2017 Presidents Conference

Sponsored Conference

2017 Presidents Conference

The Washington Court Hotel | Washington, DC
January 25, 2017 - January 27, 2017
For any questions or concerns, please email:  conferences@cccu.org
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David S. Dockery     

David S. Dockery has served as Trinity International University’s 15th president since February 2014. He previously spent more than 18 years as president of Union University. He is recognized as a leader in Christian higher education across the country, having spoken at more than 50 colleges, universities and seminaries, as well as providing numerous institutional consultations. He served on the boards of numerous organizations like the CCCU (including as board chair from 2005-06), the International Association of Baptist Colleges and Universities, Christianity Today International (where he has also served as a consulting editor for more than 20 years) and Prison Fellowship Ministries. He was recently elected as the vice president of the Evangelical Theological Society. The author or editor more than 30 books, Dockery has also contributed to more than 60 other volumes and published more than 100 articles and reviews. He currently serves as the New Testament editor for the New American Commentary series, as general editor for Crossway's series on Reclaiming the Christian Intellectual Tradition, and as general editor for the forthcoming Holman Worldview Study Bible.

Shapri LoMaglio

Shapri directs the CCCU’s response to legislative, legal, and regulatory changes that affect its membership, educates CCCU institutions on such matters, and advocates on their behalf in Washington, D.C. She writes and speaks on issues of higher education and religious liberty. Shapri also helps plan and execute development conferences and materials for Council Presidents.
 gearson Michael Gerson

Michael Gerson is a nationally syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in The Post. He is the author of “Heroic Conservatism” (HarperOne, 2007) and co-author of “City of Man: Religion and Politics in a New Era” (Moody, 2010). He appears regularly on the “PBS NewsHour,” “Face the Nation” and other programs. Gerson serves as senior adviser at One, a bipartisan organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable diseases. Until 2006, Gerson was a top aide to President George W. Bush as assistant to the president for policy and strategic planning. Prior to that appointment, he served in the White House as deputy assistant to the president and director of presidential speechwriting and assistant to the president for speechwriting and policy adviser. 
 mel Mel Humphreys

Dr. Melanie Humphreys serves as the President of The King’s University in Edmonton, Alberta. The King’s University seeks to inspire and equip learners to bring renewal and reconciliation to every walk of life as followers of Jesus Christ, the Servant King. Reformed in character, The King’s University has a culture of engagement and activism rooted in a biblical vision for justice and compassion. Dr. Humphreys serves on a number of boards and councils including the Council of Post-Secondary Presidents of Alberta, Universities Canada’s Education Committee and the Association of Reformed Universities and Colleges. Humphreys holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University. She earned a degree in English and Psychology and a Masters of Administrative Leadership from Trinity Western University.


Gordon T. Smith

Gordon T. Smith is the president of Ambrose University (Calgary, Alberta), where he also serves as professor systematic and spiritual theology.   He is the author of a number of publications, including Called to Be Saints:  An Invitation to Christian Maturity (IVPress, 2014) and Institutional Intelligence:  The Elements of an Effective Organization (forthcoming, June 2017, with IVPress).  He is married to Joella and together they have two grown sons.

Bob Kuhn

Bob Kuhn was appointed President and Vice Chancellor of Trinity Western University in 2014. He is not unfamiliar with the twu community as he is an alumnus of 1972. Upon earning his Associate of Arts, at the then Trinity Western College, Kuhn went on to the University of British Columbia to earn his Bachelor of Arts degree, ultimately graduating from the ubc School of Law in 1979.

After being called to the Bar of British Columbia in 1980, Kuhn successfully acted as legal counsel for business clients and in general commercial matters with a special emphasis on construction and real estate. This included land acquisition and development, construction and engineering contracts and related litigation, arbitration, mediation and dispute resolution, leasing and lease default matters. Kuhn founded his own firm in 1998, has written for award winning publications, and has lectured extensively, particularly concerning the topic of religious freedom. He has acted as lead counsel on several high profile cases including appearing before the Supreme Court of Canada, successfully defending Trinity Western University in a case involving religious freedom (2001).

Kuhn, in response to his faith, ardently seeks to serve outside his legal practice by contributing to the life of numerous charitable and nonprofit organizations and communities. To name a few, he has served as the Chairman of the English Language Institute/China (1988-1994), as the Director of the Canadian Council of Christian Charities (1998-2004), and as the Chair of the Leadership Advisory Council, TWU School of Business (2002-2013). In 2012, he was recognized with an honorary doctorate from Trinity Western University for his decades of contribution to that institution and many other non-profit entities.

Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2006, Kuhn continues to practice law and has become an international spokesperson for those who face Parkinson’s on a daily basis. In order to raise awareness of and support for Parkinson’s research, Bob has partnered with institutions like the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Parkinson Society of British Columbia. In light of his effective leadership as a spokesperson, he was named one of 12 International Ambassadors to the World Parkinson Congress in 2013. More recently, a documentary was filmed and produced to raise awareness by featuring Kuhn’s endurance motorcycle ride 2400 miles across the United States from coast-to-coast in under 50 hours.

Bob counts himself supremely blessed to be married to his wife Renae for over 40 years and is a proud father of three, along with one grandson.

Shirley A. Mullen 

Shirley A. Mullen currently serves as President of Houghton College.  Born and raised in eastern Canada, Shirley graduated from Houghton College in 1976, went on to earn a M.A. in history from the University of Toronto, a Ph.D. in history from the University of Minnesota, and a second doctorate in philosophy from the University of Wales.
Dr. Mullen spent the first twenty-three years of her academic career teaching European history at Westmont College in California. Her special areas of interest are the Enlightenment tradition, the Victorian period in England, and David Hume. After serving as Provost at Westmont for four years, in June of 2006, Shirley accepted an invitation to return to her alma mater as its fifth president.
Dr. Mullen has chaired three accreditation review teams for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. She serves on boards of Fuller Theological Seminary, Bread for the World, CCCU (Council for Christian Colleges and Universities), NAICU (National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities) Tax Committee, National Association of Evangelicals, and Allegany County United Way.

 paulague Paul Ague

Paul Ague has served as president of San Diego Christian College (SDC) since 2007. During his tenure at the SDC, the college has seen significant changes including enrollment growth, online programs, graduate programs, and a complete campus relocation

Initially, Dr. Ague’s educational career was in the K-12 environment before moving to Minnesota 25 years ago, where he accepted his first position in higher education. He is actively engaged with national and local efforts, serving on various boards and committees. Currently, he serves as the GSAC’s representative to the NAIA Council of President’s, and he is a member of NAIA’s Executive Committee.

Ague completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in educational leadership, and later earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration. Paul and his wife, Lorri, reside in the San Diego area, and they are the proud parents of two married children and four adorable grandchildren.

Bob Brower 

Bob Brower was elected the 14th President of Point Loma Nazarene University in October 1997. His career includes the presidency of a publishing company and faculty and administrative positions at two universities as well as educational and organizational consulting nationally and internationally.

Dr. Brower serves on the Board of the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, Chairs its Governance Committee, and serves on its Executive Committee.  His service also includes the Board of Directors for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the Executive Committee of the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities.  Dr. Brower serves on the General Board and International Board of Education for the Church of the Nazarene.
 jonwallace Jon R. Wallace

Jon R. Wallace, DBA, became Azusa Pacific University’s 16th president on November 27, 2000. Building upon the legacy of his predecessors and extending today’s 115-year-old motto God First, Wallace advances APU’s shared vision to become “a premier Christian university and a recognized leader in higher education, a city on a hill that reflects the life of Christ and shines the light of Truth.”

Under Wallace’s leadership, Azusa Pacific’s academic reputation has grown, rendering it a preferred destination for gifted faculty, staff, and students. Wallace works collaboratively with the Board of Trustees and the Office of the Provost, reimagining the university’s approach to recruit, retain, and develop expert faculty who explore God’s Truth through research and scholarship.

President Wallace’s 40 years in higher education provide him with a deep appreciation for the far-reaching impact of an Azusa Pacific education and value for faculty, staff, and students. Wallace remains dedicated to developing a highly qualified faculty; maintaining academic quality and transformational scholarship; integrating faith and learning; ensuring academic and institutional service and support; cultivating future and innovative educational initiatives; and advancing responsible stewardship, diversity, and globalization; and implementing a comprehensive capital campaign. 

In doing so, President Wallace and the university community seek to equip disciples and scholars to advance the work of God in the world as difference makers eager to walk in obedience to Him, be the kind of people we hope for as neighbors and colleagues, and see the value of all people.

 chipollard Dr. Chip Pollard

Dr. Chip Pollard has been the president of John Brown University since July 2004. He received his undergraduate degree in English from Wheaton College in 1985, a law degree from Harvard Law School in 1988, a master's degree in English from Oxford University in 1990, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Virginia in 1999.

Dr. Pollard came to JBU from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was an Associate Professor of English teaching primarily world and 20th-century literature. Dr. Pollard has published frequently, including “New World Modernisms” (2005) and “May It Always Be True: Educating Students in Faith” (2011). In addition to his teaching and scholarship, Dr. Pollard has also practiced law as a corporate and tax associate for Latham & Watkins in Chicago, Illinois from 1990-1993.

Chip and Carey PollardUnder Dr. Pollard’s leadership, the university has completed the Keeping Faith Capital Campaign (2005-2011), receiving over $118 million in gifts. Through the blessings of God and his people, the campaign finished a year earlier than expected and $18 million over its original goal. The gifts to the campaign funded annual operating support, new endowed scholarships and programs, and the construction of new facilities, including a new wing to North Residence Hall, the Berry Performing Arts Center, the Bill George Arena, and the Balzer Technology Center, and the renovation of existing facilities, including the historic Cathedral Group, the Kresge Dining Hall, and expanded space for the Visual Arts program.

Dr. Pollard also teaches in the undergraduate program on a regular basis and is a frequent speaker in chapel and other venues. Dr. Pollard was elected to the board of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities in 2009 and also serves on the community board for Arvest Bank in Siloam Springs. He and his wife, Carey, have four children, Chad, Benjamin (deceased), Emma and James. They are actively involved in First Presbyterian Church of Siloam Springs. 
 MGScales Dr. Michael G. Scales 

Michael G. Scales has served as president of Nyack College and Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS) since April 2007. Two New York campuses are in Nyack and in Manhattan; an extension site is located in Puerto Rico. Scales spearheaded the relocation and purchase of the city campus located in historic Battery Park. Scales is a board member of The Christian & Missionary Alliance Foundation, Inc. (Shell Point Retirement Community).

Past leadership positions include his service as board secretary for New York’s Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) board of trustees; chair and vice chair of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) Commission for Advancing Intercultural Competencies; and the Presidents Council of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II.
 RonEllis Dr. Ron Ellis 

Ronald L. Ellis became the fifth president of California Baptist University in November 1994. Since then, the institution has experienced sweeping changes in almost every facet of university life from expanding academic programs to a successful athletics program. In 2014, Ellis became the first leader of a PacWest member institution to serve on the NCAA Division II Presidents Council. Under Ellis’ leadership, CBU has developed into a premier comprehensive Christian university, comprising 10 colleges and professional schools and a division of Online and Professional Studies, as well as more than 40 graduate programs and three doctoral programs. Ellis received a bachelor’s degree from Houston Baptist University, a master’s degree in educational administration from Baylor University, and a Ph.D. in higher education administration from Texas A&M University.
Shirley Hoogstra

Shirley V. Hoogstra became the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in September 2014 after serving at her alma mater, Calvin College (Grand Rapids, MI), first as a member of the board of trustees and then as the vice president for student life for 15 years. While at Calvin, Hoogstra also served as a cabinet member and was co-host of Inner Compass, a nationally televised show on PBS. Prior to her tenure at Calvin, Hoogstra spent more than a decade practicing law as a partner at a firm in New Haven, Connecticut. She earned her Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law and has been admitted to practice law in the states of Michigan and Connecticut, as well as the U.S. District Courts of Michigan, the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut and the U.S. Tax Court.


Mark A. Yarhouse

Mark A. Yarhouse, Psy.D., is the Rosemarie S. Hughes Endowed Chair of Christian Thought in Mental Health Practice and professor of psychology at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he serves as director of the Institute for the Study of Sexual Identity. 

In 2000, Yarhouse chaired a groundbreaking symposium at the American Psychological Association’s (APA’s) annual convention on common ground in treatment options for persons sorting out sexual and religious identity conflicts. He has chaired similar symposia at the APA over the past several years on a range of difficult topics, and now serves as chair of the task force on LGBT issues for Division 36 (Society for the Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the APA. He is also a subject-matter expert and consultant to the National Institute of Corrections to address issues facing incarcerated sexual minorities. 

Yarhouse was named senior fellow with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities to conduct a study of sexual identity concerns among sexual minority students at faith-based institutions of higher education. He was invited to write the featured white paper on sexual identity for the Christ on Campus Initiative, edited by Don A. Carson at The Gospel Coalition. 

Yarhouse has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and is author or co-author of several books, including Homosexuality and the Christian: A Guide for Parents, Pastors, and Friends (Bethany House) and Understanding Sexual Identity: A Resource for Youth Ministry (Zondervan). He is currently completing a book on gender dysphoria with the working title, Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture (forthcoming from InterVarsity Press Academic).


Curt Thompson

Curt Thompson, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Falls Church, Virginia and the founder of Being Known LLC, an organization that develops resources to educate and train leaders about the intersection between interpersonal neurobiology, Christian spiritual formation and vocational creativity. He is the author of Anatomy of the Soul and The Soul of Shame: Retelling the Stories We Believe About Ourselves. He graduated from Wright State University School of Medicine, completed his psychiatric residency at Temple University Hospital and is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Thompson is actively engaged in learning and education as he supervises clinical employees and facilitates ongoing education groups for patients and colleagues.  

Along with treating adults, adolescents, and families, Thompson’s main focus of clinical and research interest has been the integration of psychiatry, its associated disciplines and Christian spirituality, and he is a frequent speaker on the topic at workshops, conferences and retreats. He has specific expertise in the field of interpersonal neurobiology and how it reflects important tenants of Christian faith, providing opportunities to comprehend and experience that same faith in fresh trustworthy ways. Much of his work is now committed to training other professionals across cultures and in multiple vocational domains.                           

He and his wife, Phyllis, are the parents of two children and reside in Arlington, Virginia.  He serves as an elder at Washington Community Fellowship, a congregation of the Mennonite church, in Washington, D.C.  His duties there have included preaching, teaching and involvement in the fellowship’s healing prayer ministry.

 wes hill

Wesley Hill

Wesley Hill is assistant professor of biblical studies at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania. He is the author of Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality (Zondervan, second edition 2016), Paul and the Trinity: Persons, Relations, and the Pauline Letters​ (Eerdmans, 2015), and Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian (Brazos, 2015). He is on the editorial board for Christianity Today and writes regularly for that magazine as well as for Books & CultureFirst Things, and other publications.

Michael Lindsay 

Award-winning sociologist and educator D. Michael Lindsay is the eighth president of Gordon College, and an expert on religion, culture and leadership.
View from the Top, Dr. Lindsay’s most recent book, was released in May 2014. It reports the findings of his 10-year PLATINUM Study, the largest-ever interview-based study of senior organizational leaders—including former Presidents Carter and Bush, and hundreds of CEOs at the nation’s largest corporations and nonprofits.

Lindsay’s Pulitzer-nominated Faith in the Halls of Power was listed inPublishers Weekly’s “Best Books of 2007.” His work has been profiled in hundreds of media outlets worldwide, and his research has been funded through fellowships awarded by the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Academy of Education and the National Science Foundation.

Since 2011, Lindsay has served as president of Gordon College in Massachusetts. He also serves on the boards of Christianity Today and the Veritas Forum. From 2006 until 2011 Lindsay was a member of the faculty at Rice University.

Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, Lindsay graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University, and holds graduate degrees in theology from Princeton Theological Seminary and Wycliffe Hall at Oxford. He earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University.
Janel Curry 

Janel Curry serves at provost at Gordon College.  Prior to Gordon she served on the faculty and as Dean for Research and Scholarship at Calvin College.  She holds a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota and received her BA from Bethel University, St. Paul.  She has had Fulbright fellowships to Canada and to Hong Kong and is presently listed as a Fulbright Specialist.  Dr. Curry has published extensively in her discipline on the topic of human-land relations and environmental policy.  Most recently she has completed the Women in Leadership National Study along with Dr. Amy Reynolds of Wheaton College which involved data from more than 1400 evangelical nonprofits.
Kim S. Phipps

Kim S. Phipps, Ph.D., was named the eighth president of Messiah College in December 2004. She holds a Ph.D. in communication studies from Kent State University. During her tenure, there have been many significant initiatives that have been accomplished including: the implementation of a school of graduate studies, initiation of the undergraduate core course, “Created and Called for Community,” the successful completion of four major fundraising campaigns totaling $106 million and the increase of the College’s visibility throughout the region and the nation, including hosting CNN’s 2008 Compassion Forum with Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Dr. Phipps serves on the board of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities and local arts organizations.

Dr. Janet Sommers

Dr. Janet Sommers joined the University of Northwestern faculty in 1991.

From 2003–2009, Sommers served as chair of Northwestern's Department of English & Literature, where she collaborated on the addition of two new concentrations and three new minors; facilitated the growth of the college's chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society, and grew the number of English majors by 66 percent.

Sommers' administrative and writing expertise played a key role in several University of Northwestern initiatives. In 2009, she served as writing chair and lead writer for the college's self-study report for reaccreditation. In 2006, she was a lead member of the task force that revised Northwestern's Core Curriculum. She has also collaborated with the University of Northwestern Christian Center for Communications in Quito, Ecuador, to help assess their English program.

In 2005, Sommers received University of Northwestern's Excellence in Teaching Award. Her passion for the integration of faith, literature and writing has provided several opportunities for presentations beyond the classroom, including the college's Faith & Thought Lecture Series (2006).

Sommers earned a bachelor's degree in English education from Gwynedd-Mercy College (PA) in 1986, a master's degree in English from the University of Toledo (OH) in 1988, and a doctoral degree in English from the University of Minnesota in 1995.

She and her husband Daniel reside in New Brighton with their sons, Elliot and Graham. 
 randallbassinger Randall Basinger

Randall Basinger is the provost of Messiah College (Mechanicsburg, PA). He received his B.A.
from Trinity College, M.A. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL) and Ph.D.
from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). Before his tenure at Messiah, Basinger served
as an associate professor of philosophy and biblical and religious studies at Tabor College
(Hillsboro, KS).

In 1983, he joined the faculty of Messiah College as a professor of philosophy
and twice received the college’s “Excellence in Teaching Award.” He served as associate dean
of curriculum, dean of curriculum, and interim provost before being appointed as the provost
of Messiah in 2005.
 allure Alan Cureton

Since his arrival as Northwestern's eighth president in January 2002, Alan S. Cureton, Ph.D., has led the college to growth in academic excellence and fiscal health while holding firmly to Northwestern's Christ-centered, biblical foundation.

He is deeply committed to the students of Northwestern and embraces opportunities to interact with them on campus, in chapel, and even in his home as he and his wife, Gayle, frequently invite students to pizza suppers. He has an uncanny ability to remember names and encourages students whenever he can.

Dr. Cureton also serves as president of Northwestern Media, a ministry of University of Northwestern – St. Paul. The media ministry reaches more than a million listeners with the truth and love of Jesus Christ—on the air and worldwide over the Internet—through 15 radio stations that offer encouraging and uplifting music, biblical teaching and dynamic listener engagement.

Dr. Cureton has been married to his college sweetheart, Gayle, since 1976. They have three children: Luke (Erin), Rachel (Ben), and Michael (Hope).

The delight in their lives currently is being grandparents. They have six grandchildren: Jack Alan Cureton, Isabelle Rose Cureton, Anna Kay Caldwell (deceased), Micah Stevens Cureton, Matthew James Caldwell, and Cooper Jay Cureton.

Robin Baker 

Robin Baker has dedicated his career to the education of the whole person. As a professor, academic administrator and now as president of George Fox University, he has strived to make education not just the transfer of information, but also the transformation of the individual. Dr. Baker believes this is best accomplished within the context of Christian higher education, where students are encouraged to connect their faith to their studies and the rest of their lives. Before coming to George Fox in 1999 as chief academic officer, Dr. Baker worked at three Christian universities.

Since he became president in 2007, George Fox University has grown to become the second-largest private university in Oregon, but it still promises each student they will be known personally, academically and spiritually.

A native of Phoenix, Ariz., Dr. Baker completed a doctorate in history with honors at Texas A&M University. He has a special interest in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and has collected several first editions of their works.

An all-state high school athlete and college basketball player, Dr. Baker continues to be an avid runner. Each fall he competes with the university’s national powerhouse women’s basketball team in their preseason mile-and-a-half run. Each year he finishes at or near the front of the pack.  

 HernandezRebecca Dr. Rebecca Hernandez 
Dr. Rebecca Hernandez PhD has served as the Associate Vice President of Intercultural Engagement & Faculty Development at George Fox University since July of 2014.  In this role Dr. Hernandez builds on her extensive experience to oversee diversity planning and implementation, faculty development, and campus Leadership Development.

Dr. Hernandez began her career as a schoolteacher in 1989 where she worked with middle and high school students for several years. After completing her MPA in 1995 she served as a community program director and non-profit leader in Oregon for over 15 years. She also held faculty appointments at Oregon State University where she completed her PhD in Human Development & Family Studies in 2005, and at Oregon Health and Sciences University, School of Nursing, where she worked to develop community-based programs to reduce health disparities among Latinos, taught in the Public Health Program and participated in research. 

Dr. Hernandez arrived at Goshen College in 2008 to serve as the Director of the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning, which was tasked to work at recruitment of Latino students, and transform the campus and curriculum, while researching the results and sharing best practices in higher education across the country. Dr. Hernandez oversaw a 12.5 million dollar Lilly Endowment Inc. grant for this work. She was named Associate Dean in 2012, continuing transformational work on intercultural issues and serving as program director for the Master’s in Intercultural Leadership at the Center for Intercultural and International Education. 

Dr. Hernandez has presented at various conferences and meetings in the U.S. and outside the country.  She has published several articles and chapters on health and educational access for Latinos in the U.S. and continues to teach at the college level.  

Along with her academic work Dr. Hernandez, helped launch the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ (CCCU) Multi Ethnic Leadership Development Institute (ME-LDI) in 2011 and in the fall of 2014, Rebecca was invited to serve as the founding chair of the CCCU Commission on Diversity and Inclusion, which has provided an opportunity for national leadership.  
In her spare time, Dr. Hernandez, enjoys reading, traveling, serving with her church in Nicaragua, and spending time with her friends and family.

drlarrymercer  Dr. Larry Mercer

Dr. Mercer’s education, credentials, experience, and certifications have prepared him to provide effective leadership, program development, teaching, coaching and training in a variety of areas and specialties. 
He has earned academic degrees on the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels.   His earned degrees include a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from East Carolina University, a Masters of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry, Dallas Theological Seminary
He has taught in four different postsecondary higher education institutions on both the undergraduate and graduate level. Dr. Mercer provides executive coaching for a number of leaders and organizations, serves as a Professor at Southern Bible Institute and a Fellow with the Huntington University Institute for Leadership and Counseling.  
Dr. Mercer is vice chair of the LeTourneau University Board of Trustees.  He is a published author.  Some of the works he has contributed to include:  Prophecy In Light of Today, Building Unity in the Church of the New Millennium, and 30 Days to Living with Purpose.
He has been a guest speaker in numerous churches, schools and conferences.  His travels have taken him across the United States, into Africa, Europe, Jamaica, Israel and Latin America.

Dr. Reggies Wenyika

Reggies Wenyika is the 12th President of Southwestern Christian University. He serves on several non-profit boards that include Vice-Chair of the African Institute of Biomedical Sciences and Technology; Chair of Education, Health and Life International; and on other higher education initiatives boards in Colombia, Nigeria, and Haiti. 

His multi-disciplinary scholarly interests range from education and behavioral sciences, theology, and health sciences. He co-edited, Engaging Our World: Christian Worldview from the Ivory Tower to Global Impact; co-authored, Strictly Business: Soft Skills to Help You Succeed in The Hard World of Business (2nd Ed.). Wenyika has presented papers at various scholarly societies and co-published in such journals as The European Journal of Contraception and Reproductive Health Care, Child Abuse Review, and The Journal of Public Health.

A graduate of the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health and Sciences, Wenyika also received a Bachelor of Religious Arts in Biblical Studies; a Master of Ministry in Leadership; a Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration; and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration from Oral Roberts University where he was honored with the Most Outstanding Achievement Doctoral Graduate in 2008. His wife for 20 years, Bongi, received her Ph.D. from the University of Oklahoma. They live in Edmond, OK with their two kids.

Andrea Ramirez

Dr. Andrea Ramirez serves as the Executive Director of the Faith and Education Coalition for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition (NHCLC), America’s largest Hispanic Christian evangelical organization. She oversees key education initiatives for the NHCLC throughout the United States and leads an advisory board of evangelical leaders within the Faith & Education Coalition (www.faithandeducation.com). Ramirez has been featured in Christian Post, Christianity Today, CT Hoy, and on CBN. In addition, she hosts the “Raising the Standards” TBN Salsa weekly television program focused on the nexus of faith and education. 

Ramirez holds a Ph.D. from Regent University and was named the 2014 Outstanding Ph.D. graduate award recipient for her cohort. She earned a degree in business administration and an MBA from Dallas Baptist University. She has been deeply involved in curriculum development since 2011. Ramirez lives in Texas where she has been engaged in community ministry and education initiatives across the state.

John Inazu

John Inazu is the Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion and professor of political science at Washington University in St. Louis. He teaches criminal law, law and religion, and various First Amendment seminars. His scholarship focuses on the First Amendment freedoms of speech, assembly, and religion, and related questions of legal and political theory. Inazu is also a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture at the University of Virginia. His first book, Liberty’s Refuge: The Forgotten Freedom of Assembly, was published by Yale University Press in 2012. His second book, Confident Pluralism: Surviving and Thriving Through Deep Difference, was published by the University of Chicago Press and recently released in May of 2016. He has written broadly for mainstream audiences in publications including USA Today, CNN, the Hedgehog Review, the Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post. Inazu was the law school’s 2014 David M. Becker Professor of the Year. Prior to joining the law faculty, he was a visiting assistant professor at Duke University School of Law and a Royster Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He clerked for Judge Roger L. Wollman of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and served for four years as an associate general counsel with the Department of the Air Force at the Pentagon.


Eboo Patel

Eboo Patel is a leading voice in the movement for interfaith cooperation and the Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), a national nonprofit working to make interfaith cooperation a social norm. He is the author of Acts of Faith, Sacred Ground and the forthcoming Interfaith Leadership. Named by US News & World Report as one of America’s Best Leaders of 2009, Patel served on President Obama’s Inaugural Faith Council. He is a regular contributor to the public conversation around religion in America and a frequent speaker on the topic of religious pluralism. He holds a doctorate in the sociology of religion from Oxford University, where he studied on a Rhodes scholarship. For over 15 years, Patel has worked with governments, social sector organizations and college and university campuses to help realize a future where religion is a bridge of cooperation rather than a barrier of division.

Bishop Claude Alexander

For over 34 years, Claude Alexander has sought to serve God and community. Having accepted the call to ministry at the age of 17, he endeavored to prepare himself by obtaining a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Morehouse College, a Master of Divinity from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Having pastored Morning Star Baptist Church in West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, from 1987-1990, he accepted the call to pastor University Park Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, in May 1990.

Under his leadership, The Park Church has grown from one local congregation of 600 members to a global ministry of thousands with three locations and weekly international reach. A leader among both Christian and civic organizations, Alexander has worked with government and community officials to address the community’s most critical issues.

He currently serves on the board of the Charlotte Center City Partners, Christianity Today, Wycliffe Bible Translators, Mission America Coalition Facilitation Committee, and as vice-chair of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary Board of Trustees, co-chair of Gordon-Conwell Charlotte Board of Advisors, and Vice-Presiding Bishop of the Kingdom Association of Covenant Pastors. He is the author of Necessary Christianity.

Kay Warren

Kay Warren cofounded Saddleback Church with her husband Rick Warren in Lake Forest, California. She is a passionate Bible teacher and respected advocate for people living with mental illness, orphaned and vulnerable children, as well as for those living with HIV&AIDS. She founded Saddleback's HIV&AIDS Initiative. Kay is the author of Choose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough, Say Yes to God and coauthor of Foundations, the popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide. Her children are Amy and Josh, and Matthew who is in Heaven, and she has five grandchildren.