GLS faculty member Danielle Strickland’s leadership has taken her all over the world. In her own words, her ministry has “led her to back alleys and late night streets to partner with Jesus in rescuing those caught up in drugs and homelessness and prostitution and despair” as well as “to the halls of government and corridors of commercial power” in order to reform laws and prevent trafficking and enslavement. As an Officer in the Salvation Army, an active advocate for victims of human trafficking, and an author focusing on Christian living and social justice, Strickland is the definition of a servant leader.
Born in Toronto, Strickland became involved in missions work shortly after becoming a Christian. Having travelled what she calls “the testimony circuit” with her personal story of salvation, she then began to work fighting against poverty with the Salvation Army. In her service for the organization she has led a human trafficking response unit, helped to found and lead an urban missions training centre in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, and worked as the Social Justice Director for the Salvation Army’s Southern Territory in Australia.
With twenty years of serving the marginalized on her résumé, Strickland now serves as The Western Territorial Social Justice Secretary for The Salvation Army in Los Angeles, California. She is an ambassador for the global anti-human trafficking campaign Stop the Traffik, as well as the author of two books and the co-author of three. Her titles include A Beautiful Mess: How God Recreates Our Lives (2014), Boundless: Living Life in Overflow (2013), Liberating Truth: How Jesus Empowers Women (2011) and Just Imagine: The Social Justice Agenda (2009). She has also co-authored a book published by the Salvation Army about the organization’s international work entitled Challenging Evil: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Radical Justice (2010).
Strickland also travels around the world to share the story of this ministry. In the next six months, she will speak in Scotland, Ireland, England, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, as well as in California, Colorado, and, of course, Illinois for the Global Leadership Summit.
When asked by Faith Today why the Church seems better at offering mercy than doing advocacy, Strickland answered, “The shallow end of the pool is fun. You don’t have to work to stay afloat. But once you go to the deep end, it takes more risk. You might go under. It’s scary and exhilarating. But it’s hard work.” At this year’s Summit, expect Strickland to challenge and encourage leaders to dive in the deep end and advocate for others.