Mark Matlock to Lead Urbana Student Missions Conference

(Madison, WI) — Strengthening its commitment to call the next generation into global mission, InterVarsity/USA is pleased to announce Mark Matlock will serve as Executive Director of the Urbana Student Missions Conference, effective January 2, 2024.

“Mark has dedicated his life to seeing each generation of young people connect deeply with Jesus and to providing every people group with a Bible in their heart language. He’s been both a researcher and a practitioner. I'm excited to see how his unique gifting will shape his leadership of Urbana in the coming years, as we invite the next generation of women and men to gain a bigger vision of the world and experience God’s heart for the nations.” said Tom Lin, InterVarsity’s president.

“As I travel, it is obvious that Gen Z, post-pandemic, is a ‘bright line’ representing change globally across generations. I’m excited to see how God calls this generation into his global mission. My hope is that Urbana 2025 will be part of this unique moment like it has been for generations past, including my own generation. I attended Urbana 1990 and I returned to Biola more passionate and more engaged with global missions as a result” said Matlock.

Throughout his career Matlock has provided strategic leadership aimed at helping churches be more effective at discipling teenagers and young adults. He founded WisdomWorks Ministries to provide strategic event consulting and production support to help churches and ministries effectively reach young people. He also created PlanetWisdom, a discipleship conference for teens, that eventually became part of Zondervan’s Youth Specialties vertical, where he became the Vice President of Event Content, and eventually Executive Director. Matlock has authored 20 books, including Faith for Exiles, a Barna research project co-authored with David Kinnaman. His new book with Barna, Faith for the Curious, comes out this fall.

Most recently, he was interim CEO of, a ministry which catalyzes gospel movements in cities around the world. He has served on the board of Seed Company and American Bible Society, and he will be a delegate to the fourth Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Seoul this fall. He speaks regularly to church leaders and young people and is an ordained minister and former lay teaching pastor at Irving Bible Church in Irving, Texas.

Since InterVarsity hosted the first student missions conference in 1946, more than 300,000 people have been challenged with their responsibility and privilege in global missions. The next Urbana conference will take place in December 2025. Learn more about the impact of Urbana through the decades at

InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA is an interdenominational ministry reaching students and faculty on over 700 U.S. college and university campuses nationwide. InterVarsity, founded in 1941, is a founding member of the International Fellowship of Evangelical Students, advancing Christian student work in 164 countries. 

For Immediate Release
Contact Christy Chappell Belkin at 608.443.3671 or via email.