Academic Network

Detailed information about the 2018 Forum is not yet available but will be posted in the future. Please review the information from the 2017 Forum for a look at the quality of instructors, teaching, and content that will be available in the 2018 Forum's Networks.

2017 European Academic Network

The university is one of the most significant institutions in the world for defining values, shaping worldviews, and influencing cultures.  Tragically, Europe’s universities are thoroughly dominated by a naturalistic worldview.  Therefore, one of the most significant needs of the European evangelical church is developing its next generation of intellectual leaders who can articulate a robust and fully-orbed Christian worldview, who have a passionate love for Christ and are unreservedly committed to whatever sacrifice is necessary to serve God in higher education. 

The participants in the Academic Network will learn how to think from a Christian worldview about their discipline, how to attain excellence in their teaching and research skills, how to maintain their spiritual fervor in the academy, how to share Christ, and how to disciple new believers. This Network will also provide fellowship, networking, collaboration, and accountability for evangelical academicians from a wide spectrum of disciplines.

Participants 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.  Prior preparation will be set for all applicants.


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 a doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary, as well as graduate degrees from 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 they have five grandchildren.



Kirsten Birkett trained in science at the University of New South Wales with a PhD in history and philosophy of science. She worked for ten years in Christian publishing while teaching at the Universities of New South Wales and University of Sydney, as well as teaching and studying at Moore Theological College. During this time she wrote a number of articles and books on the relationship between Christianity and science, as well as other topics. Since 2005 Kirsten has lived in London, teaching at Oak Hill Theological College. She now lectures undergraduate courses in philosophy and ethics and reading Calvin's Institutes. At the master's level she teaches a module in science and theology. She is a Latimer Trust Research Fellow.


Per Ewert is the director of The Clapham Institute, a Swedish Christian think tank and research institute. Per is the author of five books on apologetics, human dignity, and how to convey the gospel in a secular society. He also writes weekly editorials in one of Sweden's Christian dailies. Last year, Per began working on a PhD thesis, intended to reveal the historical driving forces that made Sweden the arguably most secular and individualistic nation in the world. He is married with four children and lives in the area of Jonkoping in southern Sweden.


Stefan Gustavsson is a member of the European Leadership Forum Steering Committee and leads the Advanced Apologetics Network. He is Director of Credo Academy, a Christian study centre in Stockholm, which focuses on cultural analysis, worldview studies, apologetics, and evangelism. Stefan also serves as General Secretary of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance. He is the author of several books on Christian apologetics and the Christian minds and writes regularly for different Swedish magazines. Stefan is married to Ingrid with three grown children.


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. He is also an Adjunct Professor of the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics. 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) and God’s Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?. He has debated a number of prominent atheists, including Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, and Peter Singer. (


Rodica Mocan is a senior lecturer and the Head of Cinematography and the Media Department at Babes-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. Her education includes an Engineering degree, an MA in Art from Mississippi College, and a Ph.D. in e-learning, and is the result of a continuing interest in lifelong learning in an interdisciplinary context. Her interest in studying the effects of media use and digital technologies on everyday life led her into new learning contexts like formation in psychotherapy, management of public policies, and a new Ph.D. in multimedia in performing arts. Her research interests are reflected in the book A Sociological Perspective on eLearning and in various studies regarding new technologies, of which Happiness and The Family 2.0 Paradigm is representative for the interdisciplinary approach. Her current interests focus on interactive documentaries and the use of multimedia in performing arts. She strongly believes that family, profession, and one’s walk with God are interwoven in the personal life story. Thus, as a mother of three, a Christian, and an academic that is teaching new media-related disciplines, she strongly believes in the power of mentoring the new generation to harness the great potential of new technologies to better understand the times we live in.


Peter Saunders was born in New Zealand and originally trained as a general surgeon before serving with the Africa Inland Mission in Kenya and completing two years mission training at All Nations Christian College in the UK. Since 1992 he has served full-time with Christian Medical Fellowship, a UK-based organisation with 4,500 UK doctors and 1,000 medical students as members, first as Head of Student Ministries, and since 1999 as Chief Executive.  His current work involves leadership training, teaching evangelism and ethics, medical mission, writing, editing, and media work. He has been a member of the ICMDA (International Christian Medical and Dental Association) Board since 2003 and is also Campaign Director of the Care Not Killing Alliance, a coalition of over 40 organisations in the UK promoting palliative care and opposing euthanasia.  His wife Kirsty is a community pediatrician and they have three sons, Christopher, Benjamin and Jonathan. They are members of Spicer Street Church, St Albans.;;


Cors Visser is director of ForumC, a forum on faith, science, and society in the Netherlands. ForumC organizes debates together with secular partners on 'big questions'. Cors just published a book in which he pleads for relationship therapy for the secular moral majority and the complaining Christians in the Netherlands. He holds a PhD in sociology of religion in which he studied the attitude of Evangelicals in civil society, with case studies in Brazil, Kenya, and the Netherlands.



Daniel von Wachter is professor and director of the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein. He is German and studied philosophy and theology at Munich, Liechtenstein, Innsbruck, Hamburg, and Oxford. His research focuses on metaphysics and philosophy of religion.



Peter (P.J.) Williams is the Principal and CEO of Tyndale House, Cambridge. He was educated at Cambridge University, where he received his MA, MPhil, and PhD in the study of ancient languages related to the Bible. After his PhD, he was on staff in the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge University (1997–1998), and thereafter taught Hebrew and Old Testament at Cambridge University as Affiliated Lecturer in Hebrew and Aramaic and as Research Fellow in Old Testament at Tyndale House, Cambridge (1998–2003). From 2003 to 2007 he was on the faculty of the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where he became a Senior Lecturer in New Testament and Deputy Head of the School of Divinity, History, and Philosophy. Since 2007 he has been leading Tyndale House, and he is also an Affiliated Lecturer in the Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge. He is a member of the Translation Oversight Committee of the English Standard Version of the Bible. Most recently he has been assisting Dr. Dirk Jongkind in Tyndale House's production of a major edition of the Greek New Testament.


John Woodbridge is the Research Professor of Church History and Christian Thought at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has a doctorate in history from the University of Toulouse and an MDiv from Trinity. Dr. Woodbridge has taught history at the University of Toulouse, Northwestern University, and Hautes Etudes, Sorbonne. His areas of expertise include evangelicalism, fundamentalism, the history of the Bible’s authority, the French enlightenment and religion, the French Huguenots, and the origins of higher criticism. He is the former senior editor of Christianity Today, and his publications include Biblical Authority, The Evangelicals, and Revolt in Prerevolutionary France: The Conspiracy of the Prince de Conti Against Louis XV (1755-1757). John and his wife, Susan, reside in Lake Forest, Illinois. They have three children.



Jim Crooks is a pastor of an independent church in Perth, Scotland. After graduating in business studies in 1981, Jim went on to work in financial and administrative roles before entering further and higher education as an Assistant Principal. He became Principal of a college in Northern Ireland in 2004 and successfully led three colleges to a merger in 2007. He became Principal of a similar college in Scotland and led four colleges to merger in 2012. For three years after his retirement from secular employment in 2012, Jim was a lecturer and co-ordinator of part-time provision at Tilsley College, a small theological college in Scotland. In addition to his pastoral ministry, Jim also teaches and preaches in Scotland and elsewhere in Europe. He works with the Church Strengthening Initiative, supporting churches and their leadership teams to make change, and is a trustee for Echoes of Service, a mission support agency supporting around 226 mission workers across the globe. Jim is a widower and a grandfather.


Tim Laurence works in Europe with Lindsay Brown and John Lennox to coordinate the academic speakers’ network within the Fellowship of Evangelists in the Universities of Europe (FEUER), a partnership between IFES Europe and UCCF, where Tim is employed as head of strategic research. The FEUER academic speakers’ network encourages evangelical academics in using their professional expertise to demonstrate the relevance and credibility of the gospel through public university contexts, such as events weeks. This forms part of Tim’s wider UCCF role, based from Cambridge, which examines how university ministry can better equip students to reconnect the gospel and their academic studies. Married to Katherine, an English graduate and former lawyer, Tim is currently working on a PhD in theology and philosophy through the University of St Andrews.


Dariusz M.  Bryćko, PhD is a native of Warsaw, Poland, and a graduate of both Moody Bible Institute and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He received a PhD in Historical Theology from Calvin Theological Seminary and was a Research Fellow at the Center for Christian Thought at Biola University. He taught Theology and Church History at LCC International University (Lithuania) and from 2012 to 2015 Dr. Bryćko served on the pastoral team at First Presbyterian Church (Columbia, SC). In 2015 was ordained and called by the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church to church-plant in Warsaw, Poland. Dr. Brycko is also a founder and president of Tolle Lege Institute which operates Reformation Study Center in Warsaw. He is married to Brooke and together they have three children.


Emőke Tapolyai is a Clinical Pastoral Counsellor and an Executive Coach. She received her M.A. in Clinical Pastoral Counselling from Ashland Theological Seminary, a division of Ashland University (Ashland, Ohio, USA). She is a member of the American Association of Christian Counsellors (AACC), Hungarian Association of Sexologists, and the Professional Association of Coaches.





Day 1

Session 1: Scholarship and the Reformation: Sparking a Global Transformation of Education

Daryl McCarthy

The Protestant Reformation was birthed in the university through the labor of scholars.  In turn, scholarship flourished as a result of the Reformation, sparking a global transformation of education.  But the Protestant movement also encountered strong opposition from universities established by the Catholic Counter-Reformation.


Session 2 Best Practice: Working with Difficult Administrators

Jim Crooks


Session 2: Sola Scriptura: Original Intent, Historical Development, and Current Issues of Sola Scriptura

John Woodbridge

At the Imperial Diet of Worms (1521), Martin Luther courageously affirmed the doctrine of Sola Scriptura. Our purpose in this session is not to treat the doctrine of Sola Scriptura as a doctrinal artifact of a bygone era. Rather, it is to encourage each one of us to embrace the doctrine of Sola Scripture afresh, if we need to do so. In our secular culture we should take our own stand courageously, just like Martin Luther did, for Christ the Word of God in the flesh based on Holy Scripture, the Word of God written.

Day 2

Session 1 Best Practice: Public opportunities for academics to present Christ in and through their academic expertise

Tim Laurence


Session 1 Panel Discussion: Speaking Christian Truth in the Public Arena: Continuing the Reformation

Per Ewert, Stefan Gustavsson, Peter Saunders, Cors Visser, and Daniel von Wachter

As Christian scholars we are uniquely equipped and qualified to address moral, social, and cultural issues in the public marketplace of ideas.  Naturally, we need to speak from a biblical perspective, a Christian worldview. But first we must understand the nature and historic roots of the secular paradigm which rules in the academy and broader culture today. Then we must find ways we can respond to secularism in the academy and beyond. How can we show the plausibility of the truth claims of the Christian faith?  How can we articulate biblical truth and show how the Gospel relates with current issues in politics, culture, law, media, society, medicine, entertainment, education, and other fields?


Session 2 Best Practice: Starting a Christian Worldview Study Centre in Warsaw

Dariusz Brycko


Session 2: Education in a Digital Age

Rodica Mocan

As academics in our Digital Age, how can we use technology more effectively in our teaching and research?  What are some practical tools to help us in our research and publishing?  What are appropriate ways for us to utilize social media or other technology to communicate with our students?

Day 3  

Session 1: How to Persuasively Communicate the Gospel in the University

John Lennox interviewed by Peter J. Williams

How can we use our studies and academic roles to point others to Jesus?  What biblical principles will help us to do so clearly and effectively?  John will share from his years of experience on how to persuasively communicate the gospel in the university.


Session 2 Best Practice: Speaking in Various Universities

Emoke Tapolyai


Session 2 Panel Discussion: Saving Souls and/or Reforming the Culture: Finding Our Balance as Evangelical Scholars

Per Ewert, Stefan Gustavsson, Peter Saunders, Cors Visser, and Daniel von Wachter

Some evangelicals claim that the only significant tasks of believers are evangelism and church planting.  Yet throughout the history of the Christian movement many godly men and women have demonstrated through their own ministry the importance of evangelism, as well as reforming the culture. What can we learn from the history of this type of both/and ministry?  How does Christ’s lordship relate to this balance?  Are there models such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Wesley, or Kuyper which we should follow?  How do we find a balance between the core Christian commitment to evangelism and reforming the culture?  How can we effectively show how the Gospel applies both to saving souls and transforming society?

Day 4

Session 1: The Relation between Reformation and Science: Competition or Cradle?

Kirsten Birkett

Modern science rests on a methodology that assumes a certain philosophy of nature and how we can come to know about it. Such things do not come out of nowhere – and there are important aspects of these fields that are not found in the medieval worldview. What is the relationship between Christianity, and in particular Reformation Protestant Christianity, and the rise of science? This talk will be an exploration of the historical conditions that brought about a new way of thinking about the world.


Session 2: Sola Scriptura: Worldview Formation, Renewing the Church, and Evangelism

John Woodbridge

The doctrine of Sola Scriptura has very pertinent implications for our understanding and practice of the Christian Faith. Our purpose in this session is to learn from three great Christians and their application of Sola Scriptura. John Calvin believed the doctrine impacted what we might call today "world view formation." Jacob Spener believed that the doctrine was essential for any spiritual renewal of church life. And finally, Billy Graham believed the doctrine was intimately related to the "secret" of his remarkable ministry. Over and over again in his evangelistic preaching, Graham would declare:  "The Bible says."


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