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2021 Academic Network

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    Academic Network
Equipping Christian leaders in Europe to bring glory to Christ in the university or seminary where they serve

As Christian academics we often experience isolation. Being evangelicals within a secular university or liberal seminary setting isolates us from our peers, while at church, underlying anti-intellectualism may isolate us from our brothers and sisters in Christ. We may experience isolation because of the solitary nature of research, writing, and lecture preparation, or because of our own introverted and reclusive personalities.

At the same time, because of the far-reaching influence of the classroom and higher education in shaping leaders and the next generation, every Christian scholar possesses an outsized potential for multi- generational impact. Our calling is to bring glory to Christ in the university or the seminary where we serve. This is why, as followers of Christ in the academy, we must be intentional about connecting with other likeminded colleagues.

The primary purpose of the ELF Academic Network is to gather together Christian scholars throughout Europe for equipping, united, resourcing, prayer, and accountability. At the 2021 Network, you will be blessed by outstanding presenters. Each one is a recognized scholar who, in their own academic work, is living and modeling what they teach. You will have opportunities to ask questions, to discuss issues with your colleagues, and to reflect on how these principles should change the way you think and live and teach.

Participants should be teaching or working in a university, seminary, Bible institute, or other post­secondary educational institution. Post-graduate and doctoral students who hope to serve Christ in the academy are also welcome. Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.

Applicants should be teaching or leading in a university, seminary, bible institute, or other post-secondary educational institution or graduate students who hope to serve Christ in the academy.  This Network will help academicians from a wide spectrum of disciplines to think about their discipline from a Christian worldview, attain excellence in teaching and research, share Christ with others, and maintain spiritual fervor.

Network Leadership

Daryl McCarthy serves as Director of The Leadership Anvil with Global Ministries Foundation and as a Theological Education Teaching Fellow with One Mission Society (OMS). He was Vice President of Academic Programs and Strategy at Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL) and Director of the ELF Academic… Read more

Network Speakers

Ralf Bergmann, born in 1962, is married and has three adult children, two children-in-law and three grandchildren. He received his degree in physics and a doctorate from German universities. He is or has been mainly involved in semiconductor physics and technology, photovoltaics and optical… Read more

Kenneth G. Elzinga is the Robert C. Taylor Professor of Economics at the University of Virginia. He has received numerous teaching awards, and each fall his introductory economics course attracts over one thousand students, making it the largest class offered at the University of Virginia. An… Read more

Dr Jan Hábl is a happy husband and father of two children. He is professor of pedagogy at University of Hradec Králové (Czech Republic) and pastor in Církev bratrská (Free Evangelical Church). He has written number of books and articles including Even if No One is Looking. Foundational Questions… Read more

Todd Huizinga is the senior fellow for Europe of the Religious Freedom Institute. He previously served as a U.S. diplomat from 1992-2012. Mr. Huizinga is the author of The New Totalitarian Temptation: Global Governance and the Crisis of Democracy in Europe (New York: Encounter Books,… Read more

Harald Jung is president of the Heidelberg Institute for International Studies and Leadership and professor and dean at Liebenzell International University (IHL) (both Germany). He studied economics and theology in Mainz, Frankfurt (Main), Oberursel, and Heidelberg, and completed his PhD at the… Read more

John Lennox is Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at Oxford University and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is also an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School, Oxford University, and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme… Read more

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… Read more

Randy Newman is the Senior Fellow for Apologetics and Evangelism at The C. S. Lewis Institute in the Washington, DC area. He has taught at several evangelical seminaries and is currently an adjunct faculty at Reformed Theological Seminary and Patrick Henry College. After serving for over 30… Read more

Sebastian Vaduva serves as the director of the Griffiths School of Management and IT within Emanuel University of Oradea. He was born in Communist Romania, but moved with his family to Cleveland, Ohio as a teenager. He started his first company (a butcher shop) at the age of 17, and since then… Read more

Alin Vrancila is the chief academic officer at Multnomah University and the co-founder of Ready for Online ( He teaches residentially and online and has been doing that for the past 10 years. Former CRM Manager and Tech… Read more

Network Programme

Sunday, 16 May

In the postmodern age, the West has lost its faith in the existence of objective truth. In so doing, it has discarded the only coherent ground for human dignity and respect for fundamental freedoms; that is, the idea that humanity is made in the image of God which entails an objective truth and moral code to which all people are subject. Rather, in the West, every person is now claiming the right to re-create themselves in their own freely chosen image – to decide for themselves what is true. Culturally, therefore, the West is losing the basis for both social cohesion and for the free exchange of ideas in pursuit of the common good. Christians are called to resist – that is, to speak truth in love - in a way that directly confronts postmodernism’s dominance among media, academic and governing elites and its resulting power over people’s hearts and minds.

The gospel never changes but our audiences do—in seemingly limitless ways. How to proclaim good news, so people actually hear it, has always been a challenge for God’s people. For starters, evangelism needs to be more dialogical and conversational and less confrontational and presentational. This seminar flows out of decades of evangelistic ministry and extensive research about how people are actually coming to faith today.

Monday, 17 May

Once upon a time, scientists knew that the better argument counts, regardless of from whom it comes! That has changed radically. Entire areas of science must - supposedly - be “decolonized” and freed from racism. Even mathematics seems to breathe the spirit of “white dominance.” Accordingly, we are told positive discrimination must therefore be used to help minorities. Any lack of equal societal “representation” calls for quotas! Karl Popper (1902-1994), one of the great philosophers of the 20th century, warned against the dominance of ideology and emotion over arguments as a "revolt against reason". Today, pressure comes from various sides: from student unions, Antifa-related groups, or unfair media coverage. Political one-sidedness has increasingly become an instrument of power. However, it is not just pressure from outside, conformity pressure is increasingly coming from within. Advance obedience becomes a pre-filter for what “can be said”. This is particularly difficult for young scientists. However, society needs independent science, otherwise science degrades to an (expensive) source of justification for politics. Christians are often not as alone in their longing for freedom and truth as they think. There are many more people who think just as sensibly and together it is easier to make a difference in science, politics, and society. Let's do it, otherwise at some point only the enemies of freedom will do it! 

Stunning new research conducted by Summit Ministries and the Barna Group reveals the dramatic influence of deadly worldviews. Dr. Myers dives deep into the research and discusses the techniques Summit Ministries has found to be proven effective in reaching this generation with truth.

Tuesday, 18 May

As one of the leading Christian scholars in Europe, John Lennox is a mathematics professor, apologetics expert, Bible teacher, scientist, debater of leading atheists, popular lecturer and author, and faithful husband and father. Out of his wealth of wisdom and experience, you will benefit from the lessons he has learned during his many years of being a Christian university professor.

One of the great challenges in a COVID world is how to effectively teach and connect with students from a distance.  This panel of experienced professors will share best practices they have found for teaching online and ways to connect with students relationally.  They will discuss tools and apps, as well as ways to adapt curriculum, syllabi, and lesson plans. (Joint session between the Academic and Scientists Networks)

Wednesday, 19 May

What sort of job or career should you pursue, if you are a Christian intellectual who seeks to undertake your scholarship in service to God? This talk explores whether there is sufficient academic freedom in the contemporary Western university for individual academics to undertake Christian scholarship, and what the alternative options might be.

As followers of Christ serving Him in the university, there are many ways to serve others. This talk will present ways we can minister in our university to our colleagues and our students in the classroom, on campus, and in our home.