City Gate

An Annual Gathering of Peers in the Faith & Work Movement

Pictures From City Gate 2017

Why gather?

The purpose of City Gate is to create a relational and strategic space to start and grow institutions focused on the integration of faith, work and life by those with a shared commitment to the church, a particular region or city, and the far-reaching effects of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the world.

What’s the history of City Gate?

In the summer of 2016, 17 different leaders gathering in Breckenridge, Colorado from cities like Denver, Atlanta, San Diego, Nashville and Pittsburgh to discuss how to lead city-facing organizations broadly integrating faith and work in partnership with a network of local churches. Leaders from these five cities decided to create an ongoing peer space for both relationship and strategic thinking with leaders of similar institutions in other cities.

Who is this gathering for?

This gathering is by invitation only and for a very specific audience – current and prospective leaders of organizations committed to:

  • The integration of faith, work and life
  • Working with a network of local churches
  • Serving primarily a particular region or city
  • Building institutions whose programs intend to practically apply the far-reaching effects of Jesus’ death and resurrection for the world.

What will we talk about?

Session topics range from theology, work and cultural trends to practical program and funding models operating in different cities. Each invited leader will give a brief 10-15 minute presentation and guide a roundtable discussion on a topic broadly in five categories: core theological commitments, institutional leadership, spiritual formation, or a cultural/city-wide trends. The primary purpose, however, is to create a relational space of peer learning that helps leaders of these kinds of institutions thrive and make a systemic impact on their cities or regions.

Event Organizers

Jeff Haanen is the founder and executive director of Denver Institute for Faith & Work.

Having previously served as a church pastor, school administrator, and missionary to Ecuador, Jeff felt called to be a missionary to America, and launched Denver Institute in 2012. He strives to integrate Christian faith with our various cultural institutions including business, education, law, media, health care, and the church.

A speaker and writer, Jeff contributes to Christianity Today, The Review of Faith and International Affairs, Leadership Journal, and Comment magazine. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Valparaiso University and a Master of Divinity from Denver Seminary. He attends Littleton Christian Church with his wife and four daughters. Connect with him on his blog at or on Twitter — @JeffHaanen.


Missy Wallace is the founding executive director of the Nashville Institute of Faith & Work (NIFW).

Missy became inspired to study faith and work in 2013 after working in Corporate America and then the nonprofit sector for over 10 years each and realizing that work can be a part of God’s unfolding story if we allow him to guide it rather than our false idols. She launched the Institute after some divinity study and an intensive with Katherine Alsdorf, David Kim, and their team at The Center for Faith and Work at New York’s Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

Prior to launching NIFW, Missy worked at Bank of America in Charlotte, NC; The Boston Consulting Group in Chicago, Singapore, Bangkok and New York; Time Warner in New York, and most recently on the team that launched the high school division of Ensworth School where she worked in various roles over a decade in marketing, admissions, and college counseling. Missy holds a BA in economics from Vanderbilt and an MBA from the JL Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern. Connect with Missy on Twitter at @NashFaithWork or email at


Geoff Hsu is executive director at Flourish San Diego. As the executive director Geoff aims to lead others to be apprentices of Jesus who help people and churches become who they were created to be so they may join God to help our city and world flourish. He believes that the dynamic, life-giving message of Jesus has been obscured from people who seek to find meaning and purpose in Him, and works to help recover that message and faithfully communicate it to people today.
Geoff worked for Cru for 20 years, working in many capacities and all over the world. He also was a leadership formation coach, conducting discipleship groups and spiritual formation groups for area pastors, professionals, and elders in San Diego County. Working closely with Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church, he helped lead a vocational stewardship initiative called ‘Cascade.” The formation of Flourish San Diego was an attempt to leverage Cascade’s success and make it available to the broader body of Christ in San Diego. You can follow Flourish San Diego on Twitter @FlourishSD and Geoff @geoffhsu.
Lisa Slayton is chief executive officer of the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation (PLF).
She oversees all strategic initiatives and partnership at PLF. Lisa has designed and launched the Leaders Collaborative and delivered organizational development consulting, training, and coaching services to a wide variety of organizations including NetHealth, CTR Systems, Akina, GrowthPlay, Prominent, Careform, Light of Life, Truefit, and WabTec as well as a number of local congregations. She also serves as a Board Director for SIMA International.
Lisa attended  Mount Holyoke College and Bakke Graduate University (M.A., Social and Civic Entrepreneurship). Connect with her on Twitter — @LisaSlayton.

Travis Vaughn is the Director for Terminus Collective and Director of Cultural Renewal for Perimeter Church in Metro Atlanta.

Travis is a certified coach with CMM (Church Multiplication Ministries), Inc. He holds a Bachelors degree from Southwest Baptist University, a Masters degree from Covenant Theological Seminary, and more recently he has worked on PhD (Missiology) studies at Concordia Theological Seminary.

Travis has taught as a visiting instructor at Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis), and he has been a guest lecturer at Emory University (Candler School of Theology) in Atlanta. His writing has appeared in publications such as New Geography, PRISM Magazine, International Bulletin of Missionary Research, Salt and Light: A Guide to Loving Knoxville, Salt and Light: A Guide to Loving Northwest Indiana, and The Journal of Evangelism and Missions. Connect with Travis at

Who else is participating?

When and where is City Gate 2017?

The gathering begins with dinner on Breakfast, June 5 and ends with dinner on Tuesday, June 6. The location of the meetings will be at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, California. Participants will arrive Sunday night and leave on Wednesday morning, June 7.

What is the cost?

There is no conference fee. Each participant simply pays his or her own way, including transportation, food and lodging. Shauna at Flourish San Diego ( is collecting registration information, and will assist with reserving lodging at the Courtyard by Marriott near the San Diego Airport.  At the end of the gathering, Flourish San Diego will assist with evenly dividing up food and lodging costs for the gathering and will invoice each participant or group separately.

Can I bring a colleague?

Yes, we encourage leaders to bring one other leader from their organization for collaborative thinking and planning that can be implemented back in their home city.

How can I get invited?

Please use the contact form on this page and include your name, title, organization, and reason for wanting to attend.

Request an invitation or more information