Lubomir Martin Ondrasek, President and Co-Founder
Born and raised in Czechoslovakia when Europe was divided by the Iron Curtain, Lubomir Martin Ondrasek converted from atheism to Christianity in his late teens. In order to prepare for effective Christian service, he arrived in the United States in 1995. After completing his undergraduate studies with high honors at Zion Bible Institute in 1999, he received his MDiv in 2003 from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Boston, graduating summa cum laude at the top of his class. He earned his ThM in Christianity and Culture at Harvard University in 2005. From 2005-2013, Ondrasek pursued a course of PhD study in religion and ethics (political, theological, philosophical, war and peace) at the University of Chicago under the supervision of the late Professor Jean Bethke Elshtain. He received his MA in Religious Studies from the University of Chicago in 2014. Currently Ondrasek is pursuing his DMin in Transformational Leadership at Boston University and is expected to complete his degree in 2020. He has been honored with numerous awards, including the nomination-based Rumsfeld Graduate Fellowship, which is awarded to candidates of “outstanding intellectual ability, integrity, moral character and leadership potential.”
From 1999-2005, Ondrasek served as a minister in two New England churches. He also worked as an adjunct professor at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, teaching courses in the area of Christian Social Ethics and the Public Ministry of the Church. In 2008, he was a recipient of the University of Chicago's Human Rights Internship, which enabled him to explore the issue of religious freedom in Slovakia. He later closely cooperated with the Institute for State-Church Relations and Institute for Legal Aspects of Religious Freedom in Slovakia and provided expert advice to the Department of Religious Affairs of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. In 2011, he was recognized for his contributions by the Minister of Culture of the Slovak Republic.
Ondrasek publishes, presents and provides consultations in the areas of Religion, Ethics and Public Life, Church and State, Public Ministry of the Church, and Pentecostal Studies. He is the author of Verejná teológia na Slovensku (Public Theology in Slovakia), Kresťanstvo, etika a verejný život (Christianity, Ethics, and Public Life) and Neocharizmatické hnutie na Slovensku (Neocharismatic Movement in Slovakia), and co-editor of the books Church and Society: Towards Responsible Engagement/Cirkev a spoločnosť: Smerom k zodpovednej angažovanosti and Pentekostalizmus v náboženskom a spoločenskom kontexte (Pentecostalism in Contemporary Religious and Social Context). He has also written numerous chapters, articles and reviews published in Slovak and English. As a public theologian, he is a regular contributor to leading Slovak newspapers.
He lives with his wife, Dr. Noema Bradnanska Ondrasek, in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. Their daughter Daniela is a cum laude graduate at Wellesley College majoring in Economics and Russian Area Studies and is presently pursuing a graduate degree in public policy at the University of Chicago. He is a cancer survivor.
Noema Bradnanska Ondrasek, Vice-President and Co-Founder
PaedDr. Noema Bradnanska Ondrasek, Ph.D. received her education from the Department of Theology and Christian Education, Faculty of Education at Matej Bel University in Slovakia. She was a visiting scholar at Baptist Theological Seminary at Richmond and received a certificate from the Wheaton College Summer Tutorial Program. She worked at Matej Bel University, first as a lecturer and then an assistant professor for nine years, teaching courses in the area of Christian education and practical theology. She has published extensively on the topics of religious education and pastoral care of children, as well as other topics. She has also actively participated in numerous professional and scholarly conferences at home and abroad and has been involved in various ecumenical activities. Throughout her life, she has served in many church capacities, including terms as chairwoman of the Department of Education at the Baptist Union of the Slovak Republic and as a board member of the Social Work Committee of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Slovak Republic.