Keynotes

Simply Youth Ministry Conference Logo

What these leaders say could change your life…

Makoto Fujimura

Makoto
Fujimura

World-renowned artist, writer, speaker, and culture-shaper

Makoto Fujimura was recently appointed director of Fuller's Brehm Center. He's an artist, writer, and speaker who's recognized worldwide as a cultural shaper. A presidential appointee to the National Council on the Arts from 2003-2009, Fujimura served as an international advocate for the arts, speaking with decision-makers and advising governmental policies on the arts. In 2014 the American Academy of Religion named Makoto as its 2014 Religion and the Arts award recipient. His work is represented by Artrue International and has been exhibited at galleries around the world, including Dillon Gallery in New York, Sato Museum in Tokyo, The Contemporary Museum of Tokyo, Tokyo National University of Fine Arts Museum, Bentley Gallery in Arizona, Gallery Exit and Oxford House at Taikoo Place in Hong Kong, and Vienna’s Belvedere Museum. He is one of the first artists to paint live on stage at New York City’s legendary Carnegie Hall as part of an ongoing collaboration with composer and percussionist Susie Ibarra. A popular speaker, he's lectured at numerous conferences, universities, and museums, including the Aspen Institute, Yale and Princeton Universities, Sato Museum, and the Phoenix Art Museum. Fujimura founded the International Arts Movement in 1992, a non-profit organization that stages “Encounter” conferences featuring cultural catalysts such as Dr. Elaine Scarry, Dennis Donoghue, Billy Collins, Dana Gioia, Calvin DeWitt, and Miroslav Volf. Fujimura’s second book, Refractions: A Journey of Faith, Art and Culture, is a collection of essays bringing together people of all backgrounds in a conversation and meditation on culture, art, and humanity. In celebration of the 400th Anniversary of the King James Bible, Crossway Publishing commissioned and published The Four Holy Gospels, featuring Fujimura’s illuminations of the sacred texts. In 2011 the Fujimura Institute was established and launched the Four Qu4rtets, a collaboration between Fujimura, painter Bruce Herman, Duke theologian/pianist Jeremy Begbie, and Yale composer Christopher Theofanidis, based on T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets. The exhibition will travel to Baylor, Duke, and Yale Universities, Gordon College, and other institutions around the globe. Bucknell University honored him with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 2012. He is a recipient of four Doctor of Arts Honorary Degrees; from Belhaven University in 2011, Biola University in 2012, Cairn University in 2014 and Roanoke College , in February 2015. And he was named one of the 300 best commencement speakers by National Public Radio.

Craig Detweiler

Dr. Craig
Detweiler

Professor, author, filmmaker, and cultural commentator

Craig Detweiler, Ph.D., is Professor of Communication and creative director of the Institute for Entertainment, Media, and Culture at Pepperdine University. Craig wrote the screenplays for The Duke (see it on The Disney Channel), the comedic road-trip film Extreme Days, and is currently finishing a new script set in a performing arts magnet high school. Foreword honored his book iGods: How Technology Shapes Our Spiritual and Social Lives as the Silver Award Winner for best books about popular culture. His other books include Into the Dark, which explores the top-ranked films on the Internet Movie Database, and Halos and Avatars: Playing Video Games with God. Detweiler’s cultural commentary has been featured on ABC’s Nightline, CNN, Fox News, NPR, and in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Craig and his wife, Caroline, met while working with Young Life. Their children, Zoe (17) and Theo (14), play water polo at Malibu High School. Go Sharks!

Nikki Toyama-Szeto

Nikki
Toyama-Szeto

Director of the IJM Institute for Biblical Justice, former program director for Urbana

Nikki Toyama-Szeto, in her role as the Vice President of Global Strategies for Christian Engagement, directs the IJM Institute for Biblical Justice and oversees Global Prayer. She works with leaders of faith communities to help ignite a passion for biblical justice among the global church. The IJM Institute serves as an action-oriented think tank. She directs the development of IJM’s educational materials, and helps design its global prayer strategy. The Institute recently released The God of Justice, a curriculum for churches, which she co-authored. Nikki writes, speaks, and teaches on behalf of IJM on the intersection of faith and justice at various forums including at The Underground Railroad Museum’s Freedom Summit, The First Ladies Initiative (hosted by Laura Bush), and the Micah Global Consultation (Peru, 2015). Prior to joining IJM, Nikki worked with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship for 13 years. Most recently, she served as the program director of Urbana, InterVarsity’s international conference of 18,000 young adults from 120 countries. She has served on the board of Mission Year, an urban immersion program for young adults, and helped develop the program for 2010 Lausanne Global Congress. Her work has been profiled in Christianity Today and Rejuvenate Magazine ("Forty under 40"). Before entering full-time ministry, Nikki worked as an engineer in Silicon Valley. Nikki has authored several books, including God of Justice, Partnering with the Global Church, and More Than Serving Tea. Nikki and her husband live with their two children in the Washington, DC area.

Doug Fields

Doug
Fields

Co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com and the author ofPurpose-Driven Youth Ministry

Doug Fields is a youth ministry innovator and a widely respected voice in the youth worker community. He's a communicator, author, and consultant. He’s currently the Executive Director of HomeWord’s Center for Youth/Family at Azusa Pacific University, the co-founder of Downloadyouthministry.com, and the author of more than 50 books. More information about Doug is available at www.dougfields.com.