Ratio Christi Brings Strong Presence to Inaugural Women’s Apologetics Conference “Love God with All Your Mind”

January 19 and 20 of 2018 were historic days in the world of apologetics! The Women in Apologetics ministry (WIA) partnered with Biola University, Intelligent Faith, and Mama Bear Apologetics (an affilitate of RC) to host its first apologetics conference specifically led by women.  They  achieved another milestone by offering a separate apologetics training track for children, WIA Kids, while their parents attended the conference. The reviews for both were off the charts. The conference will become an annual event (Jan. 11-12, 2019) with the hopes of hosting mini WIA conferences across the country. 

Ratio Christi was well represented.  Laurie Stewart (she and husband John run Intelligent Faith and are also affiliated with RC International) serves as WIA’s president, Hillary Ferrer (founder of Mama Bear Apologetics) serves as vice-president, and Rachel Shockey (an approved RC Chapter Director), serves as chairperson and is the executive director of WIA. All three women are students in the master’s program at Biola.  Shockey and Stewart approached Craig Hazen (far left in top photo),  founder and director of Biola’s M.A. Program in Christian Apologetics and director of the M.A. Program in Science and Religion, about creating a women’s conference.  And as they say, the rest is (now) history.  The keynote speakers were Mary Jo Sharp, Melissa Cain Travis, Hillary Morgan Ferrer, and Natasha Crain.  Of the twelve breakout sessions offered, four were led by RC women:  Jane Pantig, Scarlett Clay,  Julie Loos, and Stewart. Ratio Christi also hosted a promotional table with the help of Chris Sandoval, chapter director at UC Irvine.

Registration (which included a few men), was 200 strong, plus 59 via Livestream, and 29 children. Elizabeth Urbanowicz, along with volunteers, led WIA Kids for those in third through sixth grades. They engaged in a variety of activities to help them think through what Truth is, how they can learn Truth, and how Truth applies to their lives (see photo included below of a kids' definition of truth). 

Jane Pantig's "What Does it Meme: Introduction to Informal Fallacies" discussed the biblical basis for logic and reasoning and how important logic is to everyday life. Jane covered the twelve most common fallacies likely to be seen on social media. Attendees reviewed  Jane's session as "Excellent”; "Informative and useful"; and "Her talk invites me to learn more about logic to engage my friends in conversation.” 

Scarlett Clay presented "A Creative Defense: Using the Arts to Point to God." Attendees said "The speaker did a wonderful job,” and “It was very interesting." 

Julie Loos presented "Strategic and Targeted: How Apologetics Should Inform our Prayer Life." One attendee commented that she "loved her practical instruction and reminder of the spiritual battle when we use apologetics tools." 

Laurie Stewart co-presented with Claudia Kalmikov on "What is Truth and Why Should We Care?” We received the following comment:

"Laurie Stewart’s presentation was relevant because in today’s culture people are running their lives based on feelings. Laurie reminded the audience we are to keep our thoughts captive and love God with all our minds, not just feelings (Romans 12:2). Both hers and Claudia Kalmikov’s presentations at the WIA conference were insightful. Claudia spoke on Truth, specifically stating objective truth exists and relativism is false. She also demonstrated why relativism doesn’t work in any practical living way."

In case you are not familiar with the history of WIA, in March 2009 Sarah Renee founded The International Society of Women in Apologetics (ISWA). With the help of volunteers, Sarah created and opened womeninapologetics.com as a content sharing site with the hope that it would encourage and equip women to defend their Christian faith. On May 1, 2017, Jade Turner and Rachel Shockey acquired the rights to the website, www.womeninapologetics.com, and in October 2017 they founded the organization Women in Apologetics (WIA) as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the state of Florida. The vision God has given them at WIA is to encourage, educate, and equip Christian females to develop an evidential faith. It is also their mission to help female apologists gain experience teaching, speaking, and writing. Their three main goals are 1) to have an annual WIA conference, 2) to provide academic apologetics support to females of all ages, and 3) to provide apologetics engagements and training for women.

Mark your calendars for January 11-12, 2019 for the Second Annual Women in Apologetics Conference. In the meantime, if you want to bring a mini-conference to your area, fill out the form on the WIA website. While you’re there, check out the valuable resource page. 

The Ratio Christi presence at this event is a practical demonstration of the ministry's values for educating and equipping in apologetics and worldview, servant leadership, discipleship, and our commitment to the local church through the body of Christ.  Enjoy the slideshow below, and see the WIA official "recap" page for all the organizations that were involved (scroll to bottom).