Skip to content »
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Ana Maria (Nita) Araujo Freire
Dr. Ana Maria (Nita) Araujo Freire was born in Recife, Brazil, on November 13, 1933. The daughter of educators, she is an intellectual in her own right, with a master and doctor of philosophy degrees in education from Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo- Brazil. Freire, widow of Paulo Freire and legal successor of Freire's work since his death in 1997, has given numerous conferences and seminars in many parts of the world on education, predominantly on the history of Brazilian education and the thoughts of Paulo Freire. Nita, the name affectionately used by Paulo Freire, in addition to writing books, book chapters, and articles, also collaborated with Freire, writing comprehensive endnotes for his books Letters to Cristina (1996) and Pedagogy of Hope (1994). According to Paulo Freire, her endnotes gave readers an important insight into the historical conditions and cultural nuances from which he wrote his books. In his own words: “Nita is without a doubt one of the few people who truly and completely understand my work. It is almost scary. Sometimes I think she understands my ideas better than I do.”
Nita Freire’s individual books published in Brazil are: Paulo Freire: Uma História de Vida (Paulo Freire: A Life History), 2006, considered to be the most comprehensive biography of Freire, with which she won Premio Jabuti in 2007, the most important literary award in Brazil, under the category "Best Biography;" Nita and Paul: Chronicles of Love (1998); Illiteracy in Brazil, 3rd edition (2001); Centenary of Birth: Aluízio Pessoa de Araujo (1997); and Francisca Birth Centenary Albuquerque Araújo - Genove (2002). She has also been remarkably dedicated in having much of Freire’s other writings published posthumously. Among the several books she has published—all in Portuguese and some translated into Spanish and English—the following stand out: Daring to Dream: Toward a Pedagogy of the Unfinished (2007), Pedagogy of Indignation (2004), Education of Liberation by Paulo Freire (2001), Education of Possible Dreams (2001), and Pedagogy of the Heart (1997).
Panelist and Group Leader: Dr. Daniel Schipani
Professor Schipani was born and raised in Pehuajó, a city in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina. He holds a Doctor of Psychology degree from Universidad Católica Argentina (Buenos Aires), and a PhD in practical theology from Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ). He is currently Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling at the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana; before accepting that position he was Professor of Pastoral Counseling at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico (San Juan, PR). An ordained minister in Mennonite Church USA, he also serves as a psychotherapist and pastoral counselor (volunteer) at a local community health center for economically vulnerable care receivers, especially immigrants from Latin America. His academic work includes clinical supervision of students in chaplaincy, and pastoral and spiritual counseling.
Daniel Schipani’s research and teaching interests include formation and transformation processes and intercultural and interfaith pastoral care and counseling. He is the author or editor of twenty-seven books on pastoral counseling, education, and practical and pastoral theology. His texts in education include, Religious Education Encounters Liberation Theology, Teología del Ministerio Educativo, Educación, libertad y Creatividad: Encuentro y Diálogo con Paulo Freire, and Paulo Freire, Educador Cristiano. Books on pastoral and spiritual care include The Way of Wisdom in Pastoral Counseling; Spiritual Caregiving in the Hospital: Windows to Chaplaincy Ministry, Interfaith Spiritual Care: Understandings and Practices; Nuevos Caminos en Psicología Pastoral; Multifaith Views in Spiritual Care and Manual de Psicología Pastoral. He is also a visiting professor in various academic institutions and lectures widely in North America, Latin America and Europe. He is a member of several professional and academic organizations, including the Society for Intercultural Pastoral Care & Counseling, the Society for Pastoral Theology, the International Association of Spiritual Care, and the International Academy of Practical Theology.
Panelist and Group Leader: Dr. Reginald Blount
Dr. Reginald Blount is the Assistant Professor of Formation, Youth, and Culture at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. He has spoken nationally and internationally at numerous conferences and workshops helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with, and on behalf of young people. Blount received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Tuskegee University and his Masters of Divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University’s joint program in Religious and Theological Studies, focusing on the areas of Christian education and youth ministry.
Panelist and Group Leader: Dr. Jack Seymour
Dr. Jack L. Seymour is Professor of Religious Education at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Seymour is also an ordained elder in the Northern Illinois Conference of The United Methodist Church. Seymour joined the faculty at Garrett-Evangelical in 1988, later serving as academic dean and vice-president for academic affairs from 1996-2006, director of the joint Garrett-Evangelical and Northwestern University PhD program from 1992-1996, and director of the Garrett-Evangelical PhD program from 2009-2012. A renowned Christian educator, Seymour has published numerous articles and is the author and co-author of a number of books, including Teaching Biblical Faith: Leading Small Group Bible Studies (Abingdon, 2015), Teaching the Way of Jesus: Educating Christians for Faithful Living (Abingdon, 2014), Yearning for God: Reflections of Faithful Lives (Upper Room Press, 2003), Mapping Christian Education: Approaches to Congregational Learning (Abingdon, 1997), and Educating Christians: The Intersection of Meaning, Learning, and Vocation (Abingdon, 1993).
Speaker: Dr. Débora Junker
Dr. Débora Junker is the Director of the Hispanic-Latino Center, Assistant Dean of Students, and Director of International Student Life at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. She received her Doctor of Philosophy degree in education and congregational studies from Garrett-Evangelical; she also holds a Master of Arts in Christian education from Christian Theological Seminary and a Master in Religious Science (practical theology) degree from the Methodist University of São Paulo - Brazil. She also received post-graduate specialization in the psychopedagogy of early childhood and adolescence from the Methodist Institute of Higher Education of São Paulo – Brazil and a licentiate in letters from the Methodist Institute of Higher Education of São Paulo – Brazil. Junker has published numerous articles, chapters, and books in the field of Christian education. She is currently working on a new book, Religious Education for Global Citizenship: Embracing Compassion and Solidarity.