Seminars

Healthy relationships do not happen by accident. They require investment.

Invest in healthy relationships by inviting a River of Hope speaker to present to your group. Our presenters are dynamic public speakers who will engage your audience with relevant topics. Below is a list of our speakers and their topics. Our speakers are regularly developing new seminars and welcome topic requests that are not listed here.

Contact the River of Hope office to schedule a seminar or to request additional information – 717.274.3950 ext. 101 or info@riverofhope.org.

PageLines- Dave_150x150_300_2015.jpgDavid Musser, Founder and LMFT

Dave is an engaging speaker who fills his presentations with stories gleaned from life experience in and out of the counseling room. Audiences respond well to his down-to-earth, easy-to-understand presentations. But, don’t be fooled, his seminars are challenging and push the learner to make personal evaluations and assessments of their relational health.

  • Battered to Boundaries – Domestic Violence is a topic the church may find difficult to talk about due to its shame and secrecy. This sermon/seminar will seek to uncover the secrecy by exploring how Saul became violent toward David and the patterns of thinking behind those who batter others within their families and homes. We will also explore how difficult it is for those who are being battered to change their belief systems to allow them to leave home and find safety.
  • Bound By An Invisible Thread – Believing that history repeats itself, this seminar takes a look at our family of origin and the relational patterns that flow down through the generations. Five key issues are explored which lay the groundwork for breaking free from our past. (Listen to audio clip below.)
  • Boundaries – The saying, “Good fences make good neighbors,” has valid application to relationships. What is a good relational fence? This seminar explores relational boundaries and identifies both good and bad relational boundaries and provides tools for building good relational fences.
  • Dancing the Infinity Loop – Relationships are a dance. When we dance well, it is beautiful and fun. When our two left feet take over, it’s time for dancing lessons. This seminar will teach you how to recognize your dance and how to change your steps.
  • Parenting – Parenting is a daunting task. Exploring our own childhood to understand how we choose to parent, establishing boundaries to aid healthy relationships, and figuring out how to talk to our kids about sex and sexuality are part of parenting’s challenge. This seminar can be tailored to your audience, but will encourage parents and sharpen their parenting tools.
  • Personhood – We are all born with a voice to express what we think, feel and need. When these voices fall silent, our relationships suffer. This seminar explores the silenced voice and leads the way to breaking the silence.
  • Perfectionism – Doing things well is a good character trait. But, when pushed to perfectionism, this can quickly become destructive. This seminar looks at the signs of perfectionism and gives permission to take a step away from being perfect.
  • The Four and Three Legged Stool – Forgiveness and reconciliation are two separate issues. This seminar compares forgiveness and reconciliation to stools and creates imagery that reveals the distinction between these two important issues.
Audio Clip of  “A Left-Handed Look at Life” (Now titled, “Bound By An Invisible Thread”) by Dave Musser
Audio Clip of “Personhood” by Dave Musser


PageLines- James_150x150_300_2015.jpgJames Black, LPC, DCC, Executive Director

James has a diverse background including living in the Philippines as a missionary kid, serving in the US Army, teaching college courses at Messiah, and being dad to eight children who are homeschooled. Add to this over fifteen years of experience in the counseling room, and James can weave engaging stories into every seminar he presents. Students will enjoy James’ down-to-earth approach to every topic he teaches.

  • Caring for Aging Parents – When a child becomes a caregiver to their parent, it raises a variety of issues. James approaches this topic by preparing students to engage in necessary, but often difficult conversations including finances, medical directives, housing and other related issues.
  • Preventing Burnout – Burnout can impact anyone. James looks at some of the symptoms of burnout and encourages students to develop a self-care plan they can implement that will help them prevent and/or recover from burnout.


PageLines- Meredith_150x150_300_2015.jpgMeredith Engebretson, LPC, Clinical Supervisor

Meredith’s experience as a college professor is evident as she presents her seminars with clarity and key learning objectives. Her seminars are filled with examples and stories that bring concepts to life. Students will walk away informed and with tools to apply what they have learned.

  • Adolescent Development – The teenage years can be rough. This seminar explores the mental, physical and emotional development of teens and helps adults to better understand how they can be a healthy support system for the teenagers in their lives.
  • Grief – Loss and grief are natural life experiences. This seminar explores the cycle of grief and our responses to grief and to those who grieve.
  • Codependency – Relationships are intended to be balanced between two individuals. When that balance is consistently skewed, codependency is likely present. This seminar unpacks codependency and its harmful impact and presents tools for moving relationship into healthy interdependency.

PageLines- Shelly_150x150_300_2015.jpgShelly Hitz, BS Business Administration

Shelly has a depth of relational knowledge that comes from her experiences as a manager and staff trainer. Her seminars are flavored by her business experience, but she is not a lightweight on relational topics. Students will be challenged to think and make choices that lead to growth.

  • Emotion vs. Reason – We make countless decisions in life. Learning to make wise decisions is often linked to our ability to separate emotion and reason. This seminar explores the life of Joseph as an example of someone who learned to make wise decisions.
  • Fight vs. Flight – Relational conflict is inevitable and responding well to conflict requires learning how to relationally engage in the midst of conflict. This seminar explores the life of Joseph as he engages with conflict throughout his life.
  • Influence vs. Control – We can be people of influence or people who control. Looking at the life of Joseph, this seminar will extract examples of both influence and control.
  • Primary vs. Secondary – God has created us to experience emotion. We will look at the life of Joseph to understand the implications of responding poorly to our emotions and responding well to our emotions.