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Oscar Garcia-Johnson
Plenary Hour

Garcia-Johnson, an associate professor of theology and Latino/a studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, is also the current associate dean for the seminary's Center for the Study of Hispanic Church and Community.

Prior to joining the Fuller faculty, in 2008, Garcia-Johnson taught for 10 years as an adjunct faculty member at Fuller. He also served as a regional minister with the American Baptist Churches of Los Angeles for 11 years and planted four new churches in Southern California. Born in Honduras, Garcia-Johnson immigrated to the U.S. as a young adult to complete a degree in electrical engineering. While in college, he committed his life to Jesus Christ and experienced a vocational conversion into philosophical and theological studies, leading him to commute between academia and the church.

Garcia-Johnson has published four books and is the co-author of Theology without Borders: Introduction to Global Conversations, with William Dyrness (Baker Academic, 2015). He is a gifted communicator who integrates scripture, systematic theology and sociology with the practice of ministry in a variety of multicultural contexts in Asia, Africa and the U.S. He is committed to facilitating environments for nurturing contemporary intellectuals and leaders, particularly among the second and third generations of Latinos/as, in building space for intercultural dialogue, and in supporting Latina women in ministry.

Leonard Sweet
Evening Worship

Sweet is an American theologian, semiotician, church historian and pastor. He is also a best-selling author who communicates the gospel with a signature bridging of the worlds of faith, academe and popular culture. In 2006-07, he was voted one of the 50 Most Influential Christians in America by ChurchReport Magazine, and in 2010 he was selected by the top non-English Christian website as one of the Top 10 Influential Christians of 2010. His popular podcast, Napkin Scribbles, is widely quoted, and he wrote for sermons.com for eight years. He currently hosts a preaching website, PreachTheStory.com. For nine years, he and his wife wrote the entire content for the weekly preaching resource Homiletics, and in 2005 he introduced the first open-source preaching resource on the web, wikiletics.com. Sweet's microblogs on Twitter and Facebook rank as two of the most influential social media sites in the world.

Currently the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew University, Madison, N.J., and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University, Portland, Ore., Sweet was vice president of academic affairs and dean of the theological school at Drew University from 1995 to 2001. As a leader in the United Methodist Church, he has been chosen to speak at various jurisdictional and general conferences as well as at the 1996 World Methodist Congress, in Rio de Janeiro. He also serves as a consultant to many of America’s denominational leaders and agencies.

Sweet resides on Orcas Island, in Washington's San Juan Islands.

For more information, please visit http://leonardsweet.com.

Benjamin Brody
Brody has served as professor of music and director of church music studies at Whitworth University since 2003. He studied music education and church music as an undergraduate at Whitworth and went on to complete his graduate degrees in choral conducting from the University of Washington. Prior to his current position, Brody spent four years as director of worship and music at First Presbyterian Church of Seattle. At Whitworth, he teaches courses in church music, music history and choral literature; he also serves as director of campus worship. Brody cares deeply about the role of music in corporate worship and is passionate about helping pastors, church musicians and worship committees develop faithful worship practices in their congregations. In addition to his work at the university, Brody is director of music at Colbert Presbyterian Church, in Colbert, Wash.

James Edwards
Edwards is a Colorado native and a graduate of Whitworth University who earned his M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary, did postgraduate work at the University of Zurich, and received his Ph.D. from Fuller Theological Seminary. He joined the Whitworth faculty in 1997 and taught as the Bruner-Welch Professor of Theology at the university at the time of his retirement, in 2015. He has published numerous articles in scholarly and popular journals, is the author of the quarterly Edwards Epistle, was a contributing editor to Christianity Today, and has authored three New Testament commentaries for Community Bible Studies. He and his wife, Janie, reside in Spokane. They have two grown children and five grandchildren.

George Goodrich
George Goodrich has been the co-general presbyter for the Presbytery of Yellowstone, Mont., since 2004. He earned his D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary, his M.Div. from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, and his B.A. from Duke University. Goodrich served as senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Reading, Penn., from 1984 to 2004. He was associate pastor for youth and camping at First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, Penn., from 1978-84. In line with his passion for nurturing spiritual formation and discipleship in pastors and congregations, he recently completed certification in spiritual direction through Leadership Transformations’ Selah Program. Goodrich is married to the Rev. Kathy Goodrich, with whom he serves as co-general presbyter.

Michael J. McClenahan
McClenahan grew up in Southern California, graduated from UCLA, and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from Fuller Theological Seminary. McClenahan served for 13 years as an associate pastor in Northern California in students, family ministries, and evangelism. He has been the senior pastor at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church, near San Diego, since 2003, focusing on discipleship in sermon-based small groups, intergenerational worship, and serving the community.

McClenahan is an advocate for immigration reform, sharing SBPC’s story through speaking, op-eds, and visiting the White House. He recently served as moderator and executive committee chair of the San Diego Presbytery. His passion is to lead a church marked by the transformational love of Christ and to make a tangible difference in the neighborhood and the nations. Married 32 years, McClenahan and his wife, Amy, have married twin sons, three grandsons and two granddaughters.

Suzette McGonigal
Suzette McGonigal, a counselor at Whitworth University for many years, currently teaches in the public school system. She is the wife of Whitworth’s director of church engagement, Terry McGonigal, and has been a support to pastors’ spouses through the years.

Eric Peterson
Peterson, a theology graduate of Whitworth, where he now serves on the board of trustees, earned his M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, with a concentration in preaching. He completed his D.Min. at George Fox Evangelical Seminary, in semiotics and future studies. His doctoral research and writing focused on the sacrament of baptism as a pedagogy for congregational formation.

Peterson, who identifies himself as a "village pastor," is the founding pastor of Colbert Presbyterian Church, where he has served since 1997. He is married to Elizabeth, and together they are the parents of six children.

Ron Pyle
Pyle completed his Ph.D. at the University of Washington. He has two master's degrees, one in speech communication and one in theology. His doctoral research, on the preaching of Charles Finney, reflects his research interests in public address, rhetoric and religious communication.

Pyle teaches a variety of courses related to interpersonal relationships, theories of communication, African American preaching, and analysis of social influence. He also teaches courses in preaching and small-group ministry and leads seminars for pastors and church staff on topics including pulpit communication, mentoring and conflict management in the church.

Mindy Smith
Smith studied theiology at Whitworth, graduating in 1998. She served on the Young Life staff in Spokane for three years before she began her studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, graduating with her M.Div. in 2006. She then spent two years serving in the inner city among at-risk Latino students. In Phoenix, she worked at First Historic Presbyterian Church as the executive director of Downtown Urban Community Kids.

In summer 2008, Smith received a call to serve as campus pastor at Whitworth. She runs a thriving small-group program at the university, teaches pastoral-care and ministry-training classes, and enjoys preaching regularly during weekly community chapel. She is now a doctoral student at George Fox Theological Seminary, studying preaching.

Smith lives in Spokane with her husband, Kyle, and their two children.

Michele Warren
Warren is the advocacy and strategic engagement director for the Christian Community Development Association, based in Chicago. She has worked in Christian community development for 24 years, utilizing her skills as an educator, a nonprofit manager, and a public policy specialist. Warren is part of the Evangelical Immigration Table, and she serves as western regional consultant for the Bibles, Badges and Business campaign of the National Immigration Forum, a nonpartisan, D.C.-based immigration advocacy organization. She is married to David Warren, executive director of Open Door Ministries. The Warrens, who live in Denver, are the parents of three children.

Questions? Please contact WIM at oce@whitworth.edu or 509.777.3275.