Zacharias Institute Faculty

Ravi Zacharias is Founder and President of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (RZIM). Zacharias has spoken all over the world for 45 years in scores of universities, notably Harvard, Dartmouth, Johns Hopkins, and Cambridge. He has addressed writers of the peace accord in South Africa and military officers at the Lenin Military Academy and the Center for Geopolitical Strategy in Moscow. At the invitation of the President of Nigeria, he addressed delegates at the First Annual Prayer Breakfast for African Leaders held in Mozambique.

Zacharias has direct contact with key leaders, senators, congressmen, and governors who consult him on an ongoing basis. He has addressed the Florida Legislature and the Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Texas and Louisiana, and has spoken four times at the Annual Prayer Breakfast at the United Nations in New York, which marks the beginning of the UN General Assembly each year. As the 2008 Honorary Chairman of the National Day of Prayer, he gave addresses at the White House, the Pentagon, and The Cannon House. He has had the privilege of addressing the National Prayer Breakfasts in the seats of government in Ottawa, Canada, and London, England, and speaking at the CIA in Washington, DC.

Born in India in 1946, Zacharias immigrated to Canada with his family twenty years later. While pursuing a career in business management, his interest in theology grew; subsequently, he pursued this study during his undergraduate education. He received his Master of Divinity from Trinity International University in Deerfield, Illinois. Well-versed in the disciplines of comparative religions, cults, and philosophy, he held the chair of Evangelism and Contemporary Thought at Alliance Theological Seminary for three and a half years. Zacharias has been a visiting scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge (then affiliated with Cambridge University, now more recently allied with Cambridge and affiliated with Durham University) where he studied moralist philosophers and literature of the Romantic era. He has been conferred ten honorary doctorates, including a Doctor of Laws and a Doctor of Sacred Theology.

Zacharias has authored or edited over 25 books including the Gold Medallion winner Can Man Live Without God (Word, 1994), Walking from East to West (Zondervan, 2006), The Grand Weaver (Zondervan, 2007), Has Christianity Failed You? (Zondervan, 2010), Why Jesus, (FaithWords, 2012), and Beyond Opinion (Thomas Nelson, 2007), which includes contributions from RZIM’s global team. His latest books are Jesus Among Secular Gods (2017) and Why Suffering? (2014), both coauthored with Vince Vitale and released by FaithWords. Several of his books have been translated into Russian, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Spanish, and other languages.

Zacharias has appeared on CNN, Fox, and other international broadcasts. His weekly radio program, “Let My People Think,” airs on 2337 outlets worldwide, his weekday program, “Just Thinking,” on 721, and his one-minute, “Just a Thought,” on 488. Various broadcasts are also translated into Romanian and Turkish, and “Let My People Think” airs as the Spanish-language program “Pensemos” on over 250 outlets in sixteen countries. Additionally, his television program, “Let My People Think,” is broadcast internationally in several countries including Indonesia. RZIM is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, with additional offices in Canada, India, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Hong Kong, Romania, Turkey, Austria, Spain, Latin America, and South Africa. Zacharias and his wife, Margie, have three grown children. They reside in Atlanta.

Vince Vitale is Director of the Zacharias Institute. He was educated at Princeton University and the University of Oxford, and he later taught philosophy of religion as a faculty member at both of these universities. It was during his undergraduate studies in philosophy at Princeton that Vince took an unexpected journey from skeptic to evangelist. He then completed masters and PhD studies at Oxford, receiving a Daniel M. Sachs Graduating Scholarship (awarded annually to one graduating Princetonian) and a Clarendon Scholarship (supported by Oxford University Press).

While researching at Oxford, Vince developed a new response to the problem of evil. This response—termed the Non-Identity Defense—is discussed in Vince and Ravi Zacharias’s book Why Suffering?: Finding Meaning and Comfort When Life Doesn’t Make Sense. In 2017, Vince and Ravi released a second co-authored book, Jesus Among Secular Gods: The Countercultural Claims of Christ. For his work on Søren Kierkegaard, Inter-Varsity Press and Tyndale House awarded Vince the title IVP Young Philosopher of Religion of the Year 2013.

Vince also has an interest in the intersection of faith and sport. He played varsity soccer at Princeton, was a “double Blue” at Oxford (competing for the university in soccer and boxing), and has traveled with Athletes in Action mission teams to four continents. While teaching at Princeton, Vince served as Faculty Director of the Athletes in Action ministry on campus.

Vince has commended the Christian faith at many universities, including UC Berkeley, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie Mellon, Princeton, Oxford, and Cambridge. This past year he had the privilege of speaking at Google Headquarters and Passion City Church.

Vince is incredibly grateful to be married to Jo, who also works with RZIM as the Dean of Studies for the Zacharias Institute.

Jo Vitale is Dean of Studies at the Zacharias Institute and an Itinerant Speaker for RZIM. Prior to joining the US team, Jo was a speaker for RZIM Europe, where she also served in teaching and pastoral roles at the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics.

During her years in Oxford, Jo graduated with a first-class degree in theology from the University of Oxford. Jo then completed an MSt in biblical interpretation and a DPhil (PhD) in Old Testament studies, both at the University of Oxford. Her doctoral dissertation was on the subject of “women and beauty in the Old Testament.” It was also in Oxford, at St. Aldate’s church, that Jo met and married Vince.

Since joining RZIM, Jo has spoken internationally in a variety of contexts, including universities, churches, schools, conferences, and radio programs. She has also been involved in leading several weeklong outreach events at universities in America and the United Kingdom. With her background in biblical studies, Jo has a particular passion for speaking on questions of biblical reliability, challenges to the character of God (including questions related to sexism, war, slavery, and judgment in the Old and New Testaments), and the uniqueness of Jesus Christ in a world of competing truth claims.

Although a UK national, Jo is now based at the Zacharias Institute in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Shawn is the Assistant Director of the Zacharias Institute and a member of the US speaking team. He began serving with Young Life shortly after becoming a Christian in his early twenties. During these years, a desire to take the gospel to unreached people groups in the world motivated Shawn and his wife, Carly, eventually taking them to Africa where they served with Africa Inland Mission from 2008-2012. While serving among an unreached, animistic people group in the mountains of South Sudan, their team had to evacuate and were unable to return. Following their escape from South Sudan, they worked among an unreached, Muslim people group on a coastal African island for two years.

During his time in Africa, Shawn saw the need and benefit of apologetics in evangelism and discipleship. Cross-cultural mission work stirred in him a love for culture and an interest in thinking about how to respectfully engage with people from diverse cultural perspectives. Upon graduation from the Oxford Centre for Christian Apologetics (OCCA), Shawn served as the Chapter Director for Ratio Christi at Portland State University (PSU). While at PSU, Shawn organized and led one of the first weeklong university missions in the US in partnership with RZIM and several other campus ministries.

Shawn first joined RZIM in 2015 as an OCCA Fellow in Washington, DC. Since that time, he has lead several university missions in the US and UK and was part of the leadership team for the Chicago Festival of Thought.

Shawn has a Certificate in Theological Studies from Oxford University and a degree in Ministry and Leadership from Western Seminary. He currently lives in Alpharetta, Georgia, with his wife and their three young children.