ESPN’s Chris Broussard, Taylor Alum J.R. Briggs Among Speakers for NSLC

Published: Feb 11, 2016

Award-winning ESPN NBA reporter Chris Broussard, author Lisa Graham McMinn, and  Taylor alumnus, pastor and author J.R. Briggs are among the 13 featured speakers scheduled to appear at Taylor University’s National Student Leadership Conference (NSLC), February 26 and 27.

Conference planners say the theme for the event is Gather. “Gather brings many different people together – over coffee/tea, in classrooms, and residence halls – to share ideas, questions, and stories that provoke thought, challenge assumptions, and encourage us to grow,” said Charlie Richert, Taylor senior and NSLC planning committee member.

Each guest speaker will present an 18 to 20 minute TED-style talk to the entire conference, expected to number about 700 students from all over the United States. Planners say follow up sessions ranging from thematic panels, facilitated conversations, interviews, and more focused teaching will be integrated with the talks.

"We are thrilled to have such an incredible group of speakers this year,” Richert said. “With the new TED-style conference, our lineup touches nearly every area of a college student’s life. Our goal is to create an environment for students and young professionals from all backgrounds to join together in a safe place to navigate some of life’s most difficult questions. From Chris Broussard to Chris Smith, we are thankful each speaker has agreed to join us for this year’s National Student Leadership Conference.”

Keynote speakers include:

  • Chris Broussard – ESPN NBA Journalist
  • Liz Forkin Bohannon – founder and president of Sseko Designs
  • C. Christopher Smith – author of Slow Church and editor of the Englewood Review of Books
  • J.R. Briggs – regular Taylor chapel speaker, pastor, author of Epic Fail
  • Marilyn Chandler McEntyre – faculty member at UC Berkley, author of Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies
  • Peter Baker – Director of the American Studies Program in Washington, D.C.
  • Helen Lee – editor at InterVarsity Press, blogger, and author of The Missional Mom  
  • Byron Borger – owner and operator of Hearts and Minds Bookstore, book reviewer, and author of Serious Dreams
  • Nina Barnes – Dean of Spiritual Formation at the University of Northwestern St. Paul
  • Daniel White Hodge – theologian, and faculty member at North Park University, and author of The Soul of Hip Hop
  • Mandy Smith – pastor, artist, and author of The Vulnerable Pastor and Making a Mess and Meeting God
  • Brenda Jank – founder of Run Hard, Rest Well and speaker
  • Lisa McMinn – Professor of Sociology and author of Sexuality and Holy Longing, The Contented Soul, Growing Strong Daughters, and To the Table: A Spirituality of Food, Farming, and Community

Founded in 1982 by the Taylor University Student Organization (TSO) and Office of Student Programs, the National Student Leadership Conference is a student-led event with a goal of helping undergraduate students, employees, and community members strengthen their leadership abilities. The conference offers various keynote and breakout sessions, which provide attendees the opportunity to learn about many topics in various settings.

Registration and more information:, email, or call 765.998.5104.