Parish Resources

THE SEARCH: Training Day with Dr. Ben Akers




10:00 - Welcome & Prayer  

10:20 – Keynote #1 Dr Ben Akers The One Program that Matters  -  We’re all looking for the best and most effective program to make disciples. The answer is found in the life of Christ. We’ll look at a gospel passage where Jesus makes disciples and explore three elements we can learn and implement in our own apostolic work 


11:00 – Using The Search Effectively:  Episode 6 Are You Saved? Evangelization, Eucharistic Revival, Small Group discussion 

12:00 – Lunch  

12:45 – Keynote #2 Dr Ben Akers  - The 3 Marks of a Disciple In the Gospel of John, Jesus indicates three ways his followers will stand apart from the world and be recognized as his disciples. These passages also reveal to us how we can more deeply live out our own Christian lives in the modern world 


1:45 – Break  

2:00 PM - Evangelizing Via the Sacraments: Brian Truckenbrod 

2:50 PM – Closing Remarks



Benjamin D. Akers, S.T.D. 



Dr. Akers is an associate professor of Theology and previously served as the assistant dean of the Augustine Institute Graduate School. He is also the chief content officer of the Augustine Institute’s platform, which is a streaming platform providing trustworthy and inspiring Catholic video, audio, and eBook content from the Augustine Institute, Ignatius Press, and more than 60 other partners. helps parishes, families, and individuals explore their faith anywhere. He joined the Augustine Institute in 2015. 

Previously, Dr. Akers served as the director of the Denver Catholic Biblical and Catechetical Schools and was an adjunct for the St. John Vianney Theological Seminary. His experience living and studying in the heart of the Catholic Church in Rome, Italy, has inspired him to teach theology in a way that integrates history, art, literature, and spirituality. 


  • STD Dogmatic Theology, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy (2017) 
  • STL Dogmatic Theology, Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), Rome, Italy (2009) 
  • MA Theological Studies, concentration in Sacred Scripture, Notre Dame Graduate School of Christendom College (2004) 
  • BA Theology, Philosophy (minor), Christendom College (1998) 



Brian P. Truckenbrod is a lay evangelist, serving as the Senior Director of Parish & School outreach at the Augustine Institute. Transitioning from the high-tech business world in 2012, Brian has spent the last 19 years helping to lead the launch, promotion, and service of  some of the most fruitful programs and curricula in the Catholic Church, including SYMBOLON: The Catholic Faith Explained, FORMED (at, Signs of Grace, The Search, and Word of Life, a transformational K-8 religious education curriculum by the Augustine Institute and Ignatius Press. Brian and his wife Peggy have nine children and attend St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Crystal Lake, Illinois.  



  • Executive Director - Light of the World Evangelization Ministry 
  • Director of Strategic Evangelization, Lighthouse Catholic Media, NFP 
  •  Collaborator on the lifechanging book, “Take Your Part in the Sunday Gospel”  






"The parish is not an outdated institution; precisely because it possesses great flexibility, it can assume quite different contours depending on the openness and missionary creativity of the pastor and the community. While certainly not the only institution which evangelizes, if the parish proves capable of self-renewal and constant adaptivity, it continues to be “the Church living in the midst of the homes of her sons and daughters”

- Joy of the Gospel, 28



Is your parish ready to respond to the call to become an evangelizing parish?  Whether you are looking for one program to fit a particular need or you need help crafting a path of discipleship, we are here to help!

 Before you get too far into individual programs & resources, make sure you're aware of our Vision for Evangelization.




Who are you trying to reach? 


We have created a resource called the Parish Audience Tool to help you analyze the effectiveness of your parish "Path of Discipleship" and fill in the missing links. 

This tool identifies 6 typical audiences that we see in most parishes.  Want to learn more? Click here. 


Equipping Disciples


Only 0.6% of Catholics feel like they have had sufficient training to share the good news of Jesus Christ. If we're all called to be missionary disciples - we have to help those who desire to evangelize gain the confidence to go forth and make Christ known.

The EQUIP Parish Discipleship program is a 12 week small group program intended for the roughly 7% of Catholics who desire to evangelize. The study is hands on and meant to be done in groups of 4-5 people.  Learn more here.


Preparing for Mission 


This 13 part Guidebook can be used in any setting at a parish - with staff, volunteers or anyone who is looking to get involved in the mission we're called to. 










Revive Parish - Free Online Parish Training


The Archdiocese is happy to partner with Revive Parishes to offer you access to courses from experts around the country.  These courses are geared to help our parish staff and volunteers gain an understanding of the best practices in all areas of parish life. Sign up here









The Office of Evangelization and Discipleship is supported by the Annual Catholic Appeal