Joel Penton is the Founder and CEO of LifeWise Academy, a program that provides Bible education to public school students during school hours. Since its launch in 2019, LifeWise has quickly grown to serve more than 100 schools across the U.S. each week. Nearly 14,000 students attend a LifeWise program and receive a Bible class as part of their public school day.
Joel’s 15-year career as a nonprofit entrepreneur has been marked by the relentless pursuit of impacting students. He honed this skill playing defensive tackle at The Ohio State University where he relentlessly pursued quarterbacks for the Buckeye’s national championship football team. In his senior year at OSU, Penton received the Danny Wuerffel trophy, known as the “Humanitarian Heisman,” which is awarded to one college football player each year for outstanding community service.
Upon graduating, Joel founded Stand For Truth and Relevant Speakers Network, a speakers’ bureau that has touched more than 3,000 public schools and 2 million students nationwide. As a public speaker, Joel has presented to more than 2,000 live audiences and over 1,000,000 people across the country. He is also the author of three books including DURING SCHOOL HOURS: Why and How LifeWise Academy is Reinstalling Religious Education into the Public School Day.
Joel Penton lives in Columbus, Ohio with his wife, Bethany, and their five children, where they all enjoy telling stories at the dinner table, watching sci-fi movies, and playing full-contact monkey in the middle.