Frequently Asked Questions

What you need to know

We hope this info helps to answer some of the more common questions we hear each year. But please don’t hesitate to ask us for anything you need to know. We are here to help you. (And if you think of a question we need to add to this list, please email us and let us know!)


How do I get on the event's waiting list?

In an effort to serve you better, and to create an experience that allows for more conversation and deeper relationships, The Gathering caps attendance with 350 adult participants. At this time, we are full and have started a waiting list. Please email Event Director Maggie Lechner or call her at 903.509.9911 to be added to the list.

What is the attire?

The attire is resort casual, although you will see a few ties and blue blazers at dinner in the evenings. The ballroom and classroom temperatures tend to be quite cold most places we go, so definitely pack a cardigan or jacket. We cover three generations now (from babies to grandparents) in The Gathering, so whatever you feel comfortable wearing is great with us. (And don't forget your golf clubs, tennis racket and swimsuit!)

What is the typical weather?

There average temperature for Carlsbad this time of year is from the low 60s to the mid to high 70s.

Check Weather

Is there an App this year for the event?

Yes! And it's better than ever. The Gathering App will be released closer to time and will be the primary means of our communicating details about the schedule, participant directories, social media, announcement and speaker info. Stay tuned! (And yes, we are still printing the schedule for you at the event as well.)

Are any of The Gathering sessions recorded?

We will release our main session speaker lectures in podcast form shortly after the event concludes. We thoughtfully made the decision for 2017 not to record any of our smaller class sessions to allow frank discussions among speakers and participants in a safe, open environment.

How far is the hotel from San Diego?

The Park Hyatt Aviara is approximately 30 miles and 30 minutes from San Diego, depending on traffic.

Are there many new people who attend?

Yes, we average about 100 new participants each year, and it is such an exciting time of growth for The Gathering. Our demographics have changed over the years and now include as many children and under-40 participants as over-40; many individuals (not only couples and families); many from beyond the United States; and many Catholics as well as Evangelicals. We do our best to help each new participant feel welcome and to learn the ins and outs of the event.

How do I register for a Friday Night Dinner?

We announced the dinners June 15 by posting the info on our website and by sending out an email blast to all registered participants. These dinners are first-come, first-served and are very popular. You don’t want to miss this!

Last year, you offered private coaching and counseling sessions with John Townsend and Chris & Alisa Grace. Are you doing that again this year?

Yes! These private sessions have become very popular and meaningful for our participants. For more information and to reserve your spot (first-come, first served), click here please.

I have special dietary needs. Can I special order my meals?

No problem. We have already heard from many of you, and we have made sure the hotel is ready for your specific requests! If you haven't already, please email Maggie Lechner at The Gathering (or stop by The Gathering's check-in table) as soon as possible. We will make sure we have options ready for you or your children!

When is free time?

Free time is scheduled for 3-6 p.m. on Friday (although some offsite Friday Night Dinners will begin before 6 p.m.). Free time is scheduled for 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, although many of our participants will opt to register for the Praxis Lunch and Finale on Saturday afternoon. If your child is registered in GenNext, please note that their activities will run through free time so that you can enjoy some poolside fun of your own.

Do you have any activities for my children and grandchildren?

Yes we do! This is our 10th year to offer GenNext, our kids’ program at The Gathering for children 3 years old through 12th grade. The GenNext Schedule coordinates with the main Gathering schedule, allowing adults to attend their selected sessions and classes while also giving families free time together.

For details, visit the GenNext section of our website.

What are this year’s registration fees?

Our registration rates for 2017 are:

Adult Participants (26 years of age and older): $2200
Young Givers (18-25 years of age): $1550
GenNext (ages 3-through 12th grade enrolled in the GenNext program): $1000

These registration fees cover all costs of The Gathering event, including meals. Transportation and lodging are on your own.

Is there a hashtag for the event?

Yes! Our Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds will all be tagged with #gathcarlsbad. Please feel free to tag us!

Can I pay with my Donor Advised Fund or private foundation?

The decision to allow The Gathering registration fees to be paid from a DAF or private foundation is the sole prerogative of the DAF or private foundation. If you would like to use your DAF or foundation, please register directly with Event Director Maggie Lechner by calling 903.509.9911, ext. 2. We are happy to hold your registration, but you must initiate the payment through your private foundation or DAF adviser. We will hold your registration for two weeks and will confirm with you upon receipt of payment. 

May I invite someone to attend The Gathering?

Word of mouth is definitely how The Gathering has grown, and we love it when you refer a friend or colleague. There are a few basic criteria, such as all participants need to be giving (or will have the capacity to do so in the near future) at least $200,000 each year to Christian causes. If you think your friend meets that number, please don't hesitate to let us know - and we will give you the invitation code.

What happens if I have to cancel?

From now through July 31, we are able to refund 50 percent of your fees. From August 1 forward, we are unable to refund fees but you may request that the fee be considered a donation if you would like.  Thank you for your help in helping us plan wisely.

I have never been especially impressed by the heroics of people convinced they are about to change the world. I am more awed by those who struggle to make one small difference. Ellen Goodman