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2017 BWi - Engage

November 9-10, 2017

We had a great BWi and are looking forward to next year- November 8-9, 2018.

Click Here to view past BWi speakers

The theme for this fall’s BWi is ENGAGE. Speakers was challenging and equipped students to make a difference in the world for the Kingdom!

Thursday morning, November 9

8:30-11:30 a.m. - Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Center Doors open at 8:00 a.m.

Why Engage?

John Stonestreet, President of the Colson Center for Christian Worldview and coauthor of the book titled A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World

Engaging the Mind

Alycia Wood is an apologist and speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. She graduated from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics

Staying Engaged

Grant Skeldon, founder of Initiative Network, a ministry to millennials.

Engaging Through Obstacles

Neal Jeffrey is a former All-American and NFL quarterback . He serves as Associate Pastor of Pastoral and Preaching Ministries at Prestonwood Baptist Church.

Thursday afternoon, November 9

Visit Christian College booths

11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. - Prestonwood Baptist Church Atrium

Friday morning, November 10

8:30-11:30 a.m. - Prestonwood Baptist Church Worship Center Doors open at 8:00 a.m.

How To Engage

Brett Kunkle, Student Impact Director at Stand to Reason and coauthor of the book titled A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World

Engaging in Today’s Cultural Crisis

Dr. Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science and Law at Vanderbilt University.

Engaging with the Gospel

Ben Schettler is the Founder and President of Ask or Think Ministries, a non-profit focused on aiding the church with Biblical advice and teaching on cultural engagement and gospel advancement.

Engaging with your Passion

Jared Hall uses illusions and comedy to present the gospel of Jesus Christ in relevant, engaging ways.

This event also includes a Christian College Fair where students will have the opportunity to learn about and interact with some of the best Christian colleges and universities in the country. Plan to enjoy lunch in Prestonwood's Main Street Cafe.

All presentations will be held in the Worship Center at Prestonwood Baptist Church both mornings from 8:00 am until noon. For visiting schools, you will have Thursday afternoon and evening for various debrief opportunities or time in Dallas for different activities.

Mark the dates November 9-10 on your calendars now and plan to bring as many students as possible to the 2017 BWi conference! Registration will open in early Fall.

If you are traveling from out of town we have arranged for special conference rates at:

Holiday Inn Express

3101 Dallas Parkway

Plano, TX 75093 972-403-7330


3100 Dallas Parkway

Plano,TX 75093

972 378 3997

Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Plano

The Colony 5909 Stone Creek Drive

The Colony, TX 75056


For more information contact Mary Carl Finkelstein at 972-820-5070 or

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2017 Speakers

John Stonestreet

Why Engage?

John Stonestreet, President, The Colson Center for Christian Worldview. John is one of our student favorites and we are thrilled that he and Brett Kunkle will be with us in November. The two recently released a book titled A Practical Guide to Culture: Helping the Next Generation Navigate Today’s World. Students will learn not only why they need to be engaged in the cultural chaos, but how to best stand for truth.

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Alycia Wood

Engaging the Mind

Alycia Wood graduated from Roberts Wesleyan College with a degree in Criminal Justice and from Marygrove College with a Master’s in Social Justice. She also graduated from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics and spent two years as a Fellow with RZIM in New England. Alycia’s speaking background is quite diverse. From universities (such as MIT, UCONN, Harvard, University of Massachusetts, Boston University, Dartmouth College, and Brown University), to retreats, from conferences to men’s and women’s prisons, Alycia has addressed major issues surrounding faith to diverse audiences.

Additionally, she has traveled to countries such as Haiti, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, and Jamaica, volunteering at soup kitchens and orphanages as her passions for “showing Christ” extends beyond her local environment.

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Grant Skeldon

Staying Engaged

In response to millennials being labeled noncommittal, cynical, entitled, slacktivists, Grant Skeldon started Initiative Network in order to shift the culture of Dallas by training millennials to be Christ-loving, city-changing, church-investing, disciple-making local missionaries.

Initiative has impacted thousands of young leaders from over 540 different churches across the metroplex. Grant has traveled across the globe speaking to over 26,670 pastors, parents, and business leaders on the topic of engaging and empowering millennials.

Grant serves on the advisory boards for Harvest America in Dallas and Movement Day Greater Dallas. He also serves on the preaching team at Mercy Street Church, a multicultural, urban church plant in West Dallas.

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Neal Jeffrey

Engaging Through Obstacles

Neal Jeffrey-As part of the Preaching Team at Prestonwood, Neal Jeffrey has often shared his dreams as a child: The first was to be the greatest football player who ever lived, and the second was to be a preacher.

He worked hard on the football field, rising above the pack to become an All-American quarterback at Baylor University, and to get drafted to play in the National Football League by the San Diego Chargers.

But a stuttering impediment kept him from believing that he could ever become a public speaker of any kind. As a freshman in college, listening to the wise advice of others, he came to the realization that God had made him, God had given him a dream, and God would achieve that dream through him if he didn’t give up.

After his professional playing career, Neal attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and received a Master of Divinity in 1981. He served with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and at Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas before coming to Prestonwood in 1984 as Student Minister. He then served as Minister to Married Adults and later as Associate Pastor of Pastoral Care. Throughout his more than three decades at Prestonwood, Neal has always shown an incredible passion for God’s Word and for His people.

Neal preaches regularly during Worship Services at all three campuses and is a popular motivational speaker throughout the country. “It’s an incredible thing to know God has a dream for you, and knowing that He is working in you and through you to achieve His dream in you,” Neal says.

Neal and his wife, Sheila, have three adult children; Natalie, married to Josh Patterson; Melissa, married to Jonathan James; and James, married to Krista. They have nine grandchildren, Lily, Luke, Liv, Georgia, Sadie, Lucy, James, Jack and Charlotte.

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Brett Kunkle

How to Engage

Brett Kunkle is the Student Impact Director at Stand to Reason. He is passionate about seeing students and adults “transformed by the renewing of their minds.” Brett has more than 18 years of experience working with junior high, high school, and college students. He spent 11 of those years as a pastor to students and young adults at Chino Valley Community Church in Southern California and Creekside Church in Colorado.

A dynamic communicator who engages both heart and mind, Brett speaks to thousands of students and adults at churches, conferences, and college campuses across the country. He has worked with such groups as Summit Ministries, Campus Crusade for Christ, InterVarsity, Saddleback Church, and Biola University. Brett has participated in debates and public forums on secular university campuses, and he is a regular speaker at the Evangelical Philosophical Society’s annual apologetics conference. In addition, Brett was a contributor to the Apologetics Study Bible for Students, has a chapter on truth in Apologetics for a New Generation, and wrote the Ambassador’s Guide to Mormonism. He has been interviewed on radio and television, and has been a guest host for Stand to Reason's weekly radio show.

Brett has developed a groundbreaking approach to mission trips, creating a one-of-a-kind training experience that immerses participants in real-life apologetics, theology, and evangelism. He orchestrates interactive trips to Berkeley California, Boulder Colorado, and to various parts of Utah where participants are equipped to engage atheists, Mormons, university students, and other non-believers.

Brett received his bachelor's degree in Christian education from Biola University. He has his master's degree in philosophy of religion and ethics at Talbot School of Theology.

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Dr. Carol Swain

Engaging in Today's Cultural Crisis

Dr. Carol M. Swain (B.A., Roanoke College, 1983; M.A., Virginia Polytechnic & State Univ., 1984; Ph.D., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1989; M.S.L, Yale, 2000; member of Phi Beta Kappa). Academic title: Professor of Political Science and Professor of Law, Vanderbilt University. Dr. Swain is the founder of the Carol Swain Foundation (2011) and Carol Swain Enterprises, L.LC. (2014).

Dr. Swain’s work on representation and race relations has earned her national and international accolades. Her highly acclaimed book, Black Faces, Black Interests: The Representation of African Americans in Congress (1993, 1995 Harvard University Press; reprinted in 2006 by University Press of America) was named one of the seven outstanding academic books of 1994 by Library Choice Journal, received the 1994 Woodrow Wilson prize for the best book published in the U.S. on government, politics or international affairs, the Hardeman Prize for best scholarly work on Congress during 1994-1995, and was the co-winner of the Key Award for the best book published on southern politics. Black Faces was cited by the U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy in Johnson v. DeGrandy (1994) and by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor in Georgia v. Ashcroft (2003).

Her other books include: Be the People: A Call to Reclaim America’s Faith and Promise (Thomas Nelson Press, 2011). Debating Immigration (Cambridge University Press, 2007), Contemporary Voices of White Nationalism (Cambridge University Press, 2003, edited with Russ Nieli), The New White Nationalism in America: Its Challenge to Integration (Cambridge University Press, 2002) that was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Race Versus Class: The New Affirmative Action Debate (University Press of America, 1996). Her latest book, co-authored with Steve Feazel, is titled: Abduction: How Liberalism Steals the Hearts and Minds of Our Children (Christian Faith Publishing, September 2016).

A widely recognized expert on campaign and elections, racial politics, immigration reform, and religious liberty. Professor Swain has served on the Tennessee Advisory Committee to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities Council (2008-2014). Her opinion pieces have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Times and USA Today. She was a regular contributor to CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight and her media appearances include BBC World News, NPR, CNN’s Michael Smerconish, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Fox News Live, Fox New’s Hannity, Fox News’s Judge Jeanine, PBS’s News Hour, The Washington Journal and ABC’s Headline News, among other media. Before joining Vanderbilt in 1999, Professor Swain was a tenured associate professor of politics and public policy at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

In October 2012, Professor Swain launched the Be The People TV Show under the auspices of Eagle Wings Media, LLC. Forty-two episodes aired between October 2012 and July 2014. The show debuted on an NBC affiliate Channel 4, WSMV. in Nashville, TN. According to the Nielsen ratings, the highest audience reached on WSMV’s midnight time slot was 46,000 households. In February 2014, Be the People TV moved to Fox 17 (WZTV). The show aired its final episode in July 2014. Since then, Be the People TV has operated as a blog for conservative thought. Past episodes are archived on Be the People’s Youtube Channel.

Dr. Swain commentary on current social and political issues can be heard nationally on Bott Radio and American Family Radio’s Two Minutes to Think About it with Dr. Carol M. Swain.

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Ben Schettler

Engaging with the Gospel

Ben Schettler is the Founder and President of Ask or Think Ministries, a non-profit focused on aiding the church with Biblical advice and teaching on cultural engagement and gospel advancement.

Ben has delivered over 700 keynote addresses, on 4 continents and 37 states. He is often called upon to speak at Churches, Conferences, Colleges and other Church leadership gatherings. He primarily focuses on helping churches navigate the changing social and political climate with a Biblical worldview.

Ben has worked with leadership teams giving practical ideas for developing a Biblical worldview in the next generation. He has officially and unofficially consulted for government and aspiring political candidates including neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson as the Faith Outreach Adviser for his campaign for presidency. Ben serves on the board for the National Association of Christian Athletics and Fort Bluff Camp.

In 2014 Ben joined the Creation Today television show as the co-host and producer, bringing a new dynamic and show format to the screen. This show is syndicated on the Christian Television Network and can be seen in 89 countries around the world. He also served as the main writer for the Legal Alert radio show syndicated on over 1100 stations in the U.S. Ben is currently working with an undisclosed national network on a pilot project for a new documentary television series on religious diversity scheduled to start filming in 2016.

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Jared Hall

Engaging with your Passion

Jared Hall is one of the top touring illusionists in the country. Jared will keep you on the edge of your seat, unable to look away as he makes audience members float, escapes from a straight jacket or simply finds your chosen card.

Jared uses illusions and comedy to present the gospel of Jesus Christ in relevant, engaging ways. Traveling extensively across the nation, Jared has had the opportunity to be apart of many conferences, festivals, outreach events, youth camps, and upward award night celebrations. He has shared the stage with many artist including Christ Tomlin, Louie Giglio, David Crowder, Shane and Shane, Toby Mac, Building 429, P.O.D., Jeremy Camp, Leeland, Casting Crowns, Lecrae, Eric Timm, Family Force Five and many more.