Brett Kunkle is the Student Impact Director at Stand to Reason. He is passionate about seeing students and adults “transformed by the renewing of their minds.” Brett has more than 18 years of experience working with junior high, high school, and college students. He spent 11 of those years as a pastor to students and young adults at Chino Valley Community Church in Southern California and Creekside Church in Colorado.
A dynamic communicator who engages both heart and mind, Brett speaks to thousands of students and adults at churches, conferences, and college campuses across the country. He has worked with such groups as Summit Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, Saddleback Church, and Biola University. Brett has participated in debates and public forums on secular university campuses, and he is a regular speaker at the Evangelical Philosophical Society’s annual apologetics conference. In addition, Brett was a contributor to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, has a chapter on truth in Apologetics for a New Generation, and wrote the Ambassador’s Guide to Mormonism. He has been interviewed on radio and television, and has been a guest host for Stand to Reason's weekly radio show.
Brett has developed a groundbreaking approach to mission trips, creating a one-of-a-kind training experience that immerses participants in real-life apologetics, theology, and evangelism. He orchestrates interactive trips to Berkeley California, Boulder Colorado, and to various parts of Utah where participants are equipped to engage atheists, Mormons, university students, and other non-believers.
Brett received his bachelor's degree in Christian education from Biola University. He has his master's degree in philosophy of religion and ethics at Talbot School of Theology.
Dr Fazale Rana
Biochemist Fazale (Fuz) Rana writes and speaks extensively about evidence for creation emerging from biochemistry, genetics, human origins, and synthetic biology. As vice president of research and apologetics at Reasons to Believe (RTB), he is dedicated to communicating to skeptics and believers alike the powerful scientific case for God's existence and the Bible's reliability.
Fuz converted to Christianity during graduate school. Though he initially embraced the evolutionary paradigm, Fuz eventually drew the conclusion that only a Creator’s involvement could explain the elegance of biochemical systems. But it was only after his fiancee’s pastor challenged him to read the Bible that Fuz became convinced of the validity of Christ’s claims and of his own need for a Savior.
The death of his Muslim father some years later helped Fuz appreciate the necessity of evangelism and Christian apologetics and led to his joining the RTB team in 1999. Today, Fuz addresses science-faith hot topics through books—including Creating Life in the Lab and The Cell's Design—as well as articles, videos, podcasts, television and radio interviews and speaking engagements. He has addressed audiences at over 500 universities, churches, and conferences around the world.
Formerly a senior scientist in research and development at Procter & Gamble, Fuz graduated with highest honors from West Virginia State College (now University) with a BS in chemistry and went on to earn a PhD in chemistry with an emphasis in biochemistry from Ohio University, where he was twice awarded the Donald Clippinger Research Award. He pursued postdoctoral studies in the biophysics of cell membranes at the Universities of Virginia and Georgia.
Several articles by Fuz have been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals—such as Biochemistry, Applied Spectroscopy, FEBS Letters, Journal of Microbiological Methods and Journal of Chemical Education—and he has delivered numerous presentations at international scientific meetings. He also holds two patents, authored a chapter on molecular convergance and intelligent design for The Nature of Nature, and co-wrote a chapter on antimicrobial peptides for Bilogical and Synthetic Membranes.
Fuz has made countless media appearances, including FOX News, The John Ankerberg Show, and Harvest Television. He has also appeared in publications such as People magazine, Charisma magazine, and WORLD magazine.
Fuz lives in Southern California with his wife Amy. They have five children.
Dr Jason Lisle
Most practising astronomers and astrophysicists believe in the big bang, a billions-of-years-old universe and other evolutionary ideas. But based on Scripture and the best interpretation of the scientific evidence, they are simply wrong, according to Dr Jason Lisle.
An astrophysicist with a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, Dr Lisle is now helping refute the evolutionary account of origins—using his strong science background.
Lisle grew up in a Christian home, and because his family believed in the authority and accuracy of the Bible, he had little difficulty in dealing with the evolutionary bombardment he received in school.
At university, Jason discovered that an important element in scientific study and the drawing of conclusions was that scientists usually are not aware of their presuppositions (i.e. they interpret scientific evidence in light of their existing worldview). It thus made it easier for him to see that intelligent scientists, many who were his professors, can disagree on what the evidence really means, for they have different starting points. So as he read creation materials, he could see that when the evidence was properly interpreted, it always supported the biblical account of creation (even with the thorny question of starlight and time).
In graduate school, Jason developed a passion to share the message that God’s Word is true from the very first verse. He began giving talks encouraging people to trust in the Bible and not compromise with the secular ideas of millions of years of evolution.
Because of known discrimination against creationist scientist at secular universities, Jason published papers in creationist journals under a pseudonym, Robert Newton. He explains that the subjectivity of Ph.D. grading makes it easy to fail a creationist. For example, the review committee could claim that a person hasn’t done enough work, because how much work is ‘enough’ is hard to prove, disguising the real reason that the candidate is a creationist.
Sam Allberry is a pastor and writer based in Maidenhead, UK, and a global speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He is an editor and a writer for The Gospel Coalition and the author of a number of books on Christian belief, including Why Bother With Church?, James For You, and the bestselling Is God Anti-Gay?
Sam studied theology at Wycliffe Hall in Oxford. He worked at St Ebbe’s Church in Oxford where he oversaw the ministry to university students and then at St Mary’s Church in Maidenhead where he has been based since 2008. He is an ordained minister in the Church of England and was recently elected to serve on its governing body, the General Synod.
Sam speaks widely on issues of sexuality and identity and continues to minister as a Bible teacher and pastor. He is currently working on projects concerning singleness and the Christian understanding of the body.In his spare time Sam enjoys hiking, American history, and slowly perfecting his recipe for Thai green curry.
Raised in a missionary home in India, Bronwyn has lived in Europe, Israel and North America, so travel comes naturally to her!
Always pursuing her call to ministry, a turning point in Bronwyn’s career came from a sabbatical when she lived in Jerusalem with her husband and 2 sons. They explored the country with guides and saw how Scripture is supported by ancient sites.
Bronwyn returned from Jerusalem to her job on a pastoral team in Calgary and began a new branch of ministry: leading journeys to Bible lands, with the top guides of these countries.
Her experience as a pastor, love for the Bible, attention to detail, flair for the beautiful, and personal creative presence add dimensions to learning and travel that are illuminating and fun!
Bronwyn now leads several journeys every year to Bible lands, partnering with pastors, professors and parachurch leaders. Every journey is unique, and this marvelous apologetic tour with Faith Beyond Belief will be exceptional!
Join Bronwyn in this workshop to learn more and discover how you can experience the Holy Lands, and understand the Bible as one who walks where Jesus did, taught by the Holy Spirit.
George Budd has served as a pastor for over forty years—the last 25 years at the Okotoks EFC.
He has his BRE from Briercrest, an MDiv from Providence Seminary in Manitoba and a DMin from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Chicago. Studying and teaching the Bible has been his passion from the moment he discovered the link between history, language, and hearing God’s voice spoken through his people for our benefit. He is married to Lyn and they have three daughters and eight grandchildren.
In 1989, Glen was on his way to a great career, trying to finish a PhD in physics at the University of Calgary. The stress of school landed him in the hospital where he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
That diagnosis motivated him to reassess his priorities, which lead Glen to repent of his sin and receive Christ as His Saviour. He left his life at the university and began to look for ways to serve God.
Glen worked for the Calgary Schizophrenia Society for fifteen years. He presently works for Better Books and Bibles, a Christian bookstore. He loves speaking for Faith Beyond Belief and showing how God can use even his own experiences to reach unbelievers.
Ian is a husband of one, father of two and has been servant of One for the last 40+ years. He serves in the same church that he walked into as a homeless wanderer in search of God in 1975. Ian has a trades background, ran his own plumbing company, and recently retired from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology after instructing students in math, science, and blueprint reading.
Ian’s serving has included street evangelism, leading bible studies, teaching worldview courses, and relational efforts towards newly minted Christians. He has been involved as a volunteer with clients of the Edmonton Young Offenders Centre and the youth connected to Kids On Track in Edmonton. Ian is very excited to be a part of the vision of FBB as it focuses on the needs of the local Church in getting them to effectively influence their culture for Christ. It is where his feet do not touch the bottom.
Jake has been a high school teacher in a Christian School for many years. The underlying goal of his many student missions trips was to help young people develop roots for their faith.
The fact that so many leave the faith after leaving the protective environment of our homes, youth groups, and Christian Schools consumed his reading and journaling for many years. The result has been his first book that seeks to provide answers to this pandemic of faltering faiths. The book is a grand appeal to rethink “religion”, this most neglected and much maligned Big Idea concept that is nevertheless at the core of our broken humanity. The book presents the Christian faith in the context of this universal and seemingly never ending search for truth.
Jojo equips Christians to be effective ambassadors for Christ for everyday conversations. He has spoken at venues that include Sunday morning services, secular debates at universities and morning chapels at Christian schools.
Jojo focuses on practical ways to defend the faith. He teaches Christians how to explain their worldview using tools that non-Christians can understand. For example, he helps audiences think of the right questions to ask non-believers not just the right answers they ought to give.
Jojo earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. He is executive director of Faith Beyond Belief, based in Calgary, AB, Canada.
Joel fully surrendered his life to Christ while operating a comedy club in Western Canada, and that comedic background strongly flavours his evangelical teaching style. He currently is the Lead Pastor at Mountain Springs Calvary Chapel, a church planted by Joel in Calgary Canada over 10 years ago. God has given him a passion to both reach the lost, and revive the saved!
In 2018 through Mountain Springs, Joel launched WakeUp Ministries—an itinerant ministry with the sole purpose of strengthening the church through evangelism, encouragement and exhortation. This ministry has led to numerous speaking engagements across North America and oversees, including Joel’s association with Calvary Chapel International, RZIM (Ravi Zacharias International Ministries), Fred Stoeker (Every Man’s Battle) and Gravity Canada. He will also be launching his first book “Other Side” this year.
dr Karla Poewe
Karla Poewe is professor emeritus at the University of Calgary.
After her first fieldwork in Zambia, she received her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of New Mexico. She continued with fieldwork in Namibia and South Africa, and then turned to doing archival research in Germany where she was born 1941 in what was then Königsberg, East Prussia. She lived in the Soviet Zone until 1948 and in the British zone from 1948 until immigrating to Canada in 1955. She published numerous papers in professional journals and several books including New Religions and the Nazis (Routledge 2006). In her latest book, she depicts her experiences as an apprentice on a long journey from atheism to Christianity.
dr Lester Liao
Lester is a pediatric resident at the University of Alberta.
He is resident lead of the Arts and Humanities in Health and Medicine program and the resident affiliate of the John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre. He also is an active member of the Christian Medical Dental Society of Canada where he sits on the national board. Through these venues he has regularly spoken on the topic of the intersection between medicine, secularism, and faith. Prior to residency he completed a Masters in Theological Studies at Tyndale Seminary. He will be moving next year to Toronto to do a fellowship in pediatric rheumatology with his wife and two children.
Mark Smeltzer has degrees in Religious Education from Ambrose College and Psychology from Trinity Western University.
He studies Christian Apologetics in his spare time and has led an apologetic ministry at his local church for many years. He lives in Edmonton in Alberta, Canada, with his wife Jaye.
dr Scott Masson
Dr Scott Masson is an Associate Professor of English Literature at Tyndale University College, Toronto.
One of his specialisms lies in hermeneutics and literary theory, as well as the transformation of knowledge in the modern research university. He has worked regularly with the Ezra Institute of Contemporary Christianity and the Christian Legal Institute. He speaks on university campuses, as well as appearing on television, radio, in newspapers and online. His book related to this topic is entitled Romanticism, Hermeneutics, and the Crisis of the Human Sciences (Routledge, 2016).
Shafer is convinced the Bible is the only book in the world to accurately describe the meaning of life, the universe and everything. He is further convinced that only a Biblical worldview is capable of sustained blessings for those who hold to it and live within it. It is his life goal to help as many people as possible to embrace this truth.
Shafer brings 39 years of pastoral experience to FBB, most recently finishing a 12-year stint as senior pastor of Hawkwood Baptist Church in Calgary. He has an M.Div. from Mid-America Baptist Theological Seminary and is currently completing a D.Min. in Applied Theology with Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Shafer also spent seven years as a professional journalist and editor.
Shafer has been married to Jeanne for 42 years, and together they are the proud parents of two sons and are blessed with six grandchildren.
Shafer has spoken at a wide variety of events and has taught at seminaries in Russia, Ukraine and Cameroon. He teaches and speaks on a wide variety of topics, giving an apologetics-related connection to each.
Married with two kids, Sterling Hunter, a trained chef, found a passion for “Preaching and defending the gospel with urgency, excellence, and passion” as His personal calling when he wrote out the bible by hand in a little under 11 months.
Growing up in a church and Christian home he really never knew what the Christian faith really was. Though as a 30 year old he felt it pressed upon him to undertake the task of scribing out the scriptures and he was therein introduced to God for the first time in a powerful and life changing way. He now works at First Alliance Church as the Food Services Director but takes as much free time as he can teaching and preaching to youth groups and churches all over Alberta.
Steve is a follower of Christ with a heart for apologetics. In his early 20s, Steve experienced a faith crisis due to intellectual undernourishment.
Through this experience, he has come to see apologetics as the “intellectual care of the soul” and now feels a personal burden to walk with others who may be struggling with doubt and/or seeking sincerely. Steve holds a diploma in Worship Arts and a BA in Biblical Studies from Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, BC. He has completed a master’s degree in Christian Apologetics through Biola University in La Mirada, CA. Steve lives in Edmonton with his wife and two children.
Timothy Bootsveld spent many years as a street apologist, teaching at his church and defending the faith among his friends.
He started attending FBB events and received training in public speaking and apologetics. He now represents FBB as a volunteer speaker and also writes at whyjesusblog.wordpress.com. Tim is married with two small children and lives in southern Calgary.
dr Ted Fenske
Ted Fenske is a Clinical Professor with the Division of Cardiology at the University of Alberta, staff cardiologist at the C.K. Hui Heart Centre, and an executive member of the Ezra Institute for Contemporary Christianity and the Christian Medical/Dental Society.
Referring to himself in his hospital role as ‘a sheep in wolf’s clothing,’ he endeavors to shine God’s light in dark places of need and provide compassionate care for his patients, asserting that his personal faith in Christ has been the focus and foundation of his practice.
He has given numerous talks in public forums on a broad range of topics, including Christian apologetics, countering euthanasia, theodicy, gender confusion, and addressing the gay gospel. Formerly from Vancouver, he is the proud father of three sons and content to call Edmonton ‘home’ where he is actively involved with his wife in the Christian community and young adult ministry.
Born into a non-Christian home in Manitoba, Canada in 1973, Vance went through life like many in our world today, without the knowledge of Jesus Christ. At age nineteen, Vance accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour, and started on a new journey to tell his old friends about the one who created them—Jesus.
Vance has earned both a theology and a biology degree, and has spent a decade and a half doing field research in various locations around the world. He is the director of Creation Truth Ministries Inc. He is also the founder of Untold Secrets of Planet Earth Publishing Company Inc. which he began as a means to distribute his research and promote the evidence supporting Biblical creation. He is also an adjunct professor of the book of Genesis and origins science for a number of Bible colleges. Vance continues to travel all over the world doing research and speaking on the topic of Genesis and Creation and its vital importance to the Christian faith. Vance and his wife Korelei now have three daughters: aged nineteen years, thirteen years, and ten years old, all of which they have homeschooled.