LA MIRADA, CALIF. — More than half of Gen Z Christians in the United States, “self-identify as Christian, but have not made a personal commitment to follow Jesus Christ,” according to data from Barna. Biola University professor, author and podcast host Dr. Sean McDowell will address this gap and help foster a deeper knowledge of Scripture in young Christians alongside other speakers at a youth apologetics conference at Biola this weekend.

“Our culture is increasingly encouraging young Christians to find their identities and meaning in many things besides God,” said McDowell, associate professor of Christian apologetics at Biola. “This generation suffers because of the many lies that have been told to them. But when young Christians discover their identity and value in God, they come alive and can make a real difference.”

In an effort to draw the next generation to deeper knowledge of the Word of God, Stand to Reason is hosting youth apologetics conferences across the United States. The conference, Reality Student Apologetics Conference is this September 22-24.

The conference will provide an opportunity for students to grow in doctrinal and theological literacy, learning from speakers Greg Koukl, Megan Almon, Christopher Yuan, McDowell, and others.

This year’s conference theme, Man or Maker, asks students to consider where their identity is found. This theme suggests that humanity is faced with two narratives of reality — either one can accept who man says they are, or who God says they are. Students will consider what it means to listen to their Maker’s perspective in an ever-changing world as those created in his image.

“The question ‘did God make us?’ determines human purpose, identity and value. There’s few questions more important today and whether there is a God who exists that personally made us in his image,” said McDowell.

McDowell is hosting a pre-conference session for attendees who registered to join a meet and greet with him, followed by a book-signing session for his brand-new book, Set Adrift. All pre-conference attendees will receive his book and have a chance to ask McDowell individual questions before his keynote address.

Stand to Reason is an organization which aims to train Christians to be ambassadors for Christ — equipped with knowledge, wisdom and character to defend their faith. Stemming from STR, Reality Apologetics is specifically geared toward students. With conferences hosted in California, Washington, Minnesota, Texas, Pennsylvania and Georgia, students across the U.S. have access to this resource.

To attend Man or Maker, visit Biola’s ticketing website.

Written by Abigail Goosen, strategic communications assistant. For more information, contact Media Relations at