bio

Click to view Economic Justice track courses

Breakout Session #1

Faith, Work and Economics

Many view work as a necessary evil, but the biblical understanding of work offers a different perspective. Explore how work is fundamentally tied to our humanity, an exercise of stewardship, and the catalyst for greater flourishing.

Breakout Session #2

Entrepreneurship: The Engine of Opportunity

When we apply our God-given creative capacities to solve problems, the inevitable result is increased innovation, opportunity, and subsequent flourishing. Learn how entrepreneurship is the vehicle by which entire societies leverage themselves out of poverty.

Breakout Session #3

Zero Sum Games: Cronyism and Injustice

What do you call it when the politically well-connected pull strings for economic favors? Some call it capitalism. We call it corruption. Learn how cronyism unjustly favors the well-connected, disproportionately hurts the marginalized, and prevents overall human flourishing.


DESCRIPTION: What role should the government play in helping the poor? Do traditional approaches to poverty alleviation help or hurt? Fortunately, we have historical precedents to look to for answers as we navigate today’s issues.

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Patrick Garry is a law professor at University of South Dakota with a Ph.D. in Constitutional History and is the author of over 15 books in the areas of history, law, politics, and religion, including his most recent non-fiction book, The False Promise of Big Government, and An Entrenched Legacy, which discusses the impact of the “New Deal constitutional revolution” on the role of the Supreme Court. He is a frequent speaker at universities, law schools, and public policy think-tanks.  Full Bio

Click to view Historical Justice track courses

Breakout Session #1

Conservatism: Callous or Compassionate?

Conservative-minded people have long been characterized as unsympathetic to the plight of the poor. Consider the origins of this idea and the unfortunate ramifications it has had for public policy.

Breakout Session #2

Limited Government as Social Justice

Learn how a government limited by its enumerated powers coupled with a robust civil society provides the greatest good for every American, but particularly for the most vulnerable among us.

Breakout Session #3

The False Promises of Big Government

Our society has increasingly turned to a more centralized and expansive government as the answer to social woes-- but has it worked the way we had hoped? Take a jaunt through American history to examine the results of past government interventions intended to help the poor.


DESCRIPTION: The term “social justice” is undoubtedly a buzzword in today’s society and can bring to mind a whole host of associations⁠—positive for some, negative for others. Learn how modern notions of social justice evolved and how they relate to how we care for the poor.

INSTRUCTOR: Scott Allen is co-founder and president of Disciple Nations Alliance and has spent his entire career in the area of community development, poverty alleviation, and justice ministry. He understands from firsthand experience how poverty and brokenness are often rooted in and intensified by false belief systems. He is the co-author of Rethinking Justice: Restoring Biblical Compassion and will soon release his newest book Biblical Justice vs. Social Justice: A Wake-Up Call for Evangelicals and Other Christians.

Click to view Social Justice track courses

Breakout Session #1

Social Justice 1.0

Explore dominant views of social justice during the 19th and early 20th century, with the primary focus being on economic matters related to poverty and wealth.

Breakout Session #2

Social Justice 2.0

Learn about popular modern notions of social justice, with the focus shifted to race, gender, sexual orientation, and wealth inequality. Explore how and why these modern understandings of social justice are so pervasive — and what the ramifications are for our society.

Breakout Session #3

Dueling Paradigms: Real Justice vs. Counterfeit Justice

How can we determine the merit of different conceptions of justice? By their outcomes. Consider which understandings of justice result in free, moral societies, and which foster hostility, division, and entitlement.


DESCRIPTION: Learn what effective charity looks like in the day-to-day, from determining true need, to practicing healthy exchange, to fostering independence. This track will focus on 3 of the 7 Marks of Effective Charity⁠—Categorization, Exchange, and Freedom⁠—and how they promote justice among those in poverty.

INSTRUCTOR: Dr. James Whitford received his doctorate from the University of Kansas Medical Center and practiced physical therapy before he and his wife founded Watered Gardens Ministries in Joplin, Missouri, which meets about 20,000 needs every year and was the grand prize winner of World Magazine‘s Hope Award for Effective Charity in 2019. He also founded and directs the True Charity Initiative, teaching effective charity and advocating for improved public policy. His work has appeared in WorldThe BlazeThe Christian Post, and The Hill.

Click to view Practical Justice track courses

Breakout Session #1

Personalized Charity: The Principle of Categorization

Different needs call for different charitable responses, and yet we so often treat charity like "one size fits all." Learn why identifying different types of need is the critical first step in attaining justice for the poor, and gain practical tips for discerning a person's true need.

Breakout Session #2

The Good of Reciprocity: The Principle of Exchange

What do you see when you look at the poor—individuals with unique talents and skills with ability to contribute, or as mere "charity cases?" Learn how work and expectation are dignifying to the poor and how you can implement both in your charitable efforts.

Breakout Session #3

Unfettered Flourishing: The Principle of Freedom

The freedom to direct one's own path is key to success ― so why do we so often hamper it? Learn how our kind-hearted efforts may entrap the poor and gain practical tips on how we can course correct to foster flourishing.


DESCRIPTION: How does compassion ultimately translate into just ends? Through voluntarily sourced, challenge-oriented, and outcome-driven charity. But, what is so necessary about these three specific elements? After this “crash course,” you will be able to articulate the fundamentals of true charity—perfect for those new to the True Charity Initiative! (Please note, this is not a track; rather, it is a course that will be repeated each session and can be taken during any of the three sessions.)

INSTRUCTOR: Jeff Lofting serves as the Director of Education for True Charity Initiative. He first heard the concepts of “true charity” during the Leadership Forum in 2012 that launched TCI, after which he and his wife joined the TCI Education Committee. He and his wife relocated to Tokyo, Japan, the following year to work for the Department of Defense but continued serving TCI at a distance. He and his family returned to the States in 2020 to join TCI full-time. Jeff received his Master of Education in Information Science and Learning Technologies in 2013 from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

All general sessions will feature Dr. Lawrence W. Reed as speaker. See the Tracks & Instructors tab above for more information on Breakout Session* speakers, or click here to download the course catalog.

*Each breakout session consists of a one-hour lesson followed by a 15-minute Q&A time.

All listed times are Central Daylight Time (CDT).

Tuesday, May 18th – “Pre-Summit Base Camp”

2:00 pm Doors Open and Registration*
*Registration open until 7:00 pm on Tuesday; also available on May 19 for Wednesday-only participants
3:00 pm “Justice in Missions” – Explore how international charitable efforts have the potential to handicap rather than empower those being “served” through a viewing of the documentary Poverty, Inc. and Q&A discussion with a former missions coordinator in Haiti.
5:00 pm Dinner BreakPresent your Summit name tag at the following restaurant locations for a 10% discount (valid only Tuesday, May 18, 2021, between 5:00-6:30 pm):
7:00 pm Evening General Session: “Was Jesus a Socialist?” – Jesus was undoubtedly an advocate for the poor and the vulnerable in his day—does that mean he condemned wealth building and favored redistribution? Explore the biblical view of justice regarding poverty and wealth.

Wednesday, May 19th

7:00 am Doors Open and Registration
8:00 am Morning General Session: “Seven Principles of Just Public Policy” – Learn the foundations of healthy and helpful public policy that advances liberty, opportunity, and subsequent flourishing for all.
9:15 am Breakout #1* – click here to download the breakout course catalog
10:45 am Breakout #2* – click here to download the breakout course catalog
12:15 pm Lunch General Session: “Private Cures for Public Ills” – From homelessness, to unemployment, to broken relationships, poverty manifests itself in a host of ugly ways. Who is better equipped to address these maladies– the government or the private sector? Learn who’s up to the challenge and why.
2:00 pm Breakout #3*click here to download the breakout course catalog
3:30 pm Excellence in Charity Award
3:45 pm Connect & Apply Session
4:30 pm Final Address 
5:00 pm Dismiss

Registration and all sessions will be held at Billingsly Student Center on the campus of Missouri Southern State University at 3950 E. Newman Rd., Joplin, MO 64801.   Link to Map

Directions from I-44 East or West

  • Take exit 11B and merge onto MP-249 N for 2.6 mi.
  • Take Exit 41 for Newman Rd. for 0.3 mi.
  • Turn left at MSSI marquee board (Parking on left or right)

Using the button below, guests can book a room at TownPlace Suites in Joplin, MO, for $89 dollars a night. The rate is available Tuesday, May 18th, and Wednesday, May 19th. Link to Map

Tickets & Registration

Those attending on Wednesday will receive exclusive post-summit access to all breakout sessions.

Early bird pricing ends on May 8th, 2021.!
(To purchase, scroll down.)

For questions concerning the Summit, contact True Charity Initiative Regional Director Savannah Aleckson at savannah@truecharity.us or 417-623-6030 ext. 118.

Refunds available up to 72 hours prior to event.

True Charity Network members and employees of certified True Charity organizations are eligible for a discounted admission!


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May 18, 2021 @ 3:00 pm
May 19, 2021 @ 5:00 pm
$25 – $119
Event Category:


True Charity Initiative


Billingsly Student Center, Missouri Southern State University
3950 E. Newman Rd.
Joplin, MO 64801 United States
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