Plenary Speakers

(In alphabetical order)

Lael Arrington

Lael Arrington is an author of four books, most recently Faith and Culture: The Guide to a Culture Shaped by Faith (Zondervan), an Amazon all-books best-seller.

She blogs on topics related to how people can thrive in today’s culture with strong minds, caring hearts, and confident faith. Lael speaks nationally about faith and culture and Christian worldview to audiences from pre-school moms to University honor students, pastors to prisoners, and at many women’s events.

For about five years she co-hosted a radio show in Houston and Dallas, The Things That Matter Most, where she interviewed guests as diverse as Dallas Willard and Deepak Chopra about what they believe and why they believe it.


Larry Crabb

Larry Crabb is a well-known psychologist, conference and seminar speaker, Bible teacher, author, and founder/director of NewWay Ministries.

Crabb has authored many books including: Understanding People, The Marriage Builder, Finding God, Connecting, The Safest Place on Earth, The Pressure’s Off, Shattered Dreams, and SoulTalk. His latest book, Fully Alive, was released in June 2013.

In addition to various other speaking and teaching opportunities, Crabb offers a weekend conference throughout the country entitled Life on the Narrow Road and a week-long School of Spiritual Direction held in Colorado Springs, CO. He currently is Scholar in Residence at Colorado Christian University in Colorado and serves as Spiritual Director for the American Association of Christian Counselors.


Terry Glaspey

Terry Glaspey is a writer, an editor, a creative mentor, and someone who finds various forms of art — painting, films, novels, poetry, and music — to be some of the places where he most deeply connects with God.

He has written over a dozen books, including 75 Masterpieces Every Christian Should Know:  Fascinating Stories Behind Great Art, Music, Literature, and Film, which was recently given Christianity Today’s 2017 Book Award; Not a Tame Lion: The Spiritual Legacy of C.S. Lewis; The Prayers of Jane Austen; 25 Keys to Life-Changing Prayer; and Bible Basics for Everyone. Terry enjoys writing and speaking about a variety of topics including creativity and spirituality, the artistic heritage of the Christian faith, the writing of C.S. Lewis, and creative approaches to apologetics.

He serves on the board of directors of the Society to Explore and Record Church History. Terry has been the recipient of a number of awards, including a distinguished alumni award and the Advanced Speakers and Writers Editor of the Year award.


Bruce Herman

Bruce Herman is a painter and educator living and working in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Herman holds the Lothlórien Distinguished Chair in Fine Arts at Gordon College where he has taught and curated exhibitions since 1984

Herman lectures widely and has had work published in many books, journals, and popular magazines––most recently in Through Your Eyes. His artwork has been exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in eleven major cities including Boston, New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

Herman’s art is present in many public and private collections including the Vatican Museum of Modern Religious Art in Rome; The Cincinnati Museum of Fine Arts; DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts; the Hammer Museum, Grunwald Print Collection, Los Angeles; the Cape Ann Museum, and in many university galleries throughout the United States and Canada.


Walter Hooper

In 1963, Hooper traveled to England to study at Exeter College’s summer session. While there, he met C.S. Lewis in person: their first conversation continuing on in various meetings over several weeks. He also began helping Lewis informally with his correspondence and other related tasks. In time, Lewis asked Hooper if he would consider staying on in England and serving as his secretary.

With more than 30 edited Lewis volumes to his credit, Hooper has also made significant contributions to Lewis scholarship through his co-authored biography of C.S. Lewis, as well as his comprehensive reference work, C.S. Lewis: A Complete Guide to His Life and Works. Hooper’s most recently completed work is the three-volume edition of the Collected Letters of Lewis.

 As a result of these many years of faithful literary stewardship, there is not a single reader of C.S. Lewis’s writings that is not deeply indebted to Walter Hooper for his numerous, significant and irreplaceable contributions to Lewis studies. Hooper was awarded the Clyde S. Kilby Lifetime Achievement Award by The Marion E. Wade Center on October 21, 2009.


Andrew Lazo

Andrew Lazo is a speaker, teacher, and writer on C.S. Lewis and his fellow Inklings. Andrew currently serves as teacher of English and C.S. Lewis at Houston Christian High School in Houston.

Lazo has published several articles and book reviews on Lewis and has co-edited Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C. S. Lewis. His latest article, published in the journal VII, has corrected the accepted dating of Lewis’s conversion to Theism.

As a speaker on C.S. Lewis and the Inklings, Lazo’s resume includes: weekend conferences at Laity Lodge, St. Mark’s Episcopal (Jacksonville, FL) and St. Michael’s by-the-Sea (Carlsbad, CA) and a regular summer series at Christ United Methodist Church (Sugar Land, TX). Lazo presented to the clergy of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, and he has offered a number of courses and lectures at The Jung Center of Houston.


Greg Leith

Greg Leith is the CEO of Convene. He was born in Canada and lived in all four corners of North America. His career spans over 35 years of senior leadership roles in corporate, non-profit and academic sectors. Recently, he served as Director of Strategic Alliances for 13 years at Biola University in California.

Leith has served the persecuted church with food, brought relief and long term jobs to Orissa, India, assisted mission agencies in China with strategy, and helped envision a School of Journalism in Haiti. For over a decade, he and his wife, Shelley, traveled across Canada speaking for FamilyLife on marriage and parenting. Leith was a senior executive for 20 years with the $9 billion ServiceMaster Company, serving in various leadership capacities. He was Vice President of Arrow Leadership and Director of Leadership Development for Christian Leadership Alliance, creating learning experiences for the most influential Christian organizations in the world.

Leith serves on various boards related to his passion of faith integrated with the marketplace, and he loves helping people get clarity on mission and purpose as a certified life coach.


Joseph Loconte

Joseph Loconte is Associate Professor of History at The King’s College (New York), where he teaches Western Civilization and American Foreign Policy.

Loconte is the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt and God, Locke, and Liberty: The Struggle for Religious Freedom in the West. His other books are The End of Illusions: Religious Leaders Confront Hitler’s Gathering Storm and Seducing the Samaritan: How Government Contracts Are Reshaping Social Services. His most recent work is A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War : How J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-1918.

He contributes to the London-based Standpoint Magazine and Italy’s La Stampa, and he now serves as a senior fellow at the Trinity Forum and as an affiliated scholar at the John Jay Institute. He previously was a Senior Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy in Washington D.C. and Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Public Policy at Pepperdine University.


J. Stanley Mattson

Stan Mattson is the Founder and President of the C.S. Lewis Foundation, Director of the C.S. Lewis Study Centre at The Kilns in Oxford, England and Director of the C.S. Lewis Summer Institute in Oxbridge.

A past member of the faculty of Gordon College and of the faculty and administration of the University of Redlands, Dr. Mattson also served as Headmaster of The Master’s School of West Simsbury, CT.

He founded the C.S. Lewis Foundation in 1986, with the long-range objective of establishing an interdisciplinary, “mere Christian” prototype “Great Books College,” with a school of visual and performing arts, to be named in honor of C.S. Lewis.

 


Helen Mitchell

Helen M. Mitchell is a speaker, author, teacher, consultant to business leaders and pastors, and a Faith@Work Strategist. Helen currently serves as the Director of the Talbot Center for Faith, Work and Economics at Biola University. She is also adjunct faculty in Biola’s Crowell School of Business and Talbot School of Theology.

As an early adopter of faith, work, and vocation in the local church, she is the architect and visionary of the Saddleback@Work ministry at Saddleback Church. Mitchell started her business career with AT&T becoming a Vice President at the age of 30, and holding various leadership roles.

She is passionate to see people fully activated and engaged in their calling and to see the local church equipped to lead people into a Biblical understanding of work and vocation and its value and service to Christ.


Joseph Pearce

Joseph Pearce is writer in residence at Aquinas College in Nashville, Tennessee; and Director of the Aquinas Center for Faith and Culture.

He has written a number of critically acclaimed, best-selling biographies of great 19th and 20th-century Christian authors, including Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G. K. Chesterton, Tolkien: Man and Myth, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, and Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile. His books have been published and translated into Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Italian, Korean, Mandarin and Polish.

Pearce is also editor of the St. Austin Review, an international magazine dedicated to reclaiming Catholic culture.


Andrew Peterson

Andrew Peterson is an author, artist, and founder of the Rabbit Room – a community of songwriters, authors, and artists interested in storytelling, faith, and fellowship.

Andrew has produced numerous folk/rock/blues albums in his career as an artist, several of which have landed in the top ten of Billboard’s Top Christian Albums. His most recent release is titled The Burning Edge of Dawn. Several songs of his have also won recognition at the Dove Awards. He is the author of a four book fantasy series called The Wingfeather Saga. The second book in the series won the 2009 Christy Award for Young Adult Fiction, and the fourth book in the series won the 2014 World Magazine Children’s Book of the Year.

The common thread in all this for Andrew is his love for Christ and his Kingdom, his belief in the power of story and art, and his need for family and community.


Mark Pike

Mark Pike is Professor of Education and Head of the School of Education at the University of Leeds. Due to a research grant from the John Templeton Foundation, he is also director (Principal Investigator) of the Narnian Virtues Character Education research project. 

He writes and speaks widely on literary, moral and religious issues in education and is the author of Mere Education: C S Lewis as Teacher for our Time (The Lutterworth Press, Cambridge, 2013), Ethical English – Teaching and Learning English as Spiritual, Moral and Religious Education (Bloomsbury, 2014). His articles have been published in journals such as the Oxford Review of Education, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Journal of Character Education and  Journal of Beliefs and Values – studies in religion and education. He also serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Moral Education.

Pike’s specialized research areas include: character education, Christian education, C.S. Lewis as an educator, reading and response to literature, and values and virtues in schooling and society.


Mary Poplin

Mary Poplin is a professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont Graduate University.

Her work spans K–12 to higher education. Poplin, who began her career as a public school teacher, conducts research largely on the inside of schools and classrooms, and more recently on highly effective teachers in urban poor schools. Funded by the John and Dora Haynes Foundation, she and eight colleagues conducted extensive research from 2005-2009 with 30 highly effective teachers in nine low performing urban K–12 schools in Los Angeles County.

Academically, she explores the contemporary intellectual trends dominant in the various academic disciplines—the sciences, humanities, and social sciences. In 2014, she published Is Reality Secular? Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews (InterVarsity Press). Additionally, she is a frequent speaker in Veritas Forums throughout the country. In 1996, Poplin also worked for two months with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta to understand why she said their work was “religious work and not social work.” Her book on this experience, Finding Calcutta was published by InterVarsity Press in 2008.


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