Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Much Would It Cost Me to Attend Ligonier?!?!

A few days I ago I received a flyer in the mail for the 2016 Ligonier National Conference. It is addressed to "Pastor and Mrs. Eric Carpenter." I guess they don't realized that I resigned from professional pastoring five years ago. That's probably because I haven't attended a Ligonier conference in five years either.

As theology conferences go, Ligonier is a good one. The line up of speakers is usually excellent, and the topics are both interesting and relevant. This year's focus - the Gospel - could not be better. Part of me would really like to attend. However, since I'll be working I won't be going (when I attended Ligonier conferences in 2009 and 2010 I was employed as a salaried pastor; thus, I had all sorts of free time to travel to Orlando for a few days).

If I had the time, just how much would it cost me to attend? Let's do the math.

If I registered right now it would cost $169.00. Prices increase as the conference approaches.

The Meal Plan for four meals is $59.00.

The cheapest hotel reservation is $79.00. However, with taxes included the cost would rise to close to $100.00. The schedule calls for two nights; total hotel cost equals $200.00.

Gasoline cost from Savannah to Orlando and back would be somewhere in the vicinity of $100.00.

Meals to and from Orlando would be about $25.00.

The cost, then, for me to attend the 2016 Ligonier National Conference would be a whopping $553.00.

That is a lot of money.

Of course, when I last attended Ligonier I was a pastor; therefore, I let the church pick up the tab since it was part of my monthly expenses. That means that hard working people back home in Savannah shelled out hundreds of hard-earned dollars for me to sit and listen for three days. It was a good deal for me.

Did I forget to mention the books? Like most conferences, Ligonier has a large room full of theology texts, all for sale. These go on the pastor's expense account, too.

Something is not right with this picture.


Aussie John said...


The merchandising of the Scriptures,or how the Scriptures are a source of income?

I used to attend many conferences, and spoke at them, until I woke up that they are a means to keep one looking in particular theological/denominational directions.

Such often belie the truth of Ephesians 2:8-9.

Interestingly ordinary members of congregations are never asked to be speakers!

Eric said...


That saddest part is as you say, "Interestingly ordinary members of congregations are never asked to be speakers!" I have heard of some conferences where there is much more interaction between speakers and attendees. Those I might consider going to - if I had the time and the cost wasn't prohibitive.

Tim said...

I hesitate to say it but this is the sacerdotal gospel. The gospel lectured in strictly controlled one-way communication. The gospel delivered by those holding others in perpetual dependency. The gospel of words only. The gospel devoid of mutuality. The gospel of experts only need open their mouth. I wonder also to what extent the talkers in this conference are ethnocentric? I was just at the website of Sproul's church to see the size of his pulpit. Wow, it's big! You know the larger the pulpit the greater the faith in the power of God's Word. (Just following in the example of Paul adding in a little sarcasm.)

Regarding Aussie's comment: Freely you have received; freely give. Matthew 10:8

Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other. 7 For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? 1 Cor 4:6b-7