Symposium -- September 22-23, 2022

Mentoring Matters: Theological Explorations of Generational Transition and the Academic Vocation

Host, Emcee, and Keynotes


 Jon S. Kulaga is the 10th President of Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU). Kulaga has a distinguished 34-year career in higher education with visionary leadership, effectual strategic planning, expertise in advancement, focus on innovation, and a commitment to growing a Christ-centered university. Prior to his selection as president of IWU, Kulaga served as president of Ohio Christian University (OCU) for five years, beginning in 2017. Kulaga has made notable achievements while serving in various executive and leadership roles, including Chief Academic Officer and Chief Operating Officer at Asbury University, and in academics, advancement, and student life development roles at Spring Arbor University. He was an ordained deacon and elder in the Free Methodist denomination for 30+ years before transferring his ordination to the Wesleyan denomination. He is an honorary Kentucky Colonel and has authored and contributed to six published books. He has presented and preached to students and churches in England, France, Haiti, Mexico, Japan, and China.


Jerry Pattengale is University Professor at Indiana Wesleyan University and a Distinguished Fellow with the Lumen Research Institute and several other institutions, including in the UK and Australia. Pattengale has authored dozens of books, an award-winning TV series, and contributes to a wide variety of outlets in addition to his 20-year column, including The Wall Street Journal, Christianity Today, The Washington Post, Inside Higher Ed, Patheos, The Chicago Tribune, the History Channel, TBN, etc. While interim president of RNS he spoke at the UN (2020). He also serves as Senior Advisor to the President of Museum of the Bible (Washington, DC) and is one of its two founding scholars, and on boards at Yale (JEC), Christianity Today, Africa New Life (Rwanda), and Changing Destiny (Asia). Among his several books releasing in 2022-23 is The New Book of Christian Martyrs (Tyndale House). In 2021 the National Press Club presented him its Vivian Award, where he serves on its membership committee.


Tim Clydesdale is Vice Provost, Dean of Graduate Studies, and Professor of Sociology at The College of New Jersey. Previously, he served on the faculty at Gordon College. He is the author of numerous articles and books including The Twentysomething Soul: Understanding the Religious and Secular Lives of American Young Adults (Oxford University Press, 2019), The Purposeful Graduate: Why Colleges Must Talk to Students about Vocation (University of Chicago Press, 2015), and The First Year Out: Understanding American Teens after High School (University of Chicago, 2007). He is presently working on The First Year Out of College: Driven, Dazed, or Disillusioned, a book based on data collected from recent university graduates in Australia, Canada, Great Britain, and the United States.

Edgardo A. Colón-Emeric is the Dean and Irene and William McCutchen Associate Professor of Reconciliation and Theology at Duke University Divinity School. Previously, he served as the Director of the Center for Reconciliation and Senior Strategist for the Hispanic House of Studies at Duke. His work explores the intersection of Methodist and Catholic theologies and Wesleyan and Latin-American experiences. He is the author of Oscar Romero’s Theological Vision: Liberation and the Transfiguration of the Poor (University of Notre Dame Press, 2018) and Wesley, Aquinas, and Christian Perfection: An Ecumenical Dialogue (Baylor University Press, 2009). Colón-Emeric is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Annual Conference, directs the Central American Methodist Course of Study and the Peru Theological Initiative, and serves on the United Methodist Committee on Faith and Order and on both national and international Methodist-Catholic dialogues.

Margaret DuPlissis Diddams is the Editor for Christian Scholar’s Review and the former Provost at Wheaton College. She started her academic career as an instructor and program coordinator in the Social-Organizational Psychology Department at Columbia University. Diddams then joined the faculty at Seattle Pacific University in 1993, served as Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology, the Director of the Center for Scholarship and Faculty Development, and Assistant Provost. In addition to her academic work, Diddams worked as a Senior Manager for Microsoft and founded DuPlissis & Diddams Associates, a consulting practice specializing in survey research, organizational development, and executive coaching. She has published numerous articles in publications such as Leadership Quarterly, Christian Scholar’s Review, the Journal of Religion and Business, the Journal of College Counseling, the Journal of Management, Spirituality, and Religion, and the Journal of Psychology and Theology.

Tim Elmore is the Founder and President of Growing Leaders, an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization created to develop emerging leaders. Since founding Growing Leaders in 2003, Elmore has spoken to more than 300,000 students, faculty, and staff on hundreds of campuses across the country, including the University of Oklahoma, Stanford University, Duke University, Rutgers University, the University of South Carolina, and Louisiana State University. Elmore has also provided leadership training and resources for multiple athletic programs, including the University of Texas football team, the University of Miami football team, the University of Alabama athletic department, and the Kansas City Royals. Elmore has written more than 25 books, including the best-selling Life Giving Mentors (Growing Leaders, 2012), Habitudes: Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes (Growing Leaders, 2006), and Nurturing the Leader Within Your Child (Thomas Nelson, 2001). His most recent book is Generation Z Unfiltered: Facing Nine Hidden Challenges of the Most Anxious Population (Poet Gardner, 2019).   

Rebecca Hong is the Assistant Vice Provost of Educational Effectiveness and Assessment and the Chief Accreditation Liaison Officer (ALO) at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California. She leads university assessment, accreditation, and institutional change efforts around advancing equitable learning environments to respond to the needs of learners in the 21st century. Her work is centered around examining voice and power in spaces and constructing new ways to partner with students around learning and equity in higher education. Her most recent publication, “There is No Return to Normal: Harnessing Chaos to Create Our New Assessment Future” through the National Institute of Learning Outcomes Assessment (NILOA) provides strategies for institutions to consider in light of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and racism experienced in the past year. Prior to joining LMU, Rebecca served as Assistant Provost for Educational Effectiveness, Dean of Curriculum and Assessment, and Associate Professor of Education.

David Kinnaman is the President of the Barna Group, a leading research and communications company that works with churches, nonprofits, and businesses ranging from film studios to financial services. He is the author of the bestselling books Good Faith: Being a Christian When Society Thinks You’re Irrelevant and Extreme (Baker Books, 2016), You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church…and Rethinking Faith (Baker Books, 2011), and unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks about Christianity…and Why It Matters (Baker Books, 2007). His most recent book is Faith for Exiles: 5 Ways for a New Generation to Follow Jesus in Digital Babylon (Baker Books, 2019). Since 1995, Kinnaman has directed interviews with nearly one million individuals and overseen hundreds of U.S. and global research studies.

Beck A. Taylor is President of Samford University. Previously, he served the President of Whitworth University, as Dean and Professor of Economics for the Brock School of Business at Samford, and as Associate Dean for Research and Faculty Development for the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University where he was also the W. H. Smith Professor of Economics. Taylor has published dozens of studies in publications such as the Review of Economics and Statistics, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Human Resources, and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. Illustrating his diverse research interests and his connections to the social sciences, Taylor has also published research concerning public health and child developmental psychology. His research has been cited in testimony given before the United States Congress, the Federal Trade Commission, and the California State Assembly, and has been referenced in publications such as The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Christian Science Monitor, and Chief Executive Magazine.



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