Andrew Marin is the president and founder of The Marin Foundation, an organization that systemically builds bridges between the broader lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and conservative Christian communities through scientific research and biblical and social education. He is the author of and the ebook A self-described homophobic, straight, Bible-believing, conservative Christian alpha-male, Marin's life changed radically in 2000 when, during three consecutive months, his three best friends all came out to him. Determined to find some answers to his crisis, he became what he calls "the gayest straight dude in America," and followed God's call to move to the LGBTQ Boystown neighborhood of Chicago to immerse himself in the gay and lesbian community. While living there for twelve years with his family, he began The Marin Foundation, focused on training and teaching churches around the country how to build bridges with their local gay and lesbian community in order to make a significant impact for the kingdom. He also oversees the foundation's national research study, which is the largest study of its kind ever done in the LGBTQ community regarding spirituality and religion. Marin has a BA in Applied Psychology from the University of Illinois-Chicago, an MA in Urban Studies and Social Change from Eastern University and is currently earning his PhD from St. Mary?s College at the University of St. Andrews in Constructive Theology and Ethics. He regularly lectures and facilitates trainings around the world and his speech given on Capitol Hill the night before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, is archived in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Since 2010 he has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement and theological aspects of reconciliation.
Brian McLaren is founding pastor of Cedar Ridge Community Church in the Baltimore-Washington region. He is the author of numerous books including and .