John M. Vitek (he/him/his)
John M. Vitek, National Speaker
John’s concern for religion and young people has spanned a career of forty-one years. He has served in leadership positions from the local church youth ministry level through diocesan, regional, national, and international positions of church and academic leadership. From 2001–2023, John served as President and CEO of Lasallian Educational and Research Initiatives, a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation that operates three major religious publishing houses as well as Springtide Research Institute.
John is the founder of Springtide Research Institute. He earned his bachelor’s degrees in communications and religious studies and his master of arts in pastoral studies. John is the author of numerous books related to spirituality and the religious development of young people. He was a principal researcher for and coauthor of Going, Going, Gone: The Dynamics of Disaffiliation in Young Catholics, a groundbreaking national research initiative that began to shift the narrative from a locus on religious institutional affiliation as the principal marker of religious identity to the larger social changes driving new ways in which religious identity and spirituality are manifesting personally and socially among young generations.
About his work at Springtide, John says: “Springtide feels like a culmination of everything I’ve cared about my entire professional career. To care about young people, their well-being holistically, to understand the dynamics of their lives—their deepest longings—as they are affected by the sociocultural shifts at play today is a privileged and humbling position. I want to pay attention to their needs and help leaders who care about them to pay attention too. This is what fulfills me and propels me.”
John resides in Rochester, Minnesota, when not spending time adventuring in the backcountry of national parks and forests backpacking, hiking, or cycling.
Photo credit Emilie Ng