We’ll be adding bios for our 2018 Summit California faculty to this page as they’re confirmed. Keep checking back for the latest!
Alan Shlemon is a public speaker and author for Stand to Reason, an organization that trains Christians to share their convictions in a persuasive, yet gracious and friendly way. Alan has a unique ability to make complex issues accessible to anyone and is known for teaching on some of the most controversial issues of our time like abortion, evolution, homosexuality, bioethics, and Islam. He has been a guest on both TV and radio and has spoken to thousands of adults and students across the country at churches, conferences, and college campuses. Alan received his master’s degree in apologetics from Biola University.
Dr. Bill Brown is the Senior Fellow for Worldview and Culture at the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. Dr. Brown speaks and writes about how Christians should engage the culture with the heart and mind of Christ. He has served as the President of two Christian universities and spoken in over two dozen countries. He is the Executive Producer and teacher of the multiple award-winning DVD series, reView, a worldview curriculum for high schoolers and adults that continues to influence new generations of Christians. He consults with international corporations and ministries on employee development, cultural transitions and strategic planning.
In addition to his extensive speaking schedule, Dr. Brown serves as the Senior Executive of WorldAPP, an international technology firm with offices in Boston, Kiev and London.
Dr. Brown has written over one hundred articles for journals, magazines, newspapers and encyclopedias. He is the author of Making Sense of Your Faith, Where Have All the Dreamers Gone? Observations from a Biblical Worldview, and Making Sense of Your World, a book used by many colleges and universities as an introductory text to worldview/philosophical thinking. His writings have been quoted in various national newspapers and magazines, including Reader’s Digest and Christianity Today. He wrote over fifty articles and notes for Impact: The Student Leadership Study Bible. He also serves as an editor for philosophy textbooks and ethics curriculum.
BRETT KUNKLE is the founder and president of MAVEN, a movement to equip the next generation to know truth, pursue goodness and create beauty. He has more than 25 years of experience working with junior high, high school, and college students.
Brett has developed a groundbreaking approach to mission trips, creating a one-of-a-kind experience that immerses participants in real-life engagement in apologetics, theology, worldview, and evangelism in Berkeley, California, and Salt Lake City, Utah.
In addition, Brett is a Teaching Fellow at the Impact 360 Institute. He was an associate editor for the Apologetics Study Bible for Students and co-authored A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World. He received his Master’s degree in philosophy of religion and ethics from Talbot School of Theology. Brett lives with his wife and kids in Southern California.
Brian Godawa is the screenwriter for the award-winning feature film, To End All Wars, starring Kiefer Sutherland. Previously he adapted to film the best-selling supernatural novel The Visitation by author Frank Peretti, as well as writing and directing several documentaries for PBS and other producers. His popular book, Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom and Discernment is used as a textbook for film analysis in schools around the country. His Amazon best-selling novel series is Chronicles of the Nephilim, an imaginative retelling of the primeval history of Genesis, the fallen Watchers, and the wars of the giants. His website is www.godawa.com.
Dr. Craig J. Hazen is a Professor of Comparative Religion and Christian Apologetics at Biola University and Founder and Director of the Christian Apologetics Program. For nearly twenty years he has been the editor of the philosophy journal, Philosophia Christi, one of the top philosophy of religion journals in the world. He has authored or contributed to a range of scholarly works including To Everyone an Answer, Apologetics Study Bible, and the break-out novel, Five Sacred Crossings. Hazen holds a Ph.D. in Religious Studies, a degree in Biological Sciences, and has studied International Law and Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. At Biola he was named the winner of the Fischer Award for Faculty Excellence, the highest faculty honor. Prof. Hazen has lectured all over North America and Europe on the evidence for the Resurrection, religion and science, and Christianity among world religions. He has also lectured multiple times on Capitol Hill and in the White House. He is a former co-host of a national radio talk program and a regular on-camera expert for broadcast television. He and his wife, Karen, live in southern California and have four adult children.
Dr. Erik Thoennes is amazed everyday that God saved him as a young boy in a small factory town in Connecticut and adopted him into his family. God has blessed him with his godly wife Donna, who has been his faithful ministry partner since they were married in 1989. Erik and Donna have four children; Caroline (born in 2000), Paige (born in 2002), Samuel (b. 2005) and Isaac (b. 2005). Erik is Professor of Theology, and Chair of the Theology Department at Biola University/Talbot School of Theology and also a pastor at Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada, California. He also taught at Wheaton College and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He is the author of Life’s Biggest Questions: What The Bible Says About the Things that Matter Most, and Godly Jealousy: A Theology of Intolerant Love.
Erik’s undergraduate degree was in philosophy from Central Connecticut State University, and he has graduate degrees in biblical studies and evangelism from Wheaton College and a PhD. Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Before coming to California he coached high school and college football and was a manager of a group home for developmentally disabled adults. Some of the most fun and enriching experiences of his life have been: meaningful local church involvement, hitchhiking around America, working with at risk youth, and playing American football in Europe. Erik’s primary goal in life is to love and glorify Christ more each day and help others to as well.
Dr. Gary Hartenburg was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and earned his BA in biblical studies and theology from Moody Bible Institute, his MA in philosophy of religion and ethics from Biola University, and his PhD in philosophy from the University of California, Irvine. He specializes in ancient philosophy, ethics, and philosophy of religion. He currently teaches in and serves as the director of the Honors College at Houston Baptist University in Houston, Texas, where he lives with his wife and children. He is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan.
J. Warner Wallace
J. Warner Wallace is a cold case homicide detective, adjunct professor of apologetics at Biola University, popular national speaker, and author of Cold-Case Christianity, God’s Crime Scene, and ALIVE.
His professional investigative work has been featured repeatedly on Dateline, FOX News, and Court TV. J. Warner’s professional investigative work has received national recognition; he’s been awarded the Police and Fire Medal of Valor “Sustained Superiority” Award, and the 2015 California Peace Officers Association COPSWEST Award for Cold-Case Investigation of the Year
J. Warner also continues to appear as an expert in a number of crime-based television series and is featured in God’s Not Dead 2. He’s part of a three-generation law enforcement family and has a Master’s Degree in Theological Studies from Golden Gate Seminary.
Jack Hibbs is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills located in Southern California. Jack’s teachings are heard on many international radio stations throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Australia, and throughout the Hawaiian Islands. He is best known for his passionate, expositional teachings. Pastor Jack and his wife, Lisa have been married for over thirty years. He, his wife, and family live in Southern California.
Dr. Jeff Myers is president of Summit Ministries. As an educator and entrepreneur, Dr. Myers has become one of America’s most respected authorities on youth leadership development. Focus on the Family founder James Dobson referred to him as “a very gifted and inspirational leader.” Evangelist Josh McDowell called him “a man who is 100% sold out to preparing the next generation to reflect the character of Christ in the culture.” Through his speaking engagements and media appearances, Dr. Myers has become a fresh voice offering humor and insight from a Christian worldview. He is the author of 16 books, including Understanding the Faith, Understanding the Times, and Understanding the Culture textbooks which are studied by tens of thousands of students. Dr. Myers holds a Doctor of Philosophy degree from the University of Denver. He continues to engage college students and adult learners by serving as a trustee of Colorado Christian University and through a Signature Leadership Course offered by Unbound, that offers project-based education as an alternative to traditional higher education. Jeff and his wife Stephanie and their family live in Colorado.
John Stonestreet serves as President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview. A gifted communicator on areas of faith and culture, theology, worldview, education, and apologetics, John is a sought-after speaker, published author, and respected cultural commentator.
Since 2012, John and Eric Metaxas have co-hosted BreakPoint, the nationally syndicated radio commentary founded by the late Chuck Colson. He is also the voice of The Point, a daily one minute radio feature on worldview, apologetics and cultural issues.
Before coming to the Colson Center in 2010, John served various leadership capacities with Summit Ministries, and was on the Biblical Studies faculty at Bryan College (TN).
John has co-authored three books: Restoring All Things (with Warren Smith, 2015), Same-Sex Marriage (with Sean McDowell, 2014), and Making Sense of Your World: A Biblical Worldview (with Gary Phillips and William Brown, 2007).
John holds degrees from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (IL) and Bryan College (TN). He and his wife Sarah have three daughters and a dog, and live in Colorado Springs, CO.
Connect with John at BreakPoint.org, or follow him on Twitter (@jbstonestreet).
A trailblazer for truth and relationships, Josh McDowell has been at the forefront of cultural trends and ground-breaking ministry for over five decades.
Josh shares the essentials of the Christian faith in everyday language so that youth, families, churches, leaders and individuals of all ages are prepared for the life of faith and the work of the ministry. This included leveraging resources based on years of experiences, new technologies and strategic partnerships.
Since 1961, Josh has delivered more than 27,000 talks to over 25,000,000 people in 125 countries. He is the author or co-author of 145 books, including More Than a Carpenter and New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, recognized by World Magazine as one of the top 40 books of the twentieth century. Josh’s books are available in over 100 different languages.
Josh and his wife, Dottie, are quick to acknowledge that after their love for the Lord, family is their greatest joy and top priority. They have been married over 40 years and have four wonderful children and ten beloved grandchildren.
Josh McDowell Ministry is a division of Cru (the U.S. division of Campus Crusade for Christ International).
Dr. Kathy Koch (“cook”) is the Founder of Celebrate Kids and an associate co-founder of Ignite the Family. She has influenced thousands of parents, teachers, and children in over 25 countries through keynote messages, seminars, chapels, and other events. She speaks at conventions, schools, churches, and pregnancy resource centers, and regularly speaks for Care Net, Summit Ministries, the Colson Center, and Teach Them Diligently. Dr. Kathy is also a popular guest on Focus on the Family radio and other radio talk shows and podcasts. Her podcast, Celebrate Kids with Dr. Kathy, is among the most popular parenting podcasts. Kirk Cameron chose her as an expert in his documentaries, The Homeschooling Awakening and Connect: Real Help for Parenting Kids in a Social Media World. She is the author of six books published by Moody Publishers. Dr. Kathy earned a PhD in reading and educational psychology from Purdue University and served as an associate professor, school board member, teacher, and coach all before founding her ministry. She has loved Jesus for years and her faith and desire to serve and glorify God is the foundation of her ministry.
Matthew Lee Anderson
Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer at Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. He is also the author of a number of articles and essays away from Mere Orthodoxy, of which there is a selection below.
Anderson is currently pursuing a D.Phil. in Christian Ethics from Oxford University, having received his M.Phil. in 2014. He is also a Perpetual Member of Biola University’s Torrey Honors Institute. He invites you to follow him on Twitter or Facebook.
Mike Licona has a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies (University of Pretoria), which he completed with distinction. He serves as associate professor in theology at Houston Baptist University. Mike was interviewed by Lee Strobel in his book The Case for the Real Jesus and appeared in Strobel’s video The Case for Christ. He is the author of numerous books including Why Are There Differences in the Gospels? What We Can Learn From Ancient Biography (Oxford University Press, 2017), The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach (IVP Academic, 2010), Paul Meets Muhammad (Baker, 2006), co-author with Gary Habermas of the award-winning book The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Kregel, 2004) and co-editor with William Dembski of Evidence for God: 50 Arguments for Faith from the Bible, History, Philosophy, and Science (Baker, 2010). Mike is a member of the Evangelical Theological and Philosophical Societies, the Institute for Biblical Research, and the Society of Biblical Literature. He has spoken on more than 90 university campuses, and has appeared on dozens of radio and television programs.
Mike has a B.A. in Religion and a Masters of Divinity with a concentration in Apologetics from Luther Rice Seminary and is currently doing post-grad work in the area of New Testament Ethics.
Mike has a passion for equipping Christians with the knowledge necessary to love God deeply, defend their hope in Him faithfully, and engage culture effectively.
Ricky Chelette is Executive Director of Living Hope Ministries and the Minister of Pastoral Ministries at First Baptist Church in Arlington, TX. Ricky has been involved in ministry in the church for over 30 years. He has served as a pastor to youth, students, and single adults, as well as Minister of Education. Speaking around the world to thousands of teens and adults who struggle with their sexual identity or love those who do, Ricky brings vast experience and personal knowledge to this difficult and controversial subject. His logical, humorous and straight-forward approach makes sense of a very complex and often confusing topic. Ricky has a BA in Political Science/Pre-Law, a Master in Religious Education, has taught on the college and seminary level, and is an ordained minister.
Scott Klusendorf is President of Life Training Institute where he equips pro-life advocates to make a persuasive case for life.
He has taught pro-life apologetics at the graduate level at Biola University and Trinity Law School, and lectured at over 80 colleges and universities including Stanford, Berkeley, UCLA, USC, Johns Hopkins, MIT, and the U.S. Air Force Academy — to name a few.
Scott’s debate opponents have included Nadine Strossen (former President of the ACLU), attorney Edward Tabash (of the Council for Secular Humanism), attorney Kathryn Kolbert (who argued for abortion rights at the Supreme Court), and Katherine Kneer (President of Planned Parenthood California).
Nationally, he’s been featured on syndicated shows such as Focus on the Family, Truths that Transform, Issues Etc, and Faith Under Fire. He is the host of the television series, “Life is Best.” Scott is the author of The Case for Life: Equipping Christians to Engage the Culture (Crossway, 2009).
Scott is a graduate of UCLA and holds a Master’s degree in Christian Apologetics from Biola University.
At the practical level, Scott helps non-profit organizations raise money to assist women facing unplanned pregnancies.
He and his wife Stephanie have been married since 1985 and have four children.
Dr. Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, and in particular young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. He connects with audiences in a tangible way through humor and stories while imparting hard evidence and logical support for viewing all areas of life through a Biblical worldview. Sean is an Assistant Professor in the Christian Apologetics program at Biola University.
Sean still teaches one high school Bible class, which helps give him exceptional insight into the prevailing culture so he can impart his observations poignantly to fellow educators, pastors, and parents alike. In 2008 he received the Educator of the Year award for San Juan Capistrano, California. The Association of Christian Schools International awarded Exemplary Status to his apologetics training. Sean is listed among the top 100 apologists. He graduated summa cum laude from Talbot Theological Seminary with a double Master’s degree in Theology and Philosophy. He earned a Ph.D. in Apologetics and Worldview Studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in 2014.
Traveling throughout the United States and abroad, Sean speaks at camps, churches, schools, universities, and conferences. He has spoken for organizations including Focus on the Family, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview, Cru, Youth Specialties, Hume Lake Christian Camps, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Association of Christian Schools International.
Sean is the author, co-author, or editor of over seventeen books including Same-Sex Marriage: A Thoughtful Approach to God’s Design for Marriage, with John Stonestreet, Is God Just a Human Invention? with Jonathan Morrow, and Understanding Intelligent Design along with William A. Dembski. Sean has also written multiple books with his father, Josh McDowell, including The Beauty of Intolerance, The Unshakable Truth, and More Than A Carpenter. Sean is the General Editor for Apologetics for a New Generation and The Apologetics Study Bible for Students. He has also written for YouthWorker Journal, Decision Magazine, and the Christian Research Journal. Follow the dialogue with Sean as he blogs regularly at seanmcdowell.org.
In April, 2000, Sean married his high school sweetheart, Stephanie. They have three children and live in San Juan Capistrano, California. Sean played college basketball at Biola University and was the captain his senior year on a team that went 30-7.