University chapel is open to the public, so anyone is welcome to join us. Chapel services are held Tuesday mornings at 10:50 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7 p.m. in Bauman Auditorium.
Spring 2016 Speakers
Speaking Date: Feb. 3, 23
Robin Baker has dedicated his career to the education of the whole person. As a professor, academic administrator and now as president of George Fox University, he has strived to make education not just the transfer of information, but also the transformation of the individual. Baker believes this is best accomplished within the context of Christian higher education, where students are encouraged to connect their faith to their studies and the rest of their lives.
Before coming to George Fox in 1999 as chief academic officer, Baker worked at three Christian universities. Since he became president in 2007, George Fox has grown to become the second-largest private university in Oregon, but it still promises each student they will be known personally, academically and spiritually.
A native of Phoenix, Baker completed a doctorate in history with honors at Texas A&M University. He has a special interest in the works of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien and has collected several first editions of their works. An all-state high school athlete and college basketball player, Baker continues to be an avid runner. Each fall he competes with the university’s national powerhouse women’s basketball team in their preseason mile-and-a-half run. Each year he finishes at or near the front of the pack. Baker and his wife, Ruth, have three children: Jacob, Rebekah and Tara. All have attended George Fox.
Leroy and Donna Barber
Speaking Date: Feb. 2
Together, Leroy and Donna Barber have spent nearly 30 years dedicating their lives to confronting poverty, homelessness and racism, while also restoring local communities, developing leaders and living what Dr. King called, “the beloved community.” In various urban contexts, the Barbers have created projects and programs that transform lives.
Leroy is the cofounder and CEO of The Voices Project, a network of African American and other leaders of color dedicated to the support, training and promotion of marginalized voices. Rev. Barber, an ordained minister, also serves as part of the pastoral staff at the Imago Dei Eastside church and director of Holla Mentors. He is chairman for the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) and The Simple Way and has authored three books, including Red, Brown, Yellow, Black, White: Who’s More Precious in His Sight.
As an educator, consultant and coach, Donna Barber works to develop youth and urban youth program leaders. In addition to being the cofounder and director of operations at The Voices Project, Donna serves as academic director for The Champions Academy, a new initiative of the Portland Leadership Foundation. Married for more than 30 years, the Barbers have five children and remain committed to family, faith and building the diverse, just kingdom of God.
Speaking Date: Jan. 26
The author of spoken-word CD Live at Java Monkey, Amena has performed and spoken at events across the nation, including the RightNow Conference, Creativity World Forum, Catalyst Conference, Chick-fil-A Leadercast, as well as touring with Gungor. She and her husband, Matt, also known as “DJ Opdiggy,” travel and perform a presentation of poetry, monologue and deejaying. They also host a regular open mic in Atlanta every fifth Thursday at Urban Grind Coffee.
Speaking Date: Jan. 19
Greg leads International Justice Mission’s (IJM) college mobilization team, working to equip college students to grow in their understanding and passion for God’s call to seek justice. His team oversees hundreds of IJM campus chapters, the Stand For Freedom campaign, and the NorthStar Conference. He is a frequent speaker at events, conferences and churches.
Check out FullTimeDream.com, where Greg helps people make their dreams reality, even when they can’t pursue them full time. He is the author of Passion Is Not Enough and Wasted Prayer. Greg loves launching creative ideas, including the nonprofit organizations World Causes and Backstage Leadership. He lives outside Washington, D.C. with his wife and two children.
Speaking Date: March 29
Nijay Gupta grew up in a Hindu household and converted to Christianity as a teenager. He teaches biblical studies at George Fox Evangelical Seminary and loves to examine important topics regarding Scripture and modern challenges of our day related to world religions, science, gender, politics and sexuality.
Speaking Dates: Jan. 27, Feb. 17, April 13
Jamie Johnson is the associate pastor of chapel programs, director of the Friends Leadership Program and an adjunct professor in the College of Christian Studies. A George Fox graduate, he has studied church history (MA) and Christian education (PhD) and hungers to learn more about what it means for individuals and communities to follow Jesus in every aspect of life.
He is married to Erin, a professor in the social work program, and together they spend much of their energy chasing around their three children – and loving it! In his spare time, Jamie enjoys leading worship, running, reading and watching, coaching and playing sports. He is a huge fan of the Portland Timbers, the Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots.
Speaking Date: March 9
Brad Lau is in his 16th year as vice president for student life at George Fox and has served in student life roles at a number of public and private universities (including George Fox) for almost 30 years. He is a past president of the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD) and past chair for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities’ Senior Student Development Officers Commission.
Lau, a native of Colorado, earned a doctor of education in educational leadership and policy studies from Temple University in Philadelphia and a master’s degree in student affairs in higher education from Colorado State University. He did his undergraduate work at Liberty University in Virginia, receiving a bachelor of science in Christian thought as well as a master’s degree in religion from Liberty Theological Seminary.
Brad is an avid Denver Broncos football fan who loves playing tennis, reading, theology and connecting with students. He is married to Pam, and they have three daughters (Gabrielle, 15; Annalise, 17; and Michaela, 19). They live in Newberg with their two dogs and a cat.
Speaking Date: Feb. 16
Since 1999, Justin McRoberts has been a constant and noteworthy presence in independent music. As a songwriter, author, storyteller and advocate, he is one of those rare artists who seamlessly blends artistry, honesty and humor. Justin writes, “The arts help us to see ourselves and our world as part of a cohesive, divinely-orchestrated story.”
Sharing songs and stories with an audience is when Justin’s gifts are most fully realized. His live shows strike an energetic balance between intellect and emotion. Including early releases with 5 Minute Walk Records, McRoberts has consistently made thoughtful and well-crafted music.
Speaking Dates: Jan. 12, 13, Feb. 24, April 20
Jamie Noling-Auth is the university pastor and dean of spiritual life, inclusion and leadership at George Fox. Before her move to Oregon, Jamie served as one of Azusa Pacific University's associate campus pastors for nine years and as an adjunct professor for APU's School of Theology.
She earned a Doctor of Ministry degree at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, an MA in theology at Fuller Seminary, and a BA in communication at Pepperdine. Her areas of academic interest are discipleship, spiritual formation, women's studies and the gospels. Jamie and her husband, John, are parents to two little boys -- 3-year-old Andrew and 1-year-old Luke. In her free time, Jamie loves to travel, swim, read and have great conversation over a good cup of coffee.
Speaking Date: March 30
Stephen Sherwood came to George Fox in 2004, initially teaching in a half-time capacity as the director of the university's partnership with Young Life, with whom he had served in the Northeast and Midwest since 1985. Beginning in 2012, Steve joined the Christian studies department as a full-time faculty member. In addition to his partnership with Young Life (which still retains close ties to George Fox), Steve’s 26-year background in youth ministry enables him to engage students in a variety of academic and community settings, teaching courses on youth ministry and the Bible.
Speaking Date: Feb. 9
Efrem Smith is an internationally recognized leader who uses motivational speaking and preaching to equip people for a life of transformation. He also consults on issues of multi-ethnicity, leadership and community development for churches, educational institutions and other organizations. He is the author of the books Raising-up Young Heroes, The Hip Hop Church, Jump, and The Post-Black and Post-White Church.
Efrem is a graduate of Saint John’s University and Luther Theological Seminary. Currently, he is a doctoral student in church leadership at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. He is married to Donecia and has two daughters, Jaeda and Mireya. They reside in the Bay Area of Northern California.
Rusty St. Cyr
Speaking Dates: Jan. 20, March 2, April 6
Rusty St. Cyr serves as the director for spiritual formation at George Fox University. He is a grateful student of 22 years to Christ, a lucky husband of 12 years to Stephanie, a stoked dad to Ella, Matea and Jack, and owner of a Jack Russell Terrorist named "Woody" (a.k.a. "El Capitan").
Rusty came to the spiritual life team at Fox in 2009 after 10 years of student ministry in Springfield, Mo., Inverness, Scotland, Santa Cruz, Calif., as well as serving as director for spiritual formation at Bethany University near Santa Cruz, Calif. Along with all of this, Rusty is also thankful to experience playing all kinds of drums to music, for stand-up paddling and surfing waves, for opportunities to love and learn from people of other cultures, for reconciliation, for the Shalom-growing principle that we are blessed in order TO BE a blessing, and, of course, for Spinach smoothies.
Speaking Date: April 5
Bill Towne is the lead pastor of Rolling Hills Community Church in Tualatin, Ore. He has been serving Rolling Hills members in different capacities since May of 1983. He attended Western Seminary, where he received a Masters of Divinity, and also attended California State University, Stanislaus, where he received a BA in communications.
Bill and wife Kathy live in Tualatin. They have three daughters and two son-in-laws. He is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt, fish, hike and golf. You’ll also find him cheering on the 49ers and Blazers whenever he gets a chance.
Speaking Date: March 8
Lauren F. Winner writes and lectures widely on Christian practice, the history of Christianity in America, and Jewish-Christian relations. Her books include Girl Meets God; Mudhouse Sabbath, a study of household religious practice in 18th-century Virginia; A Cheerful and Comfortable Faith; Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis; and, most recently, a book on overlooked biblical tropes for God, Wearing God. She is completing a book called Characteristic Damage, which examines the effects of sin and damage on Christian practice. Winner, an Episcopal priest, is vicar of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Louisburg, N.C.
Speaking Date: March 1
Melanie Wolf is a campus pastor and director of discipleship at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. Prior to PLNU, she worked in campus ministries at APU and Wheaton College and held positions in college, youth and family ministry in the local church. She has four children and loves to hike, surf, read and create. In addition to her role at PLNU, Melanie partners with a local marriage and family therapy practice as a spiritual director. She dreams of having a holistic therapeutic practice one day.