Richard Stearns chosen as 2017 IWU World Changer

Indiana Wesleyan University has chosen Richard Stearns, President and CEO of World Vision U.S. and a bestselling author, as the 2017 inductee into the IWU Society of World Changers.

“Richard Stearns, through his passion and dedication, has used his business expertise and God-given gifts to address world poverty and to bring hope in the name of Christ,” said Dr. David Wright, IWU president. “We are thrilled to honor Mr. Stearns, whose name adds great distinction to the Society of World Changers.”

Stearns uses his World Vision U.S. platform to call Christians to action on the greatest needs of our day. His award-winning book, “The Hole in Our Gospel,” has encouraged thousands of readers to open their hearts to those who are hurting in our world.

Driven by his passion to raise awareness and support for poverty and justice issues, Stearns appears regularly as a commentator on some of the top issues of our day in outlets including Christianity Today, Relevant magazine, Fox News and Huffington Post.

He speaks in churches regularly and in recent years has spoken at the Lausanne Conference, Willow Creek’s Global Leadership Summit, the Christian Leadership Alliance, Movement Day, Worship Together and dozens of other conferences.

The former CEO for Parker Brothers Games and Lenox, Stearns holds a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and a Master of Business Administration degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Following a calling from God, Stearns resigned from Lenox in 1998, leaving behind more than 25 years of experience in corporate America to become World Vision’s U.S. president. In that position, he has built a strong leadership team focused on bringing corporate best practices to the non-profit sector and inspiring a culture of outcome-focused management at all levels of the organization.

Stearns’ greatest legacy will be his leadership in calling on the Church in America to respond to some of the greatest needs of our time, most notably the HIV/AIDS pandemic and now the global refugee crisis.

Stearns and his wife, Reneé, live in Bellevue, Washington, and have supported World Vision since 1984. They have five children of their own – plus millions more around the world.

Stearns induction will take place at the 14th annual Society of World Changers Convocation at 10 a.m., April 12, in the IWU Chapel Auditorium.

IWU established the Society of World Changers in 2003 to recognize role models who have exemplified the concept of being a world changer and whose lives can serve as an inspiration to future generations.  Previous inductees include television producer and author Robert Briner, neurosurgeon Dr. Benjamin Carson, author Frank Peretti, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, founder of Joni and Friends Joni Eareckson Tada, gospel musicians Bill and Gloria Gaither, former U.S. Senator Elizabeth Dole and best-selling author and businessman John Maxwell. The most recent inductee, in 2016, was Dr. Ravi Zacharias, a renowned evangelical speaker and author.

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