Symposium -- September 19 & 20, 2024

Habits of Hope: Educational Practices for a Weary World

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, the author of Edward Payson Hart: The Second Man of Free Methodism, and the editor of Cornerstones of Spiritual Vitality: Toward an Understanding of Wesleyan Spirituality in Christian Higher Education. 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, Co-Director of the Lumen Research Institute, and founding scholar of the Museum of the Bible.  He serves on various boards including Yale University’s Jonathan Edwards Center, Christianity TodayChristian Scholar’s Review, Africa New Life, Changing Destiny, and the National Press Club’s Membership Committee.  Pattengale holds various distinguished appointments and is the author and editor of numerous books including The New Book of Christian Martyrs (with Johnnie Moore), The World’s Greatest Book: The Story of How the Bible Came to Be (with Lawrence H. Schiffman), and, most recently, The Anxious Middle: Planning for the Future of the Christian College (with Todd C. Ream).


Hans Boersma is the Order of St. Benedict Servants of Christ Endowed Professorship in Ascetical Theology at Nashotah House Theological Seminary and is an ordained priest within the Anglican Church in North America.  Before beginning his service at Nashotah House in 2019, Boersma taught for fourteen years at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and for six years at Trinity Western University in Langley, British Columbia.  He is the author and editor of numerous books including Seeing God: The Beatific Vision in the Christian Tradition and, most recently, Pierced by Love: Divine Reading with the Christian Tradition.

Kimberly Battle-Walters Denu is Provost and Dean of the Faculty at Westmont College.  Previously, she served as the Vice President for Educational Programs for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).  She has received two Fulbright awards, one to South Africa and one to Ethiopia, and is an ordained minister who has served on six continents.  She is the author of Sheila’s Shop: Working-Class African American Women Talk about Life, Love, Race, and Hair and the editor of Mothers are Leaders (with her mother, Janet S. Walters).

Kevin G. Grove, C.S.C. is Assistant Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame where he also serves as an assistant faculty chaplain, chaplain to the Master of Divinity program, and as a pastoral resident for undergraduates in Dunne Hall.  Previously, he held fellowships with L’Institut Catholique and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study.  He is the author of Augustine on Memory and the editor of Art, Desire, and God: Phenomenological Perspectives (with Christopher C. Rios and Taylor J. Nutter).

Cherie Harder is President of the Trinity Forum.  Prior to joining the Trinity Forum in 2008, Harder served in the White House as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Policy and Projects for First Lady Laura Bush.  Earlier in her career she served as Policy Advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, advising the Leader on domestic social issues and serving as liaison and outreach director to outside groups.  From 2001 to 2005, she was Senior Counselor to the Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), where she helped the Chairman design and launch the We the People initiative to enhance the teaching, study, and understanding of American history.  Prior to that Harder was the Policy Director for Senator Sam Brownback and served as Deputy Policy Director at Empower America.

Philip Graham Ryken is President and Professor of Theology at Wheaton College.  As Wheaton’s eighth president, Ryken advanced the strategic priorities of Deepening Ethnic Diversity, Promoting Liberal Arts Excellence, Enhancing Music and the Performing Arts, and Globalizing a Wheaton Education.  He also presently serves on the board for the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities, the Gospel Coalition, the Lausanne Movement, and the National Association of Evangelicals.  Prior to beginning his service at Wheaton in 2010, Ryken served as Senior Minister of Philadelphia’s Tenth Presbyterian Church.  He is the author and editor of numerous books including When Everything Matters: The Gospel in Ecclesiastes and, most recently, Beauty Is Your Destiny: How the Promise of Splendor Changes Everything.

David I. Smith is Professor of Education, the founding Director of the Kuyers Institute for Christian Teaching and Learning, and the inaugural Coordinator of the De Vries Institute for Global Faculty Development at Calvin University.  He is the Editor of The International Journal of Christianity and Education and the author and editor of numerous books including Teaching and the Christian Imagination (with Susan M. Felch) and, most recently, On Christian Teaching: Practicing Faith in the Classroom.  Smith is a regular workshop leader on college and university campuses on the relationship shared by faith and teaching.  On his own campus, Smith has won almost every teaching award offered including the Award for Innovative Teaching and the From Every Nation Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Jessica Hooten Wilson is the Fletcher Jones Chair of Great Books at Pepperdine University’s Seaver College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences.  A popular speaker and essayist, Wilson is the author or editor of numerous books including, most recently, Reading for the Love of God: How to Read as a Spiritual Practice.  Her first book, Giving the Devil His Due: Demonic Authority in the Fiction of Flannery O’Conner and Fyodor Dostoyevsky, won Christianity Today’s 2018 Book Award for Culture and the Arts.  In 2017, Wilson was the recipient of Redeemer University’s Emerging Public Intellectual Award.


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