July 6 - 13, 2017

We are delighted to gather an esteemed group of presenters who will inspire and challenge you during the Faith & Science conference.

  • + John Baumgardner

    Dr. John Baumgardner has a Ph.D. in geophysics and space physics from UCLA. His Ph.D. research included development of the first software for modeling the 3D flow of rock within a planetary mantle, a program known as TERRA. After completing his Ph.D. John served for 20 years as a staff scientist at Los Alamos National Laboratory engaged in a variety of research projects in computational physics, including applying TERRA to investigate the physical aspects of the Genesis Flood. He is generally credited with the original research supporting the concept of runaway subduction and catastrophic plate tectonics in connection with the Flood. Between 1997 and 2005 he served on the Radioisotopes and the Age of the Earth (RATE) team that documented multiple independent lines of radioisotope evidence that the earth is thousands, not billions, of years old. Between 2005 and 2010 he was part of a small team that developed Mendel’s Accountant, a computer model for exploring key topics population genetics relating to the origin and history of life. He is currently a senior research associate with Logos Research Associates based in Santa Ana, California, and an adjunct professor of science apologetics at Southern California Seminary in San Diego.

  • + Larry Blackmer

    Dr. Blackmer has served as a teacher, principal, superintendents for schools, division associate, and currently serves as the Vice President for Education of the North American Division. He has served at the Division level for the past 14 years. His educational background includes certification in biology, chemistry, math and physics. He has one daughter, Melissa, and his wife is currently an editor for the Adventist Review.

  • + Leonard Brand

    Dr. Leonard Brand is Professor of Biology and Paleontology in the Department of Earth and Biological Sciences, at Loma Linda University.  He received his PhD at Cornell University in 1970 and has been on the LLU faculty since then.  He teaches courses in paleontology, vertebrate biology, and philosophy of science.  His research focuses on the processes of fossilization and the geological factors that influence preservation of fossils.  He has published over 35 scientific research papers and numerous articles in church publications.  He has published three books, which have been translated into one or more other languages. He has received a Zapara Award for Distinguished Teaching, a best student paper award at national meetings, and a Distinguished Service Award from LLU.  His strongest long-term interest has been developing a Bible-centered approach to the integration of faith and science.

  • + Elias Brasil de Souza

    Elias Brasil de Souza serves as director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference world headquarters. Previously he served as an associate director of the Biblical Research Institute (BRI), a pastor in the Southern Brazil Union, and professor of Hebrew, biblical studies and dean of the Theological Seminary at Northeast Brazil College in Bahia. He holds a BA and MA in theology from the Latin American Adventist Theological Seminary, and a Ph.D. in Old Testament exegesis and theology from Andrews University. His main areas of interest are the sanctuary, hermeneutics, and Hebrew. He has authored, co-authored, and published several academic publications in English and Portuguese. He is married to Magela Meire, and they have two sons.

  • + Ken Caviness

    Dr. Kenneth E. Caviness is Professor of Physics at Southern Adventist University. The descendent of three generations of SDA missionary educators, his undergraduate education included classwork at three North American and two European universities, culminating in majors in Physics, Mathematics and German at Southern Missionary College in 1982. His Ph.D. in theoretical physics was obtained at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, MA, in 1987.  After teaching physics and mathematics for 3 years at the Adventist University of Central Africa in Rwanda, and 6 years at Southwestern Adventist University, he has taught since 1996 at Southern Adventist University, including 11 years as departmental chair.  Dr. Caviness’ experience in reviving the interdepartmental course “Issues in Physical Science and Religion” has led to invitations to speak on related issues in Switzerland, Germany, Ukraine, Argentina and the USA.

    His time is now occupied by full-time teaching, organizing an ongoing student research project, and developing and presenting materials on faith & science.  He enjoys reading, music, and learning languages, hobbies shared by his wife Claryce, a French teacher, and their two adult children, Larisa (Westmoreland) and Erik.

  • + Art Chadwick

    Dr. Arthur V. Chadwick is a research scientist and lecturer, recognized for his scholarly approach to the issues of origins. He has been invited to present programs across the United States and in several foreign countries, emphasizing his own research as well as his knowledge of geology and molecular biology. Dr. Chadwick is Research Professor of Geology and Biology at Southwestern Adventist University in Keene, TX, USA. Dr. Chadwick is currently involved in a systematic analysis of the geologic column in the Colorado Basin with Dr. Leonard Brand of Loma Linda University. He also directs a taphonomic study at one of the largest dinosaur bonebeds in the world, and has been involved with Dr. Brand and others in taphonomic study of fossil whales in Peru. He also has conducted geological research in Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Parks, and has carried out long term studies on the global circulation patterns from the geologic record through the magic of computer reconstructions from the largest database of paleocurrent indicators in the world. Dr. Chadwick was born in California, where he received his undergraduate education at San Diego State University and La Sierra College. He earned his Ph.D. from University of Miami, followed by additional work in Geology at University of California He was Visiting Professor of Geology and Geophysics at University of Oklahoma prior to taking his present position. Dr. Chadwick is a cofounder of the Earth History Research Center, a global consortium of research scientists focused on issues of origins. He currently serves as Director of the Center.

  • + Richard Choi

    P. Richard Choi, Ph.D., is Professor of New Testament and Chair of the New Testament Department at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University.  His recent scholarly contributions include the “Introductions” and the “Notes” for Romans, Galatians, 1 and 2 Corinthians, and Philippians in The Andrews Study Bible, “The Pauline Epistles” in Servants and Friends (ed. by Skip Bell; Berrien Springs: AU Press, 2014), and the Study Helps for lessons 2, 7, 8, and 9 in the Teachers Edition of the Sabbath School Lessons on Proverbs (Silver Springs, MD: The General Conference of the SDAs, 2015). His areas of expertise are Paul, Jesus, New Testament Ethics, the Septuagint, the Pseudepigrapha and Early Judaism.  He joined the seminary faculty in 1991. He is a former president of the Adventist Society for Religious Studies (2006) and served as a Regional Coordinator for the Midwest Region of the Society of Biblical Literature (2008-2012).  He is married to Louise and has two grown children.  His doctorate is from the Fuller Theological Seminary.

  • + Felix Cortez

    Félix H. Cortez is Associate Professor of New Testament Literature and Director of the MA in Religion and Seminary Affiliations and Extensions at the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary, Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan.

    Cortez holds a PhD in New Testament Studies from Andrews University and a Masters degree in Modern Literature from Iberoamerican University. He was president of the Adventist Theological Society (2014–2016) and chaired the Catholic and Pastoral Epistles Section of the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature from 2010–2016. In addition to articles and book chapters in academic publications, Cortez contributed study notes on 4 biblical books for the Andrews Study Bible, the commentary on First Timothy for the forthcoming Andrews One-volume Bible Commentary, and is working on a Commentary for the new Seventh-day Adventist International Bible Commentary. He is also the author of Did you know …?—a devotional book for young people published in Spanish, English, and French.

    He is married to Alma Gloria Alvarez Yanes and they have two children, Hadid and Alma.

  • + Jo Ann Davidson

    Daughter of missionary parents, Dr. Jo Ann Davidson is also a fourth generation Seventh-day Adventist. She recalls her mother saying to her, "the blessings of being a Seventh-day Adventist have surely seeped into your genes and chromosomes by now!" Formerly a home schooling mom and music instructor, Jo Ann now teaches in the Andrews University Theological Seminary–the first woman to teach in the Theology department. She earned her Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, IL) in 2000. Articles she has written have appeared in the Adventist Review, Signs of the Times, Journal of the Adventist Theological Society, and Andrews University Seminary Studies, along with a column, "Let's Face It," in the journal Perspective Digest.  She has also authored the books Jonah: The Inside Story (Review and Herald), Toward a Theology of Beauty: A Biblical Perspective (University Press of America), and Glimpses of Our God (Pacific Press). Jo Ann finds great fulfillment in her many roles as wife, mother, daughter, sister, auntie, teacher, musician, student and Seventh-day Adventist Christian.

  • + Raúl Esperante

    Dr. Raúl Esperante holds a Bachelor Degree in Biology from the University of Valencia in Spain, and a Doctorate in Biology with emphasis on Paleontology from Loma Linda University, California. He is Senior Researcher at the Geoscience Research Institute and adjunct professor at Loma Linda University. His research includes the study of fossil marine mammals and sediments, sequence stratigraphy, ichnology, and ancient environments recorded in sedimentary rocks in Peru, Spain and Bolivia. He has given lectures at universities and museums in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Australia. He frequently lectures at meetings of pastors, teachers and university students on topics related to the interface between science and faith, and the topics of creation and evolution. Dr. Esperante is a member of several scientific societies, including the Ichnological Association, the Geological Society of Spain, the Spanish Society of Paleontology, Society of Economic Paleontology and Mineralogy, and the International Palaeontological Association. His scientific articles have been published in the journals Geology, Journal of South American Earth Sciences, Palaios, Geologica Acta, Spanish Journal of Paleontology, and Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology and Palaeoecology. He enjoys gardening, photography and reading theology books.

  • + Jim Gibson

    Dr. Jim Gibson is Director of the Geoscience Research Institute, in Loma Linda, California. After completing his B.A. and M.A. degrees at Pacific Union College, he taught academy science and mathematics in California and West Africa. Further graduate work led to the PhD from Loma Linda University in 1984, when he joined the Geoscience Research Institute. In 1994, he succeeded Dr. Ariel Roth as Director of the Institute. His main study interests are in historical biology and the relationship of faith and science. He has participated in conferences on the Bible and science in all of the Church’s Divisions. He and Humberto Rasi co-edited the book, Understanding Creation. He was also an editor of the book, Entrusted: Christians and Environmental Care, with Steven Dunbar and Humberto Rasi. He was the principal contributor to the Sabbath School lessons for first quarter, 2013, and the author of the companion book for the lessons, entitled Origins. He also contributed to the 2014 missionary book, Beyond Imagination. His hobbies include birding, gardening, and grandchildren. For more information about the Geoscience Research Institute, visit www.grisda.org.

  • + Paul Giem

    Dr. Paul Giem graduated from Loma Linda University with an M.A. in Religion in 1977 and an M.D. in 1977. He graduated from Union College with a B.A. in Religion with a major in chemistry in 1973. He has worked as an emergency physician, urgent care physician, and hospitalist at various hospitals and urgent care centers in southern California, and has been an Instructor in Medicine and Assistant Professor in Emergency Medicine at Loma Linda University. Currently he is teaching Advanced Cardiac Life Support at Loma Linda University. He has published in Andrews University Seminary Studies, Origins (including on carbon-14 dating), Neuroepidemiology, and the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, and authored a book, Scientific Theology, published by La Sierra University Press, and a research project inspired by him has been published in Radiocarbon. Most of his works are available at www.scientifictheology.com.

  • + Elaine Graham-Kennedy

    Elaine Graham-Kennedy, PhD (University of Southern California) retired, has long enjoyed studying muds, trace elements and fossils.  She’s researched high energy deposits in the Grand Canyon with Dr. Arthur V. Chadwick and muds/clays/sands associated with dinosaur eggs with Dr. Lee Spencer,  Dr. Roberto Biaggi and Prof Carlos Steger. Fossils-especially dinosaurs, trilobites, ammonites-structural components in a wide variety of sedimentary deposits as well as mineral ores still interest her. She and her husband, Dee, are active in the Jay, OK, SDA church, serving as SS teachers for adults and children.  They also have an outreach program for disenfranchised SDAs. Elaine has a card ministry for women who make cards on behalf of the church for the ill, elderly, bereaved, volunteers at the food bank and Caring Kitchen. She's also learning Cherokee to better assist the pastor in his outreach program in the Cherokee Nation. In her spare time Elaine quilts, reads and watches British mysteries.

  • + Greg King

    Greg A. King is dean of the School of Religion and professor of biblical studies at his alma mater, Southern Adventist University. Prior to joining Southern’s faculty in 2004, he served for seventeen years as a faculty member and for six years as chair of the Religion Department at Pacific Union College. In addition to his undergraduate degree from Southern, he has degrees from the SDA Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary in Virginia, having earned his doctorate in Old Testament from the latter. He has spoken in a variety of locations, both in the United States and abroad, including New Zealand, Brazil, Austria, and Israel.  Additionally, his articles have appeared in a number of publications, such as the Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible, Bibliotheca Sacra, Andrews University Seminary Studies, Ministry and the Adventist Review.  He also authored the book Kings and Chronicles. His wife Mary is also involved in Adventist higher education, teaching clinical labs in mental health for the School of Nursing at Southern.  They have two sons, Jonathan, 26, and Joshua, 24.  Greg’s real passion in life is to see all of his students develop a living, vibrant relationship with Jesus Christ so that they might experience the abundant life made possible by this connection.

  • + Matthew McLain

    Matthew McLain received his B.S. in Geology from Cedarville University and his Ph.D. in Earth Sciences from Loma Linda University. He is currently employed at The Master’s University, where he teaches paleontology, geology, and physical science courses. His main research area is vertebrate paleontology, and he has published research in secular and creationist journals.

  • + Jiří Moskala

    Jiří Moskala, Th.D, PhD, is dean and professor of Old Testament exegesis and theology. He joined the faculty in 1999. Prior to coming to Andrews, Moskala served in various capacities (ordained pastor, administrator, teacher, and principal) in the Czech Republic. He is a member of different theological societies and has authored or edited a number of articles and books in the Czech and English languages.  In addition, he has participated in several archaeological expeditions in Tell Jalul, Jordan.

  • + Ronald Nalin

    Dr. Ronny Nalin (Ph.D. in Earth Sciences, University of Padova) works as Associate Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute (CA, USA) and is Adjunct Professor of Geology at Loma Linda University. His interests focus on the sedimentology of non-tropical carbonates and sequence stratigraphy of shallow marine deposits. He has published several papers on these subjects on international journals of sedimentary geology. Ronny’s personal quest is to better understand the role faith and science should play in the construction of a biblical worldview.

  • + David Nelsen

    David Nelsen is a graduate of the department of Earth and Biological Sciences at Loma Linda University. During his time there David worked with Dr. William Hayes studying the venom and defensive behaviors of the western black widow spider, Latrodectus hesperus. After completing his Ph.D. in biology, David initiated a post-doctoral project with Dr. Leonard Brand and Dr. Art Chadwick investigating the taphonomy and paleohistology of an Edmontosaurus annectens bone bed in the Lance formation, WY. A project that is currently being completed. David has authored several peer-reviewed papers on venom, venom behaviors, and the cognitive abilities of several arachnid species, and is continuing this work as a faculty member at Southern Adventist University. David enjoys teaching, particularly leading discussion on evolution and origins where he uses venom as tool for evaluating evolutionary mechanisms. David is a father of two, Pearl (CaCO3) and Olivine ((Mg, Fe)2SiO4), and supported by his loving wife Marie.

  • + Suzanne Philips

    Dr. Suzanne Phillips is the chair of the Earth and Biological Sciences Department at Loma Linda University. She previously served as chair and professor in the Biology Department at Southwestern Adventist University (Texas) for nine years. She attended Sunnydale Academy in Missouri for high school, then Union College where she received a BS in Biology in 1998. She graduated from Loma Linda University’s Microbiology & Molecular Genetics Department with a Ph.D. in 2003. She serves on the Faith & Science Council and the Geoscience Research Institute’s board, GRICO. Her interests include bacterial signaling pathways, geology, and sharing the gospel. She and her husband, David, live in the mountains of southern California above Loma Linda University with their two children, Anna and Shane.

  • + Marcus Ross

    Dr. Marcus Ross, Ph.D. is Professor Geology and Director at the Center for Creation Studies at Liberty University. Marcus has loved paleontology (especially dinosaurs) since he was a kid growing up in Rhode Island. He has continued pursuing this passion, currently researching about a group of extinct marine reptiles called mosasaurs. He is greatly interested in issues surrounding the creation-evolution controversy and the intersection of geology with the Biblical events of creation and Noah's Flood. He and his wife Corinna live in Lynchburg, Virginia.

  • + Thomas Shepherd

    Tom Shepherd, PhD, DrPH is Professor of New Testament Interpretation at the Andrews University Theological Seminary and is Director of the PhD in Religion and ThD programs. He has been a member of the General Conference Biblical Research Institute Committee and the Faith and Science Council since 2005. His interest in the subject of Creation goes back to his childhood when his father taught him and his brothers astronomy along with family discussions of geology and other sciences. Dr. Shepherd holds degrees in both science and religion and appreciates the perspectives that scholars from both areas bring to the discussion of our Creator’s handiwork. Dr. Shepherd is married to his best friend, Sherry Shepherd, M.D. They have been married for 42 years. They have two grown children (Amy and Jonathan), and six grandchildren (Malachi, Nadia, Isaiah, Nathaniel, Samantha and Alexandra). Dr. Shepherd enjoys walking every day and is the cellist in the Hope Piano Trio at the SDA Theological Seminary. He speaks English, Portuguese and Spanish and is Sabbath School Superintendent of the Eau Claire Seventh- day Adventist Church.

  • + Keith Snyder

    Dr. Snyder graduated from Andrews University in 1979 with a B.S. in biology and finished an M.S. in animal behavior in 1982. He completed his doctorate at Washington State University with a degree in zoology focusing on neurophysiology. In 1986 Dr. Snyder and his wife accepted a teaching position at West Indonesian Union College (UNAI) in Indonesia. He chaired their Biology Department and helped develop a research program for both teachers and students. The time spent there laid the groundwork for the tropical biology class he now teaches through Southern Adventist University. The Snyders returned to the United States in 1995 to begin teaching at Southern. He has taught a wide variety of classes and occasionally teaches at Rosario Beach, Washington (a Southern Adventist University affiliated marine biology station). He enjoys most outdoor sports as well as volleyball and racquetball. He also enjoys scuba diving and insect collecting.

  • + Timothy Standish

    Dr. Timothy Standish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up in the Far East where his parents served as missionaries.  He completed a BS degree in zoology with a chemistry minor and an MS degree in Biology while studying brachiopods at Andrews University in Michigan. At George Mason University, he was awarded a Ph.D. in environmental biology and public policy based on his research into molecular techniques useful for identification and classification of nematode worms.

    Dr. Standish has taught all over the world: United States, United Kingdom, South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Austria and the Philippines.  His publications cover topics ranging from the molecular basis of behavior in crickets, to turtle conservation, Intelligent Design and public policy. In addition, he has authored many academic and popular publications dealing with faith and science. Production of films exploring the beautiful and elegant design evident in living things is another area in which he has been active. Dr. Standish holds the rank of Senior Scientist at the Geoscience Research Institute in Loma Linda, California.

  • + Kurt Wise

    Dr. Wise earned a Ph.D. in Geology from Harvard University, an M.A. in Geology from Harvard University, and a B.A. Geology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Wise has been described as influential on "modern creationism as it is practiced at its higher levels." Since the fall of 2009 he has been the director of Truett-McConnell College's Creation Research Center in Cleveland, Georgia. Between August 2006 and May 2009 he taught at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as director of the school's Center for Theology and Science. He had previously taught at Bryan College in Dayton, Tennessee where he served as Director of the Center for Origins Research and as an Associate Professor of Science for seventeen years. He served as consultant to the Answers in Genesis Creation Museum.

  • + Ed Zinke

    E. Edward Zinke, a theologian and businessman, was the son of missionary parents who served in Mexico. Ed has an MDiv and MA from Andrews University and doctoral candidate status at Catholic University of America in systematic theology. He has published various articles and books including the Sabbath School quarterly for the first quarter of 2010 and its accompanying book, “The Certainty of the Second Coming.” He was associate director of the Biblical Research Institute at the General Conference from 1971 to 1986. He served as president of Ann’s House of Nuts, an international food company, until 2008, when he and his wife sold the company. He serves on the Boards of Trustees of Andrews and Oakwood Universities, on the Biblical Research Institute Committee, on the Sabbath School Lesson Committee, the Faith and Science Council, International Board of Ministerial and Theological Education, the General Conference Executive Committee, and is Vice- Chair of the Ellen G. White Estate. He was co-founder, past president and current treasurer of the Adventist Theological Society. He is also active at Spencerville Adventist Church, teaching an adult Sabbath School class. Ed and His wife Ann have two sons and are the proud grandparents of seven grandchildren.