August 25, 2014 : By Drew Menard
Liberty University’s own, alumna Alison Howard (’11) and Professor Dr. Joshua Chatraw, were recently named to Christianity Today’s readers’ choice “33 under 33” listing.
In July, editors at Christianity Today (CT) compiled a list of 33 young believers they believe are leading the church into the future, consulting ministry leaders, highly connected social media mavens, and millennials for the list. The cutoff for recognition corresponded with the start of the 1980-generation.
CT then asked readers to make their own nominations and compiled a list of 33 readers’ choice submissions, which included Chatraw and Howard.
Chatraw was named as the director for Liberty’s Center for Apologetics & Cultural Engagement (ACE) and the Theology and Apologetics programs at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester. He earned his Ph.D. at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and co-authored two books. He also served as the Pastor of Preaching and Students at First Baptist Dublin, Ga., for three years before making the move to Liberty with his family in July.
“I was honored and humbled to be named to this list,” Chatraw said. “Since arriving on campus, I have been impressed by the diversity and giftedness of the Liberty faculty. I’m thankful to be a small part in the university’s community project of producing young thinkers who could be on similar lists in the future.”
Liberty added the center for ACE at the beginning of the Fall 2014 semester to inform and equip individuals to engage culture by addressing the biblical, theological, philosophical, and cultural questions of today’s world from a distinctively Christian worldview. According to Chatraw, the center is currently gathering top scholars from Liberty faculty to take part in a Distinguished Senior Fellow Program. Students can also apply to be a Student Fellow in order to have the opportunity to learn from Senior Fellows, serve as ambassadors for the center, and research and write regarding apologetics and cultural engagement.
Howard, Communications Director at Washington, D.C.’s Concerned Women for America (CWA), also joined Chatraw on CT’s list. The mission of CWA is to protect and promote biblical values among all citizens — first through prayer, then education, and finally by influencing society — thereby reversing the decline in moral values in our nation. Howard assumed her role as director in April 2013 where she manages internal and external communications projects for CWA concerning the sanctity of life, family values, and religious freedom. Among other media outlets, Howard has been featured on Fox News, The Blaze, The Christian Broadcasting Network, and in World Magazine.
“I didn’t grow up in a political family. I didn’t even think about politics growing up. In fact, any young person that says they “love politics” kind of scares me. I did grow up though, around Christians who were passionate about things that mattered. And that continued at Liberty. We can all see first hand how public policy affects all our families. Now thankfully we live in a great country, where if we don’t like the way things are going, we can petition our government. It’s important we pay attention to what those we send to represent us are doing.”
Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from Liberty. Her passion for the unborn was realized through the pro-life group R.O.S.E, Liberty’s Washington Fellowship, and CWA’s college chapter, Young Women for America.
“Young Women for America and R.O.S.E. made clear to me the need for a redemptive tone on issues like life and marriage. My generation is growing up seeing the actual consequences of different choices, good and bad,” Howard said. “We as Christians need to be ready to reach out to a world that so desperately needs truth, reason, logic, love. I was never shielded from seeing real life and talking about life while asking a lot of questions, in hopes of pointing to the only answer I ever have – Jesus. I’m grateful for Liberty equipping its students to face a world trained up and prayed up as Champions for Christ.”
Both Howard and Chatraw plan to continue God’s work in the future while trusting His timing for their lives.