Our Speakers

Shirley Hoogstra, President, CCCU

Shirley Hoogstra

President, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities

Shirley Hoogstra

Shirley V. Hoogstra became the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in September 2014. In this role, Hoogstra combines her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education as she promotes the value and purpose of high quality, Christ-centered liberal arts education that shapes the heart, soul and mind.

Prior to the CCCU, Hoogstra served for 15 years as vice president for student life at her alma mater, Calvin College. She also spent more than a decade practicing law as a partner at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven, Connecticut. She has served on the boards of several community organizations and schools, including the New Haven County Bar Association and Calvin College. She earned a bachelor’s in education at Calvin and a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

David Kinnaman

President, Barna Group

David Kinnaman

David Kinnaman is the author of the bestselling books Faith For ExilesGood FaithYou Lost Me, and unChristian. He is president of Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. Since 1995, David has directed interviews with more than 1.5 million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies. He and his wife live in California with their three children.

Ben Sasse

Ben Sasse

U.S. Senator, Nebraska

Ben Sasse

Ben Sasse is a fifth-generation Nebraskan with the honor of representing the Cornhusker state in the U.S. Senate, where he is a member of the intelligence, judiciary, and banking committees. Before being elected, Sasse spent five years as president of Midland University. The 130-year-old Lutheran college in Sasse’s hometown was on the verge of bankruptcy when he arrived, but became one of the nation’s fastest-growing schools just three years later. He is the author of The Vanishing American Adult and Them: Why We Hate Each Other – and How to Heal. He holds degrees from Harvard University and Yale University.

Mark Yarhouse

Rech Endowed Chair in Psychology, Wheaton College

Mark Yarhouse

Dr. Mark Yarhouse is the Dr. Arthur P. Rech and Mrs. Jean May Rech Professor of Psychology at Wheaton College, where he directs the Sexual & Gender Identity Institute. Dr. Yarhouse was named a Senior Fellow for the CCCU to conduct a study of students navigating sexual identity and faith at Christian colleges and universities. He has been a consultant and subject-matter expert to the National Institute of Corrections to address issues facing LGBTQ persons in corrections and the juvenile justice system. He was part of a consensus panel convened by the American Psychological Association on sexual and gender identity that provided input to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington, D.C. He also wrote the featured white paper on sexual identity for the Christ on Campus Initiative for The Gospel Coalition. Dr. Yarhouse is currently the chair of the task force on LGBTQ issues for Division 36 (Psychology of Religion and Spirituality) of the APA. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and is author or co-author of several books, including Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture. His most recent book is Emerging Gender Identities: Understanding the Diverse Experiences of Today’s Youth.