Global Leadership

Erick and Elizabeth Schenkel

Executive Director, The JESUS Film Project

Erick became interested in Jesus for the first time when he saw a pastor stand up for racial justice in his Northern Kentucky hometown.  Shortly after, one of his high school teachers became a Christian and shared with Erick how he could have a personal relationship with God.  Erick gave his life to Jesus in the high school parking lot.

Shortly after, Erick left Kentucky for Harvard College, and became involved in a dynamic Christian movement.  After graduation, he led a church-planting team of college friends that established a church and an elementary school in Massachusetts. While leading this church, Erick earned two master’s degrees and a Ph.D. from Harvard in the Study of Religion. During this time he and his wife, Elizabeth, developed a desire to take God's love to some part of the world that had few Christians and needed to know God's love.

Erick and Elizabeth moved to Central Asia and Erick served as director of a non-profit organization from 1999 until 2012, working in the fields of education and economic development. During that time Erick also worked alongside JESUS Film® teams in Central Asia, started a Bible school and served as director of a movement of nationally-led churches. He then served for five years as strategy director for North Africa, Middle East, and Central Asia for Campus Crusade for Christ. Erick became the third executive director of The JESUS Film Project in March 2012, succeeding Jim Green and founder Paul Eshleman.  

Erick and Elizabeth, married for 40 years, have five children and three grandchildren. Erick enjoys running, watching the Red Sox and Celtics, and fishing with his grandkids.


Erick and Elizabeth Schenkel share of how a phsyical attack did not stop them from their calling.

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