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Academic Network

Detailed information about the 2022 Forum is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from the 2021 Forum for a look at the quality of instructors, teaching, and content that will be available in the 2022 Forum's Networks. 

 

2021 Academic Network

Detailed information about the 2022 Forum is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from the 2021 Forum for a look at the quality of instructors, teaching, and content that will be available in the 2022 Forum's Networks. 

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.

 

NETWORK LEADER

Daryl McCarthy serves as Vice President of Academic Programs and Strategy with Forum of Christian Leaders (FOCL). Besides directing the ELF Academic Network, he also directs the Cambridge Scholars Network. Daryl has traveled to more than 55 nations speaking at universities, conferences, and churches. In 1988 he helped start Global Scholars and served as President until 2014. Daryl has earned degrees from Fuller Theological Seminary, Nazarene Theological Seminary, and Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Daryl and his wife Dr. Teri McCarthy lived in Lithuania 2010-2015 where they taught at Lithuania University of Educational Sciences in Vilnius. They have a son and a daughter who are both married and five grandchildren.

 

NETWORK SPEAKERS

Ralf Bergmann, born in 1962, is married and has three adult children, two children in-law and one grandchild. He received his degree in physics and a doctorate from German universities. He is or has been mainly involved in semiconductor physics, photovoltaics and optical technologies at several research institutions in Germany and Australia and has also worked in industrial research. Since 2008 he has been a professor and head of a research institute working on optical technologies and optoelectronics. Beyond his research, he is interested in defending the reasonableness of Christian faith, especially all the joint concerns of physics, philosophy, and theology as well as the relevance of Christian faith for modern western society. In 2019, he wrote the book Gott und die Erklärung der Welt (God and the explanation of the world), see https://erklaerung-der-welt.de/, and in 2021 he wrote Die freie Gesellschaft und ihre Feinde (The free society and its enemies), see http://www.professorenforum.de/, in remembrance of Karl Poppers famous book The open society and its enemies.

 

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 expert in antitrust economics, he has testified in several precedent-setting antitrust cases, including three Supreme Court decisions.  The author of more than seventy academic publications, Mr. Elzinga also is known for his mystery novels written under the penname Marshall Jevons, in which the protagonist employs economic analysis to solve crimes.  Mr. Elzinga has served on the Boards of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Hope College, and the Center for Christian Study at UVA, and is active in ministry to college students.  Mr. Elzinga has a B.A. and honorary doctorate from Kalamazoo College, a Ph.D. from Michigan State University, and an honorary doctorate from Gordon College.

 

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 of Ethical Education (Wipf & Stock, 2018), On Being Human(e) (Wipf & Stock, 2017), Character Formation: A Forgotten Theme of Comenius's Didactics (2011).

 

 

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, 2016) and Was Europa von Trump lernen kann (What Europe Can Learn from Trump) (Berlin: Vergangenheitsverlag, 2017). His articles, essays and speeches critically assess political and social trends from a Christian perspective, and examine how the Christian faith sustains democracy, respect for human rights and social cohesion in the West. He has written for publications in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Hungary and Australia. Huizinga has been a keynote speaker for Hillsdale College, the Hudson Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Acton Institute, the Federalist Society, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Ukrainian Catholic University, Calvin College, the One of Us Federation of European Pro-Life Groups and the Danube Institute.

 

John Lennox (www.johnlennox.org) is Professor of Mathematics (emeritus) at Oxford University and Fellow in Mathematics and Philosophy of Science at Green Templeton College, Oxford. He is an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School, Oxford University, and teaches for the Oxford Strategic Leadership Programme. Professor Lennox is particularly interested in the interface of science, philosophy, and theology and his books include Against the Flow (on Daniel), Seven Days that Divide the World (on Genesis 1), Gunning for God (on the new atheism),Stephen Hawking and God (a response to The Grand Design), Determined to Believe (on free will and God’s sovereignty), Joseph, Have No Fear (on evangelism), God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?,  Can Science Explain Everything?, and most recently Where is God in a Coronavirus World? He has debated a number of prominent atheists, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. He has lectured extensively around the world on mathematics, the philosophy of science and the intellectual defence of Christianity. In addition to over seventy published mathematical papers, he is the co–author of two research level texts in algebra in the Oxford Mathematical Monographs series.  John is married to Sally, they have three grown up children and nine grandchildren and live near Oxford.

 

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 University of Neuchâtel (Switzerland). After working in business consulting (LSP Mainz/Rüsselsheim), he became assistant professor at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena (School of Theology and School of Behavioral Sciences). He is also a trained business coach, and had different teaching positions such as at the VFH Wiesbaden and the FH Nordhausen. Between 2009 and 2011, he first taught at the Theological Seminary of the Liebenzell Mission, and has been professor for ethics and social teaching at Liebenzell International University since 2011. There, he was the founding program director of the newly developed undergraduate program "Theology/Social Works in an Intercultural Context" and is currently the dean for research and university cooperation. He also is a member of the advisory board of scholars of the Tangens Institute for Cultural Hermeneutics and Research of Living Environments, Marburg (since 2013), vice president of the German Society for the Promotion of Economics and Ethics, (GWE), Mainz, and together with Prof Chr. Mueller (Univ. of Muenster), co-editor of the Journal of Markets and EthicsAdditional information: https://www.heidelberg-institute.de/executive-council/harald-jung

 

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 14 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 the Lumerit Corporation, which serves the training needs of many Fortune 100 companies. Jeff, his wife Stephanie, and their family live in Colorado.

 

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 years with Campus Crusade for Christ, he established Connection Points, a ministry to help Christians engage people’s hearts the way Jesus did. He has written several books, including the award winning Questioning Evangelism, and numerous articles about evangelism and other ways our lives intertwine with God’s creation. He and his wife Pam live in Annandale, VA and have three grown sons, two delightful daughters-in-law, and two stunningly adorable granddaughters. Randy blogs occasionally at www.connectionpoints.us.

 

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 he has personally been involved in over 25 startups. Sebastian obtained a marketing degree in 1998 and an MBA in 1999. In 2005 he permanently moved back to Romania, where he obtained his second Ph.D. in Entrepreneurial Public Management in 2012. He has participated in several ministry outreach efforts, including the Romanian Academic Network and a weekly radio program on Radio Voice of the Gospel, through which he ministers primarily among young people, young professionals, and business executives. He has authored or co-authored 15 books and 40 academic articles, edited ten conference proceedings, and serves as a visiting professor at several universities across the world. In 2019 he became the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Ethics in Entrepreneurship and Technology with Emerald publications. He is married to Lois, who shares his passion for Christian education, and together they have a daughter, Evelina.

 

Alin Vrancila is the chief academic officer at Multnomah University and the co-founder of Ready for Online (www.readyforonline.com). He teaches residentially and online and has been doing that for the past 10 years. Former CRM Manager and Tech Consultant, Alin earned his B.S. in computer science and marketing and his M.A. in intercultural studies, and he is currently a doctoral candidate with Oxford Center for Missions Studies in Oxford, UK. His research focus is online education, specifically focused on developing a new instructional design paradigm for online learning.  Alin is actively involved in community development work in South Sudan and is the CEO of Grain for Pain (www.grainforpain.com), a non-profit organization active in Uganda and South Sudan. Together with his wife Dianne, they live in Portland, Oregon and they have three children: Josephine Kate, Isla Joy, and Christopher Jameson.

 

NETWORK PROGRAMME

Day 1

Postmodernism: The Root of the West's Civilizational Crisis

Todd Huizinga

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.

 

Questioning Evangelism for the 21st Century

Randy Newman

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.

 

Day 2

The Freedom of Science and Its Enemies

Ralf Bergmann

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!

 

How to Reach Millennials and Gen Z with Biblical Truth

Jeff Myers

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.

 

Day 3

Lessons from a Fruitful Lifetime in the Academy

John Lennox

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.

 

Teaching from a Distance in a COVID World: Best Practices for Online Scholars (Joint Session with the Scientists Network)

Panel Discussion: Jan Habl, Sebastian Vaduva, Harald Jung, and Alin Vrancila

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.

 

Day 4

What Is the Future of Christian Scholarship?

Speaker to Be Announced

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.

 

Models of Ministry as an Academician

Ken Elzinga

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.

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