Frequently Asked Questions

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Feel free to browse the questions below to find what you’re looking for. You can also type your question into the search bar (above) to find your answer elsewhere on the site.

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Registration

SLS18 will take place at McCormick Place in the heart of Chicago, Illinois.

Yes! A majority of our conference attendees fundraise toward their registration, travel costs, food, and more, raising enough to cover their conference pass in part or even in full. Fundraising is an opportunity to meet the cost of registration while also inviting others to support you as you strive to become a next-generation leader. When others help you get to SLS18 with a donation here and there, they too become partners alongside you as you work to carry out the Great Commission.

There are a number of ways to fundraise, such as reaching out to family members or members of your parish. For more information and resources on fundraising, check out our fundraising page.

We will offer a discount price to priests, seminarians, and religious who will attend SLS18. A limited number of scholarships are available for students. Click here for more information.

Your registration offers the following:

  • Four-night stay in a hotel connected to the convention center
  • Lunch each full day of the conference
  • Entrance to all sessions with in-demand Catholic speakers
  • A seat at all evening concerts and entertainment
  • Access to conference resources, such as the SLS app
  • A one-of-a-kind encounter with Jesus Christ and the Church through the sacraments

With registration, you’ll be provided lunch during each full day of the conference.

Never fear! Just log back in to your registration using your confirmation code and email address. You can make adjustments after logging back in.

We’ll save a spot for you in Chicago from the moment you register — but if you need to give up your spot for whatever reason, you can find our cancellation policy here.

If you or your child is under 18 years of age and attending SLS18, you need to send in a parental consent form. You can find the form here.

To upload your signed copy of the release online:

  1. Scan the document and save a copy for your records.
  2. Log back in to your registration (with your email and confirmation number) and upload the document.

To mail in a signed hard copy of the release:

Please send the signed copy to the following address:

FOCUS
c/o Jamie Quinlan
P.O. Box 18710
Golden, CO 80402-9809

Staff registration isn’t on the SLS website. A Pilot article will be sent at a future date with registration information.

Well, that depends. Student groups are not eligible for discounts (but if you become an SLS Ambassador, you can earn some sweet rewards.)

However, there is a Lifelong Mission Group Discount available for all General Admission attendees. Depending on the size of your group, you could receive 15% or even 20% off each group member’s registration. For more information on this discount, please see the General Admission attendee registration page.

You can find the details about the cost per room per registration type on the registration page.

Register before November 10 to request your roommate. The regular registration pricing runs Oct. 28 through Dec. 4.

If you are a member of the media interested in covering SLS18, visit the Media page for more information.

Travel & Accommodations

Use the packing list below as a guide. (As you gear up for SLS18, don’t forget to bring any other essential personal items you may need, such as prescription medication and the like.)

  • Mass attire
  • Casual attire
  • Outdoor apparel (coats, hats, etc.; check the weather forecast before you leave)
  • Swimsuit (optional; please keep modesty in mind)
  • Bible
  • Camera
  • Toiletries
  • Money for some meals, vendor booths, parking, and gratuities for housekeeping and porter services.

Planes, trains, automobiles, and more — there are plenty of ways to access McCormick Place, the conference hotels, and downtown Chicago. Please note: Travel costs are not included with registration and should be calculated separately based on your individual needs.

More information about the travel options that would best suit you, including on-site parking for commuters, can be found on the location page.

For driving directions and parking garage options for McCormick Place, click here. You can also learn more about commuting to SLS on the location page.

Most registrations include room options. You can choose between a quad room, a double room, a single room, or a family room when you register.

You will be housed in a hotel close to the convention center. A complimentary shuttle service will be provided to and from the convention center for those staying in hotels beyond walking distance.

For more travel-related information, check out the Location & Travel page.

Here’s a breakdown of the room options:

Shared/Quad Occupancy
This room is the most cost-effective, since you’ll be sharing the room with several other people. By choosing this option, you won’t have to worry about making hotel reservations on your own; you can focus instead on being present on site and enjoying the conference.

In a shared/quad occupancy room, you’ll be grouped together with 3 – 5 people of the same gender. The options for beds may vary depending upon the number of people sharing the space:

  • You may have a king bed with a cot or air mattress (three people)
  • You might have two double/queen beds (four people)
  • You could also have two double/queen beds plus a cot or air mattress (five people)

If you prefer to not share a bed with another attendee, we recommend that you choose the single occupancy option (see information below).


Double Occupancy
In a double occupancy room, you and one other attendee of the same gender will be sharing one bed. This means fewer people will have to share a bathroom. Bonus!

For priests: We will be sure to provide a room with two beds for you so that you and your roommate will each have your own bed.

Also, for members of religious orders who are prohibited from sharing a bed with another, please reach out to us at [email protected] to let us know that you need two beds in your room.

If you prefer to not share a bed with another attendee, we recommend that you choose the single occupancy option (see information below).


Single Occupancy
In a single occupancy room, you’ll have the place to yourself. Let us handle making the reservation in your name so you can ensure the best room rate as a part of the conference.


Family Occupancy
A family occupancy room is intended for spouses attending SLS who may or may not have children. Each family room can fit a family of four comfortably. If you plan to bring your whole family and have more than two kids accompanying you, please notify us so we can personalize the best rooming situation for you and your loved ones.


Commuter passes
do not come with hotel registration. Do you prefer to make your own hotel arrangements? Do you already live in the area? The commuter pass is the best option for you.

We assign roommates based off gender. If you’re from a FOCUS campus, you will be roomed with others from your campus. Otherwise, we will room you with other attendees at random. (You may not know them right away, but they might just be the people Jesus intends for you to meet and spend time with in Chicago. Who knows?)

If you’re traveling in a group of 30 persons or more, please contact us at [email protected] and we will do our best to room you with others from your group. Please be sure to reach out to us by October 15.

We do not take roommate requests, not even for modestly sized groups. We will make exceptions only in the rarest of circumstances. If you believe you qualify for such an exception, feel free to give us the details at [email protected].

Check in for the conference will begin at noon on January 2, and the conference will end after morning Mass on January 6. We recommend arriving midmorning on Jan. 2 and departing in the afternoon on Jan. 6.

With your registration, we will be able to reserve a hotel room for you only for the days of the conference. Should you wish to spend more time in Chicago, feel free to contact the hotel in which you’ll be staying to make your own arrangements.

O’Hare and Midway Airports are both relatively close to McCormick Place, though Midway is a shorter drive. You can fly into whichever airport best suits your travel needs:

More information about O’Hare Airport
More information about Midway Airport

You can find more information about airport ground transportation on our location & travel page. Those who use the Shuttlefare service to/from O’Hare or Midway can receive a $5 discount (more info can be found under location & travel).

Connections Housing is the only approved, official housing vendor for SLS18. We understand that unauthorized housing companies may contact you and advertise cheaper rates, or they may imply or claim an affiliation with SLS18. Unfortunately, some past attendees have fallen prey to these companies and were unable to recuperate the money they spent on rooms that did not exist. If you are contacted by any company that is NOT Connections Housing, please notify the SLS18 Housing Management at [email protected] before providing any information to a secondary housing vendor.

General Info

SLS is for those who are ready to take the next step as leaders in the Church. Whether you’re interested in leading a Bible study on campus for the first time or you’re the director of evangelization at your parish, SLS has something you can take with you as you strive to lead others to Christ.

SLS18 will welcome aspiring leaders, college students, Bible study facilitators, FOCUS alumni, religious ed staff, bishops, chaplains and religious, RCIA teachers, missionaries, benefactors, lay ministers, disciplers, seminarians, and more.

Since SLS is for those who are striving to be disciple-makers, we encourage you to invite those who are currently in discipleship with you and/or those who are on the path of missionary discipleship.

Bishop Robert Barron, Fr. Mike Schmitz, Sr. Bethany Madonna, Dr. Edward Sri, and Curtis Martin, just to name a few. Check out the full list of conference speakers and entertainment here.

Use the SLS app to find out more about happenings at the conference, to personalize your schedule, and more. You can easily download the SLS app (when it’s ready and available) on both iTunes and Google Play.

Yes, babysitting is available at SLS18! Here’s what you need to know:

ELIGIBILITY

  • Children aged 18 months to 9 years old qualify for babysitting.
  • Babysitting will be offered from 10:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. from Wednesday (Jan. 3) through Friday (Jan. 5).

FOOD/OTHER SUPPLIES

  • Children will be served their boxed lunch in the babysitting room.
  • If children require different food (e.g., if they’re too young to eat the boxed lunch or if they have allergies for which FOCUS cannot provide) or if children will need snacks throughout the day, parents must make provisions themselves. FOCUS cannot provide extra food.
  • If the children require any specific items such as diapers, wipes, cribs, toys, etc., parents must provide these as FOCUS cannot. (IMPORTANT: If you bring snacks/supplies, please make sure all your items are labeled.)

SCHEDULE

  • The schedule for each day within the room is still being determined. Children will be entertained with a combination of games, books, activities and possibly crafts.
  • If a child requires a nap during the day, parents may pick them up and take them to their own hotel room to nap. Parents may also bring a pack-n-play to the babysitting room, but take note that it may be quite loud and bright in the room.

COST

  • Parents will pay a $25 deposit/child, which will be refunded after the conference. (Note to any FOCUS staff reading this: You will be charged $50 per child, non-refundable.)

SECURITY

  • Parents will fill out liability and emergency contact forms for each child participating.
  • Each day, parents will check their children in and out of the room via RFID scanner (wristbands used to get into sessions). They will need to have their ID on hand so we can verify their identity.
  • The room will be secure, with only one door open for entering and exiting. Children will be signed in and out, and there will always be someone stationed at the door to monitor who comes in and out. The nannies in the room will also have a walkie talkie for direct contact with the FOCUS Events team liaison: Becca Zander and the EMT on site.