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Speakers

Andy Bannister

Dr. Andy Bannister is Director of the Solas Centre for Public Christianity and an Adjunct Speaker for Ravi Zacharias International Ministries. He has spoken in hundreds of universities, churches, business settings, and on TV and radio. Andy holds a PhD in Qur’anic Studies and is an Adjunct Research Fellow at the Centre for the Study of Islam and Other Faiths at Melbourne School of Theology. He is the author of two books, An Oral-Formulaic Study of the Qur’an (a groundbreaking and innovative study that reveals many of the ways the Qur’an was first composed) and The Atheist Who Didn’t Exist (or: The Dreadful Consequences of Really Bad Arguments), a humorous engagement with the New Atheism. He also co-wrote and presented the TV documentary, Burning Questions. When not traveling, speaking, or writing, Andy is a keen hiker, mountain climber, and photographer. He is married to Astrid and they have two children, Caitriona and Christopher. They live in Dundee in Scotland.

Mark Durie

Dr. Mark Durie is an academic, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations, and religious freedom. He holds a PhD in Linguistics from the National University and a ThD in Quranic Theology from the Australian College of Theology. He has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA, and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

Al Fadi

Al Fadi is a former Wahabbi Muslim from Saudi Arabia. Al became a follower of Christ through the ministry of an International Students ministry who connected him with a born-again family that led him to Christ. He is the founder and director of CIRA International, a ministry focused on training and equipping Christian leaders, seminary students, and laypersons on effective outreach and evangelism among Muslims. Al is the host of a popular radio show called “Let Us Reason” which can be heard on KPXQ 1360 AM in Phoenix and worldwide online and on podcast. He is also the host of numerous evangelistic and apologetic Arabic-English satellite TV programs which air in the Middle East. He is a frequent guest on various media outlets, such as Fox News and other nationally syndicated radio shows. Al is a guest lecturer and visiting adjunct at a number of Bible colleges and seminaries and holds an MS in engineering from Arizona State University, and an M.Div. in Biblical Communication from Phoenix Seminary. 

Stuart McAllister

Born in Scotland, Stuart McAllister saw his life changed by Christ at the early age of twenty. Filled with a hunger to learn more and deepen his understanding of the faith led him to join Operation Mobilization in 1978. He worked with the organization for twenty years in Vienna, Austria, and his service took him to Yugoslavia, where he was imprisoned for forty days for distributing Christian literature. Upon his release, he continued to work in communist countries, resulting in more imprisonments.

With a rich history of service, Stuart has acted as general secretary of the European Evangelical Alliance (1992-1998) and been involved with the European Lausanne Committee. He developed a mobilization movement called “Love Europe,” which sent several thousand team members across Europe with the message of the Christian faith. Stuart also founded the European Roundtable, bringing together a diverse group of ministries and interests that collaborated to foster “Hope for Europe.”

Stuart joined Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in 1998 as the International Director and today serves as Global Support Specialist. With a heavy travel schedule that takes him all over the globe, Stuart speaks in churches, universities, and other forums with the same passion he first knew as a follower of Christ. Stuart has been a lecturer at Alliance Theological Seminary in Nyack, New York, where he was honored with a Doctor of Divinity. Additionally, he has been a featured speaker several times at the European Leadership Forum.

Stuart is a frequent contributor to A Slice of Infinity, RZIM’s daily reading on issues of apologetics and philosophy, Just Thinking, the ministry’s quarterly journal, as well as Engage, a magazine published quarterly by RZIM Educational Trust. He has also contributed chapters in the books Beyond Opinion (Thomas Nelson, 2007) and Global Missiology for the 21st Century (World Evangelical Fellowship, 2000).

Abdu Murray

abdu_murray-2Abdu Murray is North American Director with Ravi Zacharias International Ministries and is the author of two books, including his latest, Grand Central Question: Answering the Critical Concerns of the Major Worldviews. For most of his life, Abdu was a proud Muslim who studied the Qur’an and Islam. After a nine year investigation into the historical, philosophical, and scientific underpinnings of the major world religions and views, Abdu discovered that the historic Christian faith alone can answer the questions of the mind and the longings of the heart. Abdu has spoken to diverse international audiences and has participated in debates and dialogues across the globe. He has appeared as a guest on numerous radio and televisions programs all over the world and hosts Embrace the Truth with Abdu Murray, a radio show heard on WLQV AM 1500 in Detroit and worldwide on the internet and podcast. Abdu holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Michigan and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School. As an attorney, Abdu was named several times in Best Lawyers in America and Michigan Super Lawyer. Abdu is the Scholar in Residence of Christian Thought and Apologetics at the Josh McDowell Institute of Oklahoma Wesleyan University.

Abdu lives in the Detroit area with his wife and their three children.

Richard Shumack

Rev. Dr. Richard Shumack gained his PhD from the University of Melbourne, Australia, where he examined contemporary Muslim philosophy and discovered Muslim thinking to be especially weak in their bold claims to certainty. Richard is Director of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology and a research fellow at the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney, Australia. He teaches regularly on ministry in Muslim contexts in Australian seminaries, universities, churches and mission organizations. His publications include a training book Witnessing to Western Muslims, and the philosophical apologetic The Wisdom of Islam and the Foolishness of Christianity.

Sasan Tavassoli

Dr. Sasan Tavassoli is a former Shi’ite Muslim from Iran. In 1985, Sasan came to faith in Christ as the result of the ministry of a group of American missionaries while he was living in Portugal. He is an ordained minister and has been involved in ministry within the Iranian communities in the Diaspora as a teacher and later as a pastor for the past two decades. Dr. Tavassoli graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary (MA), Columbia Theological Seminary (ThM), and earned his PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Birmingham, UK. Sasan and his family live in the USA.

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Carson Weitnauer

Carson Weitnauer serves as Innovator, Online Community at RZIM. Carson holds a BA in philosophy with honors from Rhodes College in Memphis, TN. During his undergraduate program he studied abroad at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. Carson earned his M.Div. from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, MA. He served as the Co-Editor for True Reason, an edited volume featuring contributions from sixteen apologists on the legitimacy of reason in both the New Atheism movement and Christianity. In 2010, Carson was a delegate at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism in Cape Town. He is Chair of the Board for Creating Jobs, Inc., a nonprofit that mentors and trains entrepreneurs to grow companies, create jobs, and help communities thrive. Before joining RZIM, Carson served university students for ten years at Emory University, Rhodes College, Boston College Law School, and Harvard University. Carson lives in the Atlanta area with his wife and two children.