Thank you to those who attended the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust’s 2012 Leadership Conference: Leadership in a Changing, Unchanging Time. This year’s speakers were Kenda Creasy Dean, Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary; David Kinnaman, President of the Barna Group; and Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet Spy. Below, find links to podcasts of the plenary sessions, shown here in the conference order:
Kenda Creasy Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor in the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference and Professor of Youth, Church and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry. She hails from a family of Ohio farmers and Kentucky coal miners, but Kenda and her sister grew up primarily as P.K.s (“politician’s kids”), thanks to their dad’s career in the Ohio legislature, which introduced them to theological concepts like election(s), vocation, and the salutary benefits of White Castle. In off-election years, her mom and dad were both teachers (her dad was her high school government teacher and debate coach, and her mom taught third grade). When Kenda was fifteen, she attended a church camp on Lake Erie that pretty much changed everything.
A graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and Wesley Theological Seminary, Kenda served as a pastor in suburban Washington, DC and campus minister at the University of Maryland-College Park before earning her doctorate in practical theology/Christian education from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1997. She and her husband Kevin are the ridiculously proud parents of Brendan, a senior in college, and Shannon, a senior in High School. Her current guilty pleasures include the TV show “Glee” and digging her toes into the sand in Ocean Grove, New Jersey.
David Kinnaman is the president and majority owner of Barna Group. He is the author of the bestselling books You Lost Me and unChristian. Since joining Barna in 1995, David has overseen studies that have polled more than 350,000 individuals. He has designed and analyzed nearly 500 projects for a variety of clients, including the American Bible Society, Columbia House, Compassion, Easter Seals, Habitat for Humanity, Integrity Media, InterVarsity, NBC-Universal, the Salvation Army, Sony, Thomas Nelson, Prison Fellowship, World Vision, Zondervan and many others.
As a spokesperson for the firm’s research, his work has been quoted in major media outlets (such as USA Today, Fox News, CNN, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, and The Wall Street Journal). He is also in demand as a speaker about spiritual trends, teenagers and twentysomethings, and vocation and calling. David and his wife, Jill, live in Ventura, California, with their three kids.
Eric Metaxas is the author of the New York Times #1 bestseller, Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, which was named “Book of the Year” by the ECPA. Bonhoeffer also won the 2011 John C. Pollock Award for Biography awarded by Beeson Divinity School and a 2011 Christopher Award in the Non-fiction category. Called a “biography of uncommon power,” Bonhoeffer appeared on numerous 2010 “Best of the Year” lists and was featured in the Wall Street Journal, Publishers Weekly, The New Republic, Harper’s, Kirkus (starred review), NPR, FoxNews, C-SPAN’s Book TV, Christianity Today, The Weekly Standard, and First Things.
Metaxas was the keynote speaker at the 2012 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington DC, an event attended by the President and First Lady, the Vice President, members of Congress, and other U.S. and world leaders. Previous keynote speakers have included Mother Theresa, Bono, and Tony Blair. Metaxas is currently the voice of BreakPoint, a radio commentary (www.breakpoint.org) that is broadcast on 1,400 radio outlets with an audience of eight million. In 2011, Metaxas was the 17th recipient of the Canterbury Medal awarded by the Becket Fund for Religious Freedom. Previous medalists include Mitt Romney, Chuck Colson, and Elie Wiesel.