Authors & Trainers
Dr. Kent Wilson
The late Dr. Kent Wilson was an executive coach with Vistage International and president of Nonprofit Leadership Exchange. Previously, he served for 13 years as executive publisher of NavPress in Colorado, where he oversaw the overall operation of the Christian publisher with its three divisions: books, Bibles, and periodicals. Previously, he served as a circulation director for the Discipleship Journal and later associate publisher for the magazine group. A graduate of Stanford University, Kent held at M.Div. from Denver Seminary and a Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. He was chairman of the Board of Directors of Magazine Training International and taught MTI publishing business courses in Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Hong Kong, and the United States.
Dave Wilson, former director of operations for NavPress Periodicals in Colorado, has worked in all aspects of circulation development and advertising sales and management. His responsibilities at NavPress included managing all phases of the production process from prepress to printing for Discipleship Journal and Pray!magazines, developing directly-related spin-off products, and overseeing business relationships with distributors. He was also involved in the Web development and marketing strategy for the NavPress Books and Periodicals divisions. Dave holds a B.A. from John Brown University. He has taught MTI publishing business courses in Hungary, Ukraine, and Slovakia. He is currently working in China with a microenterprise and economic development team.
As president and creative director for Journey Group, Greg Breeding puts his stamp on a body of work that cuts across the world of evangelical publishing. Recent clients have included The Salvation Army, Moody Bible Institute, Campus Crusade for Christ, Family Life Ministry, World Vision, the American Bible Society, and World Relief. Greg has consistently received awards from Print and Folio magazines, the Society of Publication Designers, Florida Magazine Association, and the Evangelical Press Association. He holds a B.A. in fine arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, where he studied under some of the nation’s best-known academics in design and typography. Greg has taught design courses with Magazine Training International in Ukraine, Malaysia, and the Czech Republic.
Gary Gnidovic is the founder and creative director of Gx3 Creative, a visual communications firm that specializes in design, photography, and consulting. For the past 14 years he served as design director of Christianity Today magazine. Prior to that he had art directed Books & Culture and Today’s Christian Woman magazines. Gary’s designs have received awards from the Evangelical Press Association, Print, HOW, and Communication Arts magazines. He has a B.A. in photography from Southern Illinois University and an M.A. on fine arts from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Gary has taught design and/or photography courses for Magazine Training International in Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Croatia, India, and the Czech Republic.
Adele Mulford is director of creative services for Make-A-Wish. Previously, she served as art director for Discipleship Journal, was creative director at M. Media, her own design firm, and art directed several Christian magazines with Journey Communications. Adele has received awards for her work from the Society of Publication Designers, the Evangelical Press Association, and Print magazine. She has a B.A. in journalism/advertising from the University of Oregon. Adele has taught design courses with Magazine Training International in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Malaysia, and India.
Susan Maycinik Nikaido
For over 15 years Susan Maycinik Nikaido served as editor and senior editor of the award-winning Discipleship Journal. A prolific freelance writer, she has published articles in Today’s Christian Woman, Decision, Leadership, Campus Life, New Man, and Christian History, among others. She is also the author of two Bible study guides. She served on the board of the Evangelical Press Association and drafted that organization’s guidelines for working with freelance writers. Susan holds a B.A. in journalism from Indiana University and an M.A. in communications from Wheaton College Graduate School. She taught writing and editing seminars in the United States and internationally, and has written manuals on magazine article writing and magazine editing for Magazine Training International.
Sharon Mumper is founder and president of Magazine Training International, an organization whose purpose is to encourage and strengthen Christian magazine publishing in the Developing World. She began the ministry in Eastern Europe in 1989, expanding to the former Soviet Union in 1994 and to Asia in 2000. She relocated the ministry to the United States in 2007. Sharon has worked in the field of publishing since 1967, serving as a writer, editor, and marketing director with newspaper, magazine, and book publishers. She taught college journalism and taught and served as a consultant to publishers in the U.S.A., Europe, and Asia. Sharon holds a B.J. from the University of Missouri and an M.A. from Wheaton College Graduate School.
Tim Gilmour is executive vice-president and COO of Group Publishing in Colorado and publisher of Group magazine, Children’s Ministry magazine, and Rev magazine. During his more than 30 years in the magazine business he has launched nearly a dozen titles and played key business roles for a score of different publications. His expertise in the magazine business has helped magazines as small as 5,000 and as large as 250,000. Tim brings a broad business perspective and proven ability to increase revenues, identify trends, launch new products, and build strategic partnerships. He majored in business administration at Western Michigan University. Tim has taught MTI publishing business courses in Korea and the United States.
Dr. Michael Ray Smith
An award-winning writer, photojournalist, academic and conference speaker, Dr. Smith is a professor at Lee University. During a decade as a reporter and editor he penned more than 3,000 articles for leading newspapers. Dr. Smith taught at and/or directed journalism programs at colleges in Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Virginia. He is the head of the Small Programs Interest Group of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He holds a doctorate in communications from Regent University. Dr. Smith taught a writing course with Magazine Training International in Manila, has served as a Webinar speaker for MTI, and is on MTI’s Board of Directors.
As families champion/department leader for Direct-to-Family Marketplace at Group Publishing/Lifetree Family, Kami Gilmour is responsible for creating and directing online content, handling content marketing, and using social media to engage and build a consumer audience of Christian families. She also serves as consumer brand publisher/executive editor for Lifetree Family print and digital products and president of Imageworks Communications Group. Previous jobs included advertising sales manager and advertising sales executive for two different periodicals. Kami earned a B.A. from Miami University. She speaks nationally on such topics as communication, audience engagement, creating brand experiences, and using marketing to build relationships. She taught a magazine business course for MTI in Croatia.
David Renard is a partner with mediaIDEAS, a global consultancy providing research and advice on the publishing industry’s technology-enabled future. He founded and built Netcirculation, the largest nationwide distribution network for high-end boutique fashion, art, photography, and design titles. And, he co-created Stare, a publishing and advertising agency. He also spearheaded a new European subsidiary that developed research-driven decision support tools, which he grew into a multi-million dollar business. In demand worldwide as a speaker on digital publishing, he also taught a digital publishing seminar for Magazine Training International in India in 2012, and in the U.S. in 2015.
Carla Foote is editor for Disciple!, a quarterly magazine, and One-to-One, a monthly newsletter, for The Navigators ministry. In addition, she does freelance editing and writing through Fine Print Editorial and speaks in writing conferences. Previously, she was the executive editor and publishing manager for MOPS International (Mothers of Preschoolers), and was responsible for all operations of MomSense magazine and Connections magazine. As a publisher and editor, she has extensive experience in working with small staff to create high quality publications. Carla served on the board of the Evangelical Press Association and periodically serves on the faculty for writing conferences. She has an M.A. from the University of Denver and a B.S. from the University of Puget Sound. She was a trainer in the Advanced Magazine Publishing Institute in India in 2012, an MTI Online course, and is a member of MTI’s Board of Directors.
Award-winning designer Anne Elhajoui is the creative director of Knight Marketing in Sarasota, Florida. She is also the former art director of Discipleship Journal, the Navigators’ Disciple!, and Venice magazine, a lifestyle magazine of Venice, Florida. She also has her own design business, AEIOU Design, where she designs logos, brochures, ads, greeting cards, menus, and posters. Anne earned an M.S. in design from Pratt Institute in New York City, and has taught design courses and webinars with MTI in Bulgaria, Croatia, and India.
Rusty Wright is an award-winning author, lecturer, journalist and syndicated columnist who has spoken on six continents and has appeared on television talk shows internationally. His material has appeared in mainstream newspapers across the U.S. and has been used in as many as 14 languages in over 1,000 websites. He has appeared on secular TV talk shows in cities around the world. He frequently presents at Evangelical Press Association conventions and his writing credits include many EPA magazines. Rusty trains Christian leaders, broadcasters, print-media specialists, and Internet professionals in effective communication with secular audiences. He holds a B.S. from Duke University and an M.th from Oxford University.
As president of Bates Creative Group, Debbie Bates-Schrott brings deep understanding of leading edge digital publishing strategies and brand initiatives across marketing platforms to clients and partners. Her energy and passion for rallying brands has made her a highly sought after speaker who regularly contributes to media and marketing events around the country. Debbie has successfully led the 11-year-old Bates Creative Group from print to the digital world, contributing to year-over-year growth. Prior to launching Bates Creative, Debbie co-founded a graphic design agency. A graduate of Corcoran School of Art, Debbie has served on numerous boards, including Association Media and Publishing, Florida Magazine Association, International Association of Business Communicators, and Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington.
Lou Ann Sabatier
Lou Ann Sabatier loves publishing, as evidenced by her 35 year career in strategic planning, business development, market research, audience development, management and finance. Lou is principal of Sabatier Consulting, where she has worked with over 100 media clients, giving them the tools they needed to increase profitability. Prior to founding the consulting firm, she worked as a literary agent, as managing director of an international economic magazine, as associate publisher of a national opinion magazine and CEO of a media company. She speaks widely at conferences and workshops throughout the world. Lou is strategic communications director for the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, a Christian non-profit advocating for religious freedom. She also served as a trainer with MTI in India.
Jon Hirst is president and CEO of GMI, an international team of evangelical researchers. His background is in mission innovation, publishing and leadership. Before joining GMI, Jon was Executive Director of Communications for HCJB Global, where he developed communications and technology innovation initiatives for many mission organizations. In the early 2000s Jon launched one of the first interactive global evangelistic youth websites while serving with One Hope. Most recently, Jon and his wife Mindy have mentored leaders and authors through their Generous Mind think tank. Jon is co-author of “Through the River: Understanding your assumptions about truth” and co-editor of “Innovation in Mission”.
Mark Galli, editor of Christianity Today, has served as editor of Leadership and Christian History magazines, and has written for a variety of publications. A graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary, Mark served churches in Mexico City and Sacramento, California as a Presbyterian pastor before moving into journalism. He is the author of a number of books, including “Jesus Mean and Wild: The Unexpected Love of an Untamable God”, “Francis of Assisi and His World”, and “Beyond Bells and Smells: The Wonder and Power of Christian Liturgy”. His next book (forthcoming) is a popular biography of theologian Karl Barth.
John LaRue worked 32 years in publishing and nonprofit senior management, including market research and new product development at David C. Cook and Christianity Today. He also served five years in senior management at International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. Throughout his career John has focused on discipleship, utilizing multimedia development and integration strategies including magazines, books, Internet, radio, TV, audio, video, digital downloads, curriculum, and social media. Today he leads his new firm, Bay Avenue Ventures, in the launch of several franchises. John has traveled extensively, co-founded the Global Christian Internet Alliance, and spoken at numerous conferences in the U.S. and internationally. He has served as a consultant, magazine columnist, adjunct professor, and board member of several ministries. He earned an M.A. in communications from Wheaton College Graduate School.
Clyde Taber is the director and co-founder of Visual Story Network (VSN), a coalition of 240 organizations and 1,900 media leaders in 70 nations working to expand a worldwide movement of media so everyone has the opportunity to encounter Jesus and his kingdom. Since the VSN launch in 2007, more than 100 projects, products and partnerships have been established reaching an estimated 2.3 million people. Prior to this, Clyde developed new media for “The JESUS Film Project” and coordinated the campus work of Campus Crusade for Christ throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. Clyde received a B.S. from the University of Maryland in College Park and a M. Div. in missiology from Denver Seminary.
Nate Butler is the president of COMIX35, a Christian comics ministry that has offered international consultation, coaching, and classes on the production and effective use of comics-style literature since 1996. He serves as the main coach and consultant for the ministry and the lead instructor at COMIX35 seminars. Nate worked for more than 20 years as a cartoonist, commercial artist, and writer/illustrator of comics before going into full-time ministry in 1999. His former company, The Nate Butler Studio, Inc., produced artwork for clients such as Jim Henson Productions and DC Comics, as well as script writing for Archie Comics and Marvel Comics. He was also editor/co-publisher/packager of Christian Comics & Games Magazine, and editor/publisher of Christian Comics Catalog.
Marlene Legaspi-Munar has been writing professionally for more than 20 years, at first writing for various national Christian and secular magazines. She writes devotional and curriculum materials, and has authored four Bible-based textbooks for children on Values Education subjects. Her three inspirational books in the Philippines (Add Mo ‘Ko as Friend; Life in the Middle; How to Keep Your Hubby Happy) all sell well. Marlene also translates and edits works of other writers. She welcomes the opportunity to mentor and train other writers. Marlene taught a writing course for Magazine Training International in the Philippines in 2009.
Marshall Shelley edited Leadership Journal for 33 years and as vice president of Christianity Today was also responsible for publications such as Christian History, Marriage Partnership, PreachingToday.com, BuildingChurchLeaders.com, ChurchLawAndTax.com, and others. Marshall is currently working on a new Christianity Today online publication, CTPastors.com. Marshall has authored several books including Well Intentioned Dragons and The Leadership Secrets of Billy Graham. He also served as general editor of The Quest Study Bible. Marshall earned a B.A. in journalism from Bethel College in Minnesota, an M. Div. and D.D. from Denver Seminary, and he has studied at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, Wheaton College Graduate School, and Stanford University. He served MTI as a trainer in 2002 in Bulgaria, in the 2011 Magazine Training Institute in Bangalore, and the 2016 Editing the Magazine course in Kochi, India.
Rick Szuecs is a graphic designer from Belo Horizonte, Brazil. With 10 years of design experience, he has worked for many publishers, developing covers for the Brazilian edition of books by well-known authors including C.S. Lewis, John Stott, James Houston, Brian McLaren, Paul Tournier, Frank Viola, and N.T. Wright, among others. Previously, Rick was the chief designer for Cristianismo Hoje (Christianity Today/Brazil) for three years, and he redesigned Ultimato magazine, a highly respected Brazilian Christian publication that has been published for over 40 years. Currently, he is the designer for Man of Integrity, Christianity Today’s devotional publication for men.
A ministry and publishing veteran of near 40 years, Rick Edwards is former associate publisher of Salem Media Group’s publishing division with its eight magazines and seven websites. Previously, he worked for LifeWay Christian Resources, first as editor of youth Sunday School curriculum, eventually serving as director of the Adult Sunday School Department. Today he has his own publishing business, Seven Interactive, specializing in digitally-delivered curriculum. He also operates five websites for publishers, authors, and the church. Before he moved into publishing, Rick served as senior pastor of churches in Oklahoma and later in Tennessee. He earned a B.A. in religion from Oklahoma Baptist University and an M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Marcos Simas, publisher and editor of Christianity Today Brazil, is a 20-year veteran of the Brazilian publishing industry. Marcos currently serves as chief editor at Geográfica Editora, and as acquisition editor at Editora Planeta de Brasil, where he acquired the Portuguese rights for over 250 titles for Portico imprint. He is also developing a new magazine business in Brazil and serving as an editorial consultant to Christian and general trade publishers who want to acquire Portuguese rights from the American market. Marcos previously worked as an editor with Editora Mundo Cristão and Juerp/Baptist Publishing House. He earned a B.A. in theology from Universidade Presbiteriana Mackenzie, a mini MBA from Loyola University of Chicago, and publishing certificates from the University of Chicago, Yale University, and International Christian Publishing Institute.
Shibu K. Mathew has served as editor of Ethne mission magazine for 13 years. He also serves as trainer and speaker for Frontier Educational Services, which offers Perspectives and Kairos mission courses. Previously, he was with the Union of Evangelical Students of India, where he was responsible for publishing and distributing books and the magazine Our Contact. Shibu also manages a number of blogs and regularly contributes articles to other magazines. He earned an M.A. in sociology and a post-graduate diploma in journalism from Pondicherry University and St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore. He served as a trainer in the 2011 Magazine Training Institute in Bangalore, 2012 Advanced Magazine Training Institute in Bangalore, and the 2016 Editing the Magazine Course in Kochi.
Marian V. Liautaud is the director of marketing for Aspen Group,a church architecture firm focused on building space to radically enhance ministry impact. For the previous seven years, she was the editor of Today’s Christian Woman and Church Law & Tax Resources at Christianity Today. She also does freelance writing and editing. Marian earned a B.A. in English from Dominican University.
Dr. David Dixon
Dr. David Dixon is associate professor of communications and journalism at Messiah College. He got his professional start in evangelical media working for Christian Publications, Inc. Later, he moved to education, teaching at Christian colleges, preparing the upcoming generation of communicators. In addition to his work in the classroom, he has guided the staffs of award-winning student media, both in print and online. David grew up in Kenya as the child of missionaries.
Since starting in 2006, Chris Horst has served in a variety of roles at HOPE. As vice president of development, Chris employs his passion for advancing initiatives at the intersection of entrepreneurship and the Gospel to share HOPE’s story with new and existing supporters. In addition to his role at HOPE, Chris serves on the boards of the Denver Institute for Faith & Work and the Colorado Microfinance Alliance. Chris has been published in The Denver Post, OnFaith, Christianity Today, and co-authored Mission Drift and Entrepreneurship for Human Flourishing with Peter Greer. Chris earned a B.S. in business from Taylor University and an M.B.A. at Bakke Graduate University.
DeWayne Hamby is the managing editor of the White Wing Messenger, director of communications for the Church of God of Prophecy International Offices, and a freelance writer for publications such as Charisma, Christian Retailing, and Ministry Today. He earned a B.A. in Communications specializing in Newswriting and Communications Theory and Research from Lee University. After graduating, he spent some time as a reporter for an Atlanta-area newspaper before going on to become managing editor for the youth ministry magazine Victory and eventually assistant editor of Christian Retailing. Through 20 years of reporting, he has interviewed hundreds of Christian authors, ministers, and music artists, as well as many mainstream personalities.
Sally Isáis is the director of MILAMEX, a Mexican ministry that has been publishing Prisma magazine for over 45 years. Prisma publishes articles written by Latin authors; articles written originally in Spanish, and with the Latin culture in mind. Sally greatly enjoys editing and training others. She and her husband, Said Ramírez, have two married children.
Jedd Medefind is the president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans. Jedd has written many articles and four books, including Upended and Four Souls. His most recent book, Becoming Home, offers a short yet meaningful exploration of how families and communities can embrace vulnerable children with wisdom and love through adoption, foster care, mentoring and more. Prior to this role, Jedd served in the White House as a special assistant to President George W. Bush, leading the Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Previously, Jedd held a range of posts in the California State Legislature. He also helped establish the California Community Renewal Project, which strengthens nonprofits in some of the state’s most challenged communities. He has worked, studied, and served in more than thirty countries, with organizations ranging from Price-Waterhouse in Moscow to Christian Life Bangladesh. Jedd Medefind and his wife, Rachel, live in central California with their five children.
Dr. Miriam Adeney
Dr. Miriam Adeney is a professor at Seattle Pacific University and the author of more than 200 articles and six books, including Kingdom Without Borders: The Untold Story of Global Christianity and Daughters of Islam: Building Bridges with Muslim Women. She has served on the boards of Christianity Today and Media Associates International, and has taught and mentored writers on five continents in several languages. For four years she was publications director for the Philippine InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. Dr. Adeney is former president of the American Society of Missiology, a member of the Diaspora task force of the Lausanne Movement, a mission associate of the World Evangelical Alliance, and a recipient of a lifetime achievement award from Christians for Biblical Equality. She lectures widely at conferences and universities. Dr. Adeney earned an M.A. in journalism and a Ph.D. in anthropology.
Elizabeth Kendal is an international religious liberty analyst and advocate and publisher of the weekly Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin, a publication whose purpose is to help facilitate strategic intercessory prayer. She is an adjunct research fellow in the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at the Melbourne School of Theology, and director of advocacy at Canberra-based Christian Faith and Freedom. Previously she served as principal researcher and writer for the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission. She is the author of two books: Turn Back the Battle: Isaiah Speaks to Christians Today, which offers a Biblical response to persecution and existential threat; and, After Saturday Comes Sunday: Understanding the Christian Crisis in the Middle East. Kendall earned an A.A. in music and a B.A. in music education and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Ministry by Wittenberg Seminary in Canada.
Patrick Johnstone, strategist, author, and futurologist, is former international regional director of Europe for WEC International. He is the author of Operation World, which has sold well over 2.5 million copies in 20 languages. He also wrote Serving God in a Migrant Crisis, The Future of the Global Church, The Church is Bigger than You Think, and other books. Much of Johnstone’s research is aimed at making information readily available to potential recruits and missionaries, and at developing practical strategies to speed the final completion of world evangelization. He has been closely involved with the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization’s Strategy Working Group, the AD2000 and Beyond Movement, the Joshua Project, and the World Christian Encyclopedia. Johnstone earned a B.S. in chemistry at Bristol University, and attended Bible college in South Africa.
Dr. Sandra Morgan
Dr. Sandra Morgan is an educator and nurse and is recognized globally for her expertise in combating human trafficking and working to end violence against women and children. She is the director of Vanguard University’s Global Center for Women and Justice, and is a professor at the university, where she teaches human trafficking courses. Dr. Morgan served as the administrator of a U.S. Department of Justice human trafficking task force for three years before accepting a full-time position at the university. She is in demand as a speaker nationally and internationally on the subject of human trafficking, where she communicates her passion for equipping Christian voices to respond to the issue with dignity, compassion, and excellence. Her work in combating human trafficking began in Athens, Greece, where she was founding editor of Lydia Living, a Greek quarterly magazine for women. Dr. Morgan earned an M.A. at Vanguard University and a Ph.D. at Biola University.
Jeremy Weber is the senior news editor at Christianity Today, where he manages a team of journalists producing international religion news focused on evangelical/Protestant Christianity for Christianity Today magazine and Gleanings, a daily blog serving Christian thought leaders. An award-winning journalist based in Chicago, Weber has reported from India, Lebanon, Iraq, Cuba, and South Sudan, among other countries. A graduate of Wheaton College, he has worked at Christianity Today for eight years.
As the communications officer for World Vision Lebanon, Yara Chehayed has been a key force in World Vision’s efforts to bring the stories of Syria’s refugees to light. Chehayed’s family is from Syria and Lebanon; giving her a unique insight into the trials faced by the refugees she is working to help. Through her writing, photography, and efforts connecting journalists and other visitors with the faces behind the refugee crisis, Chehayed brings their stories to light each day. Chehayed is currently pursuing her second Master’s degree in Communications, studying with the Universite de Toulon France, and writing her thesis on cinema and collective memory. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization working in nearly 100 countries. The organization has been helping in Lebanon since the beginning of the crisis with safe spaces for children to play, food, education, water and sanitation, and more.
Andrew Steele is senior associate at the International Christian Media Commission and executive director of the International Communication Training Institute. He is also managing director at Media Networks Consultants and has worked in radio for more than 40 years, focusing on learning and development since 1999. He has traveled extensively in developing nations and has been responsible for developing safety and risk assessment processes to cover journalists and trainers traveling in challenging situations. He has a personal interest in helping younger journalists engage with the ethical challenges they face. Steele earned post-graduate degrees from the University of Huddersfield and the University of Wales, and is pursing a doctorate at Middlesex University.
Jenny Hwang is the program manager at Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College. As a practitioner, Hwang served with nonprofits and hospitals in Cambodia, Malawi, and South Korea, where she worked with refugees, immigrants, trafficked survivors, and disaster survivors. In Cambodia, she worked with local NGOs to help develop programs to prevent trafficking, and in a psychiatric hospital in Malawi, she helped with the children’s program. While pursuing a graduate degree, Hwang worked at a refugee resettlement agency in their intensive care program and as an outreach coordinator for the American Red Cross. She earned a B.A in clinical psychology from Boston College with a minor in faith, peace, and justice. She has an M.A. in international disaster psychology from the University of Denver.
Dr. Randel Everett
Dr. Randel Everett is the founding president of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, which focuses on international religious persecution and religious freedom in the U.S. He was part of the Wilberforce team which visited Iraq and Nigeria, authoring two reports on the atrocities committed there. These reports are now trusted resources for the government, NGOs and religious institutions, and are featured documents in a variety of nationally-recognized institutions. For four decades he pastored churches in Virginia, Florida, and Texas and served as chaplain to the Arkansas Legislature and executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Dr. Everett earned an M.Div. and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
Laura Leonard is communications specialist at the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College, where she writes and edits articles and resources on the subject of disaster recovery and relief. She works with major media editors, publishing HDI articles, running social media and marketing campaigns, doing publicity for HDI, and coordinating materials and communications for their events and updates. She came to HDI after nearly nine years as an editor at Christianity Today, where she worked on several publications and websites, including BuildingChurchLeaders.com, Ignite Your Faith, and ChristianCollegeGuide.net. She has also written for Christianity Today, CT Women, and WomenLeaders.com. Leonard earned a B.A. in English writing from Wheaton College.
Julia Bicknell is executive editor and director of World Watch Monitor, a news service focusing on reporting on the global Church under pressure. She co-founded World Watch Monitor in 2012 after a 30-year career with the BBC in the U.K. Bicknell has spent her entire career reporting on crises, beginning with the death of John Lennon in 1980, and followed by war in the Falkland Islands and terrorist activity in London. She has traveled widely covering crises in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Her six-month stint in Vietnam resulted in a vision for training journalists in developing countries. From 2004 to 2012 she delivered major media projects across Africa. World Watch Monitor has steadily built a reputation for informed and credible reporting.
Asif Aqeel is a newspaper journalist and Pakistan’s only correspondent for World Watch Monitor. He was the first reporter in mainstream English media to focus on covering the issues of Pakistan’s Christian community in international media. He has traveled internationally, studying and reporting on the Christian and Hindu communities in Muslim-majority countries. Previously, Aqeel worked for the Center for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement, for the Daily Times as a sub-editor, and for the Applied Socioeconomic Research Resource Center, where he focused on issues of religious minorities and women. He also served as an associate producer for Express 24/7, the only English TV channel in Pakistan. Aqeel earned a B.A. in journalism.
Mindy Belz is senior editor of WORLD magazine, where she has worked since 1986, serving as international editor beginning in 1994, and editor in 2004. As a writer for WORLD, she has covered war in Africa, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Bosnia, as well as religious liberty and other issues around the world. Her reporting has been published overseas as well as in First Things, the Charlotte Observer, Frontpage Magazine, and The Washington Times. She has made guest appearances on FOX News and ABC News. Belz has taught journalism in New York and internationally for the World Journalism Institute and Magazine Training International in India. She attended George Washington University.
Joseph Benjamin is publisher of Gujarati Christians, a magazine for the Christians of Gujarat in India. He also publishes books and is working on a translation of the New Living Bible from English into Gujarati. The magazine arose out of a website Benjamin launched in 2000 in response to persecution, famine, and floods in the area. Although the site was created for Christians, many non-Christians also use the site, which provides evangelistic articles, prayers, tracts, and other resources. The website attracted more than 500,000 visitors from around the world in its first year of existence. The high demand for additional content led Benjamin and his wife, Neeta, to create the Gujarati Christians magazine in 2007. Benjamin also offers adult literacy and vocational training to poor, rural women.