Speakers

  • Jo Saxton

    Jo Saxton is a leader, visionary, and practitioner who has spread her message for the past twenty years across the UK and North America.

    Born to Nigerian parents and raised in London, she has served as a pastor at St. Thomas Church in Sheffield, England, and in a wide range of churches in the United States. In 2009 Jo went to work for 3DM where she continues to serve while writing books, speaking around the world, and planting a church with her husband.

    Her message encourages people to engage in missional living and discipleship and specifically equips women for leadership and influence, inspiring all believers to engage the world in the same way God does—by going out rather than just reaching out.

    Her books include More than Enchanting: Breaking Through Barriers to Influence Your World (IVP Books, 2012), High Heels and Holiness: The Smart Girl’s Guide to Living Life Well (Hodder, 2012), and Real God, Real Life (Hodder, 2011). In addition to writing books, Jo blogs at 3DM and Today’s Christian Woman.

    She and her husband Chris have recently planted Mission Point Church, in the Minneapolis area, where Jo serves as one of the pastors. Jo loves running, good music, reading, and laughing loudly with family and friends over a great meal. Jo and Chris have two amazing daughters. Follow her on Twitter at @josaxton.

  • Sarah Visser

    Dr. Sarah Visser serves as vice president for student life at Calvin College. A 2001 Calvin graduate, Sarah spent more than 12 years in Southern California, serving in a variety of leadership roles at both Pomona College and Azusa Pacific University. Prior to her current role, Sarah served as chair of the Department of Leadership and Organizational Psychology at Azusa Pacific University, where she taught both undergraduate and graduate students.

    She completed her Ph.D. in higher education at Claremont Graduate University, where her research focused on diversity and change, exploring how institutions build capacity in the area of diversity. She has a passion for engaging scholarship and praxis related to social justice issues, with specializations in organizational culture, gender studies, and identity development.

    Sarah returned to Grand Rapids, Michigan in July 2015 to begin serving as vice president at Calvin College. In that role, she partners with leaders across the division of student life to cultivate co-curricular learning experiences that disciple, develop, and equip students to thrive as Christ’s agents of renewal in the world.

    Sarah and her husband of 15 years, Matt, reside in Grand Rapids with their three children, Emma (11), Max (9), and Adelyn (5).

  • Shirley Hoogstra

    Shirley Hoogstra received a bachelor’s in education at Calvin College and a Juris Doctorate, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law. She went on to successfully practice law at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven, Connecticut.

    After a decade of practicing law, Shirley felt the calling of the Lord to leave her successful practice to pursue working for the cause of Christian higher education full-time. This bold move led her to become the vice president of student life at Calvin College in 1999, serving as a key campus leader and cabinet member in her role.

    In 2014, Shirley became the first woman president to the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) since its founding in 1976. She serves in that role with a combination of her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education to promote the value and purpose of a high-quality, Christ-centered education that shapes the heart, soul, and mind.

  • Arielle Estoria

    Born and raised in foggy Northern California, Arielle Estoria Leda Wilburn is a writer, speaker and creative. Through various aspects of storytelling, from spoken word to event hosting to acting and voice-overs, Arielle orchestrates each art form out of her motto, “Words not for the ears but for the soul.” This motto stems from her dedication to remind her audience that words are meant to be felt and not just heard, and the ultimate purpose behind her work and life, which is the diligent pursuit reminding people of their worth through words. Arielle is the co-author of two self-published collections of poetry: Vagabonds and Zealots (2014) and Write Bloody Spill Pretty (2017) which can both be found on Amazon.com. In 2016, she released her EP of poetry and music entitled Symphony of a Lioness.

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