"Although there are many great Catholic scholars and theologians out there who teach effectively on Scripture, the Catechism, and the magisterial documents of the Church, John's genius is that he synthesizes them in such a complete, compelling, and applicable way."
- Curtis Martin, CEO and Founder of FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students)
John LaBarbara is a popular author, speaker, executive leadership consultant and founder of PracticalCatholicism.com which provides practical resources for Catholics to know, live and share their faith. He is also the founding Principal of CALC Inc. - the Center for Advanced Leadership Consulting - through which he uses the knowledge and skills acquired through a career in corporate expansion and turn-arounds to help apostolates, religious organizations, parish leaders, and business professionals become more unified and effective in fulfilling their mission.
He has been an instructor at the St. John Vianney Seminary (Lay and/or Seminary Divisions) since 2007, where he has created and taught courses in Servant Leadership, Advanced Strategic Leadership, and Apologetics for the New Evangelization, and has taught courses in Sacred Scripture.
John is also the apologetics editor and a contributor to the critically acclaimed Didache Bible with Commentaries from Ignatius Press, and the author of Knowing God’s Love – 8 Essential Truths Every Catholic Should Know from Sophia Institute Press.
He has served as the Interim Chief Operating Officer for the Catholic Psychotherapy Association, the Vice President of Operations for FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) where he was instrumental in creating their Leadership Develop Initiative, the Chief Operating Officer of the Augustine Institute where he designed and launched their highly successful distance education program, and as the interim COO for Endow. His passion is Applied Theology – the study of theology to make it useful, applicable, and relevant to everyday life.
John graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Sacred Scripture from Simpson University and went on to study New Testament Greek at Fuller Seminary. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Angela, and together they have five adult children and four grandchildren. John and Angela reside in Denver Colorado and are adult converts to Catholicism from an Evangelical Protestant background.
John LaBarbara has been a speaker on multiple occasions for our ministry, Getting Grilled, which is an apologetics speaker series for young adults. We have had many different well-known speakers, and John is the only one we have asked to return multiple times. He speaks with clarity and knowledge. The content and delivery of his talks have been consistent favorites with our audience. John has an incredible ability of explaining complicated theological topics in a way that anyone can understand yet still challenges even our most experienced attendees. Of all the speakers we have had at Getting Grilled, John remains one of our most popular, dynamic and charismatic. We cannot recommend John LaBarbara enough as your next speaker. You will not be disappointed.
Tim and Angela Urban
Directors of Getting Grilled Archdiocese of Denver
John is an incredibly talented speaker who brilliantly presents the universal truths found in Scripture, Tradition and the Magisterium in a way that is easy to understand and relevant to our times. John also possesses the rare gift of applying the truths of our faith in practical ways in leadership, apologetics, evangelization and a lived life of faith. The Diocese of Baker has been richly blessed by several of John’s presentations and workshops to parish and diocesan lay leadership and to our clergy. My experience with John is that he delivers what he promises and is very well received by all participants, exceeding our expectations every time. I highly recommend him as your next guest speaker.
Barry M. Metzentine Director of Evangelization and Catechesis Diocese of Baker
John LaBarbara is one of the most dynamic Catholic speakers and teachers I have seen in my 10+ years of working with Catholic college students and young leaders. He has the ability to bring the richness of the teachings of Christ and His Church alive. He captures the hearts and minds of those he speaks to and helps his audience to make practical applications in their own lives. Through the witness of his life and through the Scriptures and Magisterium he helps others to encounter God in powerful ways when teaching apologetics, leadership or on the spiritual life. His talk on redemptive suffering is one of the most powerful talks I have ever heard and has borne tremendous fruit in my own life. I would recommend John highly as one of the key writers and speakers bringing alive the New Evangelization today.
Nathan K. Stanley
FOCUS – Fellowship of Catholic University Students
John LaBarbara is a dynamic, impelling and passionate speaker that grabs your attention from the moment he begins. His approach to Apologetics always leaves me hungry to absorb more information and detail about my Catholic faith and definitely anticipating the next subject and the next class. John's intense love for God and his profound desire to know the Catholic faith down to its very core has become a gift for anyone that has an opportunity to hear him speak. He will ignite that same passion and desire in every person in the room as he mesmerizes you with detail after detail on how to work on becoming a great apologist. I have been truly blessed to have John as a teacher.
Knights of Malta
As a cradle Catholic with twelve years of Catholic school education followed by numerous Biblical studies, capped by four years of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, I felt that I was fairly well-grounded in the tenets of the Faith. However, I did not feel really comfortable with the articulation of my belief, especially with the present-day emphasis on the New Evangelization, to which we are all called. God answered my problem by bringing John LaBarbara’s Apologetics Course to Colorado Springs. To say this was the answer to prayer is an understatement. The class has been outstanding and, no matter how much I thought I knew about the Faith, I have learned something new at every single session. Mr. LaBarbara is an excellent instructor who consistently updates his material and is extremely knowledgeable in all the topics covered. Each presentation is remarkable for the friendly, entertaining and open manner with which he makes complex subjects understandable. For me, the “icing on the cake” is the fact that all the material is practical and relevant for living and sharing what it means to be a Catholic in today’s secular world.
Elinor M. McGarry, Ph.D.
Colorado Springs, CO
I have found John to be one of the more unique and engaging speakers that I have encountered. His broad resume of experiences and success in both business, as well as ministry, make him a renaissance man for the Catholic Church today. From a radical conversion to his commitment to evangelize the world and his success in the for-profit world while at the same time leading his colleagues to follow Christ as well. He is an extremely effective communicator and an amazing teacher. Johns teaching is accessible to every audience and yet will always be challenging and impactful. I have turned to John to teach and train, my parish community as well as our team and regional leaders in FOCUS.
Mark Bartek Sr. Regional Director
Fellowship of Catholic University Students
John LaBarbara is a uniquely gifted speaker. He is able to make facts about Catholicism accessible to all levels of thinking. He has an incredible ability to present complicated information in an organized, concise and understandable manner. His depth of understanding is affirmed by his sources, encyclicals, Scripture, Magisterium and the catechism.
Patrick and Jane Buhr
Apologetics Students of the Archdiocese of Denver
John LaBarbara is a convert to the Catholic faith that jumped in with both feet. His knowledge of the truths of our faith is impressive & seems to be endless. As an educator myself, it is very evident that he puts in a lot of time preparing for his talks. Every presentation is packed full of information straight from Scripture, the Catechism, encyclicals, and the wisdom of the saints. Nuggets of wisdom from these sources are gathered together in a coherent presentation that not only teaches our faith but encourages us in ways to apply it to our lives. As a student who has had at least 6 years of previous biblical & catechetical studies, I always walk away from class having learned something new. I highly recommend John as a speaker for any Catholic topic of interest to your group. You will not be disappointed!
Kristin Zimmer M.Ed. and M.S.
Colorado Springs Apologetics Student
Catholic wife, mother, & life-long learner